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Emperor Chess. Large chess variant with a Commander (Queen + Knight), two Queens, and two Emperors (Bishop + Lame Dabbabah-rider) per side. (12x12, Cells: 144) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Ayer wrote on 2003-11-13 UTC
Further on the same theme, how about moving to the 8x12 Courier Game board, with the king, queen, bishops, and knights arranged as usual in the central files, the rooks at the corners, the emperors next to them (which will avoid the problem of shared diagonals), and, since we have seven line-riders already, put a centaur and a squirrel on the c and j files? Any thoughts? Anyone know how to set it up to test?

John Ayer wrote on 2003-08-30 UTC
Another line of modification would be to eliminate the commander and one queen (and their pawns) on each side, move the survivors to an 8 by 10 board, and put the emperors between the rooks and the knights. This would keep the knights at the usual distance from the center, and the pawns at the usual distance from the last rank. It also reduces the number of pieces with the bishop's move from seven (three capable of moving on either color) to five (one capable of moving on either color). Unfortunately, it puts the emperors facing one another along the diagonals, but I'm not convinced that would be a major problem on this layout. <p>Please read all previous comments (click on the button) before commenting further.

Jianying Ji wrote on 2003-02-25 UTC
<p>that may be, perhaps something weaker, say quick-berolina pawns or something similar. or some piece that moves as commoner but does not capture as such, but instead captures using a weaker move. </p>

Peter Aronson wrote on 2003-02-25 UTC
A row of Commoners? Wouldn't that form an all but unbreakable defensive barrier?

Jianying Ji wrote on 2003-02-25 UTC
<p> Another possible concern is piece density, which is only 1/3 for this variant. To make it closer to other variants, perhaps a row of commoners added somewhere in the first three ranks would be advisable </p>

Peter Aronson wrote on 2003-02-25 UTC
Another piece that feels a bit out of place on the 12x12 board is the Pawn. Even with an initial move of three squares, it takes eight moves for it to reach the promotion zone as opposed to five moves for a Pawn in FIDE Chess. It is also very difficult for the Pawn to threaten any but an attacking piece, making forks far less likely. <p> One possible solution is to use Quick Pawns. Quick Pawns can double move (and possibly be captured en-passant) any move, not just on their first move. A Quick Pawn moving at full speed can cross a 12 x 12 board in the same time a FIDE Pawn crosses an 8 x 8 board, and they are more capable of attacking than the usual Pawn as well.

Peter Aronson wrote on 2003-02-19 UTC
My mistake -- a Knight + Zebra is called a Gazelle, and we don't have a page for it. As I mentioned, it seems fairly popular for variants played on 12x12 boards as it makes the Knight more mobile while leaving it a knight-like feel.

John Ayer wrote on 2003-02-19 UTC
Another argument in favor of adding the zebra's leap to the knight's: the knight on a standard chessboard can reach the last rank by three 'forward' leaps (two squares forward and one sideways) and a 'sideways' leap (one forward and two sideways). The zebra on a twelve-by-twelve board can also reach the furthest rank by three 'forward' leaps (three squares forward and two sideways) and a 'sideways' leap (two squares forward and three sideways). A knight on a central square of a standard chessboard threatens eight squares out of sixty-four, one-eighth of the total. A combination zebra and knight on a central square of a twelve-by-twelve-square board threatens sixteen squares out of a hundred forty-four, one-ninth of the total. By comparison, a nightrider on a central square of an empty twelve-by-twelve-square board threatens twenty squares, not quite one-seventh of the total. Of course the board would not usually be empty.

John Ayer wrote on 2003-02-17 UTC
The piececlopedia does not support this definition of a bison (the diagram shows some destinations the same color as the square of departure) but adding the zebra's leap to the knight's sounds like a good idea.

Peter Aronson wrote on 2003-02-16 UTC
For an extend Knight on a 12 x 12 board, I favor the <a href=../piececlopedia.dir/bison.html>Bison</a>, which is a Knight plus a <a href=../piececlopedia.dir/zebra.html>Zebra</a> (or in other words, a (1,2) leaper plus a (2,3) leaper). The nice thing about a Bison is while increasing it's range and power, it retains the Knight's color-changing attribute, unlike the <a href=../piececlopedia.dir/gnus.html>Gnu</a>.

John Ayer wrote on 2003-02-16 UTC
A second way to rescue the knight from irrelevance and bring its power into better proportion to the board would be to say that if the knight's first leap does not end in a capture, the knight may immediately make another leap. A third possibility would be to transform the knight into a wildebeest, or gnu. These two options would preserve the idea that the knight is a weapon with limited range.

John Ayer wrote on 2003-02-01 UTC
Allowing the pawns to move one, two, or three squares on the first move,
and one or two thereafter, would enable a pawn to reach the far edge of
the board in as many steps as in standard chess.  I don't know how we
should mix capture en passant and passar battaglia.  

I suggest turning the knight into a nightrider, to rescue it from

As for the name, it is the emperor that is distinctive in this game.  The
runner,or courier, was the distinctive innovation in the courier game,
although the rook is stronger.

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