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Revenge of the King. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Smith wrote on Thu, Feb 18, 2010 03:25 AM UTC:
Since the King can move as a Knight, which is the complement to Queen, the King can get revenge by capturing the opponent's Queen when his Queen was captured. Maybe the King can move like Centaur but when the enemy Queen is captured the revenge is over so he becomes a normal King again and can be mated.

💡📝Martin Janecke wrote on Wed, Feb 17, 2010 01:21 AM UTC:

Thank you all for your comments! :-)

Charles Gilman is right, I didn't intend the undeniable similarity with the Lord of the Rings title. I'm actually from Germany and chose the German title 'Vergeltung des Königs' which differs from LOTR '(Die) Rückkehr des Königs' much more than the English translation does now. I've also written a little introductory story which isn't related to LOTR. I'll probably add an English translation here soon, but I feel a little uncomfortable with it as my English is unfortunately far too bad to be able to preserve the tune of the text. :-\

Thanks for the hint, John Smith. I must admit that I didn't do any calculations or simulation to confirm that the mounted king is capable of a suitable revenge. However, I suppose an equation like (king / mounted king = commoner / knight) might not work here? Both king and mounted king have a restricted offensive quality compared to their non-royal counterparts, as one can never risk losing the royal one. But I'd guess that the king loses more of the commoner's offensive strength than a mounted king loses of a knight's offensive strength.
I'd definitely agree that a mounted king can be weaker than a king sometimes. For example, when being in one of the board's corners, the mounted king can be checkmated by a queen alone. A normal king can't be checkmated by a lone queen, can he? But that's a really defensive non-revenge position. If I'm right, a central mounted king should be stronger than a central normal king and also harder to force to the edge. I might be wrong though.
There's another aspect. While a king can never checkmate another king, a mounted king can checkmate a king* with a little help. Maybe more important for the variant's name, a king cannot take a queen (unless she's suicidal and asks for it), but a mounted king can. I think this might justify the name 'Revenge of the King' even if a mounted king would turn out not to be stronger than a king in general.

Charles, I actually thought of a combination of king and knight moves (so a 'royal centaur') at first myself. But then I thought that such a piece would be much too difficult to checkmate, so I turned to the idea of a mounted king. Does anyone have experiences with checkmating royal centaurs? A centaur could potentially escape to 16 different fields while king as well as mounted king can only reach 8 different fields in one round. If checkmating the second form of the royal piece gets too difficult, players could be inclined not to take the opponent's queen even if they can. This would make the queen an even stronger piece on a balanced field on the one hand and make a queen's loss desirable for a losing player on the other hand in order to force a draw, which might occur too often then.

Uhm, when checking if someone already had invented this variant, I stumbled across Knightmate. It's not the same but it does feature a royal knight which is essentially the same as the mounted king state. So, looking deeper into people's experiences with Knightmate might also give further clues about the strength of this royal figure.

*Of course, a regular king can also checkmate a mounted king. So seeking revenge may not always be the best choice, just as in reality. Rage may lead to one's own downfall.

Charles Gilman wrote on Sun, Feb 14, 2010 07:47 AM UTC:
John Smith raises a good point. When I read rapidly through the rules I assumed that the Knight move was in addition to the ordinary King move. If it is only instead, as it appears to be when I look at the page in more detail, it could indeed be more of a hindrance than a help. Please confirm whether a King without a Queen can indeed not make the normal King move.

John Smith wrote on Sat, Feb 13, 2010 06:54 PM UTC:Good ★★★★
I'm not sure how much of a 'revenge' the Mounted King is. The King as Knight is more difficult to maneuver for players used to the regular move. On the other hand, the King is more difficult to checkmate when it is now a Knight, though Chess variantists generally consider the Knight to be slightly weaker than the Commoner which moves like a King. Also, players may not want their King to become a Mounted King if the regular move is more strategically viable for them.

Despite the fact that new variants often do not fulfill their intentions, I think this King transformation is something to be considered for other games and as a fun rule variant on boring old Chess.

Charles Gilman wrote on Sat, Feb 13, 2010 07:04 AM UTC:
The name of this variant has rather comical overtones that I am not sure are intended. There is of an echo of The Return of the King, of course, in Lord of the Rings, but as the inventor five years ago of Pink Panther Chess I am also reminded of the Return, and later the Revenge, of the Pink Panther. What this combination suggests to me is a spoof LOTR sequel written by (or at least in the style of) Blake Edwards.

💡📝Martin Janecke wrote on Thu, Feb 11, 2010 10:54 AM UTC:
Thanks for the feedback, Simon. :) Your idea of giving the king an extra move sounds worth trying, too, I think. (I really wanted to make this one a 'modest' variant without extra pieces or larger board.)

I guess the extra move would often make it even more difficult to checkmate though, as such a king could reach more different fields in one round? On the other hand it might sometimes be easier, because such a king wouldn't be able to jump over other figures that are in the way.

Simon Jepps wrote on Thu, Feb 11, 2010 01:00 AM UTC:Average ★★★
Interesting. Personally my way of approaching the queen loss problem is to add an additional piece that can compete against a queen, but without being as powerful as queen. Say about 6.25 in value. However, your game here is a good approach to that queen loss problem without introducing new pieces or requiring larger boards. The rule does make check mate harder, and perhaps giving the king an extra move instead of some other 'move-distribution scheme' won't go down well with other players - but all the same, as a variant it stands ok. ;)

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