Nearlydouble WildebeestAfter creating Nearlydouble Chess I began considering how to apply to large variants the same principles as that variant applied to FIDE Chess. The first to which I considered applying it was Wayne Schmittberger's Wildebeest Chess, which a comment on Nearlydouble Chess agreed was a good idea. Due to that comment I fast-tracked this variant.
Again I use a single King and twice the number of everything else, with oblique pieces slightly enhanced. Again I nearly double the number of squares - this time from Wildebeest's 110 to 210. This gives a piece density of 40.95%, very close to Wildebeest's 40%. Squares are arranged in 14 ranks by 15 files - like Wildebeest files exceed ranks by one.
Pawn structure is based on Nearlydouble Chess. Again enhanced oblique pieces are brought forward to the second rank, protecting front Pawns not protected by back Pawns. This gives the oddity of gaps in the first rank, but that is the price of preserving so much else of a game of Wildebeest's size scaled up to nearly twice the squares and pieces.
PiecesAs the enlargement weakens the 2:1 Knight, its dual the 3:1 Camel, and their compound the 2:1 and 3:1 Gnu (or Wildebeest) compared to other pieces, I enhance them to Man and Beast 08: Diverse Directions pieces. The Knight becomes the 2:1 and 3:0 CATAPULT, the Camel the Catapult's dual the 3:1 and 3:3 CAMPER, and the Gnu the Catapult+Camper compound the 2:1, 3:0, 3:1, and 3:3 ACHATES. These pieces' radial moves are as unblockable as their oblique ones.
Other pieces are, as regards their general powers, the FIDE ones.
RulesPawns have progressively weaker optional double-step moves, taken from those listed in Man and Beast 02: Shield Bearers, from the third to sixth ranks.
Pawns on the third have the Eurofighter option, of two noncapturing steps orthogonally forward, two captures diagonally forward, or one of each in either order.
Pawns on the fourth have the Trident option, of two noncapturing steps orthogonally forward or two captures diagonally forward but not a mixture.
Pawns on the fifth have the European option, of two noncapturing steps orthogonally forward only.
Pawns on the sixth 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 inner Bishop square and the inner Rook to the square between the Queen and Inner Bishop ones, or the King to the outer Bishop square and the outer Rook to the inner Bishop square. Usual restrictions apply.
* A player with fewer than four Campers can either promote a Pawn reaching the enemy front Pawn rank to a Camper which cannot later be promoted further, or leave it a Pawn that can.
* A player with fewer than four Bishops and fewer than four Catapults can either promote a Pawn reaching the enemy rear Pawn rank to a Bishop or Catapult which cannot later be promoted further, or leave it a Pawn that can. If they have four or more of one piece type they cannot promote to that type.
* A player with fewer than four each of Rook and Achates can either promote a Pawn reaching the enemy Knight rank to a Rook or Achates which cannot later be promoted further, or leave it a Pawn that can. If they have four or more of one piece type they cannot promote to that type.
* A player can promote a Pawn reaching the enemy King rank to any piece except King, with the restriction that only if they have at least four of every type can they promote to a type of which they have four or more.
Check, Checkmate, and Stalemate are standard.
NotesThe variant can be played with just three FIDE sets as long as one (ideally the smallest) can be distinguished from the other two (which are ideally identical). For example, use small Bishop for Achates, small Knight and Rook for Camper, and all Pawns interchangeably.
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By Charles Gilman.
Web page created: 2007-03-22. Web page last updated: 2016-04-05