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.
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 :
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Any other piece can occupy j1, j10, a10 or a1 during castling.
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.
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.
- 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.
- Pawn promotion: Pawns can now promote to: queen, bishop, knight, rook or to new pieces decided by players on the 10th rank only.
- 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.
- 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:
- A piece may be dropped on any empty square in that side's back rank at any time.
- Dropping a piece constitutes a move.
- A piece can deliver check or checkmate when dropped.
- A piece can block a check when dropped.
- Ninja Pawns are dropped on the side's 2nd rank unoccupied squares. Subsequently on the same turn,
the ninja pawn can be pushed forward 1-3 squares forward.
- Pawns/ninja pawns can promote to any piece in the game.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When not capturing the Cannon moves like a rook.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Capablanca Game - The Chancellor (Rook Knight) is added to a1,a10 and Archbishop (bishop knight) added to j1,j10
to play another Capablanca setup. Alternatively the Chancellor can be added to the j file and the Archbishop to the a file.
Empty Space Game - Yup, just use the setup shown above. No pieces occupy the a and j file. Standard chess on a bigger board.
It is quite an interesting game to try. You can get away from opening theory this way.
You can also add two ninja pawns in the slots and also allow for dropping 5 more!
Described earlier; add a pair of these to the a and j files, and drop 5 ninja pawns for a great game.
- Super Loony Rook
- Closely related to super loony cannon, this piece is described in the game Asylum Chess.
A pair of these can be used.
- Asylum Chess 2!: Add a pair of Mad Leaping Bishops to the slots, drop two super loony rooks and 3 ninja pawns
( or maybe add 5) for an insane game! See Asylum Chess for more on the pieces.
Insane Ninjas - Very similar to the insane ninja knight (see asylum chess) but without the knight's move.
Thus, it can move 1 square or leap 2 squares diagonally or orthogonally.
See insane ninja chess for more details of this piece.
A pair of these will create an exciting game.
Insane Ninja Ice Queen -
In this game a pair of insane Ninja Ice Queens are added to the empty slots.
Essentially this piece moves exactly like an Insane Ninja, but it also freezes any enemy piece including the king in its vicinity.
No piece may move into its range including another insane ninja ice queen.
See Prison Break for more info on the freezing mechanism.
- Leaping Ninja Guards - A pair of Leaping Ninja guards (from insane ninja chess) can be used.
Insane Ninja Game -
Put an Insane Ninja on the a file
and a Leaping Ninja Warrior on the j file.
See Insane Ninja Chess for more info on insane ninja.
The leaping ninja warrior is a ninja warrior, the orthogonal version of the ninja guard, combined with the camel leap.
Unlike the leaping ninja guard, it is not a colorbound piece and compliments the insane ninja for this configuration.
||Ninja warrior on d4 can move or capture at any of squares pointed to by green arrow.
It can also leap to and capture at any of the green squares.
Additionally, if travelling to any green squares it can also capture any enemy piece it jumps over.
It can leap and capture at any of the red squares.
The Ninja piece family: -
The ninja family of pieces are compound pieces built from the combination of the ferz, the elephant, the wazir or the dabbahaha. The camel and the zebra are also used for the leaping variety. In addition to combining their moves, however, they also possess a unique jump over and double capture capability. Like a single draughts unit they can capture a piece by jumping over. This capture is compulsory and in some cases this can prevent the piece from jumping forward as it may open up a battery against another piece.
The Ninja warrior is an orthogonal piece, while the ninja guard moves diagonally. The insane ninja combines both movements.
Reverse Sorcerer spell -
In this game, the sorcerer from Sorcerer chess
swaps its one step orthogonal movement with the magician's diagonal step.
Thus the sorcerer leaps like a zebra and moves 1 step diagonally in any direction
while the Conjurer leaps like a camel and moves 1 step orthogonally in any direction
So in effect Reverse Sorcerer=Zebra + Ferz
Reverse Conjurer=Camel + Wazir
Gryphon and Anti-Gryphon Chess:
- The Gryphon described here can be used on a1,10 and the Anti-Gryphon on j1,j10. The Anti-Gryphon moves one square orthogonally and
then diagonally outwards i.e the exact inverse of the Gryphon. Dropping 5 or more ninja pawns per side may counteract these powerful pieces.
It is advised to use the slightly weakened form i.e. Gryphon must move at least one diagonal and one orthogonal and anti-Gyrphon must move at least one orthogonal and one diagonal. Also, it is best for both the Gryphon and anti-Gryphon to be able to move like a knight on their first move. This would free them from initial position easily.
Bison Chess -
Use a pair of Bisons - those slightly awkward but very long leaping pieces!
Draughts Queen - like the Draughts King except it can also move orthogonally.
Thus it can capture by flying over landing on ANY empty square after its victim, then turning direction and continuing until it cannot do so anymore.
It is difficult to determine if the king is in check sometimes. Multicapture is optional.
When not capturing it moves like a queen.
Note - it may be seen during play that this piece is too powerful and results in an unstable game. So, rather than
using a pair just use one and place it in the a file. Keep the j file empty or fill with ninja pawn and drop 5 more ninja pawns.
Draughts Queen was the predecessor to the flying bomber. The author dismissed this idea as being silly,
but retained the orthogonal direction fly over capture of one piece to create the Flying Bomber.
There have been some other similar pieces that have not been properly analyzed (you can try them out here), but they too suffer from the same defect.
The flying bomber, on the other hand, is a superbly balanced piece, and is one of the few fly over pieces that enhance the chess experience.
- Flying Bombers Chess - Use this remarkable piece and you get flying bombers chess!
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.
|Super Loony Rook||
|Insane Ninja/Insane Ninja Ice Queen/Insane Ninja Knight||
|Ninja Guard/Leaping Ninja Guard||
|Mad Leaping Bishop||
Zillions File with more than 20 games Coming Soon!