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The Chess Variant Pages

This page is written by the game's inventor, Daniel MacDuff.


Mercury is a planet of rapid change.  It rotates on its axis six times a year, and each turn brings with it dramatic temperature differences.  It has a 600°C (1020°F) temperature difference between night and day.  Because of this, many of the creatures of Mercury have very distinct night and day subspecies which are quite independent.


You will need an 8x8 board with the corner squares and the squares orthogonally adjacent to them marked as rim squares and the four middle squares in the center of the board marked as the apartment.

You set up the pieces as follows:


There are four piece types.
Magnetoids- Floating balls of iron that surf the magnetic fields, these beings must be careful to stay in their temperature range.  They move as a Rook forwards and backwards, but as a Wazir from side to side.  These are the only pieces that can enter rim squares, and they cannot capture there.  If they wander into the wrong time zone, they are removed from play.
Sneakies- These short scramblers scurry across the ground, running from time.  They move as Queens but do not capture.  However, any non-Sneaky piece adjacent to the Sneaky may move with it, so long as they do not pass through the wrong time (if they do, they face the effects).  Sneakies, when they are in the wrong time, must move.
Crunchers- These strange beings are large collections of gravel that have adapted to changes in temperature. They move and capture as Kings, but can rifle capture as Zebras.  If they do a Zebra capture, the player may place a new Cruncher (of the time of the one that captured) there. When they are in the wrong time, they cannot move.
Royal Cruncher- These are the elected heads-of-slate of the Crunchers.  They have the same moves and abilities, except for the Cruncher's Zebra ability, which they do not possess.  However, they may make a rim square where any adjacent enemy used to be.  Both must be checkmated to win, but if one is checkmated, all Crunchers of the same time are removed.


The board starts divided as shown in this picture between day and night. If you can't see it, the first four files are day and the second four are night.  Every two turns, the day and night columns move right (they wrap around).  I refer to the time of the pieces as whether they are day or night pieces. Whenever a piece passes through the wrong time zone, it suffers the effects, but a Sneaky stops its move.

Every turn you may move two pieces- One day and one night.  If you must move a Sneaky because he is in the wrong place, that counts as your move for that side.

The four spaces in the middle of the board are one square, known as the apartment.  Pieces in the apartment are immune to all day/night effects.  They may move from any of the four squares that it takes up.  Any number of pieces may be in the apartment, and pieces inside may not capture nor be captured.

There is no castling, promotion, en passant, etc.


#1 in a series!

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 Daniel Robert MacDuff.
Web page created: 2013-09-21. Web page last updated: 2013-09-21