JEPPSQUARE / Simon Jepps
" Time plays Chess. "JEPPSQUARE / Simon Jepps


'A New Move Unto Chess' By Simon Edward Jepps
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KNIGHT SQUARED by Simon JeppsWhilst it is true that Grandmasters have been saying for a hundred years now that the game of Chess has been "played out" and needs to evolve, the problem Chess faces is actually much, much greater.

This is because the game of Chess as we have come to embrace and familiarise ourselves with is actually regarded as something "sacred" and therefore somewhat of an untouchable sacrament.

Herewith you can behold its divinity in the fact that regardless of how popular a Chess Variant may have become, even to be featured in major world forums, none such alternative 'evolutions' of the game have ever succeeded the Classical game loved immemorial.

Whilst even I myself have spent decades studying the evolutionary mechanics and practical harmonics of Chess Variants ~ someone I self-title a "Chessician" ~ undertaking a passionately devoted labour of love, resulting in Mageca Chess ~ what I believe to be the only rational evolution of Chess unto a 10x10 board ~ nevertheless even I myself acknowledge how the Classical 8x8 game resonates an undying musical majesty such made only of the divinest orchestra.

No other variation of the game plays this music, it just simply doesn't harmonize in the same way, no matter how much you have worked and studied hard to make it happen.

So the paradox we face is actually moreso how to change Chess without changing Chess.

In my personal humble opinion the problem lies in the Knight's footprint and this is because regardless of how many 'first moves' and subsequent Opening variations there are boasted to exist in the game, in reality not only are only a mere two-handfuls of these actually worthy of playing to good fruition, but unfortunately the Knight itself in fact falls victim to its own footprint ~ in reality, the Knight only has one good first square to reach most of the time and this is K/QB3 ~ or, c3/c6/f3/f6.

That... is even LESS than a Pawn!

By merely granting the Knight one single alternative square to include in its Opening inventory, we would effectively give unto the game yet another infinite realm of Opening possibilities and variations. But the question is, what square? And how? Isn't that... changing Chess?

Well, yes and no. Chess has been changed before, most significantly in 1860 with the official implementation of En Passant and even as recently as 2014 with the official 75-move rule. If it wasn't for this continual evolution we wouldn't have arrived at the popular variation of the game we know today.

So what is the Knight² proposal and how does it change the game?

Change Without Change

KNIGHT SQUARED by Simon JeppsA change of sorts to allow variable movement is not actually a forbidden fruit. In fact if you look at the board you will realise not all pieces move the same way all the time as the game is played today.

For example, when a Pawn makes its first move it can move two squares forward; or, when a King Castles it performs a dance of several squares with either of the two Rooks; or even when a Pawn advances two squares it may still be captured from its previous square (En Passant)!

The reason a Pawn is given the power to advance two squares on its first move is because the Pawn is otherwise a very slow moving piece. The reason the Knight does not already have a first "special" move is because it is quite a powerful piece in comparison to its lower ranked comrade the Pawn; yet indeed as mentioned, its first move options have nevertheless been overlooked.

So, if we were to grant the Knight a special first move how would we do this? This piece perches itself on the very knife edge of compromise, in that whilst granting it more power in the Opening is only a natural suggestion of the board itself, doing so may in effect become too much of a liberty and upset the balance of the Classical game.

We have to be extremely reserved in our distribution of extra power unto this Classical piece.

Yet perhaps more significantly is, "How then and... why this?" Of course anyone can design a new Chess piece or a new move for an existing piece, but one cannot escape the fact that each and every piece of the Classical game has a rationally provided reasoning to its function and that therefore any new piece or move assigned must likewise conform to a rationally provided reasoning to its new function also.

What pray, thence beckons?

Aye, the outer realm. Immediately when we look at a Knight's 1st move choices we can see that straight off the bat there is one move which serves absolutely zero purpose in 99.99% of games and is instead a completely waisted opportunity to otherwise evolve the Classical game. This move is unto h3/a3/h6/a6.

Wouldn't it just make perfect sense to address this absolutely silly Opening redundancy by granting the Knight a special 1st move about the outer realm? I propose it would and I hereby propose this 'new move unto Chess' to be the Knight² permission.

Yet the change I am personally proposing doesn't alter the game in any detrimental-unto-classical-thought way or which would then make it a spoiling of the classical game. In fact, far from 'spoiling the classic' Knight² introduces a most magically inspiring concept unto the game, which whilst quite revolutionary, is nevertheless only just the delicate 'sprinkling' and no more, that the game deserves.

For the Knight will retain and maintain its standard Classical move and so will all the other pieces on the board. What changes is the very function of the Knight origin-square itself and thus not only the first Opening choices of a Knight, but the power to summon a whole new philosophy of play around the whole Knight origin-square theme at any point in the game.

The Squaring Of A Knight

KNIGHT SQUARED by Simon JeppsMy proposal is as follows:

Whence observing a Knight, we know its weakest 1st move is unto h3/a3/h6/a6. Here the piece serves absolutely zero purpose in 99.99% of games and is instead a completely waisted opportunity to otherwise evolve the Classical game.

Herewith my proposal is; at ANY point in the game, whenever a Knight moves FROM a Knight origin-square {b1/b8/g1/g8} UNTO the adjacent board edge, it then has the choice of making an extra one-square horizontal slide in EITHER direction and THUS allowing Infinite Movement unto the opposite board edge.

This would mean a White Knight playing
1. Na3 has the choice of arriving to h3 or b3 instead. This would be notated 1. Nbh3 or
1. Nb3 respectively. However, such a move is ONLY legal if the original destination square (in this case a3) is VACANT & thus serving as the conduit for movement.

To clarify:
A Knight, at any time in the game after having entered unto any Knight origin-square {b1/b8/g1/g8} of either colour-origin, may then whence moving unto the adjacent board edge, employ the choice of making an extra one-square horizontal slide in either direction, thus either unto the Knight-3 square OR allow Infinite Movement unto the opposite Rook-3 square.

Infinite Movement is a concept which has been 'glanced at' here and there in the Chess Variant world, but in truth and practice the ability for pieces to 'loop the board' infinitely from all edges is agreed to be an irrationally incompatible feature of the game.

However Knight² approaches this concept in a different way. It is agreed we all love the idea of Infinite Movement, but as a fully incorporated mechanism it doesn't work. Knight² here then merely extracts a strand of DNA from the concept itself and inserts that strand into only a very miniscule portion of the game.

And exactly where it is needed.

Allowing such an ability whenever a certain 'magic square' is entered by a Knight, allows for the evolution of not only the Knight's initially restricted footprint, but of the entire Classical game in a way that pays tribute to not only its own spiritual history and eccentric culture... But indeed also the eternity of its logic-temporal voice.

Looking now unto the Chess Opening, we can see immediately how the player not only has an infinite number of more Opening algorithms to consider, but hey look, how about beginning the game with two Knights on the same side of the board?

Perhaps herewith, the English could be played 1. c4 e5 2. Nga3 ... protecting the c4 Pawn from the start (N defended by N) and thence following with #b3 and #Nc3...? The world is your oyster!

I believe the Knight² move permissions enhance the game absolutely and exactly in the way the game should be so, wherefore all Classical standards are preserved yet whilst enhancing the powerful spirit of the Knight's infinitely deserved grace.

One will discover in time how this new move unto Chess serves a most wondrous palette of gameplay. So please receive this humble idea of mine with an open heart and embrace its presence in the game.

Thank you for reading.