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This is the third question of my mini series on decentralised chess, or Swiss chess.

In Swiss chess, the advantage in terms of mobility of a centrally placed piece over a piece in the corner is compensated for simply by opening up additional squares a marginalised piece has access to. This applies to all pieces except rooks and pawns.

Credit to @AxiomaticSystem for the following streamlined description of Swiss moves:

  1. Movements ending at the starting square are implicitly forbidden

  2. The King may either take a diagonal step, or make an orthogonal jump. This jump can skip at most as many squares as the number of edges the King is on.

  3. A bonk is a unit move (knight leap for the Knight, diagonal step for the bishop), except if this move would take them to a square off the board, the piece moves to the closest on-board square instead.

  4. A Knight can always bonk. In addition, if it's in the corner, it can also take a diagonal step .

  5. A Bishop can always move as normal. If the number of possible normal moves (assuming otherwise empty board) is smaller than the maximum, 13, then the bishop can also bonk off the nearest edge. (If the Bishop is on one of the long diagonals there are two nearest edges and both are allowed.) This extension is, however, capped at 13 possible moves total, meaning that if necessary the longest bonk moves are pruned.

  6. The Queen moves like a Rook or Bishop.

Here are some animated gifs, showing the full set of legal moves from a representative set of squares for the Swiss knight, the Swiss bishop, the Swiss queen and the Swiss king. If you need more info, please comment or find some at the other Swiss chess posts.

enter image description here enter image description here

enter image description here enter image description here

Today's question is still of the nice and easy warm-up kind:

Question 1:

Are there fools in Switzerland? And how do they differ from ordinary fools?

Translation for the literally minded:

Does the fool's mate work in Swiss chess? If not can it be made to work with minor modifications?

For reference, the fool's mate is the quickest possible played-out loss in ordinary chess 1.f3 e5 2.g4 Qh4# Tellingly, in the fastest possible variation it is white who loses because the limiting resource are blunders.

Question 2:

Can you find the Liechtenstein move?

Translation:

Can you find an early game (first few moves) instant loser that is only possible in Swiss chess?

Hint:

Q1 and Q2 are linked.

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  • $\begingroup$ The reason my version of the rules is so complicated is due to cases like the Bishop being a Knight's-move from the corner: the "missing" bonk along the far edge is closer than the bonks along the near edge. $\endgroup$ Mar 11, 2021 at 13:59
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, which is why I took the liberty of further simplifying them by first instructing to only consider the near edge. Anyway, thanks again for your great contribution! @AxiomaticSystem $\endgroup$ Mar 11, 2021 at 20:53

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An alternate phrasing of the movement rules, which took a lot of toil to get a decent description of the Bishop: (Movements ending at the starting square are implicitly forbidden)

A bonk is a unit move (knight leap for the Knight, diagonal step for the bishop), except if this move would take them to a square off the board, the piece moves to the closest on-board square instead.
The King may either take a diagonal step, or make an orthogonal jump. This jump can skip at most as many squares as the number of edges the King is on.
A Knight can always bonk, or take a diagonal step if it's in the corner.
A Bishop can always move as normal. If it is on zero or two edges, it can instead bonk up to three times in any direction.
Additionally, a Bishop that is not on the diagonal or the "middle cross" (union of ranks 4/5 and files d/e) may bonk towards the nearest edge any number of times, as long as it does not end in the second-nearest corner.

Phew! Now for the question!

Ordinary Fool's Mate doesn't work, because the black King can hop to e6 - this can be rectified by

moving the bishop first: 1. e4 f6 2. Bc4 g5 3. Qh5++
Since Black's bishop is still on the edge, it cannot bonk to h5, and the Knight can't reach h5 or bonk into a non-edge square.

For Q2, there are a few different ideas for short mates requiring Swiss moves, here's a funny one in four:

1. Ke3 g5 2. Kf3 e6 3. Kg4 f5+ 4. Kh5 Bh6++

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your alternative description! May I use it (perhaps modified) in the question (and related questions)? Re the answer. 1 is, of course, perfectly right. Just for completeness, intended was 1. e4 f5 2. exf5 g5 3. Qh5#. As for 2, the King jump is indeed what I was looking for but I meant as a single blunder, afterwards the losing side ceases to cooperate and still dies quickly. $\endgroup$ Mar 8, 2021 at 9:28
  • $\begingroup$ Please, don't be afraid to use the description, it'll make things less daunting for potential solvers. $\endgroup$ Mar 8, 2021 at 14:27
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For good measure here is my intended answer:

Q1:

As the black king can from his starting position directly jump to e6, the standard fool's mate (white winning) does not work:
enter image description here
but that is easily fixed: 1. e4 f5 2. exf5 g5 3. Qh5#
enter image description here
the white pawn f5 controlling the Swiss escape square.

Q2:

The king may be able to jump in front of his pawns, but it is not wise: after 1. e4 ..., 1. ... Ke6 is quite literally a one-way ticket because the king cannot jump back and is trapped in the middle of the board.
enter image description here
black may decide to put their socks up and from here defend properly, but it is too late, white will comfortably win against any defense. All they need to do is keep black busy, so they cannot retreat their king.
As this all happens in the centre and involves no specific Swiss moves I'll keep it brief and only spell out one typical line of play: 2. Qg4+ Kd6 3. e5+ Kxe5 4. Nf3+ Kd6 5. Qd4+ Kc6 6. Ne5#
enter image description here

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