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Chess with a Fool

Introduction

To quote : "Fool, Joker, Jester, Buffoon, Clown, Jongleur, Saltimbanco, Mime, so many names throughout the ages have defined this central character of the King's court."

This is an almost modest chess variant . It takes inspiration from Omega Chess Advanced (which add a couple of features to the original Omega Chess, including the immortal piece, the Fool.)

I liked the Omega Chess implementation with regards to the Fool , so this is simply adapting THEIR version of the piece to Standard Chess . Queen guarding isn't included , and neither is immobilization.

Link to Omega Chess Advanced :

http://www.omegachess.com/home.html?action=advanced

All quotes in this page are from that page .

Of course , this way of implementing the fool is more like a mutator than a full blown variant . Please notify me if this has been done in exactly the same way before or if i am infringing any copyright , or something .

I don't claim authorship over this . It should be given to the author of Omega Chess Advanced (I don't know who.)

Setup

Same , old , orthodox chess setup :

+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+

8 | r |:n:| b |:q:| k |:b:| n |:r:|

+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+

7 |:p:| p |:p:| p |:p:| p |:p:| p |

+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+

6 | |:::| |:::| |:::| |:::|

+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+

5 |:::| |:::| |:::| |:::| |

+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+

4 | |:::| |:::| |:::| |:::|

+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+

3 |:::| |:::| |:::| |:::| |

+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+

2 | P |:P:| P |:P:| P |:P:| P |:P:|

+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+

1 |:R:| N |:B:| Q |:K:| B |:N:| R |

+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+

a b c d e f g h

Each player has one Fool in his hand .

The Fool (F) is just another piece . But , as you can see , it doesn't have a proper place in the starting setup , "nor a specific entry time". Details follow .

Pieces

The Fool , simply put , moves like (or imitates) the piece just moved by the enemy . For example , if the enemy moves the Knight , then your Fool can move like a Knight in the next turn . The next turn , his move changes according to the enemy piece moved .

- A Fool imitating a Pawn may not promote .

- A Fool imitating a Pawn may only move a single square forward (relative to the Fool's color .)

- A Fool imitating a King is not subject to check or checkmate or anything royal , which means it can move to a neighboring cell to the enemy King .

- A Fool imitating a King may not Castle.

- A Fool imitating a Fool moves like the piece the enemy Fool imitated .

- A Pawn may promote to a Fool .

- When a Pawn is promoted , the Fool moves like the promoted piece (if the Pawn promotes to a Queen , the Fool moves like a Queen .) If the Pawn promotes to a Fool , the Fool moves like a Pawn .

Rules

The Fool , having no position in the starting setup , is "dropped" on the board at any time one wishes , following the following conditions :

- One may drop the Fool when he moves a piece , any piece , from its initial position . That includes Pawns and Kings , but not promoted Pawns . It , naturally enough , is dropped on the square just vacated .

- One may drop the Fool during castling . It may be dropped on either the King's square or the Rook's square .

- One may drop the Fool when one makes a capture , placing the Fool on the square the capturing piece just vacated .

- It's preferable , when dropping the Fool , to hold it BEFORE making the move , placing it in place of the piece to move , and moving it to the desired destination . In case of dropping it on the Rook's square in a castling , one might need to announce one is dropping the Fool before moving the King . (This is a deviation from the Omega Chess Advanced rule , but it's just a formality . I think this is more practical .)

- The Fool must be dropped within the first 20 moves of the game . Afterwards , it's too late , one has lost a piece .

Notes

Notation of the piece :

F : e.g. Fe3 , Fxe3

F-O : King-side castling with Fool appearing in the King's square

O-F : King-side castling with Fool appearing in the Rook's square

F-O-O : Queen-side castling with Fool appearing in the Rook's square

O-O-F : Queen-side castling with Fool appearing in the Queen's square

[move]*F : Fool appearing after the first move of a piece or after a capture. Ex: Kg2*F, Qxc6*F, Nxd7+*F

--

The Fool is an interesting piece . Follows are examples of its use and strategy .

Fig. a : Example of Fool droppings for moving from the initial square .

8 r - b q k b n r

7 f p p p - p p p 1.e4 e5

6 p - n - - - - - 2.Nf3 Nc6

5 - B - - p - - - 3.Bb5*F a6*F

4 - - - - P - - -

3 - - - - - N - -

2 P P P P - P P P

1 R N B Q K F - R

a b c d e f g h

Fig. b : Example of Fool dropping after capture . Note that the White Fool was captured immediately , with dropping the Black Fool .

8 r - b q k b n r

7 - p p p - p p p 1.e4 e5

6 f - B - - - - - 2.Nf3 Nc6

5 - p - - p - - - 3.Bb5 a6

4 - - - - P - - - 4.Bxc6*F axb5*F

3 - - - - - N - -

2 P P P P - P P P

1 R N B Q K - - R

a b c d e f g h

Fig. c : Example of Fool usefulness in an endgame . (Slightly modified from the Omega version .)

8 - - - - k - - -

7 - - - - - - - - Note that , normally , Qxd2 is checkmate .

6 - - - - - - F - However , Black can't move either the Queen

5 - - - q - - - - or the Bishop , because they will grant the

4 - - - - - b - - Fool diagonal movement , which puts the King

3 - - - - - - - - in check , which is illegal . As far as this

2 - - - P - - - - game is concerned , the Bishop and the Queen

1 - - - K - - - - are pinned .

a b c d e f g h

Fig. d : How to capture a Fool . (From the Omega Chess Advanced page .)

8 - - - - - - - -

7 - - - - - - - - Pieces cannot threaten the Fool normally .

6 - - q - - - - - Because , if they move to threaten it , it

5 - - - p - - - - can just capture them using their movement .

4 - - - - - p - - Here's a useful trick : in this position ,

3 - - - - - F - - Black moves his d5 Pawn , exposing the Fool

2 - - - - - - - - to capture . The poor Fool is unable to move ,

1 - - - - - - - - there's an enemy Pawn blocking HIS pawn move ,

and can be devoured next turn .

a b c d e f g h

===

As usual , how does this game play with other mutators ? Atomic is too dangerous .... how about CrazyHouse ?



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By Abdul-Rahman Sibahi.
Web page created: 2008-11-09. Web page last updated: 2008-11-09