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This page is written by the game's inventor, Jason Shields.

Emulation Chess

By Jason Shields


In Emulation Chess, a piece moves like one of the up to eight adjacent friendly or hostile pieces. Pieces only give their moves to others -- they have no moves of their own, so an isolated piece can not move.


The game is conducted by rules of FIDE Chess, except where noted otherwise below. The usual board and array are used. In addition to the changes to movement rules, there is no castling nor en passant captures, and stalemate is a loss to the player unable to move, not a draw.


A piece or Pawn can only move and capture in the manner that any piece of either side on diagonally or orthogonally adjacent square uses in FIDE Chess. Thus a Pawn on a2 with a friendly Rook on a1 and an opposing Knight on b3 could move and capture either as a Rook or a Knight.

A piece or a Pawn adjacent to an opposing Pawn may move one square forward without capturing (or two if the opposing Pawn is on its 2nd rank), or may capture one square diagonally forward, but uses their own forward direction, not the opposing side's.

A piece adjacent to a Pawn on the Pawn's own 2nd rank may move two squares forward, regardless of whether or not the Pawn has previously moved.

Pawns promote as normal upon reaching the back rank, even when reaching the back rank as the result of moving like some piece other than a Pawn.

If a piece or pawn is not adjacent to any other piece or Pawn, then it cannot move, but may be captured.

A King may put the opposing King in check if it is not attacked back.

For example:

White King and Queen in their initial positions Black Bishop on d8, King on d7:

8 |   |:::|   |:b:|   |:::|   |:::|
7 |:::|   |:::| k |:::|   |:::|   |
6 |   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|
5 |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |
4 |   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|
3 |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |
2 |   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|
1 |:::|   |:::| Q |:K:|   |:::|   |
    a   b   c   d   e   f   g   h
     1)e1-d2+ d7-g4
     2)d1-e2 victory by stalemate (since black has no legal move)

Editorial Note: Emulation Chess calls to mind several other variants without being the quite same as any of them: Mannish Charosh's game of Relay Chess, Ralph Betza's Nattering Nabobs of Negativity, and Fergus Duniho's Interdependent Chess.
Written by Jason Shields HTML Conversion by Peter Aronson.
WWW page created: June 14th, 2002.