PlayingVyrémorn Chess is a fantasy chess variant played diagonally on a board of two overlapping square areas, using both new and traditional pieces. The White player makes the first move by moving any piece, then the Black player moves a piece, and so on. Any piece with a legal move may open, including Mounting Disks, Castling, or moving into the Field. Castling, Extricating, and moving Mounted Disks are the only times when more than one piece is allowed to be moved in a turn.
The BoardVyrémorn Chess is played on a diagonal board comprised of two nine by nine checkered squares overlapping one another, offset five to the right and six to the left. The area of overlap is called the Field and has special properties that impacts the movement of pieces. The areas outside of the the Field are the Black and White Courts, determined by the color of the corner squares. The white pieces begin in the White Court, and the black pieces begin in the Black Court.
one Grand Bard,
& eight Pawns.
The Field is the six square by five square region in the center of the board, and is normally distinguished by having the 'white' squares darkened slightly. Another method to emphasis the Field is with a dark border.
No piece can enter the Field from one Court and cross into the opposing Court in the same turn. The piece must instead remain in the Field until a subsequent turn, and then continue on. Some pieces may leap spaces, and can cross over the Field without restriction. These pieces are: the Magus, the Wing, and the Knight. The Magus is restricted from entering the field.
There are also two diagonal columns -one black, and one white- to either side of the Field directly connecting the Black and White Courts. These can be used to bypass the Field by any pieces capable of moving forward diagonally.
The CourtsThe Black and White Courts are the regions initially dominated by their respective Color's pieces, and can be determined by the color of squares in the corners. Whenever a Pawn or an Arbalest exits its native Court, it is promoted. The specific affects of promotion can be found with the piece descriptions. The only piece restricted to its native Court is the Citadel, which is designated as a defensive piece.
Other TermsFlats: Squares that share sides.
Points: Squares that meet only at the corners.
Cardinals: Rows and columns of flats.
Diagonals: Rows and columns of points.
The KingThe King can move or attack any adjacent point or flat, so long as it does not place itself in check by doing so. If the King is threatened, it must either be shielded by another piece, or moved out of Check. The King can enter the Field and mount Disks. The King can move beyond his ordinary range by Castling, or by being Extricated by the Magus.
The queen is depicted as a merciless woman warrior in the tradition of Boudica or Queen Maeve.
The Magus protects the King via supernatural forces, and is commonly represented as a hunched figure leaning upon a staff.
The Citadel is represented by a Great-Tower or Keep, matching the King and Queen in stature.
The Grand Bard is a champion Warrior-Poet, skilled in both war and wit. It is normally represented by a large Harp.
Flamen are prophets and priests of ancient tradition. The Flamen is depicted as a figure hunched over an orb or flame.
The Bard is a fearsome warrior-poet, and is represented by a Harp or Lyre.
*, leaping the intervening spaces. The Wing can also enter or leap the Field and mount Disks. The Wing's leap cannot carry it over spaces not on the board.
* This is the only move that has multiple paths to bypass the Citadel's defense.
The Wing is commonly represented as a Winged Cat or Griffin.
The Rook is a large mobile siege-tower and weapon platform. They are named for the habit of crows to nest in them when not in use (i.e. a rookery)
An Arbalest is a heavy crossbow, and is commonly represented as such.
The Disk is named for its icon, a disk, black on one side, white on the other. The disk is a representation of the giant shields wheeled forward to protect units as they advanced into battle.
MountingA Disk can be Mounted by any friendly piece except the Citadel, a Pawn, or another Disk, so long as that piece's normal movement would place it on the space occupied by the Disk. No piece can cross (mount and dismount) a Disk in the same turn. The piece must instead occupy the Disk until a subsequent turn. Pieces occupying a Disk can either move off of the Disk in their normal manner, or remain on- and/or be moved with the Disk.
Some pieces leap occupied spaces, and can leap over the Disk without restriction. These pieces are: the Magus, the Wing, the Knight, the Elephant, and the Pawn when making its optional two space opening move.
TurningIf an occupied Disk is attacked, the piece mounted on the Disk is captured and the Disk is Turned to the color of the captor, unless the capturing piece is a Pawn or Disk, in which case the Disk is also captured. An unoccupied Disk is captured, not Turned, when attacked.
CastlingCastling is a move that can be done only once by a player in a game. It allows the King to be moved beyond its normal range, at the cost of the Citadel. It consists of the Citadel being removed from the board, and the King being placed on the space vacated by the Citadel. Castling is subject to the following rules:
- The King must be in his native Court.
- The King must not be in Check.
- The King must not move into Check as a result of Castling.
- If the King was occupying a Disk, the King is removed from the disk.
ExtricatingExtricating is a move that also allows the King to move beyond his normal range, trading places with the Magus. Extricating can be performed as often as necessary, so long as the Magus is in play. Extricating is subject to all of the following rules:
- The King cannot be in the Field.
- The King must be in check.
- The Magus must be able to physically move to the square occupied by the King.
- The King must not move into Check as a result of Extricating.
- If either the King or Magus were occupying a Disk, the Disk does not change positions.
CheckmateThe game is won by checking the opposing King so that no valid move will remove the King from threat.
CheckThe King is in Check when threatened with capture by one or more opposing pieces. When the King is placed in check, the player doing so must announce it by saying "Check". One of three things must be done to defend the King:
- The King must move out of Check.
- The threatening piece Checking the King must be captured.
- A piece must be placed between the King and the attacking pieces, thus obstructing the threat.
StalemateThe game may also end in a draw or stalemate, according to any one of the following conditions:
- The moving player can make no legal move and yet the King is not in check.
- There are not enough pieces left on the board to force a checkmate.
- When a player proves he can check the opposing King endlessly.
- When fifty moves have passed for both players without any pieces being captured.
- The players agree to a draw.