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Royal Amazon Chess

Introduction

Royal Amazon Chess is the result of wondering how much is a piece weakened by being royal. So the Queen was made royal and promoted to an Amazon (Queen + Knight).

Setup

Setup is the same as for Orthochess, except that Queens are replaced by Royal Amazons.
Royal Amazon Chess Setup.

Rules

The rules of Royal Amazon Chess are identical to those for Orthochess except that the Queens are replaced by Royal Amazons. Royal Amazons move like Queens or Knights. They are subject to check and mate as are Kings, and thus can not enter or remain in an attacked square. They may, however, pass through an attacked square. A Royal Amazon will offer check to another royal piece, even if that royal piece is defended.

The King is still royal as well, so each side has two royal pieces.

A Pawn may promote to the usual Knight, Bishop, Rook or Queen, but not to a Royal Amazon.

Sample Game

Played by e-mail between Peter Aronson and Tony Quintanilla, 2005-2006.
1. Amazon d1 - c3
1... Pawn g7 - g6
2. Amazon c3 x h8
2... Knight g8 - f6
3. Pawn b2 - b3
3... Pawn d7 - d5
4. Bishop c1 - b2
4... Pawn d5 - d4
5. Pawn d2 - d3
5... Knight b8 - c6
6. Knight b1 - d2
6... Bishop c8 - f5
7. Knight g1 - f3
7... Pawn e7 - e5
8. Pawn e2 - e4
8... Bishop f5 - g4
9. Bishop f1 - e2
9... Amazon d8 - e7
10. Pawn c2 - c3
10... King e8 - c8 Rook a8 - d8
11. Pawn c3 x d4
11... Bishop f8 - h6

Variants

The Royal Amazon army vs the standard Orthochess array makes for an interesting match, and allows comparison of the strength of the Royal Amazon as compares to the usual Queen.

Conclusions

It is surprising how much weaker the Royal Amazon feels than a Queen, even allowing it to move through attacked squares. As can be seen from the above sample game, using it to attack is almost certain to be a lethal mistake. I rather doubt that the variant with Royal Amazon vs Queen is balanced -- I think the side with the Queen will have a distinct advantage.


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By Peter Aronson.
Web page created: 2006-02-28. Web page last updated: 2006-02-28