In Alpaca Chess the rules are the same as in orthodox chess, except that one extra piece (or two) per player is kept in the reserve. Standard chess is included as an option.
The Alpaca is a Lama piece. It jumps one or two squares orthogonally. It cannot capture on the second square. A common motif is to create a breach by exchanging it for two pawns. The Alpaca is ideal for defensive purposes, but can also penetrate into the enemy position and, due to its lower value, drive away enemy pieces. A light piece can be exchanged for Alpaca + pawn, while retaining equality. Its value corresponds to two pawns.
The Alpaca jumps one or two steps orthogonally, capturing only on the first. Its value is 2.
Alpaca : a domesticated mammal (Lama pacos) esp. of Peru that is prob. descended from the guanaco. (Webster's Dictionary)
Before starting, the players must decide whether they want to use the extra piece. 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 must now be placed on the file on which the player intends to introduce the piece(s). If, for instance, the player places the external piece behind his own queen, then the piece is automatically introduced on the queen's initial square when the queen moves away. If a piece is placed behind the king then it is also introduced at castling. The same is true if the external piece is placed behind the rook. Should a piece on the initial position be captured (exchanged), then the player has forfeited his right to introduce an external piece placed behind it. (In an alternative variant black is compelled to place his piece on the same file as white.) Note! In variants with two external pieces per player, the player is not allowed to position one piece on the king file and one on the rook file. This rule will prevent him from introducing two pieces simultaneously at castling.
The players, in their first move, decide from which file they aim to introduce the external piece. In this case, the external piece has previously been positioned on the knight file. It is introduced to g1 when the knight moves. Black introduces his piece when the bishop moves.
Alpaca Chess is intended as an alternative to standard chess. This method of introducing an external piece, or two, is probably ideal while the strategical situation is clarified before play begins. Alpaca Chess is a variant of Pioneer Chess.
• You can download my free Alpaca Chess program here (updated 2009-04-16), but you must own the software Zillions of Games to be able to run it (I recommend the download version).
• Play Alpaca Chess online here.
• Don't miss my other chess variants.
© M. Winther, 2009 April