A Modest Alice Variant

Directed Alice Chess


VR Parton's Alice Chess is a classic abstract strategy board game, one
with a very unique twist. It's played on 2 adjacent boards, and pieces,
when they start a move on one board, must involuntarily transfer to the
other board, into the corresponding square they stopped on, which must be
empty, or the move can't be made.

Alice Chess was invented by V. R. Parton in 1953… The standard game of Alice Chess is played using two boards, A and B. All pieces move as in standard chess. The normal array is on board A; board B starts empty.

The rules are very simple. In turn, each player makes a single move on either board following these three rules:

1. A move must be legal on the board where it is played.
2. A piece can only move or capture if the corresponding destination square on the other board is vacant.
3. After moving, the piece is transfered to the corresponding square on the other board.
E. Jackman, F. Duniho http://www.chessvariants.org/other.dir/alice.html

Definition: Parton Destination - the square on an adjacent board a piece
making a move must end its move upon. The piece makes a full, normal move on
its starting board, and must then shift one board 'sideways' to the
corresponding square on an adjacent board, which is its final, or Parton,
destination square. The Parton destination square must be empty at the
beginning of the turn for the move to occur.

In the original version, the Parton destination square is forced, or
involuntary, because there are only 2 boards. And the knights become oddly
colorbound, because the forced transfer allows any particular knight to
attack squares of only one color [different] on each board. You can change
this by adding a third board which is mutually connected with both other
boards. Now, a piece may have a free choice of which other board to make
its Parton destination board. And the odd total number of boards allows
the knights to attack all the squares on each board.




King bking.gif
This is the standard chess king, moving 1 space in any direction.

Guard wguard.gif
Also known as Man [or Mann], Commoner, and Prince, this piece moves 1 square in any direction, like the king, but is non-royal.

Rook brook.gif
This is the standard chess rook, sliding orthogonally any unobstructed distance on the board.

Rookish wonediamondrook.gif
This piece moves as a 4-square rook or an alfil. It slides up to 4 squares orthogonally, or leaps to the second square diagonally, jumping over the first diagonal square and any piece that may be in that square. In Betza's funny notation, it would be an AR4.

Hero bherowarmachinewazir.gif
This piece combines 2 moves, a 1-square step, and a 2-square leap. It moves orthogonally only, in a straight line only. It may slide 1; or jump 2; or slide 1 and jump 2; or jump 2 and slide 1, horizontally or vertically only. While leaping, it may jump over a piece, friendly or enemy, upon which it has no effect.

Bishop wbishop.gif
This is the standard chess bishop, sliding diagonally any unobstructed distance on the board.

Bishopy bonediamondbishop.gif
This piece moves as a 4-square bishop or a dabbabah. It slides up to 4 squares diagonally, or leaps to the second square orthogonally, jumping over the first orthogonal square and any piece that may be in that square. In Betza's funny notation, it would be a B4D.

Shaman wshamanelephantferz.gif
This is the diagonal analog of the Hero. It slides 1 and/or jumps 2 in a diagonal line. This piece is a linear mover. It may not change directions during its move. It may jump over other pieces.

War Elephant blinearchieftainjumpinggeneral.gif
This piece may move as either the hero or the shaman, but may not combine moves of both pieces in the same turn.

Knight wknight.gif
This is the standard chess knight, leaping two squares and landing on an opposite-colored square [than the one the move started on].

Pawn bpawn.gif
This is the standard chess pawn, moving 1 square orthogonally forward and capturing one square diagonally forward. This is a modern pawn, which means it's first move may be a double step, and it may capture other pawns en passant.


The standard Alice rules are used, with such modifications as noted on this page. They can be found here: http://www.chessvariants.org/other.dir/alice.html

Players get their choice of which of the 2 possible destination boards their moving piece may land on.

The use of inclusive compound pieces gives another choice: A piece that steps one square and/or leaps 2 squares, in either order, can change boards once, at the complete end of its move, or twice, once after each complete step of the compound move. Leave this choice up to the player, and you've made the game more interesting and those pieces a bit stronger.

Players must decide if and what en passant and castling rules are used, before play starts.


Parton's Alice weakens the two sides in a number of ways, one of which is reducing the starting piece density from 50% to 25%. Adding a third board and changing nothing else would reduce that starting density to under 17%. Rather than add pieces on the other boards to bring up the starting density, which blocks pieces traveling between boards, I added pieces to the starting board, [where all the pieces are already], and expanded the board[s] to 10x10, which gives room for 30 pieces/side and 4 empty ranks between armies. While I started by adding several short range pieces, everyone will have their own opinion of what those pieces should be, and you are all invited to suggest pieces and setups.

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