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Redistribution 3d Chess

Introduction

If you found this variant under the "small" category you may be thinking "96 squares, small?" Well they're not squares, they're cubes, and 96 of them is indeed small for a 3d variant - far smaller, for example, than Raumschach's 125, on which most subsequent 3d variants expand considerably. The largest dimension here is 6 and the smallest 4. Although The Short-range Project has concentrated on 2d, and specifically square-cell, boards it is exactly short-range pieces that are best suited to keeping down the number of cubic cells.

This variant is, however, a showcase for pieces that make both one- and two-step moves in each of two kinds of radial. After discovering that there has been a history of the compound of Prince and Alibaba being termed a Pasha, I decided that while combining two component piece names, as with those marked * below, was all very well combining four was going a bit far. Pasha made for a far more elegant piece names than my alternative, so I devised nine other similarly exotic (from a European viewpoint) names for symmetric pieces of the same kind and ten names for their forward-only counterparts. My piece articles Man and Beast 06: The Heavy Brigade and Man and Beast 17: Hex Heavies introduce these names for pieces available on the cubic geometry and those specific to the hex-prism one respectively.

Paradoxically none of these pieces appear in the array. My way of introducing them was based on Fergus Duniho's Fusion Chess, but with a twist. Just imagine if, in Fusion Chess, having combined a Rook and Bishop into a Queen, you could then split them into different components: into stepping forms of the Alibarider and Harlequin, or Prince and Fagin, or Wafflon and Fezbaon (see Man and Beast 06); or into Huntress and Hawker, or Hawkress and Hunter (see Man and Beast 12: Alternative Fronts); or yet other components? Well here you can - not with those long-range 2d pieces, but with short-range 3d ones. It is this quality that gives this variant its name. With the exception of the three-component Emperor each piece must have an even number of components. Two two-component pieces can, with some restrictions such as having no common component, combine into a four-component piece which can then split into any of the three possible pairs of components.

Setup

The ranks are six 4x4 squares numbered from 1, White's camp, to 6, Black's camp. The middle four start empty. The files are sixteen 6-cell orthogonals lettered a-d on the top row, e-h below that, ad so on. Each player's pieces are arranged on their camp as follows:

 --------- --------- --------- ---------
|a Baron  |b Dybbuk |c Duke   |d Elk    |
 --------- --------- --------- ---------
|e Alibaba|f Vinnock|g Emperor|h Prince |
 --------- --------- --------- ---------
|i Prince |j Wazbaba|k Fearful|l Alibaba|
 --------- --------- --------- ---------
|m Elk    |n Duke   |o Dybbuk |p Baron  |
 --------- --------- --------- ---------

Pieces

Components cannot exist as individual pieces in this variant.
The WAZIR moves one step along any of the 6 orthogonal.
The FERZ moves one step along any of the 12 standard (root-2) diagonals.
The VICEROY moves one step along any of the 8 nonstandard (root-3) diagonals, commonly called triagonals. Its name refers to its attachment to a King forming an Emperor.
The DABBABA moves exactly two steps along any of the 6 orthogonal.
The ELEPHANT moves exactly two steps along any of the 12 standard (root-2) diagonals.
The EUNUCH moves exactly two steps along any of the 8 nonstandard (root-3) diagonals. Its name combines the initial of Elephant, the sound of the longer-range nonstandard-diagonal piece the Unicorn, and its weakness as a piece.
This variant's Dabbaba, Elephant, and Eunuch are leaping versions, not blocked by a piece on the halfway cell.

Array pieces cannot be split further, but can generally be combined with certain other pieces.
The EMPEROR is unique in this variant. It can move one step along any of all 26 radials, and must be kept out of Check. It could be considered a compound of the FIDE King and the Viceroy. It cannot be combined with other pieces. Its name refers to it being a stronger version of the King.
The PRINCE, compound of Wazir and Ferz, can be combined only with the Alibaba. It has been known by various names but this one is close to the translation of its Japanese name of Taishi.
The DUKE, compound of Wazir and Viceroy, can be combined only with the Dybbuk. Its name is part of a themed group of pieces mixing these kinds of directions.
The WAZBABA, compound of Wazir and Dabbaba, can be combined with the Fearful or the Vinnock. *
The BARON, compound of Ferz and Viceroy, can be combined only with the Elk. Its name is part of a themed group of pieces mixing these kinds of directions.
The FEARFUL, compound of Ferz and Elephant, can be combined with the Wazbaba or the Vinnock. *
The VINNOCK, compound of Viceroy amd Eunuch, can be combined with the Wazbaba or the Fearful. *
The ALIBABA, compound of Dabbaba and Elephant, can be combined only with the Prince. *
The DYBBUK, compound of Dabbaba and Eunuch, can be combined only with the Duke. *
The ELK, compound of Elephant and Eunuch, can be combined only with the Baron. *

Quadruple compounds cannot be combined further, but can be split into any combination of two-component pieces.
The PASHA, compound of Wazir/Ferz/Dabbaba/Elephant, can be split into Prince and Alibaba, Wazbaba and Fearful, or Waffle and Fezbaba.
The KHAN, compound of Wazir/Viceroy/Dabbaba/Eunuch, can be split into Duke and Dybbuk, Wazbaba and Vinnock, or Wazzock and Vicbaba.
The IMAM, compound of Ferz/Viceroy/Elephant/Eunuch, can be split into Baron and Elk, Fearful and Vinnock, or Fezzock and Wilful.

Crossover pieces form from splitting quadruples differently from how they were formed. These cannot be split further, but can be combined with certain other pieces.
The WAFFLE, compound of Wazir and Elephant, can be combined only with the Fezbaba. *
The WAZZOCK, compound of Wazir and Eunuch, can be combined only with the Vicbaba. *
The FEZBABA, compound of Ferz and Dabbaba, can be combined only with the Waffle. *
The FEZZOCK, compound of Ferz and Eunuch, can be combined only with the Wilful. *
The VICBABA, compound of Viceroy and Dabbaba, can be combined only with the Wazzock. *
The WILFUL, compound of Viceroy and Elephant, can be combined only with the Fezzock. *

Rules

For obvious reasons there is no initial double-step move, En Passant, or Castling. There is also no promotion.

As well as the usual moves to an empty or enemy-occupied cell, the latter capturing the enemy, a two-component piece can move to a cell occupied by a compatible two-component ally. This move combines the two pieces into the piece with all four moves. On a later move the player can then use this piece using any of the four moves. They also have the choice move just two components of it to an empty cell, using the move of one of those components, leaving the other two behind. The two two-component pieces need not be the two from the quadruple compound was originally formed.

Check, Checkmate, and Stalemate are as usual.



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By Charles Gilman.
Web page created: 2010-03-27. Web page last updated: 2010-03-27