In Reserve Chess (R-chess) one extra piece per player is placed in the reserve. The piece is automatically introduced at the position that is first left vacant when a piece leaves its initial square. The piece that first moves will also bring the external piece into play, so it is a double-move, comparable to castling. Neither the king nor the rook can introduce an external piece. Otherwise the rules are the same as in standard chess.
Reserve Chess can be played with an initial voting procedure. If both players vote for the exclusion of the external piece, it will not be used. This program implementation will allow the user to test which pieces are suitable. It will be enhanced with more alternative pieces in later editions. Reserve Chess is designed to overcome the problem of opening monotony.
reserve n, often attrib (1648) 1 : something reserved or set aside for a particular purpose, use, or reason: as a (1) : a military force withheld from action for later decisive use. Usu. used in pl. (Webster's Dictionary)
The piece that first moves will also bring the external piece into play. In an alternative variant the player can choose whether he wants to introduce the external piece at his first or second piece move.
So far, these pieces have been implemented: Swedish Cannon, Chancellor, Archbishop, Amazon, Mastodon, Dimachaer, Trebuchet, Kwagga, Divaricator, Murmillo, Culverin, Belfry, Adjutant and Zeppelin, Consul, Dragonet, Camel (3+1), Llama, Alpaca, Guanaco, and Vicuña (see below).
The Consul jumps like a Camel (3+1), or slides orthogonally on the same square colour only. The other square colour is simply ignored. It is a colourbound piece which is worth 5 (estimate). Note that it cannot jump over occupied squares of its own colour.
The Dragonet ('little dragon') flies to any empty square, of the same colour, in any direction. It captures an enemy piece by landing immediately beyond its victim. The Dragonet's value is 4, i.e. light piece + pawn (estimate). It's a colourbound variant of Schmittberger's Airplane, and was invented by me in Oct 2009.
The Lama family of pieces jump orthogonally on every second square, but have only four capture squares. They can, however, easily change square colour by moving to the adjacent orthogonal square. Any pair of these pieces can achieve checkmate together with a king.
• You can download my free Reserve Chess program here (updated 2011-02-21), but you must own the software Zillions of Games to be able to run it (I recommend the download version).
• You can play Dragonet Chess (a variant of Reserve Chess) against a human opponent here.
• Don't miss my other chess variants.
© M. Winther, 2011 January