By Jean-Yves Boulay
IntroductionThe Toddler® is a large chess variant whose moves extend the usual chess moves. The pieces protect each other in an unprecedented number of ways. Other interesting features include a different promotion rule for Soldiers (into a piece which is allowed to move twice in a row) and the interdiction for the most mobile pieces (the Phenixes) to capture each other.
Board and Setup
The Toddler® is played on an 11 x 11 board.
The lines are numbered from 1 to 11 starting from top, and the columns from A to K.
- The Toddler is the royal piece. It is the child of two other pieces, the Emperor and the Empress. The minor Toddler moves as a non-capturing King as long as one of his parents is still on the Board. It may also trade positions with one of its Nurses (with no limit on the number of exchanges). When both its parents have been captured, the Toddler becomes major. It may now capture, but cannot trade positions with a Nurse any longer.
- The Emperor moves as a Queen.
- The Empress also moves as a Queen. When the Emperor and the Empress see each other, the Empress cannot be captured. Besides, being a protective mother, the Empress can always reach a square adjacent to the Toddler's square, even if that square is occupied by an enemy piece (though not by a friendly piece).
- The Guardian Angel moves as a non-capturing Queen. It prevents adjacent friendly pieces from being captured. It can be captured only when it is threatened by two enemy pieces.
When the two Guardian Angels are adjacent, all the pieces of the game are protected from capture.
- The Genius also moves as a non-capturing Queen. It prevents adjacent enemy pieces from capturing. It can be captured only when it is threatened by two enemy pieces.
When the two Geniuses are adjacent, all the pieces of the game are protected from capture.
- The Phoenix has a move which generalizes the move of the Knight. It captures like the Knight, but jumps without capturing to any non-adjacent square of different color.
Animal solidarity prevents a Phoenix from capturing a Phoenix.
- The Android has the move of a bifurcating Rook. It starts with a neutral Rook's move, followed by a (capturing or non-capturing) Rook's move in the orthogonal direction. (It doesn't matter whether the enemy Genius is adjacent to the bifurcating square.) It may also move and capture as a regular Rook.
- The Nurse moves as a Bishop. It may freely trade positions with its minor Toddler.
- The Soldier is an omni-directionnal Quadra-Pawn. It moves neutrally one square orthogonally, but captures one square diagonally. A Soldier doesn't promote when it reaches the end of the Board, but when a Soldier captures a piece other than a Soldier or a Captain, it then becomes a Captain.
- The Captain moves as a Soldier, but is also allowed a capturing diagonal move followed by a non-capturing orthogonal move, or a non-capturing orthogonal move followed by a capturing diagonal move. (In the latter case, it doesn't matter whether the enemy Genius is adjacent to the bifurcating square.)
A player always has the right to pass his turn.
When both players have passed in succession, or when a Toddler which was not in check reaches a square adjacent to the other Toddler's square, the game is a draw. (It doesn't matter whether the Toddler is now in check.)
ContactThe Toddler® is copyrighted and waits for a publisher. The copyright has been registered at the site copyrightdepot.com and at the French Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle (INPI). A complete translation of the rules is available here. For further information, visit the author's web site (in French).