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Hole Chess. Variant on a board of 44 squares with two holes that pieces can be dragged into. (7x10, Cells: 44) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
(zzo38) A. Black wrote on 2013-02-17 UTC
A further subvariant could be that tractor-beaming your own pieces into a hole is allowed (but you still cannot make displacement capture your own pieces).

Daniil Frolov wrote on 2010-06-04 UTC
How about using holes on standart board? They may be in front of bishops' or knights' pawns, total 4 of them. Bishop is not dragon horse. Queens, rooks and bishop can use special moves. There are several ways to give this move to knight...

George Duke wrote on 2009-01-21 UTC
Hitchhikers on 42 in 2002 and then Hole on 44 in 2003.

Gary Gifford wrote on 2008-05-18 UTC
Carlos, it is true that one need not move out of check in Hole Chess. And I'd like to be able to update the rules to make this very clear. But Hole Chess is one of those early games that I cannot go in and edit.

That being said, the only clue in the rules is that there is mention that a King can move into check, and that a King could even move next to another King (but would then be captured). If a King can move into check, of course, it stands to reason that he could stay in check.

I would really like to update the rules to make 'captured king' the ONLY winning condition. That would simplify things.

carlos carlos wrote on 2008-05-18 UTC

is it correct that there is no obligation to move out of check (if you can instead capture the opponent's king)?

Gary Gifford wrote on 2004-07-17 UTC
I thank Erez Schatz for his Hole Chess comment and his most welcomed statement about the central pawn. At this point in time I agree 100% that the pawn should be allowed to move. I came to this conclusion after having played a few games of Hole Chess with Carlos Carlos [who, for the record, is a very tough opponent]. I certainly wanted to move that pawn in our last game and it was very aggravating to have it stuck there. After the 44-Squares contest ends I will be amending the rules slightly. The Pawns behind the holes will be allowed one diagaonal move (of one square), with no need to capture. This will allow the players to create 'pawn majorities' on one side of the board and will increase the likelyhood of pawn promotions. If anyone wants to play Hole Chess now, or in the near future, I recommend that they play using the upcoming pawn rule change. Best regards to all, Gary G.

Erez Schatz wrote on 2004-07-17 UTCGood ★★★★
I quite enjoyed this one. The hole rules were nicely done and it's
definately going to be voted quite high on my list. 
I do have a problem, already mentioned below regarding the pawn on the
other side of the hole. While it is protecting the king from being sucked
to the hole, and guarding two other squares, I don't like having a piece
which initially cannot move.

Gary Gifford wrote on 2004-05-09 UTC
I have given Jeff Rients' 'use of Berolina Pawns in Hole Chess' idea some additional thought. Since those pawns could move in front of a Hole they could block [at least temporarily] one of the most dynamic themes of the game, i.e., the use of a direct central vertical force to suck pieces through a hole. For that reason I believe that the western pawns, as presently defined in the game, are prefferable.

Gary Gifford wrote on 2004-05-08 UTC
In answer to Carlos Carlos's question: 'If the white bishop is on d4, and a black piece is on f4, does the e4 hole count as a square? if not, then the bishop could suck that black piece in. i am guessing that the bishop cannot suck orthogonally like this, but can you confirm?' Answer: The Bishop [Promoted Shogi Bishop] can only suck items diagonally. A piece on the other side of the Hole (Horizontal or vertical from a promoted Shogi-Bishop) is effectively one square out of range. One analogy would be that of removing a step from a stairway. If I can take one walking step at a time I will still fall through the Hole. The 'non-step' is not a 'step' but it still occupies the space of 'one step'. Does that help? Pawns diagonally behind the hole also cannot suck items through a hole for the same reason. I.e., their influence of attack is over the Hole itself.

carlos carlos wrote on 2004-05-08 UTCGood ★★★★
i want to try this with normal pawns if anyone is interested. my only question is about the bishop. it can move one space orthogonally. if the white bishop is on d4, and a black piece is on f4, does the e4 hole count as a square? if not, then the bishop could suck that black piece in. i am guessing that the bishop cannot suck orthogonally like this, but can you confirm?

Gary Gifford wrote on 2004-05-08 UTC
This is in response to Jeff's comment.  Thanks for commenting. I too like
the physical board inwhich pieces actually fall throught the hole in the

As for the pawns behind the holes, yes they have a sad lot in life.  But
they still protect 2-squares and shield the guys behind them, at least
till they get dragged into a hole.

Jeff asked, 'Have you considered using Berolina Pawns?'  No.  I did not
know what Berolina Pawns were until after I submitted the game.  And even
when I read about Berolina pawns it did not occur to me that they might be
nice in Hole Chess.  I suppose you could challege someone to a game and
state that you want to use Berolina pawns.  The Game Courier won't mind. 
I would not mind watching such a game.

Jeff Rients wrote on 2004-05-07 UTCGood ★★★★
This variant looks fun to play, especially with the suggested box for
tractored pieces to fall into.

I don't think I like the fact that two pawns are trapped behind holes,
the poor little guys!  Have you considered using Berolina Pawns?

Gary Gifford wrote on 2004-04-16 UTC
I just caught Chuck's comment about the Hole Chess sample game. Chuck wrote, and I quote, 'In the sample game, I'm not so sure Yellow has a forced win after 8... Kc9. It looks to me as if Red is OK after 9. Qd6/@d8+ Qd8/@d6.' I just looked over the position. Chuck is 100% correct. His suggested reply certainly saves the game.

Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2004-02-05 UTCGood ★★★★
The special capture, drawing a piece into the hole, is very clever and innovative. It should add very interesting tactics to the game. Since this special move can be done in addition to normal captures by replacement it adds more effective power to the board. This is an effective approach to provide more options in a small game.

Chuck wrote on 2004-02-05 UTCGood ★★★★
In the sample game, I'm not so sure Yellow has a forced win after 8... Kc9. It looks to me as if Red is OK after 9. Qd6/@d8+ Qd8/@d6.

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