Monday, February 02, 2009

Kiss The Queen

Via The Chess Drum, news reaches us of a novel idea from Vasily Ivanchuk: to change the rules of chess so that when the Queen is attacked, she is effectively in check. I.e., the laws of the game should be changed so that either the checking piece must be captured, or the Queen must move out of check, or something must be moved in the way to stop the check. This checking of the Queen would have a new term - it would be called a kiss.

What? Really? I quickly checked the date, and no: it's not April 1st. Nor was the article written then. The story seems to have originated in The New York Post -which as far as I can tell is a tabloidy newspaper- and contains no direct quotes. On the other hand its author, Andy Soltis, is hardly a disreputable figure.

Personally, I think this is a bad idea, because the glamour of the Queen sacrifice would become impossible, unless you allowed your Queen to become mated, so to speak. But this got me thinking about changing the rules, and I've come up with an alternative that I would like to see: that knights, like pawns, can't move backwards. Isn't that how they played in the 19th century anyhow?


ejh said...

I'd like to change the rules so that I win more games.

Anonymous said...

I believe the actual origin is (Russian language alert).

Ivanchuk is listed as the author of the piece, but he does not seriously propose to modify the rules of chess. It is in fact a new game, similar to chess.

The translated title of the piece is "Kiss the Queen, or New Year's joke from Vasily Ivanchuk".

So there.

ejh said...

Not all countries, incidentally, mark April 1: in Spain there's the "Day of the Innocents" on December 28 when similar jokes are played, as I did not know until I got caught out this year.

Anonymous said...

My Polish father taught me always to say "gardé" (or maybe it should be spelt "gardez") when attacking the opponent's queen. I soon discovered that I won more games when I kept my mouth shut.

Shake Well said...

You are leaving out some rules. Yes, the queen is like another king, and you can put the queen in check and even checkmate the queen. (So if you fork your opponent's king and queen, you win because there is no way for your opponent to get out of check.) But that is not where the "kiss" comes in. The additional rules are that if you can "kiss" the opponent's queen by putting one of your pieces adjacent to her, and the resulting position is that the queen has none of her own pieces adjacent to her, but only your enemy piece, then you have "kissed" her, and you win the game. When the queen is all alone like this, with none of her chessmen next to her, she is "naked," and if you can move next to her and "kiss" her when she is naked, you win. Even a king can move next to a opponent's "naked" queen and "kiss" her to win. A queen cannot be moved next to an enemy piece if she will be naked because that would be a kiss. But a queen can be naked when delivering mate, because mate always trumps a kiss.