Consider a chess variant in which normal chess rules apply, with one exception. The player that is able to bring a piece or a pawn onto the opponent’s back rank, which would be the 8th rank for White and the 1st rank for Black, wins immediately. The move has to be legal and it ends the game, even if the opponent could mate on the next move.

On Liches some chess variants like King of the Hill, Atomic, and Three-Check can be analyzed. Can I easily adjust Stockfish or another chess program such that this new rule applies? Would White have a big advantage in this game? Or can we even show that White has a winning strategy?

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    I created an engine that plays a related variant. With no kings, the task is to move a pawn to the final rank. You can play against the engine apronus.com/chess/puzzle/… Aug 25 '20 at 9:06
  • Sounds like a fun variation. Simply tweaking Stockfish's evaluation function so that it evaluates such positions as being mates would probably lead to decent play, but deeper changes to the evaluation function would probably be needed for optimal play. Deep learning approaches would be easier to modify. Aug 24 at 19:03

Well, since White has the first move, then White would always be trying to put a piece on the back rank, while Black is trying to catch up. So Black can eventually trade off all the pieces, and Black can keep opposition.

However, I'm not sure if this is a legitimate strategy. We would have to solve all possible positions before we know the actual result.

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    I would rather guess that White has a winning strategy, but probably only exhaustive search will give a final answer. I think, chances to solve this are better than to solve "king of the hill"
    – Peter
    Aug 25 '20 at 9:14

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