The Chess Variant Pages

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Elk Chess (with Scorpions)

This page contains one or more presets for playing a game online with Game Courier, an online server for playing Chess variants by correspondence.

In Elk Chess (with Scorpions) "Elks" take the place of the rooks. The Elk moves differently depending on the colour of the square. If positioned on a black square it moves like a Rook. If positioned on a white square it moves like a Knight. Castling is performed with an Elk instead of a Rook. The Elk's value is 4, that is, Knight + pawn, or Bishop + pawn. In regular chess the Rooks play a passive role in the first half of the game. The new Elk piece has part of the Rook's power, which can now be utilized early in the game. It is powerful enough to give mate to a lonely King. The Elk is a very interesting piece for the tactician.

The elk (amer. 'moose') has actually been trained for battle service, in the cavalry of Charles XII of Sweden (1682-1718). Elks are much faster and more powerful than horses. However, it proved a time-consuming and costly task to train elks so the project was abandoned.

As the Elk alters between Rook moves and Knight moves the piece image in the preset will change depending on square colour. This will make it easier. If the Elk stands on a black square, it is denoted by ER (that is, Elk-Rook). If the Elk stands on a white square, it is denoted by EN (that is, Elk-Knight).

In this variant there are also Scorpions instead of pawns. The Scorpion has the additional moves of a knight, but only in two forward directions: east-north-east, and west-north-west. There are no additional capture moves. The Scorpion's value is half the value of a knight or bishop, that is, 1.5. This implies that a light piece can be exchanged for two Scorpions, a possibility which often occurs. The Scorpion opens up many new tactical possiblities, both in the defense and the attack. The Scorpion is denoted by S and s, respectively.

The following preset makes a reasonably good validity check of Elk moves, etc. Moves are automated, including castling and the 'en passant' move. Pieces can be moved by pointing and clicking. When promoting a Scorpion, it will automatically turn into a Queen. Should you prefer another piece then you must type it manually (e.g., add N a8; capture a7). (In case you want to promote to an Elk you must use the internal syntax R.N and N.R.) Use small piece-letters for black. E-mails to your opponent are generated, but you can play online by intermittently pressing the browser's update button.

The two oblique moves in the image are the
Scorpions two extra movement possibilities.
It can only capture like a regular pawn.

Elk Chess (with Scorpions)

You can also download a Zillions implementation here.

See also my other Game Courier presets.

This 'user submitted' page is a collaboration between the posting user and the Chess Variant Pages. Registered contributors to the Chess Variant Pages have the ability to post their own works, subject to review and editing by the Chess Variant Pages Editorial Staff.

By M Winther.
Web page created: 2006-06-17. Web page last updated: 2006-06-17