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Panchimera

Introduction

(or - All the King's Horses)



This variant evolved from the idea of creating a double-chess (32 pieces a side and a board of 128 squares); not a new idea, but while I did not want an overly oblong board, I did want pieces that moved in familiar FIDE fashion, though perhaps with non-FIDE combinations.  This variant is probably my closest to FIDE chess.  More details behind the genesis of this variation are given in the Notes.

Setup

The starting array is shown in the next image below, taken from my game courier implementation.
The board consists of 132 squares (11x12) and each player has 33 pieces occupying three rows.



Pieces

The piece types are those found in standard FIDE plus each FIDE type augmented by combining with the FIDE knight.
Thus each side, at the start of the game has 33 pieces.

Number Name Notes
1 King As the FIDE King.
The King may castle subject to the normal FIDE restrictions,
When castling with the a-file Rook,
          the King  moves to the c-file and the Rook moves to the d-file.
When castling with the k-file Rook,
          the King  moves to the i-file and the Rook moves to the h-file.
2 Queens As the FIDE Queen.
4 Rooks As the FIDE Rook,
4 Bishops As the FIDE Bishop.
4 Knights As the FIDE Knight.
2 Horseguards May move like a King (one step in any direction) or may move like a Knight.
2 Archbishops May move as either Bishop or Knight.
2 Marshalls May move as either Rook or Knight.
1 General May move as either Queen or Knight.
11 Pawns As FIDE Pawns.
Pawns may take a double-step on their first move.
Capture en-passant is allowed.
Pawn's promote on reaching the furthest rank.


Rules

Rules are as for FIDE chess apart from the larger board, the increased number of piece-types, and the increased number of pieces at the start.

Notes

  1. This variant started out with the idea of  increasing the size of the board by 100%, from  64 squares to 128.  I also, apart from the size, wanted to keep fairly close to FIDE chess.  As 128 does not have an integer square root, I decided on a board of 11x12 (132 squares) as giving the best fit.  
  2. Since I was doubling (plus some)  the board size it seemed appropriate to double the number of pieces.  Increasing the number of pieces by the same proportion as the squares  yielded 33 pieces a side - which nicely fitted into 3 ranks on the 11x12 board.  Doubling the number of each FIDE piece, except the King (left at 1 per side) and Pawns (only 11 needed to fill a rank) gave 26 pieces - leaving 7 to find. Combining the knight's move with Rook, Bishop, and King  gave 6 pieces (2 each of Horseguard,  Archbishop, and Marshall).  The final piece, the General, combined the knight's move with a Queen.
  3. I'm never too certain about piece values, but feel that on the larger board the knight will drop in value as compared to the rook and bishop.  As a tentative first guess the relative values are: Pawn 1, Knight 3, Bishop 4, Horseguard 5,  Rook 6, Archbishop 7, Marshall 9, Queen 10, General 12.
  4. The name Panchimera roughly translates to "All the conjoined creatures" and is a reference to the fact that this variant uses pieces that combine the Knight with each of the other piece types.


Decimal Panchimera

This subvariant uses a 10x10 board and is very closely related to Charles Gilman's Échecs De L'Escalier (see comments). The main point of difference is my inclusion of the Knight+King(Man) compound. I have designed this variant as 10x10 boards are easier to obtain than 11x12 boards, and I wanted to be able to play Panchimera for real and not just virtually.

The starting array is shown in this next image.

The King may castle subject to the normal FIDE restrictions,
When castling with the a-file Rook,
          the King  moves to the c-file and the Rook moves to the d-file.
When castling with the j-file Rook,
          the King  moves to the h-file and the Rook moves to the g-file.



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By Graeme C Neatham.
Web page created: 2011-03-02. Web page last updated: 2011-03-02