This is an original chess variant by Köksal Karakus. Welcome to the Ice Age! The movement of pieces is more difficult here due to the ice blocks that work as a neutral barrier. See the start position:
The object of the game is to checkmate the opponent’s king or freeze it. How does it work?
- After every 20th move of the black player (20th, 40th, 60th etc.) the Ice Age comes. This event fills all empty squares (except those which are orthogonally surrounded by pieces of any color from all sides) with ice cubes.
- If the Ice Age surrounds an isolated piece (it is not adjacent to any other piece in any direction), this piece is frozen, removed from the board and another ice cube is placed in its position.
- If the Ice Age freezes a king, the respective player loses the game. In case of both kings getting frozen at the same time, the game is a draw.
Let me demonstrate these rules and events in a game that was played on BrainKing.com in 2017:
1. dxe3 dxe6 2. bxc3 bxc6 3. axb3 ♝b7 4. gxf3 cxd6 5. ♗g2 exf6 6. exd3 axb6 7. ♘e2 ♞e7 8. ♗b2 ♞d7 9. ♘d2 ♛c7 10. hxg3 hxg6
Both players were cautious, and used only their pawns to narrow the ice barrier between their armies. No pieces have been captured yet. Note that the rooks cannot threaten each other, as the ice blocks their way across the files. For instance, the rook on a1 can move only to a3 to destroy the ice cube, but cannot capture the rook on a8.
11. cxd4 cxd5 12. fxe4 dxe4 13. dxe4 O-O-O
Yes, it is allowed to castle, provided that the standard conditions are fulfilled, and there are no ice blocks between the king and the rook.
14. ♘c3 ♝c6 15. bxc4 bxc5 16. d5 exd5 17. exd5 ♝b7 18. ♘xb5 ♛b8 19. ♘e4 ♞b6 20. ♘exd6+
Beware! The first Ice Age approaches. Right after Black makes the move, all vacant squares will be filled with the ice, and all isolated pieces will freeze. Let’s see it: 20. … ♜xd6
Both players watched the move counter carefully, and made sure that all their pieces had been adjacent to at least one other pieces. Ergo, nothing was frozen, and the game continued.
21. ♘xd6+ ♚xd7 22. ♘xb7 ♛xb7 23. cxb3 fxe6 24. dxe6+ ♚xe6 25. ♗xc3 ♞xc6 26. ♗xf3 gxf5 27. gxf4 ♝d6 28. ♕xe2 ♜xe8 29. ♔xf1 fxe5 30. fxe5 ♝xe5
White managed to get a material advantage, and slowly cut the way to the black king. However, Black kept both knights, and knights can be particularly strong in this variant because they aren’t blocked by the ice due to their jumping abilities.
31. ♕xd3 ♜xd8 32. ♖xg1 ♛xc7 33. ♖xa2 cxd4 34. exd4 ♝xd4 35. ♗xd4 ♜xd4 36. ♕e3 ♛d6 37. ♔g2 ♞d7 38. ♕xg5 ♞f6 39. ♗e2 ♞xe4 40. ♕g6+
The second Ice Age is nigh! And the pieces still stick together, so we will only witness another ice calamity: 40. … ♚e5 FREEZE!
41. fxe3 ♜xc4 42. bxc4 ♞xc3 43. ♖xa3 ♞xe2 44. ♖xd3 ♞xe7 45. ♕xg7 ♞xg1 46. ♔xg1 ♚e4 47. ♖c3 ♛e5 48. ♖b3 fxg4 49. ♔f2 gxf3 50. ♕xf7 ♞f5
Black has only four pieces left, but their pawn is dangerously close to the promotion rank. White mustn’t drop the guard, as it is more difficult to catch the passed pawn due to the ice barriers.
51. ♕g6 ♛d6 52. ♕xh5 ♞d4 53. exd4 ♚xd4 54. cxd5 ♛xd5 55. ♕xf3 ♛xg5
There are only five moves to the third Ice Age, and it is harder and harder to keep the pieces close to one another, especially when Black has nothing but a king and a queen, and faces a mating attack at the same time. White will cleverly take advantage of the freezing rule:
56. ♕xg3 ♚e5 57. ♕xg5+ ♚d4 58. ♖xb4+ ♚c3 59. ♖xf4 ♚d3 60. ♕g3+
An essential move, as White connected all their pieces before the Ice Age stroke. Otherwise, the game would finish as a draw because both kings would freeze! But now, this fate will come only to the black one: 60. … ♚xd2
The final position and the three survivors. 1-0
It is easy to play this variant over the board. Just use coins, stones, M&M’s or anything else to mark the ice blocks. And it is a great fun! Enjoy. 😎