I want to do an AI project implementing a Chess agent, so can anyone please let me know the Rules of Baroque chess?


1 Answer 1


Baroque is a very apt name for this variant because the rules are complicated and intricate.

The main similarities with normal chess are that the game is played on the same 8x8 board with the same pieces, the king is called the king, the king moves and captures the same way, the object of the game is to capture the enemy king and white moves first. Everything else is different.

Names of the pieces
King = King
Pawn = Pincer or Squeezer
Queen = Withdrawer or Retreater
Rook = Coordinator (if right way up) or Immobilizer (if upside down)
Knight = Long leaper
Bishop = Imitator or Chameleon

All the pieces (apart from the king) capture in a completely different way to the way they move

How the pieces move
The king moves one square at a time in any direction, just like the king in regular chess
The pincer moves like a rook in regular chess. There is no promotion and obviously no en passant or special first move
All the other pieces move like a queen in regular chess

How the pieces capture
The king captures the same way as in regular chess, by moving one square in any direction to a square occupied by an enemy piece and removing that piece
The withdrawer captures an enemy piece on an adjacent square by moving away from that piece in the opposite direction. For instance if an enemy piece was on e1 and the withdrawer on d2 then to capture the piece on e1 the withdrawer would have to move along the e1-a5 diagonal. Moving off in some other direction, e.g. to d5 would not capture the piece on e1 because the withdrawer would no longer be in line with e1.
The pincer captures the same way that pieces capture in Hasami Shogi. That is, the pincer moves in an orthogonal line (i.e. not diagonal) up to the square next to an enemy piece. If the square on the other side of the enemy piece is occupied by a piece on the same side as the pincer then the enemy piece is captured.
The coordinator's (rook the right way up) capture is rather complicated. After the coordinator has moved (like a queen) any enemy pieces on either of the squares where the orthogonal lines from the king and coordinator intersect are captured. So, if the king was on e1 and the coordinator moved to f4 then any enemy piece on e4 or f1 would be captured.
The immobilizer (upside down rook) doesn't capture enemy pieces. Instead it immobilizes them. Any enemy pieces a king's move away from the immobilizer are immobilized. They may not move until the immobilizer moves away. This includes the enemy king.
The long leaper captures by jumping over enemy pieces, landing on an empty square on the other side. It can capture several enemy pieces in one turn a bit like in draughts or checkers by landing on an empty square between two enemy pieces, leaping again to land on the other side of the second enemy piece, etc. It cannot jump over one of its own pieces and if two enemy pieces are on adjacent squares it also cannot capture. Only "isolated" enemy pieces can be captured.
The imitator captures an enemy piece by capturing the way that piece would capture. So, to capture a long leaper it would have to jump over the long leaper the same way the long leaper would. To capture the enemy king it would need to be on an adjacent square to the king and then move to the same square as the king. Obviously (?) imitators can't capture enemy imitators. Furthermore, if an imitator moves to a square adjacent to an enemy immobilizer then the enemy immobilizer is itself immobilized.

The Wikipedia article has diagrams and more explanations of how the pieces capture which is well worth while reading.

The start of the game
Before the game starts each player has to choose one of their "rooks" to be an immobilizer and turn that "rook" upside to indicate that. The other rook is the coordinator.
Additionally each player can decide which way round to have their king and withdrawer, either as in classical chess or as in a bong cloud position. All other pieces are placed as in regular chess.

  • A source reference for those rules would be appreciated.
    – user30536
    Commented Jan 7 at 5:46
  • Goal of regular chess & I guess baroque chess is not to capture the king but to checkmate it
    – Laska
    Commented Jan 7 at 6:21

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