Friday, July 03, 2009

Tempete sur L'Echiquier redux

Paul MacIntyre writes:
Ken Ho mentioned “Storm over the Chessboard” at a recent chess event in Quebec, and I think what that means is the French game “Tempête sur L’Echiquier.” It’s a really intriguing and pretty wacky game that involves cards and the chessboard. In lieu of making a normal chess move, you can make use of a card which may give a piece special powers, allow you to swap positions of pieces, resurrect dead pieces, and quite a few other variations. The cards all have wonderfully silly art on them. Here’s what the box that the deck comes in looks like:

Here are some examples of the cards:

Translation: Your opponent wants to take one of your pieces, but this one defends itself! The attacked piece stays where it is, and it’s the attacking piece that is eliminated.

Translation: You move one of your pieces onto a square occupied by another of your pieces. These two pieces “fuse” into a new piece which from then on moves like either of the two original pieces, which stay together on the same square. The King may not fuse!

This card is particularly meant for players of “SuperGang,” an excellent game available at all good game stores. You choose one of your opponent’s pieces excluding the King and you place it on the edge of the table, then you move to a spot four meters away with a dart gun. If using three darts you are able to hit the piece, it is removed from the game. If not, the piece is put back where it came from.

You transform an opposing piece of your choice (except the King and the Queen) into a “neutral” piece. A neutral piece can be moved in turn by each of the players, and can take pieces belonging to both players.

I’ve never actually had the chance to play this game, as it requires having wacky French chess players around. This Quebec chess marathon seems like just the place, though.
Paul MacIntyre

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