Not for the Faint-Hearted

From Variant Chess, Volume 3, Issue 26, Winter 1997-8, page 118
and Volume 3, Issue 28, Summer 1998, page 155

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Hero Chess
by Peter Wood

Hero Chess, which is being played through Eteroscacco , is another of the inventions of Michael Howe of Middletown, Connecticut, USA, some of which were mentioned in this department in VC 23 p.51. This is another of the many games played on a 10×10 board.

The initial position is first rank DLRCHHCRLD; second rank = PPPBNNBPPP; third rank = 2PPPPPP2. Players are free to experiment with different initial positions.

The rules of orthodox chess are in effect in addition to the following rules.

(1) The Grand Duke (D) moves one square in any direction, like a chess King.
(2) The kingdom must always have at least one Duke and at least one subject.
Therefore, to win, a player must first capture one of the opponent`s Dukes and then checkmate or stalemate the other, (stalemate is a win, not a draw as in orthodox chess). A player can also win by reducing the opponent to one or two Dukes with no other friendly units. When a player has only one Duke remaining, the rules regarding check and mate are in effect for that Duke.

The other pieces move as follows:

(3) The Rook ( R) is an orthodox Rook.
(4) The Bishop ( B) combines an orthodox Bishop with a 1-square Rook.
(5) The Knight ( N) is a combined {2,3} and {3,4} leaper [ Zebra+Antelope in fairy chess terms ].
(6) The Cavalier ( C) is a combined {2,4} and {2,5} leaper.
(7) The Hero ( H) has the combined moves of the R, B, N, and C in this game.
(8) The Lion ( L) may make one or two consecutive one-square moves in any direction or combination of directions, and it may pass over other units of either colour on the first move in order to reach a square beyond. It may capture on either or both parts of its move. The move is considered unitary, so that it may leave a Duke in apparent check if the Duke is out of check by the end of the move.
(9) Pawns move one forward orthogonally or diagonally and capture one forward diagonally; no double-step or e.p.; promotion on the 10th rank to any piece except Duke.
(10) There is no castling.

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Twenty-First Century Chess
by George Jelliss

Having a column to fill, and this being my last issue as Editor, I thought I would revisit my proposals for a new version of chess for the next century and millenium. The basic idea of it is to employ all the R, B, and N-line riders and hoppers. An account of this game first appeared in the composite article ‘Enlarging on Chess' in Variant Chess issue 6, page 70. No diagram was given there, so here it is for the first time. The board I made for the purpose has four different colours for the cells, the dark cells being alternately blue and green, and the light cells alternately orange and yellow, but normal chequering is sufficient.

The back-row pieces are riders, thus the knights represent nightriders, the inverted rooks represent rook+nightrider, and the inverted bishops represent bishop+nightrider. A pawn promoting on the king-square becomes the remaining combination: queen+nightrider, which would be shown as an inverted queen.

The second-row pieces, shown by the same symbols as the riders but rotated 90° anticlockwise, are corresponding hoppers of the grasshopper type (i.e. moving to and capturing on the first cell beyond the first piece in the line of movement). Note that the grasshopper in front of the queen is shown by a sideways symbol, not by the usual inverted queen.

The King is the only piece (apart from pawns) that is neither rider nor hopper, and the piece in front of the King is an equihopper (originally these were lions, which sound more poetically appropriate but are too powerful).

The pawns are given the option of making the double forward move at any time, not just on their first move, and this move is always subject to en passant capture if it takes the pawn over a cell guarded by an opposing pawn. Pawns promote on the two far ranks and promotion is to the value of the piece that occupied the promotion square initially, except for promotion on the king-cell as mentioned above.

The files can be randomised. Castling is of kings with rooks (not other rook-movers) and follows the rules explained in my article on Fully Randomised Chess.

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