The Echidna moves like a king, one step in any direction, but it cannot capture directly. Instead the Echidna has the power to repulse any piece (friend or foe, including pawns) that is being approached, provided that any intervening squares are empty. The piece is repulsed to the square immediately beyond the next piece, thus causing the startled piece to jump beyond a screen in sheer fright. An enemy piece positioned here would be captured. If there is no screen, or the square behind the screen is occupied by a friendly piece, then no repulsion occurs. In case of an enemy pawn, it cannot be pushed back to the first rank, that is, the second rank is the limit. The enemy pawn can be pushed to its promotion square, whereby it is promoted to a queen, as only option. A friendly pawn, pushed to the last rank, can promote as usual. Other rules are the same as in standard chess, except for the possible promotion to Echidna. The Echidna's value is 3, that is, the same as a bishop or knight (preliminary estimate). Despite its low value the Echidna has capacities that borders on the magical. Echidna Chess can also be played with Kwaggas instead of knights (see Bodyguard Chess).
Try to use the Echidna to dislocate enemy pieces, rendering them useless for the moment, and to transport friendly pieces to better positions. Also try to repulse important enemy pawns from strong positions in the centre. The Echidna can cause a friendly pawn to jump over the enemy pawn chain, thus creating a passed pawn. It can also repair a disrupted pawn chain.Echidna Chess, and the new Echidna piece, were invented by undersigned, February 2007.
Echidna: 1 (Greek: "Snake"), monster of Greek mythology, half-woman, half-serpent. Her parents were either the sea deities Phorcys and Ceto or Chrysaor, the monstrous son of Medusa, and Callirrhoë, the daughter of Oceanus. Among Echidna's progeny, by the 100-headed Typhon, were Ladon (the dragon who protected the Golden Apples of the Hesperides), the dragon who protected the Golden Fleece, the Hydra, the goatlike Chimera, and the infernal hounds Orthus and Cerberus. The Sphinx and the Nemean lion, both sired by Orthus, were also among her offspring.
2 an oviparous spiny-coated toothless burrowing nocturnal monotreme mammal (Tachyglossus aculeatus) of Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea that has a long extensile tongue and long heavy claws and that feeds chiefly on ants.
The Echidna repulses any piece to the square behind the next piece. If this square is occupied by an enemy piece capture occurs.
• You can download my free Echidna Chess program here (updated 2007-06-07), but you must own the software Zillions of Games to be able to run it (I recommend the download version).
• Don't miss my other chess variants.
© M. Winther (February 2007).