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Alternate Promotion Chess

Introduction

This variant starts with the FIDE array, but the promotee types are a sufficient difference from FIDE Chess to not count as one of my modest variants. Its rules can however be combined with those of such variants, and I clarify any additional "convex hull" rules. Such additional rules also apply should one add the modest variations to Duke of Rutland's Chess, the Courier/Bird/Capablanca family, and any other variants with some or all of this page's extra pieces.

The principle here is that, on the far rank, all array pieces are promoted to non-array pieces. It can be seen at a glance that:
1 they are not promoted again on the next move ending on that rank; and
2 they conversely can be promotable back on their first rank without any question of the original pieces also doing so.

I have received criticism that the Prince-Bishop stage of promotion means a loss of strength. Since then I have devised alternative promotion sequences (yes, that's alternative alternate promotions!) but those may have similar problems with promoting Knights. Two important things should be remembered in this context. Firstly, given the proximity in strength between the Knight and Bishop on a FIDE-size board it is inevitable that there will not be a continuous progression of getting markedly stronger, and some fallback may happen. Secondly, a piece must go through the full sequence from where it starts. Therefore even if a piece is not stronger than its predecessor in terms of its moves it is stronger in its potential for its next promotion. There are now eight subvariants.

The sequences of this page are also used in Nietzsche Chess, where pieces are promoted through being threatened and surviving.

Setup

As in FIDE Chess

Pieces

Array Pieces
PAWN: The divergent front-rank piece, fills the second rank as it has since Chaturanga. Pawns do not recur.
KNIGHT: The 2:1 leaper, starts at the ends of files B and G as it has since Chaturanga. Recurs from promoting Camels.
BISHOP: The diagonal linepiece, colourbound counterpart of the Rook, starts at the ends of files C and F. Recurs from promoting Princes/Pickets/Arrows.
ROOK: The orthogonal linepiece, starts at the corner squares as it has since Chaturanga. Recurs from promoting Primates/Pockets/Cannons in the basic subvariant, Cardinals in the long-haul one.
QUEEN: Compound of Bishop and Rook, starts at ends of file D. Recurs from promoting Chatelaines in the crowned sequence, Fagins in the Timur one, Tanks in the Eurasian one, Infanons/Sparrows in mixed-compound ones, and Marshals in long-haul ones.
KING: Moves one square orthogonally or diagonally, starts at ends of file E, must be kept out of check. Kings do not recur.

Pieces arising through promoting array pieces in Crowned-sequence subvariants:
CAMEL: The 3:1 leaper, the Knight's colourbound counterpart. Occurs from promoting Pawns.
PRINCE: Moves one square orthogonally or diagonally, differs from the King in being capturable. Occurs from promoting Knights.
PRIMATE: A Bishop that can also move one square orthogonally. Occurs from promoting Bishops.
CHATELAINE: A Rook that can also move one square diagonally. Occurs from promoting Rooks.

Pieces arising through promoting array pieces in Timur-sequence subvariants:
CAMEL: The 3:1 leaper, the Knight's colourbound counterpart. Occurs from promoting Pawns.
PICKET: A piece from Timur's Chess, moves like a Bishop but at least 2 steps. Occurs from promoting Knights.
POCKET: The Picket's orthogonally analogue, moves like a Rook but at least 2 steps. Occurs from promoting Bishops.
FAGIN: The compound of Pocket and Picket. Occurs from promoting Rooks.

Pieces arising through promoting array pieces in Eurasian-sequence subvariants:
CAMEL: The 3:1 leaper, the Knight's colourbound counterpart. Occurs from promoting Pawns.
ARROW: A piece from Yang Qi and Eurasian Chess, moves like a Bishop, but capturing moves require an intervening piece. Occurs from promoting Knights.
CANNON: A piece from Xiang Qi, moves like a Rook, but capturing moves require an intervening piece. Occurs from promoting Bishops.
TANK: The compound of Cannon and Arrow. Occurs from promoting Rooks.

Pieces arising through further promotion in just mixed-compound subvariants:
INQUION: The compound of Bishop and Picket. Occurs from promoting Fagins. Name derived from the Inquisitor, which is Bishop+Dabbaba.
INFANON: The compound of Rook and Pocket. Occurs from promoting Inquions. Name derived from the Infanta, which is Rook+Elephant.
SAINT: The compound of Bishop and Cannon. Occurs from promoting Tanks. Named as a pun on "canonised".
SPARROW: The compound of Rook and Arrow. Occurs from promoting Saints. Named as a bird ending in arrow.

Pieces arising through further promotion in just long-haul subvariants:
CALIPH: The compound of Bishop and Camel. Occurs from promoting Primates/Pockets/Cannons.
CARDINAL: The compound of Bishop and Knight. Occurs from promoting Caliphs.
CANVASSER: The compound of Rook and Camel. Occurs from promoting Chatelaines/Fagins/Tanks.
MARSHAL: The compound of Rook and Knight. Occurs from promoting Canvassers.
ACME: The compound of Queen and Camel. Occurs from promoting Queens.
ACE: The compound of Queen and Knight. Occurs from promoting Acmes.

Rules

ALL SUBVARIANTS

* The Pawn double-step move, En Passant, and Castling are inherited from FIDE Chess

CROWNED-SEQUENCE APC

* All array pieces except King and Queen are promoted on the far rank, to the following non-array pieces:
Pawn to Camel; Knight to Prince; Bishop to Primate; Rook to Chatelaine.
* Should pieces resulting from these promotions return to the back rank of their own camp, they are then promoted further, as follows:
Camel to Knight; Prince to Bishop; Primate to Rook; Chatelaine to Queen.
* These are of course the array pieces again and so, save for the Queen, eligible for promotion yet again on reaching the far rank, and so on until they are either Queens or captured. New promotees with a Rook move on a corner square may castle if they do not move again first, subject to usual restrictions on the King.

LONG-HAUL CROWNED-SEQUENCE APC

* The Pawn-Camel-Knight-Prince-Bishop-Primate route above is retained, but with the mixed compounds of Ecumenical Chess inserted; Primate-Caliph-Cardinal-Rook and Chatelaine-Canvasser-Marshal-Queen. A Queen, including the array one, reaching the far rank becomes an Acme, which on returning to the home rank becomes an Ace.

TIMUR-SEQUENCE APC

* All array pieces except King and Queen are promoted on the far rank, to the following non-array pieces:
Pawn to Camel; Knight to Picket; Bishop to Pocket; Rook to Fagin.
* Should pieces resulting from these promotions return to the back rank of their own camp, they are then promoted further, as follows:
Camel to Knight; Picket to Bishop; Pocket to Rook; Fagin to Queen.
* These are of course the array pieces again and so, save for the Queen, eligible for promotion yet again on reaching the far rank, and so on until they are either Queens or captured. New promotees with a Rook move on a corner square may castle if they do not move again first, subject to usual restrictions on the King.

MIXED-COMPOUND TIMUR-SEQUENCE APC

* The route above is retained as far as Fagin, but with compounds mixing both kinds of radial move inserted: Fagin-Inquion-Infanon-Queen.

LONG-HAUL TIMUR-SEQUENCE APC

* The route above is retained as far as Pocket, but with Ecumenical Chess compounds inserted; Pocket-Caliph-Cardinal-Rook and Fagin-Canvasser-Marshal-Queen. A Queen, including the array one, reaching the far rank becomes an Acme, which on returning to the home rank becomes an Ace.

EURASIAN-SEQUENCE APC

* All array pieces except King and Queen are promoted on the far rank, to the following non-array pieces:
Pawn to Camel; Knight to Arrow; Bishop to Cannon; Rook to Tank.
* Should pieces resulting from these promotions return to the back rank of their own camp, they are then promoted further, as follows:
Camel to Knight; Arrow to Bishop; Cannon to Rook; Tank to Queen.
* These are of course the array pieces again and so, save for the Queen, eligible for promotion yet again on reaching the far rank, and so on until they are either Queens or captured. New promotees with a Rook move on a corner square may castle if they do not move again first, subject to usual restrictions on the King.

MIXED-COMPOUND EURASIAN-SEQUENCE APC

* The route above is retained as far as Tank, but with compounds mixing both kinds of radial move inserted: Tank-Saint-Sparrow-Queen.

LONG-HAUL EURASIAN-SEQUENCE APC

* The route above is retained as far as Cannon, but with Ecumenical Chess compounds inserted; Cannon-Caliph-Cardinal-Rook and Tank-Canvasser-Marshal-Queen. A Queen, including the array one, reaching the far rank becomes an Acme, which on returning to the home rank becomes an Ace.

ALTERNATE PROMOTION [PUSH-PULL] TRAIN CHESS

* Variants combining the above ideas with my modest variants [Push-pull] Train Chess. Chatelaines can pull [or push] orthogonally but not diagonally, Primates vice versa, and nothing can pull [or push] Knightwise or Camelwise.

ALTERNATE PROMOTION PAWNED-AND-YEOMANNED CHESS

* Variants combining the above ideas with my modest variant Pawned and Yeomanned Chess. As well as the divergences specified there the Chatelaines capture as Primates and vv, the Pockets as Pickets and vv, the Cannons as Arrows and vv, the Marshals as Caliphs and vv, the Cardinals as Canvassers and vv, and the Aces as Acmes and vv.


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By Charles Gilman.
Web page created: 2007-05-22. Web page last updated: 2009-10-26