Clearly this idea has been kicking around for a while. I used to be very interested in chess variants. I'm a little bummed I didn't hear about it "back in the day".
There is just a single space for the pawns on the end to move to, after all, and it isn't well defined what moves the penultimate pawns could make should they move one square forward (can they attack end-pawns that have moved just one square?)
What might be a better variant would be to assign directionality to all pawns (starting as forward), and allow them to take left or right turns, perhaps diagonally. This greatly increases the number of game possibilities while introducing no new confusing scenarios.
For example, following the rules of the layout I _think_ the end unit pawns should technically be facing away from the board. That is to say, "A2" pawn's forward direction would actually be H7. That's pretty crazy to think about.
I'd like to get this board, I wouldn't be all that interested in a serious game but I think it'd make a fun time waster and argument creator.
A different variation would be promoted weekly, but you'd be able to play any of them whenever via email or real time.
Would that interest anyone here?
There is a great library of them here, except it's single player only which IMO takes a lot of the fun out of it:
The game turned out to be very fast paced, to the point where we had to add measures to slow it down. :)
As I recall, it was written with the "board" as a separate entity from the pieces. The board contained the game-rules, for instance whether it was turn-based or not. Now, this is what got me thinking... The platform we used, allow for live recompiling and upgrading of objects -- so we indeed did go in and change the rules even as a game was running (which was kind of fun, just to mess with peoples heads). But I do think perhaps that could be a nice twist to have as a "service" as well -- the ability for people to design their own chess-rules by giving them a framework (like, standard board, standard knight, pawn etc). Naturally saved online, for public scrutiny. :)
It would be be fun to see what people came up with. The target group for this may be somewhat limited. :-)
A friend has a version of what we made hosted on his personal site, but I'm afraid to link to it because it'll probably bring down his server. Throw me a mail if you want the link.
Each player gets a deck of cards which change the rules of chess, for example, you can play a card that makes the board cylindrical, so the edges wrap, and you can move pieces from one side to the next, or another card that allows the king to move two spaces at a time, etc. I always thought it was a neat game.
Crazyhouse has a much higher branching factor than regular chess, and because dead pieces come back onto the board, the game cannot be attacked with endgame tables.
I also personally find suicide chess and atomic chess quite interesting. I can't make the claim that they are more interesting than the original, but they do require delightfully interesting changes in mentality. And endgame analysis in each of these variants is vastly different from regular chess with some beautiful patterns.
I think I agree with the others saying pawn movement is hacky. I'd be inclined to say that a pawn promotes when it reaches either side of the board, but this isn't great because you need to keep track of where a pawn started to know which direction it's going.
Don't get me wrong, it sounds interesting, but with such games you usually only know for sure once you've tried it.
But "Singularity Chess" is an awkward name. The center of the board is not a singularity in any reasonable sense of the word. The space of allowable movement trajectories appears to be nonsingular.
Maybe a more correct name, albeit drier, would be quadratic chess (because the transformation looks like a quadratic form).
It was at this point that I stopped taking this chess variant seriously.