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Kings. A modest variant with more than one king. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeremy Good wrote on 2007-06-15 UTC

Another variant of this game is to make both kings royal. There are several variants with non-royal extra kings and also those with extra kings that are royal. One of the consequences of a game with both kings royal is that a fork (or direct pin with kings skewered and nothing to interpose) of kings wins the game since both can't elude check in one turn. In the second version of a 10 x 8 board, making both kings royal might be an elegant way of accomodating more power to the board.

Of this variant, I'd like to pose a sort of quasiphilosophical question for Derek Nalls: Is not the 10 x 8 version with two kings more symmetrical than symmetrical variants with just one king? Because a solo king stands out as an asymmetry to the rest of the pieces on the board.

Applying the theme of symmetry one step further, one might lessen the weakening aspect of having two royal kings by applying a balanced extra move method (similar to Extra Move Chess and Balanced Marseillais Chess) whereby only one check can be delivered at the end of the turn which must also be removed by the end of the turn (as opposed to the beginning of the turn).

Added note: Of course having the royalty of a piece determined by its location is an elegant idea too. A further nuance to explore: How about a variant based on the theme that the closest piece to a given square is royal no matter what that piece is. Just a thought. Suppose the royal square was tucked away in an obscure place. A very strong piece close to the royal square would be hard to checkmate but it would also be removed from the main theater of war, with resulting creative tension...