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Triana

Introduction

This game combines the variation of Diana with that of Chess for 3, 3 Handed Chess, 3 Player Chess, and Yalta. The first reduces a board to 9/16 its side, and the second increases it to 1½ times its size, so the net effect is to reduce it to 27/32 FIDE size - in other words, 54 cells. I have long given up hope of a 54-cell contest any time soon!

Its origins lie in looking into the idea of a 3-player variant that can use the pieces of a single Shogi set, albeit on a purpose-built board rather than a Shogi one. Shogi's 9 Points aside represent 6 Pawns aside, other forward-only pieces represent their symmetric versions, and Silvers Bishops. One army - it matters little which one - uses Shogi's own Rooks and Bishops to represent themselves. Golds represent Kings as I judge this simpler than having just one Gold stand in for the one King that a Shogi King can't represent.

Other variants of mine with a 6-cell centre are the "standard" 96-cell Fiancé Chess and the larger Triple Crown.

Setup

Pieces

As in FIDE Chess, minus the Queen and with only one Knight aside. Bishops, and Queens moving as Bishops, can move through the centre to either cell of the same colour, but no piece can go straight across to the far cell of the opposite colour.

Rules

There is no double-step initial move, En Passant, or Castling.

Pawn promotion is to Rook (the most likely, and therefore by flipping over), Bishop (replacement by the Shogi King if no Bishops captured), or Knight (replacement by the spare Helm). It is on either far rank and is required.

Despite the use of Shogi pieces there is no return from capture, except in exchange to mark the promotions described above, and no "crowning" of Bishops or Rooks.

A player is Checkmated when their King is threatened by the player about to move. That player's pieces are removed - the logical choice given the 2/3 initial piece density - and the Checkmating player takes the next move. Whichever of the two remaining players Checkmates the other wins.

Notes

Does Kennet's prior existence make Triana a retrograde step? I would say no, as they do different things. Triana adapts a simple and long-standing small variant to 3 players, whereas Kennet adapts a more recent and complex one with non-FIDE pieces and River restrictions.

The Triana board and set can also be used for 3-player versions of Los Alamos Chess (no Bishops), Haynie's Primary Chess (no Knights), and Minerva (no Kings, one Knight), but as with Kennet the substitutions are less intuitive. A 3-player version of Electra needs to match the Rook-Wing and Bishop-Silver equivalences with a King-Helm one to represent two Knights aside. I challenge anyone to devise a way of using a Shogi set for a 3-player Alapo, which also requires distinction between front-rank pieces.



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By Charles Gilman.
Web page created: 2011-02-26. Web page last updated: 2011-02-26