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The Chess Variant Pages



This page is written by the game's inventor, Ralph Betza.

Miniature Golf, Minigolf Chess

Miniature Golf is a game that features golf-like putting on a demented billiards table that you walk on. Minigolf Chess attempts to capture the feel of Miniature Golf on a chessboard.

It is played on an 8x16 board, but no special equipment is required because you can simply push two ordinary boards together.

This file describes the setup and rules specific to this game, but for the complete rules, you have to look at Chess on a Really Big Board.

Special Rules of Minigolf Chess

The Spinner

A spinner is an area of the board that rotates periodically. Although the rule says that the pieces get moved, what really happens is that the squares move and the pieces stay on the same squares; so for example, when "any pieces on a1.d8 are magically moved to a2.d1", what really happens is that the square located at a1.d8 moves to the location a2.d1, and the pieces on that square come with it. However, we have no way of talking about the square other than referencing its coordinates: it would be confusing for us to talk about the "square at a2.d1 that used to be at a1.d8 next move and will be at a2.e1 next move".

When the spinner spins, the pieces on it have their momentum changed. Let's look at a few examples:

First Example

Suppose White's 30th move brings a Pawn from a1.e7 to a1.e8; now the Pawn has a forward momentum of one square per turn. After Black's 30th move, the spinner turns one quarter turn, and now this same Pawn is on a1.d8, and

Unless White uses his 31st move to stop this Pawn, or unless some other piece on a1.e8 causes the Pawn to autostop, its momentum will carry it back to a1.e8 as part of White's 31st move.

After Black's 31st move, the spinner turns one quarter turn, and now this same Pawn is back on a1.d8 again, and

Unless White uses his 32d move to stop this Pawn, or unless some other piece on a1.d7 causes the Pawn to autostop, its momentum will carry it to a1.d7 as part of White's 32d move.

Now the Pawn is off the spinner, and its momentum is carrying it backwards. Even though its momentum is carrying it backwards, its natural move is still its normal forwards move, so when it stops it will be able to move and capture forwards in the normal manner.

More Examples

A White Pawn with a momentum of one arriving on a1.d8:
30. a1.d7-a1.d8 31. a2.d1-a2.e1 32. a1.e8-a1.e7

A White Pawn with momentum 2, arriving a1.e8:
30. a1.e6-a1.e8 31. a1.d8-a1.f8 32. a1.f8-a1.h8 33. a1.h8-a1.f8 (a "Halb-Billiards" bounce) 34. a1.f8-a1.d8 35. a2.d1-a1.d7

A White Pawn with momentum 2, arriving a1.d8:
30. a1.d6-a1.d8 31. a2.d1-a2.f1 32. a2.f1-a2.h1 33. a2.h1-a2.f1 34. a2.f1-a2.d1 35. a2.e1-a1.e7

A B4: 30. (B4)a1.e7-a1.d8 31. (B4)a2.d1-a2.e2

The Nature of the Game

The idea of this game is that you will have many pieces in motion at the same time. In order to create multiple threats, you want to have several pieces arriving at the same time (and this is why I gave you pieces that have different speeds).

However, as you shoot each piece off towards the other end of the board, you will need not just excellent timing, but excellent aim. The board is long and narrow, and a piece might bounce off of several sides before it reaches its target.

In order to guess where the ball will go, you need to know the course quite well.


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