IntroductionAfter applying the Nearlydouble principle to Wayne Schmittberger's Wildebeest Chess to create Nearlydouble Wildebeest Chess I wondered about applying it to Wildeurasian (WEA) Qi, my variant combining elements of Wildebeest and of Fergus Duniho's Eurasian Chess. This is the result.
Again I use a single King and twice the usual number of everything else, slightly enhancing oblique pieces. It is the latter detail that gives the variant its name. Again I nearly double the number of squares - this time from WEA Qi's 100 to 195, giving a piece density of just over WEA Qi's 48%. Squares are arranged in 13 files by 15 ranks, two Rivers dividing the latter into 3 equal blocks of 5. 14x14 with one River might seem closer to WEA Qi itself, but doubling every piece except the King (and in some cases its Pawn) does not suit even numbers of files. Besides, as I found when my Gnu Qi, Caliph Qi, and Tor Qi avoided one of WEA Qi's major sources of criticism, two Rivers are better than one when restricting the strongest pieces.
PiecesAs the 2:1 Knight, its dual the 3:1 Camel, and their compound the 2:1 and 3:1 Gnu (or Wildebeest) come out of the enlargement rather weak compared to other pieces, I enhance them to Man and Beast 08: Diverse Directions pieces. For the Knight I have the 2:1 and 3:0 CATAPULT, for the Camel the Catapult's dual the 3:1 and 3:3 CAMPER, and for the Gnu the Catapult+Camper compound the 2:1, 3:0, 3:1, and 3:3 ACHATES. These were originally termed Endknight, Diacamel, and Fragnu, the last giving this game its name. Their radial moves are as unblockable as their oblique ones.
Five radial piece types are, as regards their general powers, the FIDE ones. The remaining array piece types - the Cannon, Arrow, and Tank - differ from the Rook, Bishop, and Queen in requiring an intervening piece when capturing. That piece may be of either army and is not captured itself. Finally the Wazir, which moves just one step in the Rook's directions, is not an array piece but occasionally occurs through Pawn promotion.
RulesPawns have progressively weaker optional double-step moves, taken from the list now in Man and Beast 02: Shield Bearers, from the fourth to seventh ranks.
Pawns on the fourth have the Eurofighter option, of two noncapturing steps orthogonally forward, two captures diagonally forward, or one of each in either order.
Pawns on the fifth have the Trident option, of two noncapturing steps orthogonally forward or two captures diagonally forward but not a mixture.
Pawns on the sixth have the European option, of two noncapturing steps orthogonally forward only.
Pawns on the seventh have the Warhead option, of two captures diagonally forward only.
An enemy Pawn can capture En Passant a Pawn making any double-step move, although if the second step was capturing the captured piece is not recovered.
Castling involves moving either the King to the Tank square and the inner Rook to the Queen square, or the King to the inner Cannon square and the outer Rook to the Tank square. Usual restrictions apply.
There are two Rivers in this variant. The King, Queen, Tank, and Gnu may not cross the far River. There are no restrictions on crossing the near River. This means that all pieces can interact on the middle ranks of the board and allows the same one-way Check by a King as in Gnu/Caliph/Tor Qi.
Pawns entering the enemy camp can optionally be promoted further to other array piece types, subject to not exceeding array numbers of any. Promotions available are as follows, depending on which rank of ether camp the move ends on:
|front Pawn rank||Camper|
|rear Pawn rank||Catapult, Arrow|
|empty rank||Cannon, Bishop|
|Bishop rank||Rook, Achates|
|King rank||Queen, Tank|
Check, Checkmate, and Stalemate are standard.
NotesThe variant can be played with two distinguishable pairs of identical sets with large/small Kings as King/Achates, Queens as Queen/Tank, Bishops as Bishop/Arrow, Knights as Catapult/Camper, Rooks as Rook/Cannon, and Pawns as Wazir/Pawn.
This size and shape of board would also suit a Nearlydouble version of Okisaki Shogi, as follows:
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By Charles Gilman.
Web page created: 2009-06-27. Web page last updated: 2016-04-05