07 December 2012 01:36 | Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
In 1991 I invented a Chess variant that combines Chess with Dots and Boxes. The game is called Connect Score. It is a 8 minute pencil and paper game, for 2 players, ages 12 to adult.
Greetings from Russia!
Mr. Freeling, thanks for your incredible games!
How is the situation with Grand Chess evolution nowadays? Are there some theoretical works about openings, strategy and tactics that could be found around the Net? Maybe fan sites? (besides this one). Is there some signs of progress and onward movement?
Thanks in advance.
25 October 2012 10:26 | Italy
Nice site, congratulations!
I would submit you a small checkers variant, hoping in some suggestions from experts.
It's name is Twin Draughts.
All the rules of standard checkers hold, apart from two major changes:
1) Jumping over a piece: when an opponent's piece is jumped over, either a man or a king, that is not removed from the game. Instead, the player who made the move picks up the jumped piece and moves it to a free square at his choice, but of the opposite color. At the beginning, all pieces are positioned as usual on black squares, but in the following the game evolves in two parallel plays. Those plays are interconnected, since a “capture” made on squares of a color moves the jumped piece on a square of the opposite color. On his turn, a player can choose to move a piece either on the white or on the black squares, unless he is forced to a capture. All the other movement rules remain the same.
2) Goal of the game and scoring: the game is won by the first player that promotes all his men to kings. He will score 20 points (in 20 pieces draughts, 10x10 chessboard) or 12 points (in 12 pieces draughts, 8x8 chessboard). The loser will score one point for each king he has at the end of the game. A match should be composed of an even number of games, to be started alternately by the players. The winner is the player with the highest overall score.
Feel free to make any comment!
A friend and I came up with a new variant loosely based off the open source computer game, Battle for Wesnoth.
I'd like to discuss it with you, if you have the time and interest. I'm not a programmer at all but I'm hoping to meet someone who is and would be interested and intrigued by the project.
Attached is a preliminary description of what I posted in the Wesnoth forum.
Okay here goes. This is my first time writing the rules down formally, since my friend and I have them in our heads.
Basically the main innovation is the pieces. Attached is a spreadsheet of the different pieces. We made the normal chess pieces weaker, and made those level 1 units. As pieces level up through capturing (taking) an enemy piece, they become closer to either their original chess counterparts, or to unique pieces.
The level one pawn is a regular chess pawn. If it takes one piece, it can either become a black-checker level 2 or a red-checker level 2. (called such because we designate by putting a red or black checker beneath the piece.) A black level 2 pawn can also take directly in front of him, in addition to the two forward diagonals. If it takes a second piece, it becomes a black level 3 pawn, able to take the three squares that a black level 2 pawn can take in addition to two squares directly in front of him, making 4 attack squares total. It can also move one or two spaces forward each turn.
The red level 2 pawn can move one square backward in addition to the one square forward that a level 1 pawn moves, and it can take diagonally backward as well. The level 3 red pawn can also move one square sideways in either direction.
The level one bishop is a chess bishop that moves one square at a time. The level 2 black bishop moves two squares and the level 3 black is a regular bishop.
The level 2 red bishop can no longer move one square directly diagonal, but instead jumps over a square in any direction. So it can jump over a piece, whether friendly or enemy, and land two squares away, either forward, backward, sideways or diagonally forward or backward. Like regular chess pieces, this piece takes upon landing or by displacement, as do all chessnoth pieces unless specified otherwise.
The level 3 red pawn moves like the level 2, but can take either the piece it lands on, or the one it jumps over. It can only take the piece it jumps over if there is no piece on the square that it lands on. If there is a piece in that square, it can only take that piece.
The level 1 knights are basically half regular chess nights. The red one moves 1 forward or backward and 2 to either side, the black one moves 2 forward or backward and one to the side.
When a level 1 knight takes a piece, it becomes a regular chess knight. If a level 2 (ie regular) knight takes 3 pieces, it becomes a double-knight, capable of moving and taking the equivalent of a double chess knight move. So it can move to one square as a regular knight and then move again as a regular knight, all as one move. The only proviso is that the first move must be available/open/free. This piece is scary.
The level 1 rook moves like a regular rook but only 1 square. The level 2 black rook moves 2 squares. The level 3 black rook moves like a regular rook.
The level 2 red rook is a moving wall. It moves like a regular rook but can't take or be taken. It can however be pushed off the side of the board by a pusher. It doesn't level up.
The pusher moves like a regular chess king, but it doesn't capture. It pushes an enemy piece next to it one square in the same direction, and moves into the space of the piece that it's pushing. The level 2 red pusher does the same but can push an enemy piece without moving itself. The level 2 black pusher can also push friendly pieces. The pusher captures by pushing a piece off the edge of the board.
The Man is a non-royal King. It moves and takes like a King. If it takes 2 pieces it can become either a Prince (level 2 red) which moves and takes the same but can become Royal and replace the King if necessary. (a backup king) or a level 2 black Man, which moves 2 squares in any direction.
If a pawn gets to the last rank it can become a regular chess queen, or a Mage, which moves like a king or can switch places with any piece, friendly or enemy.
Every piece has a gold cost. We usually play that you can only recruit level one units. If we play "age of heroes," then you can recruit level 2's. I have costs for level 3 units but I didn't include them on this chart yet, as we haven't yet played with recruiting them.
The board in chessnoth is highly variable. We usually play on a 10x6 board if we're using level 1's, or a 6x6 for a faster game. If we're using Age of Heroes, we'll play on a 10x8, 10x10 or something else. Part of the fun is that you can play on a different board every game. You can also use different shapes or multiple levels of boards, as in Alice Chess, where pieces switch from board to board each move. There's a lot of ideas on the website: www.chessvariants.org
We generally start with a certain amount of gold, and/or make income squares, much like the villages in Wesnoth. Whoever has a unit on the square may get 1 gold a turn. or two squares may be required to be occupied to get a single gold. Or you may get 1 gold a turn as long as the king is on his keep. We play around with this.
Either we designate a keep, like the three central squares of the starting row, in which the King can recruit, or we give the King the power to recruit to the square directly behind him. The basic principle is the same as Wesnoth--a limited area into which new pieces can be bought and placed. Pieces generally don't move the turn that they're recruited. We often make the Prince able to recruit as well. Sometimes the keep is the entire starting row. We also sometimes create additional keeps on the board and/or allow the King to recruit in the enemy's keep if he gets there.
That's the gist of it!