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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2006-09-23
 By Gary K. Gifford. King's Reincarnation. Captured Kings return to the board, but at a price. 2 versions of play. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Gary Gifford wrote on 2010-06-23 UTC

Daniil, Charles, Simon - Thanks for commenting. Interesting is that your comments have appeared at a time when I happen to be reading
about reincarnation in Buddhist literature.and I've not thought about this reincarnation-based game in ages.

The King enpassant idea is interesting and would likely be best in variant II. I imagine many variants could adapt such a rule.... or be easily modified to do so.

In regard to pawns promoting, yes it is just as in Fide chess... they are no longer pawns and the King, if captured, can reincarnate as the promoted piece.


Simon Jepps wrote on 2010-06-23 UTCGood ★★★★
Nice touch.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2010-06-23 UTCGood ★★★★
I agree with idea of playing with En Passant capture. By the way, a quick search reveals no mention in the pages or existing comments to promotion. Presumably once a Pawn has been promoted the King can replace the promotee, but it would be best to make that explicit.

Daniil Frolov wrote on 2010-06-23 UTC
How about playing with king en-passant?
King may be captured en-passant when it castles and moves as rook or bishop. When it castles, it also may be captured by moving piece ti it's starting square.

Darren Rigby wrote on 2006-09-30 UTC

Ahh. I see it now.

First, pawns aren't pieces, so QxPxPxPxPxP... isn't going to work. But it does point out the difference.

Capturing *any* piece isn't going to earn you another turn. It has to be the current designated royal piece, otherwise nothing special happens. (It would be lunacy to pick as your next royal piece the pawn next to the one that just got captured.)

And, of course, the king is the first royal.

Thanks, folks.


Gary Gifford wrote on 2006-09-30 UTC
Joe is correct.  In Darren's concept a check to your King [not a King capture]
costs you a move and a piece.  So, as Joe states, QxP+ (or Q x anything check)
and then the game is likely over due to the domino affect.

In KR1 and KR2 the King must be captured (which in my concept,
the King losses his life,
but is reincarnated, thus the game's name).
This King-capture idea is a very important 
difference between my concept and Darren's.

Joe Joyce wrote on 2006-09-30 UTC
Darren, here's one difference that may make a large difference. In your variant, I'd take white, and after the first few turns, I'd play QxP, get another move and play QxP... the sequence would be something like QxPxPxPxPxPxPxPxPxRxNxB...

Gary Gifford wrote on 2006-09-29 UTC
Darren: You ask about KRII (A) Is there any actual functional difference between,
say, a rook and a royally reincarnated rook? and (B) If not then what
difference does it make which piece the king reincarnates to?'

Answer: In regard to KRII (a) In this variant the
Reincarnated King can move like the piece he replaces.  (b) Now the
difference is this.  Let's say Black has a Rook on e4 and a rook on a8. 
Let's say the Black King was captured and the player wants to Reincarnate
the King to replace his Rook on A8 because the Rook on e4 can be captured
and he has a Knight,he wants to play Nf6 and then Nh5. Here is the difference.  
White captures the Rook on e4 and now it is Black's turn. Black has his King 
(that can move as a Rook) and he has his Knight.  But, suppose he Reincarnated as 
the e4 Rook.  The e4 King(aka Rook-King, aka Royal Rook) is captured and now, 
the King must reincarnate to replace the Rook on A8 or the Knight.  
Assume he replaces the Rook on a8.  Now his e4 Rook is gone and it is still 
White's move.  A little bit of mental gymnastics... 
so lets use moves:

 CASE KRII - A                CASE KRII-B
1. ....  K-A8 (Rook-King)    1. ....  K-e4 (Rook King)
2. Qxe4  Nf6                 2. Qxe4  K-a8 (Rook King)
3. P-a4  Nh5                 3. P-a4  Nf6

Back has lost a tempo in case B because there were 2 reincarnations.

Darren Rigby wrote on 2006-09-29 UTC

There's one aspect of KRII that I've missed.

Is there any actual functional difference between, say, a rook and a royally reincarnated rook? If not then what difference does it make which piece the king reincarnates to? Can you not merely simplify what happens in the game down to:

1. Orthochess, minus check, minus checkmate, and when you lose a piece your turn gets skipped.

2. Game ends when one player's pieces have all been captured.


Gary Gifford wrote on 2006-09-26 UTC
Jeremy and Sam: Thanks for the comments.  I must point out that the Royal
King (in KR II) can move through check, for the same reason it is allowed
to remain in check and be captured, to again reincarnate.

I do believe the stronger player will win KRII. For one thing, when the
King is captured, would you really want it to take place of your Queen?  I
think I would prefer to have a Knight-King or Rook-King, and keep my Queen.
 Also, when the King is captured and reincarnated, the capturing side has a
turn to move... in essence, the reincarnation process wastes a move for the
side who lost his King.

Anyway, getting back to the Royal King; if a Royal King captures a 
protected piece, the King would then reincarnate to a lesser King when
recaptured.  So, it is a bit limited... it will only want to target
undefended units.  But, for those uncomfortable with the idea, the orignal
game concept should work fine.

Jeremy Good wrote on 2006-09-25 UTC
Powerful pieces are incredibly weakened when they become royal, especially since they can't move through check. It's worth experiencing. In Fergus Duniho's British Chess, a queen is the royal piece.

Sam Trenholme wrote on 2006-09-25 UTC
My concern is that this variant may be too drawish. A queen is just plain simply nay to impossible to force a capture of; someone with a royal queen can force a draw against a much stronger opponent.

- Sam


Gary Gifford wrote on 2006-09-25 UTC
Tony Quintanilla and Claudio Martins Jagu; thank you both for your
comments.  Both of you hit on the aspect of the 'Queen-powered King' (in
KR II); but we must remember that to have that King means having lost the
real Queen. True, that King could be difficult to capture, depending on
the position.  But I'd rather have my K and Q than a Super-King.  An
early trade of Queens will prevent that possibility, and could very well
be a strategy of some players.

Also remember that when you capture the King, its reincarnation counts as a move.  
So, in KR II, even if the King returns as a Queen-King, it is your move again... 
you can possibly go up another piece by having such a tempo advantage.

In regard to Claudio's question: Where the reborn king appears? 
Answer: The position where the removed piece was currently at rest.  
I will add that clarify to the rules.  Best regards, gkg

Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2006-09-25 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Very nice! Sounds like a lot of fun. I like the main variant, since it is more true to the basic idea. Also, a Queen-powered King would be awfully difficult to capture and would lead to draws, unless off-set by something, like an extreme promotion rule like the one in James Spratt's Imperial Chess. This is a kind of royal succession, with battle field promotion!

Claudio Martins Jagu wrote on 2006-09-25 UTCGood ★★★★

Very nice.

I was thinking somethig like that and assimilation chess.

Looks like the oficial game are better, because avoids a superking (from the substitution of a queen). A player would, then, sacrifice a piece by its value and strategic position in the board.

In the variation, wich is very nice too, a eager and fool player would sacrifice his king to get him back as a queen.

Just a little question: Where the reborn king appears? In the king initial position, the initial removed piece position (in this case, knights and rooks are hard to keep track) or the position where the removed piece was?

After all, it cannot come back where was, because that would be a weird capture.


Gary Gifford wrote on 2006-09-25 UTC
The 'nit-pick' is fine, as 'King's Ransom' is somewhat logical, at least for the original game... However, in King's Reincarnation II the returning monarch moves in the manner of the piece it has returned as. 'Reincarnation' fits in this case. 'Ransom' would not account for the new King's behavior. Also, when I made the game, the idea of ransom never ocurred to me. It was a King coming back, being reincarnated from the moment the game was conceived.

Larry Smith wrote on 2006-09-25 UTC
Not to nit-pick, but the title 'King's Ransom' seems more appropriate.

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