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Chess

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The game of chess is played throughout Fletnern, though it is not always played in the same fashion.  The Latvich play it on an 8x8 square board, most similarly to what modern Americans know as the game of chess.

The elves play on a 12x12 board.  The pieces are known by different names:  peasant=pawn, wizard=bishop, and fort=rook.  The front rank is all peasants, but the back rank runs:  Fort - Knight - Knight - Eagle (similar to the knight, but moves three then one, not two then one) - Wizard - Queen - King - Wizard - Eagle - Knight - Knight - Fort.  The King is always to the Queen’s right.  Often the elven chess sets are sculpted to have the Aldar (white) against the elves (green), and the squares on the board are brown and green to better represent the forests in which they live.

The Tands also rename their pieces:  footman=pawn, tower=rook, cavalier=knight, cleric=bishop, Duchess=queen, and Duke=king.  They refer to “castling” as “fortification” and it can only be done on the Duke’s side.  Footmen are never allowed to move more than one square at a time (no early double move and therefore no en passant).  While a cavalier can jump over pieces, it cannot jump over a tower or the Duke (neither his own or the enemy’s).  While the 8x8 board is the most commonly used, there are “double boards”.  Double boards run 16 across and 8 deep.  With twice the pieces in these games, things do tend to get chaotic.  On a double board, there can be two Dukes, but there is never more than one Duchess on any side during any game.  If the game calls for a second Duchess (double board or advanced footman), the new piece will be a Princess.  Princesses can also move in any direction (as a Duchess can) but are limited to a maximum of three spaces per move.  One other oddity, if a footman makes it to the other side, it can become a tower, a cavalier, a cleric, a princess or three footmen going the other way.  Double boards are said to represent larger battles with multiple regiments, which is odd because the Tands rely on their navy, as no land based army can get at them.

The Marils play many versions of the game, but their own creation is played on a circular board.  Both sides start on opposite sides of the board, and the goal is not to take the king, but instead to take and hold the center of the board.

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