Alice Chess


I've seen you on the library computer, using it for various nefarious things. I've seen you. I've seen you playing chess.

Alice in Wonderland chess set.Chess is a popular subject in literature, showing up most famously in the book Through the Looking Glass. Why? Likely because chess is an easy metaphor for war, logic, puzzles, madness, and life in general, and allows writers something to draw on for memorable imagery.

It's Stuck Around for a Reason

Traditional chess has been around for over a thousand years, with variations and embellishments added to create the modern game, but its evolution has still not ended. Today, enthusiasts of the game love to explore and create new ways to play the game (as if it wasn't already hard enough), and they've come up with some very interesting changes.

Here's One

It's called Alice Chess and draws its rules of play from Lewis Carroll's book. The players begin with two boards, setting up their pieces on one board just as they would in a normal game. The trick is this: whenever a piece is moved, it is teleported to the same position on the second board, as if it had been pushed through the looking glass. When a piece on the second board is moved, it teleports back to the first board, creating a whole new dimension to attacks and strategies. An opponent's bishop, for instance, can appear without warning behind your line of pawns if you are not careful.

The Finer Points of the Rules 

There are a few stipulations to these rules. For one, a move on board A must be a legal move. But also, the square that it is transferred to on the opposite board must be vacant. This means that you cannot capture a piece by teleporting onto it.

Sample Moves

Here are some sample moves to help you get the idea:

Sample chess moves.

This is the game's position after the moves 1.Nf3 e6 2.Ne5 Bc5 which means that the white knight has moved from board A to board B and back again in two moves. The black bishop has moved to board B. On the next move, shown here:

Sample chess moves.

the white knight has taken a black pawn and then transported to board B, while the black bishop sneaks behind enemy lines.

Got the basic idea? Excellent.

Here's a Chess Problem For You to Work On:

Sample chess moves.

Good luck, and let me know if you figure it out, because I sure can't.

Read information and explanations on algebraic chess notation. For more chess resources, read Nicole Pasini's Chess blog.


Author Bio:

Oh Josh Pearce can't help that. We're all mad here. He's mad. You're mad.

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