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30 January 2005 @ 05:04 pm
Philosopher Kings

In this chess variant, named after the concept of an "ideal government" from Plato's Republic, the King is a "Philosopher"-like piece. The supplemental 4×4 board is called the Æon, and the King's two kinds of movement are represented by a pair of markers caled Ideas, which move one space at a time orthogonally on the Æon (and cannot share a space). However, unlike in Dialectic Chess, the two Ideas do not correspond to passive and capturing movements: the moves represented by either marker can be used to move passively or to capture. The Ideas start on {1,0} and {1,1}, meaning that the King moves at the start just like a standard chess King. The same restrictions on repeating positions on the Æon between board moves apply as in Dialectic Chess.

Obviously, you couldn't move an Idea if your King is in check, since it could not remove check. It's also impossible to give check by making an æonic move, since doing so would also put your own King in check.

I'm conflicted about castling. Of course, you could play with traditional castling, or with no castling alowed at all. My current idea is that castling is allowed, but only if the King could arrive at the proper spot by repeated use of one of his moves in the same direction (in other words, one marker would have to be on any of {1,0}, {0,1}, {2,0}, or {0,2}). The usual restriction on inability to move the King through a space under attack holds, but if the King would not land there during his moves, the attack is irrelevant: e.g. if space F1 is under attack and one of the markers is on {2,0}, the player could castle kingside as the King would not be considered to have passed through F1 (however, this would leave the rook vulnerable to attack, so it might not be the best move to make in practice). The only real problem with this is that it's kind of hard to describe, but it does make the Æon relevant to castling.

Royal PhilosophersCollapse )
Philosopher's ArmyCollapse )
Grand Philosopher's ArmyCollapse )
Chiron's ChessCollapse )
Guru and the SagesCollapse )

Possibilities for future exploration

Philosopher-hoppers are possible.

All of these "philosophical" variants of chess use a smaller two-dimensional chessboard to control the "philosophers". It may be possible to expand these concepts. For example, adding a third dimension in which the "thoughts" can move, which could determine another component of the affected piece. Or, staying in 2D, adding a "sub-thought" piece that can split from and merge with a rider's thought that would determine the direction of the first step of a rider's move, allowing a rider to become a bent rider (like a gryphon or unicorn) or a "skip rider" (a similar idea, except the initial move is in the same direction as the rest and only differs in length, like a wazir + dabbabahrider). In fact, there is no reason why the meta-"board" must resemble a chessboard at all!
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