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Alice Chess. Classic Variant where pieces switch between two boards whenever they move. (8x8x2, Cells: 128) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
JCL wrote on 2002-03-29 UTC
Daniel, do you realize that the site icon in the upper left-hand corner
takes you to the index page? I have visited regularly for years, so I have
the 'What's new?' page bookmarked. --JCL

Daniel wrote on 2002-03-29 UTCGood ★★★★
Make your pages have a 'printer option!' That way I could take your data
home with me and actually use it!! Also, put a 'home' buttin at the
of each page, it would make site navigation easier... Thanks, Daniel

Tomas Forsman wrote on 2002-05-30 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Another variant could be, and this probably exists under some name, to
start with two boards and two sets of pieces each. Except that there would
be no King on the second board.

Just a thought.

The game is very fun to play however.


Masashi Yamazaki wrote on 2002-09-10 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
The starting setup of graphics version is wrong.
Bishops in 1b/8b should be in 1c/8c respectively.
Knignts in 1c/8c should be in 1b/8b respectively.

The game is wonderful but too complex to play for me.


Masashi Yamazaki

Peter Aronson wrote on 2002-09-10 UTC
Whoops! Diagram fixed -- thanks for pointing it out.

Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2003-09-03 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
An interesting aspect of this game is that game goals or strategies differ on each board. The checkmate goal is the same, of course, but each position has its own intermediary objectives. On one board, the objectives may be more like the opening, on the other they may be more middle game objectives. These objectives must remain flexible because the positions appear and dissapear like summer clouds or maybe dreams. What a great game!

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2004-03-14 UTC
When you're implementing the rules of a game, you have to pay closer
attention to the consequences of the rules than you would have to just to
learn the game. This page omits an important detail I had to discover on
my own. En passant is possible only for a Pawn on the second board. When a
Pawn makes a double move, it moves to the second board. If it had moved
only one space, it would have still moved to the second board, and only a
Pawn on that board would have been able to capture it. Since en passant is
supposed to allow a Pawn to capture an enemy Pawn it would have been able
to capture if it had moved only one space, it follows that en passant is
for the Pawn waiting on the second board, not for any Pawn on the first

Furthermore, I have deduced that a Pawn can be properly situated for
making an en passant capture only if it has never made a double move. To
be properly situated, a Pawn must be on a player's fifth rank. To get to
the fifth rank, a Pawn may make three single space moves or a double space
move and a single space move. With three single space moves, the Pawn will
be on the second board. But if it makes a double move and a single move,
its two moves will return it to the first board, and it will be unable to
capture anything by en passant.

carlos carlos wrote on 2004-04-06 UTC
could someone check out my game with Laila and advise on the situation - my
interpretation is that a move made on the mirror board will send you back
to the original board.  laila thinks opposite, that once on the mirror
board you stay there.

i have already misunderstood this game once, so i am probably wrong

Larry Smith wrote on 2004-04-06 UTC
In Alice Chess, pieces must translate from one board to the other with each move. No exceptions.

carlos carlos wrote on 2004-04-06 UTC
many thanks.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2004-04-06 UTC
Laila is wrong. If you were playing with the preset that enforces the rules, it would automatically be sending pieces back and forth between the boards, and this dispute over the rules wouldn't need to arise.

Larry Smith wrote on 2004-05-04 UTC
There is a Shogi form called Curiosity-Alice-Shogi.  I don't know who was
the developer.

It appears to play the same as Alice Chess.  Drops are allowed to re-enter
on either board.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2004-06-04 UTC
In the Kibbitizing section of an ongoing Alice Chess game, I entered a
question about an ambiguity in the rules. If you have any expertise on
Alice Chess, please look at my question, which concerns the specific
position in that game, and help me resolve the ambiguity I'm concerned
about. The game can be found here:

Larry Smith wrote on 2004-06-04 UTC
Moving Rook b1-b4 will block the attack from that Bishop.

Why not try King e1-d2?  The standard rules state that a King cannot be 
left in check, the move is legal for the King.  The only standard rule 
which states that a King cannot moved through an attacked position is 
while castling.

In standard Chess a King may not move to an attacked cell, but d2 is 
not attacked by the Bishop since it will be empty.  The King will not 
be present to be captured by the Bishop on the next move.

Larry Smith wrote on 2004-06-04 UTC
And I know that the rules in 'Curiouser and Curiouser' state:

'For example, the King may never move to a checked square on his board,
even though the transfer to the other board immediately afterwards might
actually move the King to a safe square...'

I've always used these stated rules but never really understood the logic
of them.  But hey, it is V.R. Parton's Alice Chess and he had the right
to establish its conditions.  But I've always wondered why.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2004-06-04 UTC
Without the rule you quoted, it would be too easy to escape check.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2004-06-04 UTC
First, let me mention that the ambiguity I wondered about is now resolved.

Turning to Larry's puzzlement over the logic behind Parton's rules, I
think the logic lies in what makes for best gameplay. There are two
extremes that each seem more consistent than Parton's choice. One extreme
is to count check only on the completion of a move, and the other is to
never allow any move that leaves a King in check before the transfer of a
piece to the other board. In contrast to these two internally-consistent
options, Parton chose to count check only when a move puts a King in check
before the transfer is made, and to not count check when the King is
already in check and the pre-transfer move does not eliminate the check. I
think Parton made the right choice, and here's why I agree with it. The
first option I described, of counting check only when a move is completed,
would make it too easy for a King to escape check. The second option, of
always counting check before the transfer, would make it too difficult to
escape check. In fact, it would remove all possibility of blocking a
check. Any move that blocked a check before the transer was complete would
fail to actually block the check, because it would be transferred to the
other board, where it no longer blocked the check. To make it neither too
hard nor too easy to escape check, the right choice is to not allow any
move that puts one's own previously unchecked King into check, while
allowing moves that merely postpone the elimination of a pre-existing
check until the end of the full move.

Larry Smith wrote on 2004-06-04 UTC
I agree that Parton's restriction does make the checkmate much more
easier.  But without it, there really is not a reduction in the potential
of checkmate.

Dropping this restriction actually brings the Kings themselves into the
end-game formulae.  With the ability to pin the opposing King with a King
on the other field.  There is also an increase possibility of stalemate,
if the player is not aware of this particular position against a lone
opposing King.

Now, I'm not advocating elimination of this restriction.  But variant
play might include the lifting of this restriction.

Austin Lockwood wrote on 2004-07-14 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Turn based Alice Chess can now be played on <a href=''> Online Correspondence Chess Club</a>. Both the standard version described here (Alice1) and the variation where the black pieces start on board B (Alice2) are available.

George Duke wrote on 2004-10-06 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Are Chess and Chess Variants separate like Alice's 'Through the Looking Glass'? Has 14th World Champion Vladimir Kramnik even heard of Alice Chess, re-recognized now at CVP? Would #6 Peter Leko play Ultima? Contrariwise, are CVP readers even aware a World Championship match takes place now in Switzerland between Kramnik and Leko? Would perennial #1 Kasparov hold Recognized Chess Variant Kriegspel in high regard? Or #7 Michael Adams think RCV Avalanche Chess worth anything? Well there are Fischer and Random Chess, and a photograph in Pritchard's ECV of #9 Judit Polgar (and sisters) playing Intense C, being a variant neither known nor recognized here. Probably the realms will remain separate and unequal between Chess and CVs, at large most of the games played being Chess.

Roberto Lavieri wrote on 2004-10-06 UTC
Judith Polgar is a very stron Omega Chess player, but all I know is that she plays it eventually.

Moisés Solé wrote on 2004-11-01 UTC
Yay Polgar! (Sorry I just had to...)

My question is that I don't get all those B-colors, N-colors and
and how this gives eight. Can someone explain this to me again? Thanks.

Antoine Fourrière wrote on 2004-11-01 UTC
At both Chess and Alice Chess, the Bishops are restricted to one half of
the squares. But at Alice Chess, this holds true also for the Knights, and
for the Pawns once they've completed their first move.

So you can paint the squares in eight different colors, each color
This square will not accept:
1) the dark-square Bishops (OR the light-square Bishops)
2) the Knights which started on a dark square (OR the Knights which
started on a light square)
3) the white Pawns whose first advance was of two squares and the black
Pawns whose first advance was of one square (OR the white Pawns whose
first advance was of one square and the black Pawns whose first advance
was of two squares)

This amounts to eight different square types.
Something like:

   1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2    3 4 3 4 3 4 3 4
   5 6 5 6 5 6 5 6    7 8 7 8 7 8 7 8
   1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2    3 4 3 4 3 4 3 4
   5 6 5 6 5 6 5 6    7 8 7 8 7 8 7 8
   1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2    3 4 3 4 3 4 3 4
   5 6 5 6 5 6 5 6    7 8 7 8 7 8 7 8
   1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2    3 4 3 4 3 4 3 4
   5 6 5 6 5 6 5 6    7 8 7 8 7 8 7 8

Or you can have three ways of painting the squares:
light and dark as usual, in two colors I'm referring to as B-colors, to
separate the Bishops in two classes (1368 vs 2457)
reversing the colors of one chessboard, in two N-colors, to separate the
Knights in two classes (1467 vs 2358)
even-numbered rows of one chessboard and odd-numbered rows of the other
chessboard, and vice versa, in two P-colors, to separate the Pawns in two
classes (1278 vs 3456)
However, a Bishop can be captured only by a Bishop of the same B-color,
while a Knight can be captured only by a Knight of the other N-color and a
Pawn only by a Pawn of the other P-color.

Roberto Lavieri wrote on 2004-11-01 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Excellent page!. In my opinion, new comments on strategy by Fourriere are of very high quality, I have learned a bit more about this nice game, but I doubt I can still play it as well as I would want, deep tactics are usually complex, and risks are much more important than in FIDE-Chess. Mastering this game needs certain amount of time, undoubtely.

Moisés Solé wrote on 2004-11-01 UTC
Thanks, Antoine. I see it now.

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