Christmas Tree Chess
A variant to celebrate Christmas and New Year.
Board is irregular and 3-dimensional, in shape of spruce tree, consisting of 126 spaces. Central space of every layer is marked as "+" for convenience. Layer 6, consisting of only one space (the top): + Layer 5: --- -+- --- Layer 4: - - - --- --+-- --- - - - Layer 3: - - - - - - --- ---+--- --- - - - - - - Layer 2: - - - - - - - - - --- ----+---- --- - - - - - - - - - Layer 1: - - - - - - - - - - - - --- -----+----- --- - - - - - - - - - - - - Same board, initial setup: Layer 6: + Layer 5: --- -+- --- Layer 4: - - - --- --+-- --- - - - Layer 3: s n - - - - --- ---+--- --- - - - - N S Layer 2: j r - j n - s - - --- ----+---- --- - - S - N J - R J Layer 1: b e - u r - u b - - - - --- -----+----- --- - - - - B U - R U - E B E - emperor; B - bishop; N - knight; R - rook; U - unicorn; J - ninja; S - sexton. One may also set-uparmies for third and fourth player, keeping the central symmetry.
Rook, knight and bishop are usual, converted to 3D. Emperor steps 1 orthogonally, diagonally or triagonally. Unicorn slides triagonally. Sexton is 2:1:1 leaper (as knight is 2:1:0 leaper). Colorbound. Ninja is 2:2:1 leaper. Color-switching. Sliders are not allowed to cross the "gaps". Thus, rook is bound to "straight" plains, and unicorn is bound to "oblique" ones. Bishop can move in "oblique" planes, but only within one layer (can change the layer within "straight" planes). Knight usually moves within straight planes, while ninja and sexton usually moves within oblique planes, but are able to visit certain spaces of "non-usual" areas (though, not very mobile here).
There are several possible goals, one must be chosen before playing. 1. Checkmate, stalemate or bare opponent's emperor. In case of playing cut-throat four-player game, capture emperors of all three opponents. When emperor is captured, his army is instantly destroyed. In case of playing 2 vs 2 game, army of captured king will be controled by ally. 2. Checkmate or stalemate opponent's emperor or move your emperor to the top of tree (making it the star of tree), so that it can't be captured on the next turn. In this variant (and in further ones) bare emperor don't lose. 3. Emperor can't capture or be captured. Move to the tree's top (may be atacked, emperor is incapturable). 4. Emperor can capture and is subject of checking, but it's not allowed to put opponent's emperor into checkmate or stalemate. Move to the tree's top, if not attacked. 5. Emperor can be captured, but it don't end the game. Instead of move, player may drop captured emperor to it's starting space. Move emperor to the tree's top (but if he will be captured on next turn, game will not end here). 6. Only one player have the emperor. Other (or others) don't have the emperor, and it's starting square is vacant (or there is non-royal piece with same way of movement). One player tries to reach the tree's top, other player(s) tries to capture his emperor. I'm not sure about the game's balance. Other optional rules. a. Non-royal pieces optionally promotes upon entering the top space. They may not promote without moving or while leaving the top space. Rook promotes to R+B (queen) or R+U compound. Bishop promotes to R+B or B+U. Unicorn promotes to R+U or B+U. Knight promotes to N+J or N+S. Ninja promoted to N+J or J+S. Sexton promotes to N+S or J+S. Promoted piece may NOT promote further to tripple compound. Alternative rule. After promotion piece loses it's original move. Sliders gets moves of two other sliders, leapers gets moves of two other leapers (e.g., rook promotes to B+U, knight promotes to J+S, only). b. Sliding pieces can cross the gaps (but not stop in them, of course).
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
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By Daniil Frolov.
Web page created: 2013-12-29. Web page last updated: 2013-12-29