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Ganymede Chess

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Logs of Ganymede Chess

Official Rules for Ganymede Chess, by Mark Hedden. Descriptions below by Mark Hedden.

Promoted form of Knight is the Gnu: NJ The gnu is the promoted form of the knight. It moves either as a knight or as a camel. In other words, it moves either as a (2,1) or a (3,1) jumper. This piece is fairly strong in closed situations. In more open situations, it is less powerful. Over all, it is worth a small amount more then a bishop. It is written as NL in Ralph Betza's funny notation.

Promoted form of the Bishop is the Cardinal: _JG_GC The cardinal is the promoted form of the bishop. It moves either as a bishop, a wazir, or a (3,0) jumper. This piece can be very powerful in many endgame situations, especially because it has gotten rid of the bishop's awful colorboundness. It is worth about as much as a rook. It is written as BWH in Ralph Betza's funny notation.

Promoted form of the Rook is the Fort: _JG_GF The fort is the promoted form of the rook. It moves either as a rook, a ferz, or a (3,3) jumper. On such a large board, the difference between it and a rook is difficult to notice, but once one starts forking you, you'll begin to notice. It is worth about 6 pawns. It's move is RFG in Ralph Betza's funny notation.

Promoted form of the Pawn is the Frog: _JG_GF - The frog is the promoted form of the pawn. It moves as either a non-royal king, or as a (3,0) jumper. It is not a very powerful piece, but once you have several of them out on the board working together, you will have a tremendous advantage over someone who doesn't. It is written as HK in Ralph Betza's funny notation.

Promoted form of the Queen is the Empress: O The empress is the promoted form of the queen. It moves as either a queen or a knight. This piece is incredibly powerful, in fact, once you have promoted a queen to an empress, you have secured a major advantage. It has incredible forking power, and can mate without even the help of a king! This piece is QN in funny notation.

Promoted form of the Griffon - Roc: _JG_GR The roc is the promoted form of the Griffon. It moves either as a Griffon or as a dabbabba-rider. A dabbabba-rider is a piece that keeps on jumping 2 space orthogonally. In other words, it reaches all of the orthogonal squares an even number of spaces away from it. The roc is a very powerful piece, worth about as much as a queen in normal chess. It is written DDtAFRA (I think) in funny notation.

Promoted form of the Nightrider is the Moonrider: WIWI The moonrider is the promoted form of the nightrider. It moves either as a nightrider or as a (2,3) jumper. This piece can be very powerful, especially considering the fact that it can move in 16 different directions. It has incredible forking power, so be sure to keep your Queen (or Empress) away from it. It is written is NNJ in funny notation.

The Dragon dragon is an interesting piece. It is not incredibly unusual, but it has not been used in many chess variants. It moves as either a limited Alfil-rider, or as a camel. What this meens is that it either jumps 2 spaces diagonally, and then can either stay there or jump two more spaces in the same diagonal direction, or it can move as a (3,1) jumper. One of the reasons that it is slightly unusual is that it is a short-ranged, colorbound jumper. It is fairly weak, worth about as much as a knight, but it can still be useful. Its move is AA2L in funny notation.

Flying Dragon: .BJ the promoted form of the Dragon. It is another piece that is uncommon, to say the least. It moves as either a bishop or a camel. It, like the dragon and bishop, it's colorbound, but its jumping ability and forking power makes it powerful. I would suspect that it is worth a bit less then a rook. This move is written as BL in funny notation.

"The Rotating Spearman SM SM7 SM4 advances forward and retreats rearward, any number of squares. It may capture on the advance but not on the retreat. Moreover, the Spearman may rotate at the close of a move (or merely rotate without moving). What it may not do is rotate prior to moving. When rotated, the Spearman advances and retreats diagonally. The Spearman's three allowable headings are shown at left." - John William Brown (from Centennial Chess.)

Promoted form of the Spearman: is the Pikeman: _JG_GP The Pikeman moves the same way as a spearman, but doesn't have to rotate. The only real problem with it is that it can not capture backwards, and this fault makes it worth only about as much as a bishop. It's funny notation name is fBbmBfRbmR.

Mini-rose I got this idea from Ralph Betza in his article about various kinds of roses. He called this piece a circular king, which is a pretty good description, but I prefer the term mini-rose, because it more reflects the fact that this is a shorter range version of the rose, or circular nightrider. I don't know how to describe this piece, so I'll let the following diagrams do it for me:

. . 4 3 . . .
. 5 . . 2 . .
. 6 . . 1 . .
. . 7 O . . .
. . . . . . .
. . . . . . .
. . . . . . .

It does this in all four directions, so that its total move is like this:

. . x x x . .
. x x . x x .
x x x x x x x
x . x O x . x
x x x x x x x
. x x . x x .
. . x x x . .

Confused? Don't worry. Just look at it several times, and you'll get it. I would estimate that it is worth about 5 or 6 pawns. Also, remember, it CAN NOT jump (this would make it extremely powerful). It can easily checkmate a lone king by itself. It is written qK in funny notation, and is, with the wall and the king, one of the three pieces that doesn't promote.

Notation for North/South Walls - WA2N WA2S

Wall: The wall is, as far as I know, a piece that is unique to Ganymede chess. In fact, it is (again, as far as I know) the only representative of a whole genre of pieces: Pieces that take up more then one square. This is why the wall is so unique. It takes up two whole squares, instead of the usual one. It is an extremely interesting piece. One of the reasons this is so is that it can capture two pieces during the same move, but it can also be threatened much more easily by multiple pieces. It would also be extremely difficult to develop. Because of this last fact, I gave it a rather powerful move, the ability to move like a rook. This is normally a powerful move, but it is made more so because this is the easiest for it to take two pieces. Also, I gave it some rotating ability. It starts out by taking up two squares horizontally, but you can rotate it so that it takes up to vertical squares. Also, there are many ways to checkmate the opponents king in the endgame king and wall vs. lone king. Figuring out the value of this piece would require extensive playtesting, but from what I have done, it is worth about a pawn more than a rook. Also, I made the wall one of the few pieces that do not promote. I have no idea how to describe this piece in funny notation.

Spearman: The spearman is a wonderful piece from centennial chess. It is so wonderful because its move varies, but you control the variation. It can both move and capture in the three forward directions, and can move without capturing in the three backward directions. However, it has three settings. It's first setting is the vertical one. It can move vertically forward or backwards only. It's second setting allows it to move forward-right or backward-left diagonally, and it's third setting allows it to move forward-left or backward-right diagonally. It starts out on the first setting, and rotates AFTER making a move, or can also rotate without moving. The spearman is not a very powerful piece, worth about two pawns, but its long range and low-value makes it hard to block. I have no idea how you would write its move in funny notation.

Dragon: The dragon is an interesting piece. It is not incredibly unusual, but it has not been used in many chess variants. It moves as either a limited Alfil-rider, or as a camel. What this meens is that it either jumps 2 spaces diagonally, and then can either stay there or jump two more spaces in the same diagonal direction, or it can move as a (3,1) jumper. One of the reasons that it is slightly unusual is that it is a short-ranged, colorbound jumper. It is fairly weak, worth about as much as a knight, but it can still be useful. It's move is AA2L in funny notation.

Griffon - Griffon: The griffon is a piece that has been used in several other chess variants. Its move is a slightly complex one. It moves one space diagonally, and then it moves any number of spaces orthogonally away from it's starting square. Here is a diagram of it's move:

. . + . + . .
. . + . + . .
+ + + . + + +
. . . G . . .
+ + + . + + +
. . + . + . .
It is a rather powerful piece, worth almost as much as a queen, or about 7 pawns. It's move is written as tAFRA in funny notation.


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Author: Jeremy Gabriel Good. Inventor: Mark Hedden.
Web page created: 2006-05-09. Web page last updated: 2006-05-09