Written & Designed by William F. Bultas
Required Equipment: A chess board, 2-4 different chess pieces, & several small markers, such as coins or scraps of paper. Also, a coin, die, or straws may be needed.
Instructions: Chivalrous Attrition is a very simple chess variant that can be played by 2-4 individuals at one time. You may print out, copy, & distribute these rules for personal use only.
The basic game of Chivalrous Attrition is played by 2 players with 1 chess piece each, which would normally be a black & white knight. Players flip a coin or in some other random way determine who will move first. If a game has already been played, the player who lost the last game moves first. Each player places his or her knight on any unoccupied square on the board during each player's first turn, & this is considered to be each player's first move. However, for his or her first turn, the second player may not place his or her knight on the exact 'mirror' of the square on which the first player's knight was placed (e.g. if the first player's knight was placed in his or her back right hand corner during his or her first turn, the second player may not place his or her knight in the first player's back left hand corner, or in the second player's back right or left hand corners during the second player's first turn). Following the first turn, each chess piece is moved just like a knight in a standard chess game. When the piece lands, a marker is placed beneath it; this includes each player's first turn. The marker will remain on that space for the rest of the game. Neither of the chess pieces may now land on that space; the only exception to this rule is that a knight may be captured by another knight, & thus required to land on a space that has already been landed on. The first player moves, then the second player, & so on. Players continue moving & leaving markers on spaces until 1 of 2 things happen:
1. A player cannot move without landing on a space already occupied by a marker, & thus loses; or
2. A player captures the other player's game piece with a standard chess move, & thus wins.
There are 2 variations of the standard 2 player game, & both involve each player using an additional game piece. This additional piece should be the same hue as the other player's piece, but should be of a different type (e.g. a player could use a black knight & a black bishop, but not 2 black knights). All game pieces still move like chess knights in a standard chess game. The game begins by the first player placing his or her 2 pieces anywhere on the board. The second player now does the same, but as in the basic game, may not mirror the first player by placing either of his or her pieces in the mirror positions of either of the 2 squares occupied by the first player. Now the first player moves each of his or her pieces once. Which piece is moved first is irrelevant, & may vary from turn to turn. Now the second player moves his or her 2 pieces, & so forth. These 2 games conclude in the following ways:
1. The first game concludes when 1 player loses both game pieces, & thus loses the game. Game pieces can be lost in either of the 2 ways described above, & also if a player takes 1 of his or her own game pieces by landing on it with his or her other game piece.
2. The second game is usually much faster. A player loses the game when he or she loses either game piece in any of the ways mentioned in the paragraph above.
If there are 3-4 players, the game is not much different. Each player uses 1 chess piece that is distinct from the others being used by either hue or type. Players should randomly determine the order in which they will move. Players begin the game by placing their chess pieces on the board, & cannot mirror the starting positions of other players. Once all pieces are placed, the first player moves, then the second, & so on. Pieces are moved once each turn like standard chess knights. A player is removed from the game when his or her game piece is taken by another player with a standard chess knight's move, or when he or she is unable to move without landing on a space with a marker on it. Play continues until only 1 player's chess piece remains on the board, & that player is the winner.
I hope that you will try these games with your friends & family, & that they provide many hours of enjoyment!
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