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Strong Yang

Introduction

This is the 169-cell variant that I mentioned having trouble with on the Long Yang page. It has much in common with Long Yang, in that applies the Nearlydouble principle to Yang Qi. The board, however, differs in number of both ranks and files, and so warrants its own page.

As I said, 13² would have the advantage of accommodating all the Rooks, Bishops, and Arrows on the back rank - an advantage not applying to Knights due to the effect of a large board on those anyway and need to strengthen them. With no River, the odd number of ranks does not matter unduly. I finally managed to deal with Pawns in a manner evolving smoothly from my arrrangement of the second rank. Having front and back Pawns every three files starting at the end ones instead of, as Long Yang and Yang Qi have them, every two, and middle Pawns on the rest, gave 2x5+8=18 Pawns, the upper limit for a Nearlydouble of a 9-Pawn variant.

That just left the matter of a name. What I noted about this variant was that, relative to Long Yang, there was an extra piece aside on a smaller board. This made for a more concentrated strength. The balance of dimensions also suggested someone being big because of a strong build as against mere height. So I decided to keep up the end-of-word alliteration with Strong Yang.

A related group of Nearlydouble variants added since are those based on the Shogi set.

Setup

Pieces

As enlargement weakens the Knight compared to other pieces, I enhance it to the CATAPULT of other Nearlydouble variants by adding the 3:0 leap, as unblockable as the 2:1 one. Other pieces are the same as in Yang Qi.

Rules

Pawns have progressively weaker optional double-step moves from the third to fifth ranks.
Pawns on the third have the Trident option, of two noncapturing steps orthogonally forward or two captures diagonally forward but not a mixture.
Pawns on the fourth have the European option, of two noncapturing steps orthogonally forward only.
Pawns on the fifth 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. By the time a Pawn can capture En Passant its own double-step moves have run out, so it cannot do so as part of a double-step move of its own.

There is no Castling but there is the Yang Qi King swap extended, if both pieces are in their camp, to pieces a (FIDE) Knight or Alibaba move away from the King as well as adjacent. Pawns can never participate in such a swap, in or out of camp.

Pawns ending a move within the enemy camp can be promoted to any piece captured by the enemy. If there are no such pieces, Pawns cannot be promoted and cannot move to the far rank, although they can still put the enemy King on that rank in Check by being diagonally adjacent.

Check, Checkmate, and Stalemate are as usual.

Notes

Just as Yang Qi can be played with a Shogi set (a Xiang Qi set has too sparse a front rank), matching piece for piece (except with Shogi's Rook and Bishop representing a single piece type), so Long Yang can be played with most of two Shogi sets. It can also be played with two identical FIDE sets, with each piece as itself, plus two Pawns and the non-Pawns of a smaller FIDE set, with for example its King/Queen/Rooks as Cannons and Bishops/Knights as Arrows.



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By Charles Gilman.
Web page created: 2007-05-28. Web page last updated: 2016-04-01