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In the universe of Christopher Nolan's recent movie Tenet, it's possible for objects and
people to be inverted so
that they move backwards through time.
It would be fun to create a variation of Chess that's inspired by
the time-inversion physics of
Here's what I'm thinking:
position is the same as standard chess except, all
pawns are removed from the
board and set aside.
All pawns are inverted in time. Meaning, they can be
uncaptured and their only legal move is
backwards on the board, except when on row 4 they can move
backwards either one or two squares to row 2.
Un-capture is possible when an enemy piece is sitting on a
square that could legally have
held a pawn. Uncapture is executed by moving the enemy
piece back to valid prior square and
then "materializing" a pawn in the square where the enemy
piece was just sitting in the near future (as described by a
Any time a pawn is moved (including at the uncapture move), it
is experiencing time in
reverse, and so it also has the effect of undoing the last normal
move and also rewinding the clock to where it was at the start
of the previous turn.
At every turn, players can choose to use their other pieces to
make normal moves which
propagate forward in time, like normal chess, or inverted pawn
which are essentially a forced rewrite of history one move at a
A version of Tenet Inversion Chess...
...as practised by Garry Kasparov. [DrBob, Feb 06 2022]
[Voice, Feb 09 2022]
||So just about any space could legaly be pawn-
occupied, save the bottom row, or ones that have
column already accounted for by other pawns, who
themselves could've diagonally moved there. This
could be really disruptive and hard to figure out.
||This hurts my head a bit.
||I think this shifts the balance a little against black.
||You see, the obvious opening is q×q, k×q, which leaves the
two sides even in material and position, but black is no
longer able to castle.
||Hmm. So how would you handle pawn promotion under these rules? In theory, I can move any enemy piece off of its own back rank & replace it with one of my own pieces; usually, but not always, a Queen & just as long as I have an available pawn to play from off-board. It can instantly be re-captured by the piece you just moved but it could be tactically advantageous. By guaranteeing a perpetual check, for example. So on move 1, White moves the black queen away from d8 & replaces with a White Queen. Black can capture using either Q or K but then White simply repeats the maneuvre ad infinitum.
I disagree with pertinax's opening move. For me Rh1 x Rh8 is better, as the rook cannot be re-captured & is free to run riot along black's back rank.
||So the pawns are more or less moving backwards to default starting position? What's to prevent claims that EVERY location could have had a pawn there, barring the usual starting positions of opposition pieces?
||I was playing chess with a friend the other day and he said
'let's make this interesting.'
||So we stopped playing chess.
||DrBob's analysis is quite good and shows this idea is not fully baked. Some additional tweaking is needed. Perhaps it could work if all the pawns start normally, but each one becomes inverted when it reaches the 8th rank? i.e. instead of being promoted, it starts moving backwards in chess time per the rules in the original idea (like going through a turnstile in the movie).
||No it isn't; the opening I proposed compels Black's response, and therefore leaves White able to *follow up* with this move, whereas opening with this move allows Black a choice of responses. But in either case, Black is in a whole lot of trouble.