In Warlock Chess the rooks are replaced by "Warlocks". This magic piece can change movement capability by using up a move to transform itself. A Warlock rook can change into a Warlock cannon by turning the rook upside down, or vice versa. The Warlock cannon uses Korean Cannon movement: it moves as a rook after having jumped a piece. If it cannot jump then it cannot move. As such, it is somewhat weaker than a knight, but its tactical capacity is great. In any case, the Warlock cannon can always transform itself back into a Warlock rook. After the piece is transformed it must make a move before making yet another transformation. So it's not possible to stay put and make continual transformations on the same square.
The Warlock has great attacking potential, and it's much easier to maneuvre than the clumsy rook. It is more valuable than a rook, but it costs time to transform back and forth between its cannon and rook guises. Warlock means sorcerer, witch, or conjurer. There is also a variant with an improved pawn, which has an additional movement direction.
White can transform into a Warlock cannon, check the king and capture the queen.
• You can download my free Warlock Chess program here, but you must own the software Zillions of Games to be able to run it.
• Don't miss my other chess variants.
© M. Winther (December 2007).