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Subject: Korean Chess-based Variant for the Game of Amazons rss

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William McGruder
South Korea
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I just "discovered" The Game of the Amazons last year and was immediately fascinated by it. Living in Korea, I'm surrounded by people who play Go (called Ba-Duk here) and by many more who play Korean Chess (Jang-Gi). Luckily, I play both and have for many years.

Well, I prefer playing board games on actual boards instead of paper or cardboard. Go boards are plentiful and have a Korean Chess board on the reverse.

The Go board is just a bit too big, being 19x19 lines or 18x18 squares. My Korean friends and I have opted to use the Korean Chess board, but we ignore the diagonal lines in the Fortress. That gives us a board of 8x9 spaces. We give each player four queens and use Go stones for the arrows. The two sides are Red and Green, with Red starting. The starting points for the Queens are:

Red: A3, C1, F1, H3
Green: A7, C9, F9, H7

I got to thinking about the rules for Korean Chess since we were using the Chariots and the Cannons for our Amazons. The Cannon moves just like the Chariot except for two important distinctions: (1) it can only move or capture by jumping one and only one other piece, (2) it cannot jump over or capture another Cannon.

So, I decided to try a variant as described here:

1. Each player has two Chariots and two Cannons. He places them at his choice on the starting squares listed above.

2. The standard rules of Amazons apply with the following exceptions: The Chariots move just like the standard Amazon; the Cannon may move by leaping one and only one Chariot or Arrow but may not leap another Cannon. When placing the Cannon's Arrow, the Arrow must also leap either a Chariot or another Arrow; it may not leap a Cannon.

3. Further variations:

a. A Cannon (and its Arrow) may leap over another Cannon.
b. A Cannon's Arrow may not leap, but must be played as the standard Amazons Arrow.
c. A Cannon's Arrow may be played by either the standard move or by leaping.
d. Use the Chinese Chess rules for the Cannon and its Arrow. In other words, the Cannon moves as the standard Amazon and its Arrow must leap over another Cannon/Chariot/Arrow.

My friends and I are currently debating the "No ties possible" rule. It seems to us to be a tad unfair. We've agreed that if the 1st player is the one unable to play when there is no difference in territory between the two players, then it is a win by zero for the second player. If it is the second player who is unable to play when there is no difference in territory between the two players, then it is a tie game.
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