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Fusion Chess. Variant in which pieces may merge together or split apart. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2020-03-11 UTC

On second thought, this makes the Queen immune to the Cavalier King capturing it as a Knight. However, the Queen is also immune to being captured at a distance by the other royal pieces. Each compound royal piece can capture two of the simple pieces at a distance. The Cavalier King can capture the Rook or Bishop at a distance, the Dragon King can capture the Bishop or Knight, and what I'm now calling the Pontiff can capture the Rook or Knight. So, it's all symmetrical, and if I made an exception for the Cavalier King's Knight leap, that would make it more formidable than the other two compound royal pieces.


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2020-03-11 UTC

It could not make a Knight leap if both spaces adjacent to it and its destination were checked. However, this would not apply to checks from royal pieces. This would allow the Cavalier King to check another royal piece with different powers of movement.

Not quite. To be in line with how other royal compounds work, it would be able to check another royal piece without restriction, but checks from the opponent's royal piece would still otherwise impede its movement.


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2020-03-11 UTC

Based on my experiences with Zillions of Games, I think that the Dragon King is too tough to checkmate (and, perhaps, so are the Pope and Eques Rex).

I'm thinking of borrowing a rule from Metamachy for limiting the movement of the Eques Rex, which I'm planning to rename Cavalier King. In that game, a King may leap two spaces on its first move, but it may not pass through check. To make a Knight move, it must have an unchecked path to the space. So, I'm thinking of limiting the Cavalier King in that way. It could not make a Knight leap if both spaces adjacent to it and its destination were checked. However, this would not apply to checks from royal pieces. This would allow the Cavalier King to check another royal piece with different powers of movement.

Cavalier Chess handles the power of this piece by giving greater power to the other pieces, but in Fusion Chess, the pieces have the same total power as they do in Chess, and all that's different is having the ability to more fluidly redistribute power among the pieces. So, weakening the royal piece in this game seems more called for.


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2020-03-07 UTC

> It would need some rule that you cannot move a royal slider through check, like in Caissa Brittannia, to make it a serious game.

Since I was just thinking of another rule I wanted to change, I opened my .zrf file for this game to see how I could make the change. When I did open it, I noticed that I made some rule updates in 2006, but I never changed the rules on this page. One of the rules was the one you suggested here. Here are my comments from the .zrf file:

; *** Rules changed in February 2006
; *** King cannot initiate fusion.
; *** Simple pieces may initate fusion with King.
; *** Dragon King and Pope may not move through check.

As the rules are currently written, the King may initiate fusion, but another piece may not initiate fusion with the King. Two of the rule changes above reverse this. This might be to prevent the King from using fusion to get out of check.

The new rule I'm thinking of adding limits the use of fission for getting out of check. I initially thought of just forbidding fission for getting out of check, but it seems simpler to forbid fission by a piece that is currently attacked. This prevents the two ways fission could be used to get out of check that would tilt the advantage in favor of defense. One is if a royal compound piece is in check, and the player splits off the non-royal component to block the check. The other is if a pinned piece is blocking one check, and it splits off one of its components to block another check. This is more permissive in some ways and more restrictive in some ways than the other condition I thought of. It is more permissive, because it allows a check to be blocked by splitting apart an unpinned piece. It is more restrictive, because it does not allow any attacked piece to split apart.

Its main advantage is that it will require less overhead. In Zillions, I can just add "not-attacked?" to the appropriate code, and in Game Courier, the legal fission moves will all correspond with other legal moves, which eliminates the need to write extra code for calculating possible fission moves. Since that advantage would be lost if I used both conditions, I will just use the simpler condition. So, the rule I'm thinking of adding is that it is illegal to split apart a piece that is attacked.

I am currently in the process of programming a Game Courier preset for Fusion Chess. When I have finished with that, and when I have updated the Zillions file, I'll officially update the rules.


H. G. Muller wrote on 2019-06-19 UTC

I share the concern of Joseph DiMuro: this game should not be winnable except against the most incompetent of players. It would need some rule that you cannot move a royal slider through check, like in Caissa Brittannia, to make it a serious game.


jackman jack man wrote on 2018-06-07 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Another cool idea i like this comments in this post

there is another very interesting in

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and in addition he offers a very good chess guide...


Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-03-01 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Another cool idea by Fergus.


Joseph DiMuro wrote on 2016-07-25 UTC

I'm glad someone posted a comment about Fusion Chess, because it reminded me that I've been wanting to post a comment of my own for some time. I keep forgetting to do it. Might as well do it now.

Based on my experiences with Zillions of Games, I think that the Dragon King is too tough to checkmate (and, perhaps, so are the Pope and Eques Rex). I think I can easily force a draw in this game by forming a Dragon King, and then exchanging material as quickly as I can. (My only fear is getting checkmated while the board is still cramped.) I don't care if I'm way behind in material at the endgame, because it would take a ton of material to checkmate a lone Dragon King.

Now, this is just coming from my experiences with Zillions of Games; I haven't played Fusion Chess against a human before. Anyone want to play against me on Game Courier, and try to prove me wrong? :-)


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2016-07-25 UTC

I'd love to play it on a real board, if I had the special pieces...

Some small sets you can pick up in a dollar store will do. You just need to be able to fit two pieces on the same space. Or, if you do want the compound pieces, you can pick them up from the House of Staunton. See House of Staunton Chess Variant Kits for details. At least that works for the Marshall and Paladin (a.k.a. Chancellor and Archbishop), but the compound royal pieces have not been made. For those, you could conceivably use fancier pieces from another Chess set, stick crosses on some Chess pieces, or pick other Chess variant pieces from HOS to represent them. The Fortress might work for the Dragon King, the Dragon for the Pope, and the Unicorn for the Eques Rex. I have ordered these pieces and will add them to the page soon.

can a player's original queen "split" (fission) or is that piece permanently a regular queen?

Quoting from the Queen's piece description: The Queen is a combination of Rook and Bishop. It may separate into its components by moving one of them to an empty space.

 Can a pawn promote to a fused type such as marshal or is queen the only option?

Quoting from the Pawn's piece description: Upon reaching the last rank, a Pawn may promote to a Rook, Bishop, or Knight. It may not promote to a Queen, Marshall, or Paladin.


JT K wrote on 2016-07-25 UTCGood ★★★★

Disregard my question about pawn promotion there... I see it in the description.


JT K wrote on 2016-07-25 UTCGood ★★★★

Very interesting variant!  I'd love to play it on a real board, if I had the special pieces...  Question though: can a player's original queen "split" (fission) or is that piece permanently a regular queen?  Same question for a promoted pawn... if a pawn promotes to queen, is splitting an option on that queen? Can a pawn promote to a fused type such as marshal or is queen the only option? 


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2010-02-14 UTC
Thanks for your appreciation of Fusion Chess. What you call version B is the official version. The so-called version A is a misunderstanding of the rules by Ed Friedlander. Version A and Version B are his terms, not mine. I tend to not invent multi-player games, because I don't get any opportunity to play them against people. Game Courier will not handle multi-player games yet, and I still haven't found the opportunity to play the one multi-player game of mine, Three-Player Hex Shogi, with anyone. Fusion Chess can be played with small pieces on a large board, using pairs of pieces for compound pieces. So you don't need to buy any special equipment to play it.

Simon Jepps wrote on 2010-02-14 UTCGood ★★★★
Fergus, that's a neat little variant. I had a similar idea back in 2008, but not quite this extensive. I find all the notation and multiple merging a little bit of a mouth full, but all the same Fusion Chess is a great game to add to the list.

douglas francis wrote on 2010-02-14 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
why not make one for 4 players? or team? or how about a fusion with a pond like pond+king=pond king that can move 2 spaces on first move like a pond? or include the amazon it could be Bishop+Rook=queen+Knight? there's so much more fusions you could make out of this! and so much more you could do with this!! if you were to sell this id be one to buy it for sure even if it was for $40!!if you were to make a 4 player version id buy it for $60! even if it was over priced this is so good i'm addicted to it iv played it about 20 times with my sister and brother but it would be a bit better if you had the option to play with more people! most of the chess variation iv played here witch iv played about 30-43 all weren't very interesting but this is more interesting then most of the others iv played i love version B of this because it has the ability for a Royal Bishop or Royal Rook to cross over a square under enemy attack witch makes it more interesting then version A!!

Anonymous wrote on 2009-06-06 UTC
http://www.chessvariants.org/index/msdisplay.php?itemid=MSfluidchess ;-)

Jeremy Good wrote on 2009-06-06 UTC
Wow, Joe! You were really on top of that one. What's the fluid mutator called? Thanks!

Joe Joyce wrote on 2009-06-05 UTC
No. After having that exact question in a tourney game, the answer was resolved fully in a kibbitz by Antoine.:
2007-09-30	Antoine Fourrière Verified as Antoine Fourrière	
When trying to understand the code Fergus wrote for the not-functioning automated preset for his own game, you can read in the Post-move fields

die You may not capture or fuse with a piece on a fission move.; 

This lead to the quick creation of the 'Fluid' mutator, which allows that.

Jeremy Good wrote on 2009-06-05 UTC
I presume that a component of a compound piece can move out of it to form another separate compound piece. For example, a King may move out of a dragon king into an eques rex leaving behind a rook, correct?

Christine Bagley-Jones wrote on 2006-09-22 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
this game too is fascinating, this game started your other variants on this theme right? (assimilation chess etc) Very complex, at least for me anyway ... all variants on this theme you have done seem to be all good too, well done.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2006-02-25 UTC
I came up with the idea behind Fusion Chess on my own, without any prior knowledge of any similar game except one other game of my own invention. Since creating it, I have read about some similar games in Pritchard's Encyclopedia of Chess Variants. Frank Maus created some, such as Coronation Chess and Empress Chess. He also preceded me with Cavalry Chess, which is based on the same idea as my own unrelated Cavalier Chess. As for Augsburg Chess, I have never heard of it until now. So it has no part in the history of Fusion Chess.

Stephane Burkhart wrote on 2006-02-25 UTC
I guess Fusion Chess is a real improvement on previous similar version, by limiting the strength of pieces, but should't you put some reference to the so-called 'Augsburg chess' in the history part ?

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2004-07-07 UTC
That's a good idea.

Matthew Paul wrote on 2004-07-07 UTCGood ★★★★
One minor comment: There are only 2 knights when there are 3 bishops and 3
rooks.  How about a variant where each player has a Eques rex to start off
with, in place of their king?  Not only would this balance the number of
component pieces, but also the player's two centre pieces would contain
all of the four components.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2003-05-31 UTC
It might be interesting to apply the fusion idea to Xiang Qi, in which most
pieces are weak individually. The General could become its own rider by
fusing with the Rook, a standard King with the Ferz, or a ruling Waffle
with the Elephant. The combinations General+Horse, Ferz+Elephant,
Ferz+Horse, and Horse+Elephant would play like shorter-range versions of
Gazelle, Bishop, Gnu, and Bison. Ferz+Rook would of course be a Shogi
(capturable) Dragonking. Elephant+Rook might be called a Dragonwaffle.
Regarding where combined pieces can go I would suggest King as its
components, Elephant combinations their own side of the river, and the
rest throughout the board. Separation could not result in a General or
Ferz outside the palace.
	By the way, I notice that you have still not corrected 'Eques Rexi' to
'Equites Reges'

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2003-05-18 UTC
Yes, they can move through check.

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