Pick the Piece Big Chess

Pick the Piece Big Chess is not just a game, but a family of games based on a 10x10 board with two empty slots per side that are occupied by pieces of the players' choice.

Players can either add a pair of pieces to fill the empty slots or use two different pieces to fill a1, a10 and j1, j10.

The rules are exactly as in orthodox chess except for flexible castling, three-step initial pawn move and extended en-passant rules. There is also an optional specification regarding dropping extra pieces.

In this game, the players get the chance to be very creative by coming up with their own chess variants based on the pre-determined rules and parameters.
Flying Bomber Chess starting position Start Position for white. (black mirrors white)
Empty slots on a1, j1
Rooks on b1,i1
knights on c1,h1
bishops on d1, g1
queen on e1
king on f1


The rules in Pick the Piece Big Chess are the same as in chess except for the following modifications :
  1. Castling: Unlike standard Chess, castling is flexible with the king able to travel 1, 2, 3, or 4 squares towards the rook.
    There are 7 possible castling positions, the most extreme wing castling involves the king relocating to the b or i file. The choice of castling positions will depend on whether it is immediately necessary for the king to be tucked away at the wing or for the rook to be centralized.
    The usual castling criteria apply: No piece can occupy the spaces travelled by the king and castling rook. Cannot castle out of check. King cannot pass over or land on squares attacked by enemy, but rook can.
    1. 1 space transposition - King Side Castling
      White moves King one space from f1-g1 and rook from i1-f1
      Black moves King one space from f10-g10 and rook from i10-f10
    2. 1 space transposition - Queen Side Castling
      White moves King one space from f1-e1 and rook from b1-f1
      Black moves King one space from f10-e10 and rook from b10-f10
    3. 2 space transposition - King Side Castling
      White moves King two spaces from f1-h1 and rook from i1-g1
      Black moves King two spaces from f10-h10 and rook from i10-g10
    4. 2 space transposition - Queen Side Castling
      White moves King two spaces from f1-d1 and rook from b1-e1
      Black moves King two spaces from f10-d10 and rook from b10-e10
    5. 3 space transposition - King Side Castling
      White moves King three spaces from f1-i1 and rook from i1-h1
      Black moves King three spaces from f10-i10 and rook from i10-h10
    6. 3 space transposition - Queen Side Castling
      White moves King three spaces from f1-c1 and rook from b1-d1
      Black moves King three spaces from f10-c10 and rook from b10-d10
    7. 4 space transposition - Queen Side Castling
      White moves King four spaces from f1-b1 and rook from b1-c1
      Black moves King four spaces from f10-b10 and rook from b10-c10
    8. Any other piece can occupy j1, j10, a10 or a1 during castling.
  2. Pawn Movement: The pawn can move from its original position either 1, 2 or 3 vacant squares forward.
    A pawn, which initially moved forward 1 square or captured from its starting position, can subsequently at any time move forward 1 or 2 vacant squares. Once it reaches the center of the board (rank 5 for white, rank 6 for black), it can move forward only one square at a time.
    Some examples: the white pawn at f2 can start f2-f5 or it can move f2-f4 then f4-f5, or f2-f3 followed by f3-f5, or move f2-g3 to capture enemy piece at g3 followed by g3-g5 next time it moves.
  3. En Passant: If a Pawn moves two or three squares initially and passes an enemy Pawn on the 4th or 5th rank, it may be captured en passant by the enemy pawn.
    E.g. White pawn on a2 black pawn on b4. White pawn moves a2 - a4 (or a5), black pawn on b4 can capture it as if it had moved to a3.
    Similarly, black pawn on b5 and white pawn moves a2 - a5, then black pawn can capture the white pawn as if it moved to a4. Note in this case the white pawn can still avoid the black pawn by moving to a3 instead.
    If a pawn slides forward 2 squares on its second move, it can also be captured en passant by an opposing pawn on the fifth rank. E.g. white pawn on a3 and black pawn on b5. White plays a3-a5, black pawn on b5 can capture the pawn en passant by moving to a4.
    Capturing en passant is optional unless it is the only legal move available. The capture must be made on the next move.
  4. Pawn promotion: Pawns can now promote to: queen, bishop, knight, rook or to new pieces decided by players on the 10th rank only.
  5. Agreement between Players Players must agree beforehand which pieces they wish to use in the empty slots and/or which pieces and how many should be dropped.
  6. Dropping option is described below.

Reinforcements - Dropping pieces

Players also have the option to drop up to 5 pieces or more (author advises 5) of their choice during the game.
The rules are simple:
The players must decide beforehand which pieces they want to play with, for example, see author's recommendation below.
For a more balanced game, it is advisable to use a few ninja pawns and other pieces rather than drop too many powerful pieces. The ninja pawns are unique because while they share many characteristics with normal pawns, they have additional powers that make them far more powerful.

The Ninja Pawn

The ninja pawn possesses slightly different modes of movement and capture depending on which half of the board it is on.
Movement: The ninja pawn can always move 1 square up or 1 square sideways to an empty square from any part of the board.
When the pawn is situated in the lower half of the board (for White, rank 1-5 and for black 6-10), it can move forward multiple vacant squares (1-3 squares) to reach the middle of the board (rank 5 for White or rank 6 for Black). This move can be done at any time regardless of how many times the pawn has moved. Thus White can on each turn move from e2-e3, e3-d3 and d3-d5.
Once it passes the middle, the ninja pawn can only move 1 square forward at a time, or move 1 square horizontally.
Capture: Like the standard pawn it can capture one square diagonally up, regardless of which half of the board it is on.
When the ninja pawn is on the top half of board (White rank 6 +, Black rank 5-) , it can also capture one square horizontally.
There is no en passant. It cannot capture another pawn or ninja pawn en passant nor can any other pawn capture it this way.
Promotion: The ninja pawn promotes on the last row (rank 10 for white, rank 1 for black), to any piece. Promotion to a piece is mandatory so it would cease to be a pawn in the last row.
Drop and Forward Thrust Ninja pawns can make the forward thrust to the center of the board (on the same turn) immediately after being dropped into a square on the 2nd rank.

View More Custom Games for Pick the Piece Big Chess

Recommended Game: Air and Trench Warfare

In this excellent game, use two ninja guards in the empty slots and drop one super cannon, one flying bomber and three ninja pawns during the game.

The Cannon

Movement: When not capturing the Cannon moves like a rook.
Capturing: The Cannon just as in Xiangqi needs an intervening piece called the screen to make a capture. The screen can be either a friendly or enemy piece and must lie between the cannon and the target enemy piece for a capture to take place.
With a friendly screen, the Super Cannon captures the enemy piece by leaping over the screen and landing on the target's square.

The Flying Bomber

Movement: When not capturing it moves exactly like a rook (1 or more squares orthogonally over a clear path).
It can also jump two squares orthogonally by leaping over an adjacent piece.
Capturing: The flying bomber eliminates an enemy piece by flying towards it along an unobstructed orthogonal path, and landing on THE empty square immediately after it. It cannot capture if this square is occupied nor can it capture a second piece.
The exception to above: the flying bomber can capture by replacement any enemy piece that is 2 squares away. Thus, it can jump over a friendly piece to make a capture 2 spaces away.
If, instead, there is one empty square between the Flying Bomber and the enemy piece, the Bomber can either capture by landing two squares away on the target's square or use the standard method of capturing by landing on empty square immediately after target.
If there is one enemy piece adjacent to it and another immediately after on same line, the flying bomber combines both capture mechanisms to makes a double capture as it lands 2 squares away. Note that when it makes this jump under above conditions capturing both pieces is mandatory.

Ninja Guard

It moves one square diagonally or leaps two square diagonally.
It captures by replacement when making above moves but also captures any pieces it jumps over. Thus it can capture two piece if they lie adjacent to it on its diagonal path.

See Birds and Ninjas for more info on the pieces above.

Suggested Games

Since Pick the Piece Big Chess is a user defined game, there are an infinite (or near infinite) number of configurations that can be chosen. A few interesting setups using some very unique pieces are illustrated below. The author suggests to drop 5 ninja pawns as shock troop reinforcements to any of the games below.

Play the Game!

Play a game of Pick the piece Big Chess!

Play Air and Trench Warfare
Play Carnage - another game from PtPBC

View Game Logs for Pick the Piece Big Chess

On the Game Courier preset, the icons below are used for the pieces. The pieces in middle of the board will clear once the preset is started.
Ninja Pawn
Flying Bomber
Super Cannon
Super Loony Rook
Insane Ninja/Insane Ninja Ice Queen/Insane Ninja Knight
Ninja Guard/Leaping Ninja Guard
Mad Leaping Bishop
Reverse Conjuror
Reverse Sorcerer

Zillions File with more than 20 games Coming Soon!

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If you would like to email the chess variant inventor directly: inventor@chess.computerwebservices.net

Posted by: Carl on 2008-03-08 20:19:33     Rating: Excellent
Yes, I would be interested in this...