The Hoplit is a bifurcation piece. It always moves and captures in two legs, first diagonally, then it jumps orthogonally over any piece, and slides. The jump is performed in the prolonged movement direction only. Without screens to jump over the Hoplit becomes immobile. Note! If the screen for jumping is an enemy pawn, then the Hoplit can only reach the square immediately behind the screen. The Hoplit's value is 3, that is, the same as a bishop or knight (preliminary estimate).
If players have elected to include external pieces, they may either move a piece or pawn, or drop the extra piece from the reserve. Pieces may only be dropped on the first rank, on an empty square behind a friendly pawn. The friendly pawn is immediately relocated one square ahead, to a position which must be empty. If these conditions aren't satisfied then the piece cannot be dropped.
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. You are allowed to make a pawn-relocation if in check, if the pawn-relocation covers the check. Other rules are the same as in standard chess, except for the possible promotion to Hoplit.
The Hoplit is a relative of the Korean cannon (in Korean Chess), which can only move if there exist pieces to jump over. But the Hoplit is a more dynamic piece while it has more movement alternatives. Hoplit Chess, and the new Hoplit piece, were invented by undersigned, September 2006.
Hoplit [Gk hoplites, fr. hoplon tool, weapon] (ca. 1741) : an heavily armed infantry soldier of ancient Greece.
The Hoplitmoves first diagonally, then jumps orthogonally over any piece (red = capture). Note that it can only reach the square immediately behind the enemy pawn.
The Hoplit's movement principle. The screens, that are used for jumping, occur anywhere on the second leg. The piece cannot stop before the screen.
• You can download my free Hoplit Chess program here (updated 2009-02-04), 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 (September 2006).