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The Chess Variant Pages

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Veteran Chess. Most pieces can or must irreversibly promote when they capture.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2020-11-22 UTC

I think this variant has a design flaw. In orthodox Chess a Pawn protected by a Pawn is basically unassailable for any piece, except that Pawns can still successfully capture it (i.e. without losing material). But here that is no longer true: capturing a P protected by a P makes the latter promote in the recapture. This makes it too difficult to break down Pawn chains.

Maka Dai Dai Shogi, from which the promotion-on-capture rules were borrowed does not have this problem: the Pawns there are Shogi Pawns, rigorously bound to their file, so that Pawns can never protect each other. With FIDE Pawns the rule do not work so well, though.

One way to repair this would be to replace the FIDE Pawns with Shogi Pawns. This violates the spirit of the design, however, which was to use promotion-on-capture in a FIDE context.

An alternative would be to make PxP a special case, in which no promotion can take place. Other pieces capturing a P could still promote, as could a P capturing another piece.