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Dodgeball Chess

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Erdmundr:
While I was sleeping last night, I came up with the idea of the following variant in a dream which combines elements of chess and dodgeball.

Each player has their own 5x5 board, and play begins with the pawns on the 8 squares surrounding the center square and a ball in White's center.

Pawns move outward (diagonal pawns can move in two orthogonal outward directions) and promote once they reach the outer rim of the board.

Any piece can only be promoted to the same number of times that the piece exists on a regular chess board (so you could only have two knights, two bishops, two rooks, one queen and one king).

If a piece is killed, it it removed from the list of viable promotion candidates. So if you kill the queen, they cannot promote another pawn to a Queen, but if you killed their first knight, they could promote to the second knight.

The goal of the game is to kill the enemy king, or prevent it from promoting (by killing all remaining pawns before the opponent has promoted one to king).

The way to kill pieces is by hitting them with the ball according to the following restrictions:

Only pieces can move the ball, and you can only move it if it is on your side of the board.

When the ball is on your side, and you move a piece, the ball is pushed in the opposite direction from the corresponding point in your opponents board. You may assume the board is a torus for this purpose, although pieces cannot use the extra mobility that a torus would grant. If the ball lands on an enemy pawn or piece, it is eliminated.

If the ball is on the other side and it's your turn (as a result of promotion) then you can move as usual without affecting the position of the ball.

At the moment, White gets the first move and the ball, but if that is too imbalanced, we could try giving Black the ball at the start. Other rules could also certainly be finetuned with practice. I think if pawns could move the ball (so it would always shift sides), White would have a larger advantage. This way, after the first throw, Black can choose to promote as many pieces as they want before throwing the ball back.

Let me know if you all have thoughts or comments.

Asher Hurowitz:
Awesome! Many variants come to me in dreams as well!

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