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The Chess Variant Pages

This page is written by the game's inventor, Charles Gilman.

Basic Bestiary

This variant puts an extra border around the Wildebeest Chess array much as Wildeurasian Bestiary does the Wildeurasian Qi one, adding longer-range leapers grouped as two each of colourswitching and colourbound duals and one of the triangulating compound. They are placed to complement the diagonal Bishops with close-to-orthogonal colourbound pieces on the left, and the close-to-orthogonal Camels with close-to-diagonal colourbound pieces on the right. As Wildebeest has a larger board (despite smaller armies) than Wildeurasian, Basic Bestiary has a larger one than WEA Bestiary.

I planned this to be a one-off fill-in, but the larger-board-smaller-army paradox inspired me to consider a second variant filling the empty back-rank cells. This suggested another pairing but of pieces neither of which were colourbound, so I settled on two Bent Riders and their compound. This also inspired a name for the second variant just as alliterative as the basic one.





Pieces in both variants:
The KING moves one step in any radial direction and must be kept out of Check.
The PAWN moves one step forward at a time, diagonally if capturing otherwise orthogonally.
+=The ROOK moves any distance through empty intermediate cells in any of the 4 orthogonal directions, and the BISHOP does likewise in the 4 diagonal directions. The QUEEN is the compound of these two, moving in all 8 directions.
+=The KNIGHT leaps to any of the 8 cells 2:1 away from it, and the CAMEL to any of the 8 cells 3:1 away from it. The GNU is the compound of these two and can leap to all 16 cells. None of these pieces can be blocked.
+=The ZEBRA leaps to any of the 8 cells 3:2 away from it, and the ZEMEL to any of the 8 cells 5:1 away from it. The ZEBU is the compound of these two and can leap to all 16 cells. None of these pieces can be blocked.
+=The GIRAFFE leaps to any of the 8 cells 4:1 away from it, and the GIMEL to any of the 8 cells 5:3 away from it. The GURU is the compound of these two and can leap to all 16 cells. None of these pieces can be blocked.
Pieces specific to Bentback Bestiary:
+=The ANCHORITE, GRYPHON, and GORGON each move one step to an empty square, turn through 45°, and then move like a FIDE linepiece through zero or more empty intermediate squares. The Anchorite moves orthogonally and then diagonally, so that its shortest move is that of the Mao and its next shortest that of the Korean Elephant. It is colourswitching. The Gryphon moves diagonally and then orthogonally, so that its shortest move is that of the Moa. The Gorgon is the compound of the two and can do either.


Initial Pawn moves, En Passant, and Castling are as in Wildebeest Chess.

An unpromoted Pawn may be promoted on reaching...
* the enemy Pawn rank, optionally to any colourbound array piece;
* the enemy Pawn rank, in the case of Bentback Bestiary, optionally to a Gryphon;
* the enemy King rank, optionally to a Rook or any colourswitching array piece;
* the far rank, compulsorily to any array piece that is the compound of two other array pieces.
Once promoted, it may not be promoted any further.

Check, Checkmate, and Stalemate are as in FIDE Chess.

This 'user submitted' page is a collaboration between the posting user and the Chess Variant Pages. Registered contributors to the Chess Variant Pages have the ability to post their own works, subject to review and editing by the Chess Variant Pages Editorial Staff.

By Charles Gilman.
Web page created: 2006-08-27. Web page last updated: 2018-07-23