In Accessory Chess the rules are the same as in orthodox chess, except that one extra piece per player (or two) is placed in the reserve. Standard chess is included as an option, thereby maintaining the historical connection. In a tournament, by way of the initial voting procedure, players can decide to play a traditional game.
Before starting, the players must decide whether they want to use the extra piece. The above image displays a Mastodon, but practically any piece type can be used. To make a decision, one can, for instance, turn over a marker, or place the extra piece in a special way. Only if both players choose not to use the extra piece, then it becomes a regular game of chess. If white turns down the extra piece, then black can overrule this.
If players have elected to include external pieces, they may either move a piece or pawn, or drop the extra piece from the reserve. The extra piece may only be introduced on the second rank at occasions when a pawn moves one step. Should a player refrain from inserting his extra piece at these occasions, then he has forfeited his chance of introducing it. Note that pieces and pawns are allowed to move before the extra piece has been dropped.
It’s a difficult strategical question whether one should wait, or immediately make use of the drop move to advance a centre pawn. But dropping the extra piece on the king- or queen pawn could block the development of the bishop. Waiting has its obvious advantages, although the alternative positions where the piece can be dropped will become fewer and fewer.
In this setup two extra pieces are used, a Chancellor and an Archbishop.
Accessory Chess is intended as an alternative to standard chess. This implementation will allow the user to test which pieces are suitable. Each variant features a particular piece type. Choose your own favourite. It will be enhanced with more alternative pieces in later editions. So far, circa twenty piece types have been implemented, including the Llama, Alpaca, Guanaco, Vicuña, and Crownprincess (an heavy piece that captures like a queen but moves by jumping queenwise).
Note that this variant is close to my Alternative Chess where the pawn is relocated two steps.
☛ You can download my free Accessory Chess program here (updated 2010-02-01), but you must own the software Zillions of Games to be able to run it (I recommend the download version).
☛ You can play Accessory Chess (with Divaricator) online and by e-mail here.
☛ Don’t miss my other chess variants.
© M. Winther, 2008 August