Fanorona Chess

Fanorona Chess is a Chess variant also played on the Fanorona board, with the forms of capture taken from Fanorona: that is, pieces capture by approach and withdrawal, but not both in the same move. However, unlike in Fanorona, only the first piece in a line is captured, not the entire line. If you move in such a way as a piece or pieces can be captured, you must capture a piece.

Board and Setup

The board is 5x9 with only every other square (a1, a3, a5, b2, b4, etc.) having diagonal connectivity.
Yellow pieces occupy the first row, and are ordered: Knight, Rook, King, Rook, and Knight.
On the second row, there are more Yellow pieces, ordered empty space, Bishop, Queen, Bishop, then an empty space again.Yellow Pawns occupy the entire third row. Brown pieces occupy the ninth and eighth rows in the same order as the Yellow pieces occupy the first and second rows and Brown pawns occupy the seventh row.

General rules
The rules of Fanorona Chess are identical to those of FIDE Chess, except where noted otherwise below. The most general changes are that captures are by approach and withdrawal instead by replacement and that stalemate is a loss for the stalemated player rather than a draw.

Movement of Pieces
The most important difference in movement from Chess played on a regular chess board is that half of the points on the board have no diagonal connecting lines. Such points can not be entered or exited by a diagonal move. All moves, even the Knight's, must follow the connecting lines.

Kings, Queens, Rooks and Bishops move as they do in FIDE Chess, with the additional constraints provided by the board. Additionally, there is no castling, but Kings may make a noncapturing Knight's move as their first move if they are not in check at the time.

Unlike in FIDE Chess, the Knight follows a path when it moves. If it starts on a space with diagonal connecting lines, it first moves one step diagonally, then one step orthogonally outward. If it starts on a space without diagonally connecting lines, it first moves one step orthogonally, then one step diagonally outward. The first space may be occupied by a piece of either side. The directions of movement matter for capturing, but it should be noted that a Knight may move to any unoccupied space a Knight may move to in FIDE Chess.

The Pawn moves one step forward or (when possible) diagonally forward. There is no additional double-step for their first move, and thus no en-passant capture. If a Pawn reaches the far rank, it promotes, changing into any piece previously lost by that player. If there are no pieces to promote to, the Pawn may not enter the back row.

Capturing is by withdrawal and by approach instead of FIDE Chess usual method of capture by replacement. It is never possible in Fanorona Chess to move into an occupied square. Capture by approach and capture by withdrawal may not both occur as the result of a single move -- one form of capture must be selected. If a piece moves in such a way as so that it could capture, one of its possible captures must be made. However, a piece is not required to move in such a way as to capture if noncapturing moves are available (aside from any need to lift check).

  • Capture by withdrawal occurs when a piece is adjacent to an opposing piece, and moves away from it in the same line.
  • Capture by approach occurs when a piece is moved next to an opposing piece in the same line as the movement.

Some examples of a Pawn's possible and not possible captures:

The Yellow Pawn could capture the Brown Pawn at A1 by approach by moving to A, and could capture the Brown Bishop at B1 by withdrawal by moving to B. Moving to C would not capture anything. If there was an opposing piece at B2, then a move to B would be required to capture it or the Bishop at B1, but could not capture both, and the Yellow player would decide which piece was captured.

Some examples of a Knight's possible and not possible captures:

If the Yellow Knight moves to A, Yellow has the choice of capturing either the Brown Pawn at A1 by approach or the Brown Rook at A2 by withdrawal. If the Yellow Knight moves to AA instead, it simply captures the Brown Rook at A2 by withdrawal, since it doesn't then approach any pieces. The Knight may not capture the opposing pieces at either B or C since it can not either move directly away from, or directly toward either of them. Actually, Knights may never capture pieces that are not on spaces with diagonal lines, as the topology of the board doesn't allow for it.

Alternate Setup

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