Millinn3um (M3) Chess
This is a variation on traditional chess that does not require any knowledge of additional pieces or movements. It was actually created by my son Dimitri Williams when he was about 9 years old and we have subtely refined it through gameplay and teaching it to others. We have been playing chess since he was about three and I started buying various colored piece sets to keep the games visually stimulating. I would always order two sets of pieces so that we would have backups if some got lost so, over a couple of years, we had about five different colors of double sets. My son came up with the original variant he called Mega Chess where it was the standard pieces but you could set them up in a symmetrical line-up (each side of your pieces had to be a mirror of the other) with the king and queen being in their standard positions. This eventually evolved into adding in a whole additional set of pieces to the mix, with players being able to bring the pieces onto the board in symmetrical positions.
The setup involves each player having two full sets of pieces. Each player is able to set their side of the board using as many (or as few) pieces as they want. The two kings are the only pieces that have to start on the board. Pieces can be placed anywhere on a player's side of the board but must be placed in symmetrical positions: when each player is set to start the game, the right half of their board should be an exact mirror of the left side.
*Because of the widely varying setups and potential for a player to alter their piece placement based on how their opponent is setting up, it is recommended to use a partition of some sort. A piece of paper held up between the two sides while setting up is generally sufficient. My son and I usually depend on the honor system that we are not looking at the other's setup to determine our own.*
The pieces and movements for M3 chess are the same as for standard chess. The main difference with M3 chess is how the pieces are introduced into the game. A player can take a turn to bring in two pieces at a time into any symmetrical spaces on their side of the board. The same position MUST be open on both sides of the board to bring the pieces in. They cannot be brought in one at a time or onto spaces that do not directly mirror each other.
All of the pieces in M3 chess move the same as in regular chess. However, there are a few key differences in game play:
- There is no designated color that starts the game. Other methods such as A1, a coin flip, or piece-in-hand choosing can determine who goes first.
- There is no maximum amount of on-board pieces that a player can start the game with, and each player's two kings are the only pieces reguired to be on the board at the start of the game.
- If you have both kings on the board, you are not obligated to move out of check if one of them is in jeopardy: you can sacrifice a king if you so choose. If you only have one king left, you must move out of check as in standard chess. The game is won when one king is captured and the other is put in checkmate.
- There are no promotions of any pieces.
We have been playing this game at our local coffeeshop for years and have taught it to a few people. Some people are strict traditionalists but everyone agrees it is an interesting and easy to learn variant. I can't figure out how to use the Diagram Designer for pix but will keep trying. Please ffeel free to contact me if you have any questions, comments, or recommendations. Thanks!
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By Michael Williams.
Web page created: 2019-10-02. Web page last updated: 2019-10-02