Life, the Universe and Everything
By João Pedro Neto
"Alright," said Deep Thought. "The Answer to the Great Question..."
"Of Life, the Universe and Everything..." said Deep Thought.
"Is..." said Deep Thought, and paused.
"Forty-two," said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.
[From the "The Hitch Hikers Guide to Galaxy"]
-- In memory of Douglas Adams (1952-2001)
Life, the Universe and Everything is a Chess variant inspired by the works of the late Douglas Adams. It is a double-move variant with unusual pieces on a board of (of course) 42-squares.
Board and Setup
Universe and Everything is played on a checkered board with seven ranks
and six files. Each player starts with a
(Arthur Dent for white, Zaphod Beeblebrox for black), a Life, a Universe,
an Everything, a Ford Prefect, a Wowbagger and six Marvins on the board:
+---+---+---+---+---+---+ 7 |:w:| e |:u:| z |:l:| f | +---+---+---+---+---+---+ 6 | m |:m:| m |:m:| m |:m:| +---+---+---+---+---+---+ 5 |:::| |:::| |:::| | +---+---+---+---+---+---+ 4 | |:::| |:::| |:::| +---+---+---+---+---+---+ 3 |:::| |:::| |:::| | +---+---+---+---+---+---+ 2 | M |:M:| M |:M:| M |:M:| +---+---+---+---+---+---+ 1 |:W:| E |:U:| A |:L:| F | +---+---+---+---+---+---+ a b c d e f
The rules of Life, the Universe and Everything are identical to those of FIDE Chess, except when noted otherwise. The goal of Life, the Universe and Everything is to capture your opponent's royal piece or to leave them with no legal moves. There is no checkmate.
The biggest difference between Life, the Universe and Everything and FIDE Chess, is that each turn a player must move two pieces: but they must be different pieces. On the first (and only on the first) move, white only moves one piece.
The Pieces and their Movements
Unless otherwise noted, all pieces capture the same way that they move. Adjacent means diagonally or orthogonally adjacent.
|The Arthur Dent (A) or Zaphad Beeblebrox (Z) moves and captures as an Orthodox Chess King. Since victory is capture of the opposing royal piece (as opposed to checkmate), these royal pieces, however, may move adjacent to an enemy royal pieces.|
The Life (L) may transmit movement and capturing powers from any
adjacent piece of either colour, to itself or any adjacent friendly
piece. However, a player cannot move opponent's pieces.
The Universe (U), doesn't capture, but moves either like a FIDE King,
or by changing positions with any non-royal piece of either
colour. Swap moves cannot repeat the last board position.
The Everything (E) can move with the iterated power of any adjacent
piece (of either colour).
|Ford Prefect (F) is the Ferz, which moves and captures one square diagonally.|
|The Wowbagger (W) is the Wazir, which moves and captures one square orthogonally.|
|The Marvin (M) is the FIDE Pawn, which moves forward one, and captures one square diagonally forward. It does not have an initial double-move (and thus no en passant capture). Upon reaching the back rank they may promote to any non-royal piece.|
The above rules were numbered 1. through 6. in the original manuscript before a meddling editor got at them. The remaining rules were as follows:
7. There is no rule 8.
8. Rule 7 is wrong!
7. No, I'm not!
8. Oh yes you're are!
9. Both you of: SHUT UP!
An implementation of Life, the Universe and Everything has been written for Zillions of Games. You can download it here:
The author really wants to acknowledge Bill Taylor for all the play testing and his insightful suggestions which greatly improved this game
Written by João Pedro Neto. HTML conversion by Peter Aronson.
WWW page created: March 19th, 2002.