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culture:game: chess
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Sliding block chess

Blocks of chess, sliding
 (+9, -1) [vote for, against]

This is a normal game of chess played on a normal chessboard. The only rule change is that "blocks" of the board may slide.

The way this works is that any contiguous rectangular array of squares on the board with size of greater than 2x2 is treated as a unitary block, and can slide (with its contents) sideways or forwards or backwards as far as it wishes as long as the entire route is clear.

This functions as the player's move.

Obviously an opponent's piece cannot be taken during this move because the entire rectangular block has to move only through and into empty spaces on the board.

For example, I open, and move my right hand knight out and to the left (Kf3). My opponent does something similar. For my next move, I chose the block of four squares in the right corner containing two prawns and a rook and an empty space, and that entire block advances four positions forwards. (Rh5-h6-g6)

 — pocmloc, Sep 19 2021

Sliding Puzzle https://en.wikipedi...wiki/Sliding_puzzle
[hippo, Sep 21 2021]

 Ooh, I like this! [+]

 I assume it's intended to be played online?

 But maybe a physical board could be made. It would need a function to be triggered by pressing down simultaneously on two squares, which would then define the block. This action would release the catches on every square in the rectangle, which would then be raised a few millimetres on springs while, at the same time being bound together edge to edge to form a sort of raft. The player could then slide the raft of elevated squares over the top of the other squares. The squares now covered would then have to be drawn or shunted in the other direction, to occupy the former positions of the moved squares.

 To prevent the various drive trains from obstructing each other, some combination of the mechanical and the magnetic would be needed, and also a combination of push and pull.

Does anyone know a clinically insane Bavarian watchmaker from the eighteen-hundreds?
 — pertinax, Sep 19 2021

If chess is a metaphor for armies engaged in battle (knights, castles, etc.) then this would be a metaphor for tectonic plate movement [+]
 — hippo, Sep 19 2021

You just need a grid with a handle, like a potato masher. Adjust for the required number of squares, lower on to board and move all pieces.
 — pocmloc, Sep 19 2021

mind bending [+]
 — Voice, Sep 19 2021

At first I thought you weren't allowed to move squares which are occupied by your opponent's pieces but actually the rules don't specify that.
 — pocmloc, Sep 19 2021

 One question; would square colours need to align after a shift? White stays white and black stays black because moving a block or a row only one space will totally screw with diagonal pieces.

...okay two questions; Do peices displaced from the end of the board by moving blocks of squares reappear on the opposite side of the board?
 — 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Sep 19 2021

 Ah no the square colours don't have to align... it is really blocks of pieces that are shifting, not blocks of the board. See the "chess potato masher" accessory mentioned above.

 And a piece can't be displaced off the end because the rules clearly say that a block can only move into an empty area of the board.

 So for example my opening move could be a block of 16 squares wide and 2 deep, encompassing all of my pieces, and shunting them one square forwards.

The rules about whether you are allowed to shunt your opponemts pieces are still tricky - it seems off for me to open by shunting your king queen and 2 prawns four places towards me. Perhaps you may only shunt a block that contains at least one of your own pieces.
 — pocmloc, Sep 20 2021

Nah, I think you should leave your opponents pieces alone.
I like the "potato masher" idea. It's not really "blocks of the board", just defined groups of pieces moving together. Perhaps have the "group" able to move in the manner of one of the pieces of the group?

 Moving the checker pattern would make queen and bishop moves more interesting. Even trapping an opponent.

Reminded me of that japanese soldier that fought an awfully long war. Stuck on an island, not being able to help the war effort.
 — wjt, Sep 21 2021

[wjt]; hmm... a "trench" as a playable "piece"? Definable as straight, 2-7 squares long (not 8, to keep things interesting), blocks all but knights OR a "colour switch" to only mess with Queens & Bishops.

I think the board should be a 'sliding puzzle' (see link). Thus, it should have one vacant square (which no one is ever able to put a piece on) into which a playing square (perhaps with a piece on it) can be slid ("slud"), rather than just being able to slide any square. This gives a more tactical flavour to the game, with some dangerous uncertainty surrounding the vacant square, where more playing possibilities exist.
 — hippo, Sep 21 2021

Stellar. The beauty of this sliding technique is that it can be offensive or defensive, e.g. just sliding your opponent's piece(s) out of position.
 — 4and20, Sep 21 2021

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