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The Chess Variant Pages

Gorgona Chess

This page contains one or more presets for playing a game online with Game Courier, an online server for playing Chess variants by correspondence.

In Gorgona Chess the objective is checkmate. Pieces move as in orthodox chess, with the exception of the additional piece, the "Gorgona", which moves like a queen, but cannot capture. Instead it paralyzes any enemy piece within its range. The pawns move as in orthodox chess, inclusive of the initial double-step. The pawn can also make an initial triple-step. 'En passant' can occur if the the pawn moves two or three steps and passes a square threatened by an enemy pawn. Castling exists, but the King jumps three squares instead of two. As usual, the Rook ends up beside the King. Promotion rules are the same as in orthodox chess, with the addition of the Gorgona.

Checkmate is an important theme, also in endgames with few pieces. While the enemy king can easily be paralyzed, this makes it exposed to mate attacks. Try to paralyze the enemy king, queen, or Gorgona, in order to attack them later. Early queen excursions are, for natural reasons, very dangerous, but early Gorgona excursions are worthwhile. The knight is the only piece able to capture an enemy Gorgona. This increases the value of the knight, making it more valuable than a bishop. Generally, one should try to exchange a bishop for a knight. It is possible to checkmate with the king, when the enemy king is paralyzed. Interestingly, the king can often be employed in an attack on the enemy king, or other enemy pieces that have been paralyzed. Gorgona Chess was invented by V. R. Parton in 1970. (Reference: The Classified Encyclopedia of Chess Variants, Pritchard, 2007.)

Gorgon   1 : any of three snake-haired sisters in Greek mythology whose appearance turns the beholder to stone
2 : an ugly or repulsive woman.

The following preset makes a validity check of moves. You will prevented from moving a paralyzed piece. Moves are automated. You can move pieces by clicking on them. At promotion you will be asked what piece you prefer.

Gorgona Chess

You can also download a Zillions implementation here.

See also Mastodon Chess

This 'user submitted' page is a collaboration between the posting user and the Chess Variant Pages. Registered contributors to the Chess Variant Pages have the ability to post their own works, subject to review and editing by the Chess Variant Pages Editorial Staff.

By M Winther.
Web page created: 2011-01-21. Web page last updated: 2011-01-21