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This page is written by the game's inventor, Gary Gifford.

Mini-POM (Mini Pillars of Medusa)

Mini-POM (c) Jan 2006 by Gary K. Gifford

Mini-Pillars of Medusa is played on a 9 x 9 board and contains standard chess pieces, with exception that  the Morph replaces the Bishop and the Medusa appears just right of the King.  The original Pillars of Medusa is played on an 11 x 11 board and is based on Turkish Great Chess.


IMPORTANT: Each player can switch places of his (or her) Medusa with either Morph-Bishop. This counts as a move, and can only be done once. This positional swap has the advantage of giving you both a light and a dark-squared Morph Bishop. Once the Morph or Medusa move, this switch cannot be made (But if only one Morph moved the switch could be made with the other which has not moved).


As in Chess, with addition of Medusa and Morph (replacing Bishop).


As in Chess with these noted differences:

You can castle in this game by moving the King three-spaces right or left, then placing the Rook one-square inboard.

Pawns --- Pawns move and capture as do chess-pawns; with the following exceptions: (a) there is no "pawn en passant," (b) Pawns can only promote to a Medusa.

Medusa ---  The Medusa moves like the standard chess Queen, but is limited to movement of up to three squares at a time. The Medusa, in addition to capturing pieces, will "turn adjacent-square pieces to stone." When the Medusa moves, such that petrified pieces are no longer adjacent to her, those pieces are once again free to move. It should also be noted that pieces are capable of traveling through spaces adjacent to Medusas [without turning to stone] as long as they don�t end their movement on such a space; if so they would then turn to stone on that space. A Medusa can not turn the opponent�s Medusa to stone. You can swap places of the Medusa with either Morph (as long as the Medusa and the switching Morph-Bishop have not moved).  The Medusa-Morph swap counts as 1 move and is usually done very early in the game.

Morph  --- The Morph is unique in that it starts out moving like a Bishop,  but when your Morph captures an opponent�s piece, you have the option of transforming your Morph to that piece. And it still remains a Morph; but now moves like the oiece it just captured. There a special condition which is: if your Morph captures another Morph you can still have your piece transform; but in this case your Morph would loose its morphing ability.  You can swap places of the Medusa with either Morph (as long as the Medusa and the switching Morph-Bishop have not moved).  The Medusa-Morph swap counts as 1 move and is usually done very early in the game.

Here are a few Morph-movement examples from a possible game:

1.On move 1 John swaps places of his Medusa with his left-hand Morph Bishop.  It doesn't matter that the King and Queen are between them.  This counts as his move.  Note: He could have swapped with the right-hand Morph Bishop instead.  Black's swap, if desired, can be with the same or opposite Morph Bishop, and could be on a later move.

2. On move 8, John uses his initial white Morph Bishop to capture a black Knight. John removes his opponent�s Knight and replaces it with a white Morph Knight.

3.On move 14, John uses his Morph Knight to capture a Pawn. He chooses to maintain his Morph Knight as is; however, he could have transformed the piece to a Morph Pawn, if he wanted to. This option can be very useful in end-game play; i.e., using your Morph to capture a Pawn, transform into a Morph Pawn of your color, and then promote it to a Morph-Medusa.

4.On move 23, John uses his Morph Knight to capture a Morph Queen. He transforms his Knight to a Queen, but the piece is no longer a Morph, just a standard Queen.


If a King is in check, a Medusa moving next to that checking-pawn or checking-piece will effectively turn that pawn of piece to stone, nullifying the check. It is important to note that if a Pawn is about to promote, it is a mistake to think you could move a King next to the square of promotion and capture the Pawn just as it promotes to Medusa. The reason: The Medusa would instantly turn the King to Stone (effectively checkmating the King unless another piece (not adjacent to the Medusa) could capture it. A pre-set link is at this location: /play/pbm/play.php?game%3DMini-POM+%28Mini+Pillars+of+Medusa%29%26settings%3DMini-POM Also See: Pillars of Medusa. (c) 2006 by Gary K. Gifford

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By Gary K. Gifford.
Web page created: 2006-01-15. Web page last updated: 2006-01-15