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A chess variant created by R. Wayne Schmittberger where he attempted to balance the number of 'riders' with the number of 'leapers'. Riders are the pieces that slide along an open line. Leapers are the pieces that jump to squares regardless of what intervenes.

It is played on an 11x10 chess board and the opening set up is as follows:

  A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
| R | N | C | C | W | K | Q | B | B | N | R | 10
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
| P | P | P | P | P | P | P | P | P | P | P | 9
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 8
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 7
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 6
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 5
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 4
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   | 3
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
| P | P | P | P | P | P | P | P | P | P | P | 2
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
| R | N | B | B | Q | K | W | C | C | N | R | 1
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+

Most of the pieces will be familiar to those who know chess, so I will not go into details of how those pieces move. The new pieces are the Camel (C) and the Wildebeest (W).

Camels

The Camels start on c10, d10, h1, and i1. Their move is similar to a Knight's move, but it's stretched a bit. A Knight moves to the other corner of a 2x3 rectangle. The Camel moves to the other corner of a 2x4 rectangle. In the following diagram, the Camel can move to the squares marked with an x:

+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   | x |
+---+---+---+---+---+
|   | C |   |   |   |
+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   | x |
+---+---+---+---+---+
|   |   |   |   |   |
+---+---+---+---+---+
| x |   | x |   |   |
+---+---+---+---+---+

Wildebeests

The Wildebeests start on e10 and g1. They combine the moves of a Knight and a Camel. (Similar to the way a Queen combines the moves of a Bishop and a Rook.) So the Wildebeest can move to any square that could be reached by either a Knight or a Camel on the same square.

Castling

Castling is interesting in Wildebeest Chess. You must still meet all the requirements as in Orthodox Chess. You must have an open line between a King and Rook and neither may have moved. You cannot castle through check, nor castle out of check. However, you may move the King ANY number of squares towards the Rook, and then move the rook to the other side of the King (in the square immediately adjacent to the King.)

Pawns

A pawn on the second rank may step forward one, two or three squares. A pawn on the third rank may step forward one or two squares. Otherwise, pawns move and capture exatly as in Orthodox Chess.

En Passant

You MAY capture en passant any time a pawn makes a multi-step move that bypasses a square on which it could have been captured, the enemy pawn may be captured as if the pawn had moved to that square, provided the capture is made immediately.

Promotion

A pawn may only promote to a Queen or Wildebeest. It may do so even if the player already has one of those pieces.

Winning

A player wins by checkmating or stalemating the opposing king.

Relative value

The relative value of the pieces follow:

Pawn
Camel
Knight
Bishop
Rook
Wildebeest
Queen

It's interesting to find that the Camel, with it's longer jump, is LESS valuable than the Knight. Although you CAN cover the distance quicker, the longer range actually reduces the number of squares where they attack 8 squares. A camel is worth approximately two pawns.

The Knight is still worth about 2.5 Pawns.

The Bishop is still worth about 3 pawns.

The Rook is still worth about 5 pawns.

The Wildebeest is much stronger than the Rook in the opening (at least a Pawn difference, closer to two pawns) but as the board opens up it reduces to less than half a pawn in the very late game. The Wildebeest is worth about 6.5 pawns.

The Queen is still worth about 8 pawns.

References:

New Rules for Classic Games by R Wayne Schmittberger

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