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2 Level Guru Mahachaturaji

Introduction

When I devised Guru Mahachaturanga and Guru Mahachaturaji, I used the same board for both variants. The 2-player game was intended to be similar to Grande Acedrex, while the 4-player game was designed to increase the piece density. The variant was devised as a 2d game using the Indian army from Armies of Faith 2 by analogy to the Jewish army being infulenced by Anglojewish Chess. No other armies suited 2d variants but I did devise Heathen Europe Chess for a cubic 3d board. This in turn prompted me to use a fuller Jewish army in the 3d variant Star of David 2 Level Chess. This prompted me to add a 2-level version of the game with 4 Indian armies, and here it is.

Setup

The Upper Level includes:
* the Red and Green Kings;
* the other players' Gurus;
* exactly half of each player's other pieces.

Elephants cover alternate orthogonals:
* in one dimension on the level where their Kings start;
* in the other on the one where their Gurus start.

The Lower Level includes:
* the Red and Green Gurus;
* the other players' Kings;
* exactly half of each players' other pieces.

Elephants cover alternate orthogonals:
* in one dimension on the level where their Kings start;
* in the other on the one where their Gurus start.

Pieces

The pieces are the same as in AOF2, but interpreted for just 2 levels. Their promoted-by-Checkmate forms are their compounds with the Viceroy, which moves one step along any of the 8 root-3 diagonals.
The KING moves one step along any of the 6 orthogonals and 12 standard diagonals, promotable to EMPEROR by being in a Checkmating army. It must be kept out of Check. There is 1 King aside.
The ROOK moves any distance through empty intermediate cells in any of the 6 orthogonal directions, promotable to VICEREINE by delivering Checkmate. There are 2 Rooks aside.
The KNIGHT makes 2:1 leaps, promotable to CAVALLANDER by delivering Checkmate. On a cubic board a Knight cannot return to a cell in an odd number of moves. There are 4 Knights aside.
The ELEPHANT moves exactly two steps along any diagonal, but in practice cannot change level in this game. The intermediate cell may be empty or occupied. It is promotable to WILFUL by delivering Checkmate. Each Elephant is bound to one in eight squares of its level. There are 4 Elephants per level aside, 2 covering subsets of each Ferz binding. Each foursome is bound collectively to alternate parallel orthogonals. Each Elephant is a threat, and vulnerable, to one Ferz of each enemy army and one neighbouring-army (but no opposite-army) Elephant.
The FERZ moves one step along any diagonal, promotable to BARON by delivering Checkmate. It is bound to half a cubic board. It can triangulate by successive moves on one within-level and two between-level diagonals. There are two Ferzes aside, one for the paler and one for the darker squares. Each Ferz is a threat, and vulnerable, to each enemy's same-binding Ferz and each enemy's four Elephants bound to subsets of its binding.
The GURU is a triangulating leaper (like the Gnu - see my piece article Man and Beast 03: From Ungulates Outward). Its components are the 4:1 Giraffe and 5:3 Gimel. Its only move between levels on this board is a Giraffe one. It is promotable to IGTIVLANDER by delivering Checkmate. There is one Guru aside.
The PAWN moves like in Raumschach. Its noncapturing move is one step along either horizontal orthogonal away from its own camp. Its capturing move is one step in any root-2 diagonal with coordinates either in one of its noncapturing directions and either vertical direction, or in both its noncapturing directions. Its promotion by delivering Checkmate includes the remaining Prince moves as well as the Viceroy to give an ARCHDUKE - a capturable version of the Emperor. An Archduke cannot be promoted further. There are 16 Pawns aside.

Rules

Play progresses anticlockwise starting with Red.

There is no initial double-step move, En Passant, or Castling.

An unpromoted Pawn must be promoted on reaching an all-enemy face. Promotion is to Guru in a corner column and to Rook, Knight, Elephant, and Ferz on successive columns along the face. Once promoted it cannot then be promoted further, except by delivering Checkmate.

A player who has promoted Pawns to Elephants on bindings where they had no array Elephants can carry out an Elephant Charge. This comprises two or more moves, capturing or noncapturing, in place of a single move. Each move must be a leap over one of their Elephants with another (necessarily still within one level) and none may start or end with any King in Check.

An Enlightened Move is an additional move available to a non-Pawn that is its own usual move away from (and notionally granted by) the same player's Guru. It may make any noncapturing move of the same length from the Guru to a different square. In the Rook's case there must be no piece between either it or its destination and the Guru. Note that the "same length" rule means that a piece making an Enlightened move starts and ends the move on the same colour square - a King cannot move from a square adjoining a Guru orthogonally to one doing so diagonally, or vice versa.

An Elephant Charge and an Enlightened Move cannot be mixed in the same move. If a Elephant leaps two others as part of an Enlightened Move it is not considered an Elephant Charge, and may be used to get a King out of, or put an enemy King in, Check - but not to capture. There is never a choice between the two by the same route as the Guru's presence blocks the Charge and its absence prevents the Enlightened Move.

A player is Checkmated when their King or Emperor is threatened by the player about to move. That player's pieces are removed from the game. The remaining players then alternate moves starting with the Checkmating one. The Checkmating player's King is promoted to Emperor (if not one already) and the piece delivering Checkmate is also promoted by adding the Viceroy move. A player delivering the second Checkmate with a piece already promoted as a result of the first wins, with the player who is neither Checkmating nor Checkmated in second place. Otherwise the player delivering the third Checkmate wins.

Notes

An alternative is to play as teams, with each player only capturing pieces whose King starts on the other level. In this case, should the first two Checkmates be delivered by the same team the player actually delivering the second one wins and the other survivor comes second.



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By Charles Gilman.
Web page created: 2008-06-21. Web page last updated: 2016-02-29