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Pyrrhus Chess

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 Pyrrhus Chess the rules are the same as in orthodox chess, except that one extra "Pyrrhus" piece per player is placed in the reserve. Players may either move a piece or pawn, or drop the extra piece from the reserve. Pieces may only be dropped on a friendly pawn on the second rank. The removed friendly pawn is immediately relocated two squares ahead of the dropped piece (this is automatic, just drop the Pyrrhus on the friendly pawn). This position, and the position in between, must be empty. If not, the piece cannot be dropped on the friendly pawn. Should a player refrain from inserting his extra piece at these occasions, then he has forfeited his chance of introducing it. Note that pieces and pawns are allowed to move before the extra piece has been dropped. You are allowed to make a pawn-relocation if in check, if the pawn-relocation covers the check. The relocated pawn can be captured by 'en passant'.

Pyrrhus: moves and captures like a king. In addition, it paralyses any enemy piece within queen-move range. It seems to be as valuable as a queen.

The Pyrrhus paralyses the king, the bishop, and the queen, but it is threatened by the knight. The Pyrrhus can safely capture the rook, while the queen remains petrified and cannot capture back.

Checkmate is an important theme, also in endgames with few pieces. While the enemy king can easily be paralysed, this makes it exposed to mate attacks. Try to paralyse the enemy king, queen, or Pyrrhus, in order to attack them later. Early queen excursions are, for natural reasons, very dangerous, but early Pyrrhus excursions are worthwhile. The knight is the only piece able to capture an enemy Pyrrhus. This increases the value of the knight, making it more valuable than a bishop. Sacrificing a rook for a knight is often a good idea. Generally, one should try to exchange a bishop for a knight. It is possible to checkmate with the king, when the enemy king is paralysed. Interestingly, The king can often be employed in an attack on the enemy king, or other enemy pieces that have been paralysed. The Pyrrhus piece is a relative of the Gorgona, which was invented by V. R. Parton 1970.

The following preset makes a validity check of moves. You will prevented from moving a paralyzed piece. Moves are automated. You can move pieces by clicking on them. At promotion you will be asked what piece you prefer.

Pyrrhus Chess

You can also download a Zillions implementation here.

See also Accessory Chess.

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By M Winther.
Web page created: 2011-01-21. Web page last updated: 2011-01-21