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Subject: A new chess variant a long time in the making rss

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Michael Howe
United States
Cromwell
Connecticut
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Having worked on chess variants for a long time, it think it is time to finally release a new one. This one has evolved over decades by paths too convoluted to describe fully, but the biggest influence was probably Ultima. I know that Pritchard once wrote that "anyone can invent a new chess variant within ten seconds (try it) and unfortunately some people do." Well, this one has taken me 25 years to hit upon, and I can't guarantee even now that I'm completely done tinkering with it. My goals were to design a game with great clarity and plenty of tactics and strategy. There are no hard-to-visualize moves: no crooked leapers, no bent riders, etc. Every piece moves in straight lines and capture and conversion methods give the game its (I hope) interest. I have included the full rules and a screenshot of the board in one of the 1,081,080 different possible starting positions. Comments welcome, including critical ones, provided you're polite. Depending on response, I will also post the orthogonal sister game, Nova Chess (a much cleaner and clearer Nova Chess than one I once withdrew from The Chess Variant Pages). Thanks.





Senary Chess
by Michael Howe
8/1/16

Goal: To checkmate the opposing King. As in chess, this means to threaten the opposing king with unavoidable capture next turn.
Pieces: King, Champion, Hero, Rook, Pawn
Geometry: The board is a tessellation of hexagons. There are 11 columns; columns a, c, e, g, i, and k have 10 hexagons each and the intervening columns have 11, for a total of 115 hexagons. The hexagons may or may not be differentiated by color; it is not strictly necessary since none of the pieces are colorbound. Pieces move in the six directions defined by pass through the edges of the hexagons.
King: Each player has one king. The king moves one space. It captures by displacement the same way that it moves. That is, as in chess, it captures by landing on an opposing unit and occupying that space. When attacked, the player must move his king to a position where it is not attacked. If he cannot do so, it is checkmate and the opponent has won. A player may also never make a move that places in own king under attack; if his only legal moves are those that put his king under attack, it is stalemate and the game is drawn. Three-time repetition of a board position is a draw; when a position is repeated for the third time with the same player to move either player may claim the draw.
Pawn: Each player has 11 pawns. The pawn moves once space directly forward. If it stands on the third hexagon of a column it may slide two hexes forward. When there are no opposing pawns in front of it on the column, the pawn may slide forward any number of empty spaces but must stop on the first space it reaches that is in the capture range of an opposing pawn. Also, a pawn that is adjacent to its king is called an empowered pawn and may move in six directions like the king. The pawn captures as the king: one space by displacement in six directions, but it can never capture backward to a space that is behind the starting position of a pawn. When the pawn reaches the last space of a column, it may promote to any piece held in hand by the opponent (i.e., a previously captured piece). If there are no pieces available, or if the player chooses, the pawn can remain unpromoted. An unpromoted pawn on the last space of a column is called a veteran and it moves and captures like a King and again has the option to promote when it makes any move (i.e., it can promote after moving to a space that is not the last space of a column). If a veteran moves to a space that is not the last space of a column and again chooses not to promote, it once again becomes a pawn. Note that there is no need to substitute a special piece for the pawn when it becomes a veteran because its status is completely determined by the space on which it stands.
Rook: Each player has 7 rooks. A rook moves by sliding any distance in the six directions along empty spaces, ending on a empty or enemy occupied space. It captures by displacement.
Champion: Each player has 3 champions. A champion moves like a rook, but when sliding more than one space it must stop on an empty space. If the next space in line is occupied by an opposing unit, and if a like unit of the opposite color is available off the board (i.e., was previously lost), then the approached unit is replaced by a unit of the same color as the approaching champion. If no such unit is available, then the approach has no effect. Note that this means a player can never have more units of a given type than the number with which he started the game. A champion can capture an adjacent unit by displacement.
Hero: Each player has 5 heroes. A hero moves like a rook and must stop at an empty space. It must also stop at the first space it reaches that is adjacent to one or more opposing units. All opposing units adjacent to the space where the hero stopped are captured.
Starting position: Each players starts with pawns on the third space of the 10-hexagon columns and the 4th space of the 11-hexagon columns. The rest of the pieces are placed randomly and with rotational symmetry (i.e., each player's array is the same left to right from that players perspective). Kings are placed on the first space of the center column or one of the two long columns to the player's right. The rest of the pieces are placed on the first space of each column and the third spaces of the long columns. As in orthodox chess, white moves first.

Example starting position:


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Michael Howe
United States
Cromwell
Connecticut
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Almost forgot. ZRF available for Zillions play if you contact me.

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Michael Howe
United States
Cromwell
Connecticut
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There is a smaller version on 76 cells with 9 pieces and 9 pawns per side. ZRF also available.

 
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Michael Howe
United States
Cromwell
Connecticut
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Anyone know how I can get the image of the board position to display in the original size I uploaded instead of this reduced version?
 
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Russ Williams
Poland
Wrocław
Dolny Śląsk
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designer
mbmbmbmbmb
mhowe wrote:
Anyone know how I can get the image of the board position to display in the original size I uploaded instead of this reduced version?


See Forum formatting or quote my comment to see the code:

original:


medium:
 
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Michael Howe
United States
Cromwell
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Thanks Russ
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