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Kings

Introduction

This variant is inspired by ICC's wild 9, the so-called 2-Kings. That game, though interesting in concept, has some flaws. This variant tries to fix some of its flaws, while maintaining the flavor.

Setup

Same as Standard Chess setup, with Queens replaced by Kings.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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a b c d e f g h

There are two Kings, two Bishops, two Knights, two Rooks, and eight pawns.

The game, with the same rules, can be played on a 10x8 or 10x10 board. Only add two Queens on both sides of the two Kings.

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10 | |:::| |:::| |:::| |:::| |:::|

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

9 |:r:| n |:b:| q |:k:| k |:q:| b |:n:| r |

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

8 | p |:p:| p |:p:| p |:p:| p |:p:| p |:p:|

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

7 |:::| |:::| |:::| |:::| |:::| |

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3 |:P:| P |:P:| P |:P:| P |:P:| P |:P:| P |

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

2 | R |:N:| B |:Q:| K |:K:| Q |:B:| N |:R:|

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1 |:::| |:::| |:::| |:::| |:::| |

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

a b c d e f g h i j

It's very possible to substitute one of the Queens with a Chancellor.

In the beginning of the Game, the Royal Kings start on d1 and d8 (on the 8x8 board,) and e2 and e9 (on the 10x10 board.) See Rules for more details.

Pieces

All pieces move EXACTLY like Standard Chess. The Kings have special rules regarding Royalty and Castling.

Pawns may promote to Kings, Queens, Rooks, Bishops, or Knights. The rules regarding extra Kings are the same as two Kings.

See Rules for more details about Royalty.

Rules

The Kings can't all be Royal, naturally. Only one of them is. Win is achieved by checkmating the Active Royal King.

How to know which King is 'active'?

The closest King to the a-file is the Royal, the one that has to be checkmated. In case of ambiguity, the King closer to the Home Rank (first for white; eighth, or tenth for black,) is the Royal. In other words, the closest King to the left handed corner (for white) or the right handed corner (for black) is the Royal King. If any of the other Kings moved closer to the a-file, the Royalty transposes to that King. This allows for strange ways to escape checkmate.

For example, if you, playing white, have a king on a7 and another on c5, your opponent wins be checkmating the a7 King. The other King is just an ordinary piece. It can be attacked and captured with no consequences.

It's illegal to make any move that exposes the Royal King to check, or to make a make that transposes the Royalty to a King that is attacked by an enemy piece.

Castling is done by moving the Royal King two squares towards either Rook, as in Normal Chess. However, if the Active Royal King moves to a position that it transposes Royalty to the other un-moved King, Castling rights are transposed as well. If it moves back, once a King is moved it loses Castling rights for good.

Castling is a King's move, and should be written as such. A possible castling move is Kb1.

In the 10x10 variant, castling is done by moving the King three squares instead of two.

Notes

The rules for 2-Kings, from ICC, just for comparison:

"There are two kings. The king closest to the a-file is the one you must checkmate to win. If the two kings are on the same file, [the one closest to rank 1] is the king you must checkmate.

For example, if your opponent has kings on a7 and c5, you win if you checkmate the king that is on a7.

The other king is just an ordinary piece. It can be checked and captured with no consequences. The king you must mate can change during the course of the game."

The second King starts on the f-file, replacing a bishop. Also, no promotion to a King is allowed. Only castling Queen-side is possible with the King on the e-file.

The sentence between square braces is the the main deviation between Wild/9 and Kings.

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Variants :

Possible variations to this game would be to relate the Black Kings to h8 instead of a8. Also, the non-active Kings don't have to move like Kings, they can move like, say, Queens; or Dukes (King+Knight.) They lose the special move once they're Royalty, they gain it again when they aren't.

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A couple of puzzles I found at ICC, in Peter-Patzer's Library, show some weird bizarre situations in wild/9. I have modified them, a little, to adapt the rules mentioned above.

Mate in One :

White : K a8,c6 R a1,h1

Black : K a3,a5

Mate in Two :

White : K a8,c8 R a1,h1

Black : K a3,a5

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Also, consider this position, with black to move :

White : K f4 R g7,h8

Black : K d8 P a2

It looks like Black is in checkmate. But, in fact, he has one legal move, which is 1.. a8K . This creates a King on the a-file, and hence transposes royalty. Of course black is still lost after RxK. But this is an interesting legal possibility.

Question, and quite a daring one: is it possible to have this game, and one or two of its variants, in the next version of ChessV ?



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By Abdul-Rahman Sibahi.
Web page created: 2007-06-13. Web page last updated: 2007-06-13