The Veles is a bifurcation piece. It can move in two legs, the first is an orthogonal slide, and the second is a diagonal deflection-move, along either of two diagonals in the prolonged movement-direction. Any piece functions as screen, and the Veles bends around it, as if affected by gravity. Capture can only occur orthogonally, on the first leg. The Veles's value is 3, that is, the same as a bishop or knight (preliminary estimate). While the Veles slides along an orthogonal, several diagonals (in the prolonged movement direction) could be chosen, provided that there exist screens for deflection. The Veles can also be deflected by the margin. In this case there is only one diagonal movement direction available, namely to the corner square. Other rules are the same as in standard chess, except for the possible promotion to Veles. The Veles is a highly cooperative piece, something which makes it interesting for the positional player. Although the Veles is dependent on screens for moving it is a dynamic piece that puts great demands on the chessplayer. In an alternative variant, Kwaggas replace the knights.
The Velites (sing: Veles) were a type of Roman Gladiator who fought on foot using a spear called a hasta. They were also armed with a gladius sword. They had neither body armour, nor helmet or shield.
The Veles can move in two legs, the first is an orthogonal slide and the second is a diagonal deflection-slide. Capture can only occur on the first leg (red = capture).
The Veles's movement principle. In any of its four orthogonal movement directions, there could be many screens to choose from. The screens, that are used for deflection, occur anywhere on the first leg.
• You can download my free Veles Chess program here, 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 (August 2010).