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Citadel - 8 & 9 rank - Broadly based on Tamerlane Chess

Citadel:

© Copyright G. Nicholls 2010

Citadel is a game that is loosely based on Capablanca Chess and Tamerlane Chess. There may be early tactical possibilities to decide the game but if this does not happen then a slower and more strategic game may evolve with Pawns (Plainsmen) attempting to storm the Citadels. The game is described as an Axial game.

 

The Players:

The Blue Emperor of the North who plays the Warriors of the Northern Blue-stripe And The White Emperor of the South who plays the Warriors of the Southern Pure-white

Timed by TigerClocks

 

The Settings:

The Great Forest, the Great Wall of the North & the Southern Mountains which surround: The Shrouded Plains At the North of these Plains is the Northern Citadel At the South of these Plains is the Southern Citadel The Board & Warriors: The board is two-sided with side one being of nine files and eight ranks and side two being of nine files and nine ranks. The board is called the "Shrouded Plains" board - 8 ranks (or 9 ranks). The board at the starting position with the names and abbreviations of the Warriors (pieces) is as shown:

 

Notes:

• Squares are called positions.

• The algebraic notation of the main playing area (the Shrouded Plains) is that files are designated (from West to East) A to I and that ranks are designated (from South to North) 1 to 8 (or 1 to 9).

• The Citadels for each side are the eight positions coloured olive-green.

 

Overview:

Once, long ago, there arose in a far-off and little known land a Conqueror, who after many years of strife amongst his fellow plainsmen, succeeded in uniting them and thereafter swept across much of the known world with conquest after conquest. A huge empire was thus established and it was thought that this empire might last almost forever. But this empire in time diminished and became fragmented. Eventually, and perhaps rather astonishingly, there arose much further south, yet another Conqueror of the calibre of the first one and he also made many conquests and he also formed an empire. But this empire too eventually declined. Both of these Conquerors now have their days of participating in battle behind them and are now titled Emperors though they have only a part of the lands they once held and these are in what is known as the Shrouded Plains. These plains are frequently covered in heavy mists or fogs and are often overcast and dark; they are however very productive. Few outsiders ever come across them and those that do find them foreboding and often end up lost. The two Emperors though are most pleased with and protective of their lands, but more than this they both have an intense rivalry with each other as they both regard themselves as having been the greater Conqueror and this rivalry has extended down to almost all of their plainsmen and has, it seems, intensified as each Emperor would seem to wish to take precedence over the other forcibly. There were over a number of years a sharply escalating number of clashes between the two sets of plainsmen and the situation became considered virtually a state of War. Finally both sides formally declared War and now after some years of battles both sets of plainsmen have gathered together nearly all their Warriors to decide this regional War of supremacy. Also joining them are the virtually unknown Tiger-Riders (of the Order of Tigers) who have come from the Great Forest perhaps thinking the time is right to decide the outcome of this long running regional War of supremacy. The Emperors do not take direct part in the battle themselves for, as already said, such days are behind them; instead the Prince-Royal for each of their empires will participate - it is necessary for a Prince-Royal to prove his skill in battle if he is to gain popularity and the full support of his fellow plainsmen.

 

Object:

The object of each player is to Checkmate the opposing Prince-Royal which wins the regional War of supremacy.

 

 

Moves & capturing powers:

 

A Chief Commander is initially held prisoner in the opposing Citadel and cannot enter the game until and unless released by a Plainsman. He is identical to a Queen of Western Chess. He can move forwards or backwards along an unoccupied vertical, horizontal or diagonal path and occupy any of the vacant positions along these paths provided he does not jump over any piece. A Chief Commander can capture the first opposing piece along any of these paths provided he is not blocked first by one of his own pieces.

War Machines are identical to the Rooks of Western Chess except that when Transferring (Castling) the Prince-Royal (elder) the moves are the same on either side of the board and the Prince-Royal moves two positions laterally to his left or right and the relevant War Machine moves laterally three positions in the opposite direction to stand next to the Prince-Royal; the conditions for Transferring are as standard for Castling. A War Machine can move forwards or backwards along an unoccupied vertical or horizontal path and can occupy any of the vacant positions along these paths provided it does not jump over any piece. A War Machine can capture the first opposing piece along any of these paths provided it is not blocked first by one of its own pieces.

A Shieldsman can move to, if unoccupied, or capture on any one of the eight adjacent positions (maximum) to the position he stands on. He therefore has the same moves and capturing powers as a King of Western Chess but he is non-royal and does not have to evade Check or anything suchlike.

A Plains-Marshall has the combined moves and capturing powers of a Rook and a Knight of Western Chess. These moves and capturing powers are described under the equivalent pieces of War Machines (Rooks) and a Horseman (Knight). A Plains-Marshall is often simply called a Marshall. There is only one of him in the game.

A Plains-General has the combined moves and capturing powers of a Bishop and a Knight of Western Chess. The move and capturing powers of a Knight are described under the equivalent piece of a Horseman; there is no equivalent piece to a Bishop in Citadel. A Plains-General can also then, in addition to his Horseman moves and capturing powers, move forwards or backwards along an unoccupied diagonal path and can occupy any of the vacant positions along these paths provided he does not jump over any piece. A Plains-General can capture the first opposing piece along any of these paths provided he is not blocked first by one of his own pieces. A Plains-General is often simply called a General. There is only one of him in the game.

A Horseman is identical to a Knight in Western Chess He moves to and can capture on any position that lies two positions vertically (forwards or backwards) or horizontally to him and one position laterally in relation to this, or the move can be considered in other ways that lead to the same destination positions and, as he can leap, any intervening pieces have no effect on the move or capture.

A Plainsman moves and captures the same as a Pawn in Western Chess. He can move to one unoccupied position vertically forwards but he captures to one position diagonally forwards. On his first move he can also optionally move two positions vertically forwards but he cannot capture with this move and he cannot jump over any piece with this move; the en-passant rule applies to Plainsmen the same as with Pawns in Western Chess. On the 9 rank board a Plainsman can on his first move optionally also move three positions forward (as well as the usual one or two) but he cannot capture with this move and he cannot jump over any piece with this move. The en-passant rules apply to a three position first move with the same logic as the two position first move. This is the only difference in the rules between the 8 rank board and the 9 rank board.

The promotion rules for Plainsmen are considerably different to those for Pawns of Western Chess and are as follows:

1. The general principle is that a Plainsman is automatically endowed (effectively promoted) with the powers of the corresponding back rank pieces when reaching the penultimate rank outside of the Citadel. The rules for outside of the Citadel are as follows for the 8 rank board and are given from the Southern viewpoint and are equivalent for the Northern side. (9 rank board positions are given in brackets):

2. If a Plainsman lands on A7 or I7 (A8 or I8) then he is automatically endowed with the same powers as a War Machine though he is called a Charger.

3. If a Plainsman lands on B7 or H7 (B8 or H8) then he is automatically endowed with the same powers as a Horseman and is also called a Horseman.

4. If a Plainsman lands on C7 or G7 (C8 or G8) then he is automatically endowed with the same powers as a Shieldsman and is also called a Shieldsman.

5. There is no limit on how many times these positions can do this and this is automatic (compulsory) and the player cannot choose another piece's powers or to keep the Plainsman as a Plainsman. The Plainsman does not keep his moving or capturing powers of a Plainsman.

 

1. The rules for a Plainsman when inside the Citadel are different to outside and are as follows for the 8 rank board and are given from the Southern viewpoint and are equivalent for the Northern side (9 rank board positions are given in brackets):

2. A Plainsman automatically releases his High Prince (younger) if he reaches (lands on) end rank position C8, E8 or G8 (C9, E9 or G9) and the High Prince (younger) then occupies the position the Plainsman reached and was on and the Plainsman retires from the War/battle as a reward (is taken off the board).

3. A Plainsman automatically releases his Chief Commander if he reaches end rank position D8 or F8 (D9 or F9) and the Chief Commander then occupies the position the Plainsman reached and was on and the Plainsman retires from the War/battle as a reward (is taken off the board).

4. There can only be one release for each of these two prisoners and any subsequent captures of either of them or any other captures of pieces means that the captured pieces stay as captured.

5. Any Plainsman reaching an end rank position in a Citadel that has no release possibilities must stay where he is as a Plainsman until and unless captured. Note: The Citadels have no other effect than as above, and can be moved to, captured on or moved over etc. by pieces in the same way as other positions can be.

 

Princes: Some years ago both those of the lands of the Blue-Stripe and the Pure-White each had two favoured High Princes who were of equal status in their fathers' eyes and may have jointly been declared their fathers' heirs. However both the younger of the High Princes of both these lands were captured and taken prisoner whilst out hunting and their fathers did not receive any news of their whereabouts or welfare, and in accordance with custom the remaining High Princes were each made the Prince-Royal who is the heir to his respective lands and of higher status than a High Prince. The missing Princes were not forgotten however and many searches and enquiries were made for their whereabouts, and the Chief Commanders of both lands each made an expedition to find their Princes themselves, but they themselves were captured and also taken prisoner. Gradually though, information has come to light that confirms earlier suspicions that all four of these missing persons are being held in the Citadels of their rivals.

Note: • In order to avoid confusion between Princes they are distinguished as the elder and the younger and as already stated it was the younger Princes who were captured and taken prisoner.

A Prince-Royal (elder) is, as already stated, the designated heir to his father's lands and is identical to a King of Western Chess and is vulnerable to Checkmate. He can move to any unoccupied adjacent position or capture on any adjacent position i.e. eight maximum, but may not move or capture so if the position is under threat (Check) by an opposing piece; also a Prince-Royal may not remain under threat (Check) if it is possible to escape this and his Warriors (pieces) may not make a move or a capture which causes him to come under a threat (Check). If his side's High Prince (younger) is released (explained under the section on Plainsmen) then a Prince-Royal (elder) reverts to a High Prince (elder) as the two Princes, in accordance with custom, once again have equal status as they did before the High Prince (younger) was taken prisoner and so though the elder's powers of movement and capture are unchanged, the restrictions on his powers of movement and capture regarding a threat (Check) no longer apply and he can now move into Check and does not have to evade Check or capture etc..

A High Prince (younger) is initially held prisoner in the opposing Citadel and cannot enter the game until and unless released by a Plainsman. Before being taken prisoner he had equal status to his now Prince-Royal (elder) and upon his release, as stated, the Princes once again have an equal status as High Princes. A High Prince (younger or elder) has the same powers of moving and capturing as a Prince-Royal i.e. to the eight adjacent positions next to him, but he may move to or capture to positions that are under threat (Check) unlike a Prince-Royal, and he does not have to evade Check or capture etc. Opposing Princes of any denomination, however, may not occupy adjacent positions. If one of the two High Princes of either side is captured then the remaining High Prince (who can be the elder or the younger) of that side then becomes, in accordance with custom, the Prince-Royal (distinguished as elder or younger) and is then restricted in his moves as usual for a Prince-Royal, i.e. he must not move into Check etc.

 

Notes:

• Upon the release of a High Prince (younger) the task of the opposition is increased, as to win the game the opposing player now has to first Capture one of the High Princes and then secondly Checkmate the remaining Prince (who has now become the Prince-Royal).

• The release of a High Prince (younger) does not prevent the elder Prince from Transferring (Castling) if he has not already done so and the conditions for doing so no longer include the prohibition on moving out of or into Check or moving across a Checked position though these conditions would be restored should he become Prince-Royal again.

• A High Prince (younger) cannot be released if the position on which he would be released is adjacent to any opposing Prince and a Plainsman may not make such a move to the end rank. The position, though, can be under attack by any other opposing piece.

• A High Prince (younger) cannot be released if his Prince-Royal (elder) is in Check unless this stops/blocks the Check.

• It can be seen that when a side only has one Prince on the board then that Prince is a Prince-Royal (who is vulnerable to Checkmate) and must evade Check, cannot move into Check etc. but when a side has both Princes on the board then they are High Princes (who are not vulnerable to Checkmate) and neither have to evade Check and either can move into Check etc.

 

The Tiger-Riders: moves and captures are described with reference to the following diagrams where they are positioned on an empty 9 x 9 board in the centre, edge and corner. Neither can leap or jump and so they are both "sliders". Their moves are described step by step: The positions shown in the diagram in black with a number are the example positions that a Tiger-Rider is occupying and the number is the total number of positions they can move to. From the occupied positions :-

1. The Blue Tiger-Rider can first move vertically forwards or backwards one position or horizontally one position; this is called his prime move and direction and these four positions are called the Spring-off positions and are shown in red. For the White Tiger-Rider his prime move and direction is one position diagonally forwards or backwards and so his four Spring-off positions are different, as shown, to those of the Blue Tiger-Rider.

2. From the Spring-off positions a Tiger-Rider can then continue along a path that carries on from his prime move and these paths are shown in orange and called Continuation paths. For the Blue Tiger-Rider the Continuation paths are vertical or horizontal. For the White Tiger-Rider the Continuation paths are diagonal.

3. Instead of moving along one of their Continuation paths from a Spring-off position a Tiger-Rider can move along a path that is called a Spring-off path and these paths are shown in yellow. For the Blue Tiger-Rider the Spring-off paths are diagonally onwards and for the White Tiger-Rider the Spring-off paths are horizontally or vertically onwards.

4. It is not allowed for a Tiger-Rider to use a Spring-off path that is at an obtuse, or greater, angle to the Continuation path from the Spring-off position.

5. A Tiger-Rider can capture on any of the positions he can move to provided he is not blocked by another piece as he cannot leap or jump.

6. Comparative numbers of the positions reachable by other pieces are also given in the diagrams.

 

 

General rules & notes:

Much of the game is played with generally accepted rules and best practice of Western Chess. The following apply:

 

1. Points scored are as follows:

a) Where the opposing High Prince (younger) has not been released. A win by Checkmating the opposing Prince-Royal (elder) - 3 Game points.

b) Where the opposing High Prince (younger) has been released. A win by first Capturing one of the opposing High Princes (elder or younger) followed by Checkmating the opposing Prince-Royal (elder or younger) - 3 Game points.

A win by playing a "Green Gem" (explained in the notes) - 5 Game points.

c) A drawn game scores one Game point. Draws include stalemate and threefold repetition of moves/position.

 

Notes:

•A win requires Checkmate whether or not a High Prince (younger) has been released.

• Capturing a High Prince does not of itself score any points or confer any sort of minor win.

• A Green Gem is a move that is defined as follows: With two opposing High Princes on the board, a player must play a move that captures one of the opposing High Princes and the remaining opposing Prince (now Prince-Royal) must then be in Checkmate.

 

2. Players may both agree to play on the 8 rank board or the 9 rank board. If the players disagree on which board to play on then a standard six-sided dice must be thrown and if the uppermost number is even then the 8 rank board must be used and if the uppermost number is odd then the 9 rank board must be used.

3. The White Emperor moves first and moves are then played alternately by each side.

4. Usual colours for the sides are mid blue with dark stripes for the Blue-Stripe side and pure white for the Pure-White side.

5. Abbreviations for Chargers are BCG for a Blue Charger and WCG for a White Charger. Abbreviations for all Princes include "(e)" for elder or "(y)" for younger to distinguish between them Princes could be visually distinguished between by, for example, elder Princes being bearded and Princes-Royal having more striking headwear - there are of course plenty of other possibilities.

6. Players should state "Check" if the opposing Prince-Royal is under attack though this is not compulsory.

7. The TigerClocks are of the double countdown type.

8. The game of Citadel can also be called TigerLines.

9. The game should state which board is used as: "Citadel - 8 ranks" or "Citadel - 9 ranks".



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By Glenn Nicholls.
Web page created: 2010-03-03. Web page last updated: 2010-03-03