# Conway's Game of Life... Chess Edition

Here's a new interesting game.

Here's the starting position:

and here's how it works.

# Before I even start explaining this, adjacent includes diagonally adjacent. Thank you.

1. White goes first, as in normal chess. Pieces don't move.
2. On your turn, instead of moving, you must place a queen of your color on a square adjacent to your king. If there are no open spaces adjacent to your king, you skip this part. New: You can capture an enemy piece using this queen drop.
3. Then, one generation of Conway's Game of Life ensues, using your pieces.
4. You lose when you are in check at the end of your turn, or if your king gets captured.

### Fairly Long List of Clarifications About Step 3 Begins Here

1. The type of piece generated by Step 3 is determined by the lowest-valued piece adjacent to the square. If the lowest-valued adjacent piece is a queen, the piece generated is a rook. If the lowest-valued adjacent piece is a rook, the piece generated is a bishop. If the lowest-valued adjacent piece is a bishop or pawn, the piece generated is a pawn.
2. Your king can't die to overpopulation or underpopulation, but your other pieces can.
3. Ignore your opponent's pieces when you do your generation. If you would place a piece on top of one of your opponent's pieces, that piece is captured, as in normal chess, and place your piece as normal.
4. You can't go off the chessboard.
5. You can place pawns on the first or eighth rank. Pawns don't promote.
6. For game balance, a birth can take place with exactly 2 neighbors.

### Example Turn

It's White's turn here. They decide to play their new queen on e2. Now Conway's Game of Life begins. White's Be3, and Rd1 survive due to having 2 or 3 adjacent pieces. White's Qd2 and Qe2, however, have 4 adjacent White pieces, and will be removed at the end of the turn. White can then create bishops on c2 and c1, pawns on f2, f3, and a rook on f1, which captures the bishop on f1. The final position looks like:

### The Actual Puzzle

Now, all you need to do, is be the quickest to...

find a way for either side to win from the starting position, or prove that it can't be done. Yes, it can be a helpmate. No, it's not as easy as it seems...

• In principle it would seem to be possible to capture the opponent's king without ever checking. Is that a win? Nov 12, 2018 at 14:19
• I love the premise of this puzzle, combining chess and the game of life! I'm far too inexperienced in both, but it's really fun to just try things out here! $+1$ Nov 12, 2018 at 15:22
• In your example turn, there is no way how the black bishop got there, it's just for demonstration purpose, right? Nov 12, 2018 at 15:23
• I don't think f2 or d3 should have a pawn since they had three neighbours (bishop, queen, king -- queen, queen, bishop). Nov 12, 2018 at 16:27
• You lose when you are in check at the end of your turn Nov 12, 2018 at 18:50

## 3 Answers

I've probably missed some important bit of the description, but..

From the starting position, the only move is to add a queen. That queen will always instantly die from underpopulation, as will your king.

Game over?

• Wasn't you who missed something, it was me, lol. Added in something against that, but +1 for noticing Nov 12, 2018 at 14:42
• @ExcitedRaichu, the change doesn't fix the problem. Every turn ends with only two kings on the board. Nov 12, 2018 at 15:30
• @PeterTaylor not true. Placing a queen on d2, for example, creates rooks on e2 and d1, which stay. Nov 12, 2018 at 15:35
• @ExcitedRaichu since we are using the regular GoL rules, birth takes exactly 3 neighbours, which is impossible to achieve by adding only one piece. Also, that added piece always dies off instantly, so there can never be a birth.
– Bass
Nov 12, 2018 at 15:56

Is there a

simple helpmate in 1?

It goes like this:

- White drops a queen on d1.
- White rooks born on d2 e2, queen on d1 dies. Rook on e2 gives check.
- Black drops a queen on e7.
- Black rooks born on d7 d8 f7 f8, queen on e7 dies.
- Black queen's death rediscovers check.
Black is in check at the end of turn, so...

...game over? Or did I miss something.

• That seems right actually! I got too lost in the details in my answer! Nov 13, 2018 at 4:20

Here's a starting point.

As noticed by @deep thought the solution appears to be a simple two mover (give him the victory point - this is just to show it graphically).

This is the convention I'll use below. The queen can be placed on one of the 5 squares around the king. If no square is available, I'll have the move as 0.

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White to move (0-5): 4
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Black to move (0-5): 4
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| | | |♖|♖| | | |
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White wins!