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Gast's Chess. Large 1969 variant using the Cardinal (Guard) and the Chancellor (Archer). (12x12, Cells: 144) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Charles Gilman wrote on 2012-02-27 UTC
Since 2004 I had quite forgotten this variant, and I noticed it as the variant alphabetically following Ganymede Chess while navigating to that variant following a comment referring to it with no link.

How naive my 2004 judgment must appear! How did I fail to notice how far in the Archers were - the King's-side one too near the King for Castling to be as good as thought that it waa at a time? I have to agree with a later criticism of 'knighting' a Bishop with a piece that alhas a diagonal move anyway. In fact the form of Knight enhancement used here is a bit of a mess anyway, as it detracts from the FIDE (and Carrera and Bird and so on) pattern of one basic piece being unafected by square colour, one colourbound, and one colourswitching. Even the Endknight of my Nearlydouble Chess, which does retain colourswitching, would have a corresponding problem in a knighted Rook.

Neither of these problems are unsurmountable. As regards the first, the Archers could be swapped with the next piece out to put them exactly the same distance from the King that FIDE Chess puts Rooks. It will actually have the bonus of an array with all Pawns unprotected (unless I've missed something, the Guards' Pawns are unprotected in the current array). As regards the second, I would suggest enhancing the Knight by adding the Zebra to give a Gazelle. At one time I suggested names for Rook+Gazelle and Bishop+Gazelle - Razorbill and Basilica - and while I dropped these as obscure one-offs I could reintroduce them to Man and Beast if the pieces appear in a variant.