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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2012-10-03
 By Carlos  Cetina. UC-170-13. Universal Chess version featuring 170 different kind of major pieces and 13 different kind of pawns. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jörg Knappen wrote on 2021-03-12 UTC

I found the old Gilman name from 2003 for the (2,4) leaper again, it was Carriage. Already in 2007 he had replaced it, but by an oversight there is still one Carriage left in "Carnival of Animals"

Bn Em wrote on 2021-03-09 UTC

To be fair, Cattle are ungulates too, and I suspect in some ways perhaps more apt for such a weak piece (not only is its leap quite long and awkward, but it's also bound to 1/4 of the board like the Dabbaba) — certainly Stag would suggest to me something stronger. Ofc in Gilman's case he also wants to be able to extrapolate (to Zherolais, Ghirolais ⁊c. for 6:4, 2:8, ⁊c. leapers) so he's constrained in his naming by that.

Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2021-03-09 UTC

A charolais is a race of cow, originally specific to Charolais, a small region of France. Stag is a better name for a 2,4 leaper. An ungulate is logical for this kind of piece.

Bn Em wrote on 2021-03-09 UTC

Gilman calls it the Charolais.

Jörg Knappen wrote on 2021-03-09 UTC

In fact, I have seen two names for the (2,4) leaper, the two names are lancer (used by G.P. Jelliss) and Hase "hare" used by German problemists. And there is probably at least one name by Charles Gilman for it, maybe two because his nomenclature has changed over time.

Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2020-12-05 UTC

I propose to add some ungulates I don't see in the list.

(Source: Le Guide des échecs - Traité complet, Giffard & Biénabe, ed. Robert Laffont-Bouquins, 1993. A big French book with a very large part dedicated to fairy chess and problems).

Okapi: Knight+Zebra

Auroch: Knight + Giraffe

Impala: Knight+Antelope

Zebu: Camel+Giraffe

And my own proposal for a piece that I never found named elsewhere:

Stag: a (2,4) leaper

Jack Zavier wrote on 2018-03-28 UTC

I find the system with royal pieces to be very inelegant. Instead I have created another way.
At the start, the type of royal piece is randomized. If a royal piece is under check (even checkmate), the piece can change into another piece and then move or capture in the same move.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-03-01 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Even if you might never play this particular variant, you have to love such a gargantuan effort and game. Will we ever see a rules-enforcing preset version of it on Game Courier? ;)

Carlos Cetina wrote on 2018-01-24 UTC

I would not doubt that Alpha Zero could be invincible playing this variant, which would be something very good for simple defective mortals like us; it would be great if we could use it to spend some of our free time trying to beat it.

With the advent of mobile devices and thanks to Fergus' masterpiece, Game Courier, it is now possible for two people to play face-to-face a game of this variant, each of them seeing the board in their respective device.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-01-23 UTC

I'm wondering if a given variant even remotely like this one, with a massive number of combinations of possible piece types to consider, however superficially, for each of the two sides during a given game being played (e.g. of even the more limited Universal Chess itself), might be beyond even self-teaching algorithms to outmatch the best human chess variant players for a long time. Based on the experience of recent years, I hesitate to put anything beyond the programmers though. :)

In case such variants are computer-resistant in this regard, the drawback of this type of variant would be that it would need to be played by computer, rather than over-the-board, which may hinder making such variants widely popular, if they ever could be.

(zzo38) A. Black wrote on 2012-12-20 UTC

  1. Is it allowed to move a Fuge's Shield next to a Anti-King?
  2. What happen if Einstein Grasshopper jumping over a fairy piece?
  3. The Cylindrical Queen, Cylindrical Rook, Cylindrical Bishop, it says "Assuming that the board is joined at the outermost ranks (A and H)" but probably you mean the outermost files (a and h).
  4. Are the Orphan and Friend only using the powers to move as the other pieces, not powers which are active when not moving?
  5. Does Orphan/Friend still do the other stuff when moving, such as changing color of pieces jumped over if moving as Andernach Grasshopper, etc?
  6. What is happening Orphan/Friend is next to a royal piece? Can it move into check?
  7. Does Orphan/Friend moving like a Anti-King capture pieces of its own color?
  8. Does a line of a Pincer Pawn capturing something, orthogonal only, or can be diagonally, too?
  9. How exactly is en passan in this game, since there is many kind of pawns?
  10. How does other kind of pawns double-stepping?
  11. Does Jester ever capture with en passan?
  12. Does Jester mimic moves only? Other questions related to Jester which is also related to the Orphan/Friend?
  13. What happened if you reach your opponent's first row and there is no piece to promote into, or it is not a valid position for the piece which it promotes into, to stand on? Is such moves illegal?
  14. This document seems to have many typographical errors.

(zzo38) A. Black wrote on 2012-10-18 UTC

"PREGAME RULE: If the preset generates any particular position such that White checkmates Blue (or viceversa) in the first turn or could capture any undefended pawn, then White will have to pass and Blue will have to delete that log, then proceeding to generate a new setup." This rule is good, but not sufficient by itself. However, as mentioned in Game Courier logs, some games even if it is not checkmate at first, are still biased strongly in favor of one player.

A possible subvariant to possibly correct this (can be used with any symmetry rule):

  • Each player ante a fixed number of points before the game start (the ante is cancelled if the position is illegal due to pregame rule).
  • Setup of extra pieces/extra pawn board are hidden at the beginning of the game.
  • You can bet 1 point additionally in order to reveal a square of your choice on extra pieces/extra pawn board, any time (even multiple times) during your turn before your move. Only you can see it; the opponent does not get to see it, but he does know which square you looked at.
  • You are not allowed to increase your bet beyond double of opponent's current bet.
  • Nobody may increase their bet beyond 348 + ante.
  • No betting beyond ante is allowed on white player's first turn.
  • If there is some move you don't know is legal or not due to not knowing what is on position on extra boards, you can try it anyways and if it doesn't work, that square is revealed to both players for free and you can try a different move for free.
  • When one player wins, that player's match points are sum of both player's bets.

If playing like this, you could use pieces like mahjong tiles so that one or both or neither players can see what pieces it is.

Carlos Cetina wrote on 2012-10-16 UTC
I would rather the 2nd, stating that drops are optional not mandatory.

Drops can be made at the same time that any regular move, so you could either (1) capture the checking piece, (2) block the check or (3) put your king out of check, and to drop both pawn and piece.

As part of the general strategy of the game, the players should foresee PERMANENTLY when and where will drop the next piece by doing the adequate space.

Jörg Knappen wrote on 2012-10-16 UTC
Hmm... it your decision, at last.

Possibilities include:


If you cannot gate in a piece in the last possible move because you are in check, this counts as checkmate and you lose the game.

If you cannot gate in a piece in the last possible move and you are not in check (may happen on a very crowded board), this counts as stalemate and the game ends in a draw.


Game goes on and you just have forfeited the right to bring that particular piece in play (put it to the place where the captured pieces are). For most pieces this is a huge penalty, but you may even want to trigger this situation in order to avoid a Wuss on your side.

Maybe additional rules become necessary: What happens if you can gate in either a pawn or a major piece, but not both (e.g., because you can block a check with a pawn move or a piece move)?

Carlos Cetina wrote on 2012-10-16 UTC
How would you solve the troubles/inconveniences you are pointing out?

(zzo38) A. Black wrote on 2012-10-15 UTC
It still might occur that you have no position to place it, if you are in check, though.

Carlos Cetina wrote on 2012-10-12 UTC
It's unlikely to happen that in the last turn which you are forced to drop a piece, there is nowhere to put it. Drops may be made at Seirawan Chess style. Dropping pieces even on the vacant square after moving any piece.

But you are right, the Rules Set should previse such possibility. Let me think about it a bit. Thanks for the observation.

(zzo38) A. Black wrote on 2012-10-12 UTC
Even using the standard UC-170-13 rules, though, you still would need to know what happen if the last turn which you are forced to drop a piece, and there is nowhere to put it.

Carlos Cetina wrote on 2012-10-09 UTC
This particular variant has not been tested yet. I have tested the previous version, UC-73, dropping pieces every five turns and see it works fine. The novelty here now is to drop pawns also every five turns allowing pawns and pieces may be dropped at once any regular move. I'm confident that the weft/plot game as a whole will not be overly congested, but if so, of course, it could be remedied. 

I have launched an Open Invitation to try this variant. Why not make the pertinent clarifications by playing a game?

(zzo38) A. Black wrote on 2012-10-09 UTC
How well would this variant work?
  • When you drop a piece, you make a normal move on the same turn if and only if you are in check after the drop is made.
  • You may drop the pawn and non-pawn on the same turn, in either order, but if done, both are done before the normal move (as above, done if and only if you are in check).
  • You may drop a piece to put yourself into check (allowing you to make a normal move); if so, you must then move out of check, and if you cannot, then you lose because you have checkmated yourself.
  • If you are forced to drop a piece (on the last turn available for such things to happen) and there is no legal position for it to be placed, the piece is removed from the game entirely, and your turn is skipped if you are not in check.
  • If one player removes thirteen pieces from the game before being dropped due to no valid position, that player loses the game as soon as it is his turn on a turn beginning when he is not in check.

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