Where Eagles Fly
Where Eagles Fly is a chess variant inspired by Karl Schultz' game Hunter Falcon Chess (1943). The Falcon piece in this game moves in an interesting Y pattern that seemed like it would make a good variant theme.
The game is played on a 9x9 board. Each player has nine Robins located on the second rank. The remaining pieces are on the first rank. From the left corner to the right: Two Hawks, two Eagles, one Condor (the royal piece), two Eagles, and two Hawks.
The Condor is the royal piece. It moves as an FIDE Chess King, with all the usual limitations (no moving into check, etc.).
The Eagle is the long range piece. It moves forward as a Bishop and backward as a Rook.
The Hawk is the leaping piece. It moves two or three squares diagonally forward or straight backward, leaping over occupied squares.
The Robin is the Pawn equivalent. It moves a single square diagonally forward or straight backward.
A Robin on the second rank may move two squares diagonally forward provided that both squares are empty and the first square is not attacked by an enemy Robin. It is not required that the Robin has never moved; as long as it is on the second rank it may take the double step.
A Robin reaching the ninth rank may but is not required to promote to any piece its owner has lost. A Robin which moves to the ninth rank without promoting cannot promote in place on a later turn: it must move off the ninth rank and back to the ninth rank on a subsequent turn in order to promote.
Excepting the Robin's double step, all pieces capture exactly as they move.
There is no castling.
All FIDE Chess rules concerning checkmate, stalemate, repetition, 50-move rule, etc. apply to Where Eagles Fly.
If a player moves his Condor to the center square of the board, he wins. This winning move must be legal: it is not allowable to move into check in order to take the center square.
Where Eagles Fly is a rather simple game concept that worked out rather well. All the non-royal pieces share some variation of the Y-move of Schultz' Falcon. The comparative poorness in retreating make for a fairly fierce attacking game.
The victory by taking the center square is the most common case: checkmates are fairly rare. This does not imply quick, easy victories: winning tends to occur after a protracted fight for the center. Also the threat of checkmate is often used to clear the way to the center.
The focus on the center is higher than in FIDE Chess, but the flanks are by no means useless. It is often quite useful to station an Eagle or two on the flanks where they can exert pressure on the center while remaining a safe distance from it.
This game has no connection whatever to George Duke's Falcon Chess. Where Eagles Fly does not use a piece named Falcon nor any piece having the move of Mr. Duke's Falcon. Karl Schultz' use of the name Falcon for his piece and game predate the Falcon Chess patent by over 50 years and cannot constitute an infringement of any patent, copyright, or trademark held by Mr. Duke; therefor my citation of Mr. Schultz' game cannot infringe anything.
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By Michael Nelson.
Web page created: 2008-01-19. Web page last updated: 2008-01-19