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The Chess Variant Pages

This page is written by the game's inventor, George Duke.

Flying Dutchman

Flying Dutchman is legendary ship lost at Sea. Flying_Dutchman.

The additional win condition is to get one of a piece-type to opponent backrank location. Other Chess-like race games

are both Football Chesses, Maxima, Tamerspiel and Closing Time. The latter conversely has an exclusion zone not a target square,

the one suggesting the other. (Others with race feature in win condition include Center of Attention...)

Unique in Flying Dutchman is that either of a single piece-type to specified square wins, and that when captured,

that piece called the Flying Dutchman, does not leave the board if the other F. D. has been captured already.


Standard array and moves in R-N-B-Q-K-B-N-R.

Determine by lots or dice which of the three piece-types is Flying Dutchman. Since Black and

White are always distinguishable in Chess as to first move, there are the nine possible match-ups: Rook versus Rook,

R-Knight, R-Bishop, Bishop-R, B-N, B-B, Knight-R, N-N, and N-B. Then determine randomly too one

square in each backrank to be the Port. The only exclusion shall be that when Rook is

Flying Dutchman, the opposite Port cannot be in the same file; Rook must have

its Port at one of the other six squares of distant rank 8(1). One's

one-square Port is located at opponent backrank.


Regular six Pawn, Queen, King, Bishop, Knight, Rook.


Turns alternate as usual until either of the two win conditions obtain: (1) Checkmate; (2) arrival of Flying Dutchman into Port.

The second win condition has this example. Suppose Black's Flying Dutchman is Knight and the Port

is g1. If either Black Knight lands on g1 legally, that is capturing opponent piece other

than King or moving to empty g1, Black wins. It does not matter if that Knight, as Flying

Dutchman, can immediately be captured or not. Flying

Dutchman to Port wins immediately. The two win conditions are on equal footing,

so any check must be cleared first before victory by Arrival in Port.

Checkmate and capturing are normal, as are Pawn modes in divergence of move and

capture and en passant. However, once either of a side's Flying Dutchmen has

been captured and taken off board, the remaining Flying Dutchman will

always remain on board. That is, once down to the one Flying Dutchman, when and

each time it is captured, it returns to Sea. Sea is the captured Flying Dutchman's backrank,

and there is specific square each time to place the capturee indicated as

follows. In the example of Black Knight as Flying Dutchman, and the one left such

Knight captured, the piece is placed, regardless which of the two array squares it originated,

from left to right, to g8 if vacant, or to b8 if g8 is occupied, or if both those are

occupied, to in turn h8, f8, e8, d8, c8, a8 in strict order of availability. Vast majority

of instances there will be empty square placement by the second or third in the

sequence if not first. An example from White's side could have Rook Flying Dutchman, one

of them captured and then placed in the first empty square in order: a1, h1, b1, c1, d1, e1, f1, g1.

The logic is to place the captured piece, that will always remain on board, to its piece-type's

array square as first choice or farther in general from King initial position,

therefore left to right sequence as second choice.


In Russia historically Rooks are Ships.


2007_Form. Strategy will be to balance the two threats, checkmate and Flying Dutchman penetrating Port.

Probably Pawns will have more one-step openings and Pawns in front of the Port may not be moved at all or only

one or two up, to guard against easy access.

Because of the return to Sea upon each capture once there is just one, Flying

Dutchman may well be captured several or many times in midgame and endgame. There

is potential for considerable mayhem this stage since the piece can capture

and not be permanently removed. There will have been tactical play to bunch

pieces up in anticipation of this Phantom Stage of endless reappearance --

to liken to the real-life maritime mirage or ghost.

It would appear games will be of shorter duration, estimating to be just 20

or 25 moves on average versus Orthodox Chess unelaborated (f.i.d.e. and Chessbase-style)

typical 40 or 45 moves per game average.

Yet as said, so much as reaching the Port wins, and should be the preferred win objective

than complicating Checkmate combinations, and perhaps the immortal F. D. phase will not

so often be reached in favor of quick move to port by Moves 15 or 20.

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 George William Duke.
Web page created: 2015-12-02. Web page last updated: 2015-12-02