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Cosmic Chess


The following is an experiment in chessery inspired by the Greek principle of cosmic recurrence. Here the chessboard is the macrocosm, and the pieces microcosms.


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Setup is as in FIDE Chess. However, there are additional boards colored as shown:

The colors of the board allow it to be organized into 3 districts: the red orthogonal, blue diagonal, and green hippogonal. Compound colors other than white represent a square worth 1/2 normal, belonging to 2 districts. Each district additionally has 4-8 subdistricts, those squares that are orthogonally contiguous, and also diagonally contiguous in case of the diagonal district: north, south, east, west, northeast, northwest, southeast, southwest, northnortheast, northnorthwest, southsoutheast, southsouthwest, eastnortheast, westnorthwest, eastsoutheast, and westsouthwest.
6 chessboards are ideal for recording purposes, but 1 additional chessboard can be used also, or the playing board if you're patient. On these chessboards, markers assigned to each type of piece are placed at the start. Markers are placed on all orthogonal squares for Rooks, Kings, Queens, and Pawns, on all diagonal squares for Bishops, Kings, and Queens, and all hippogonal squares for Knights.


Pieces, the microcosm, move as the board, the macrocosm, dictates, and vice versa. The way this is accomplished is that each time a piece moves, the marker of the same type in the same location moves respectively if there is no marker on the destination square. Additionally, the markers of the board dictate pieces' movement as when there are markers in more than 1/2 squares of a subdistrict, the piece moves in that way.

There are 4 basic types of pieces: steppers, jumpers, riders, and marchers.

  • Steppers (Kings) - Steppers move to adjacent squares.
  • Jumpers (Knights) - Jumpers move 2 squares in the same direction, ignoring intervening pieces, or 1 square hippogonally (like a Knight).
  • Riders (Rooks, Bishops, and Queens) - Riders move any amount of squares in the same direction without jumping over pieces (except when moving hippogonally, where they can "jump" over pieces whose squares they cannot actually move to).
  • Marchers (Pawns) - Marchers move forward to adjacent squares (including hippogonally) as specified by their macrocosm board when not capturing. When capturing, they move as the next move type from their non-capturing move in the cycle of orthogonal->diagonal->hippogonal.


Variant #1: Q*Bert Cosmic Chess. Instead of moving markers as pieces, markers are added or removed as a piece arrives on that square.

Variant #2: Parallel Universe Cosmic Chess. Pieces move markers only when switching boards. While on the parallel board, pieces as the parallel markers, and on the main board as the main markers. Setup of parallel markers is opposite that of the main markers.

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By John Smith.
Web page created: 2009-08-04. Web page last updated: 2009-08-04