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This is a chess variant with a key change: The type of each piece is uncertain and set by it's actions through gameplay.

Whilst sharing some similarities with SpyChess (enough that a computer based implementation of either would be pretty close to being an implementation of the other), it was arrived at independently. Quantum Chess idea from a friend (professor?) of Thomas', and written by here after a discussion.

Note: Proto-idea

All imagined so far. No actual play testing
Nemo - 2023Nov26

Game play

The board is setup as per normal chess - two rows of 8 pieces. However the capability of anyone piece is yet to be determined. Each starting piece has the potential to become any piece, but in doing so, collapses it's options down to that one type, and collapses other pieces options likewise, with the end state being that a traditional chess demographic of pieces is arrived at.

Thus, at the start of the game, every piece has the potential to move in any manner at all. But if a piece moves as a knight, then it can only ever be a knight thereafter. "knightness" is still available to all other pieces (or: perhaps only available to other pieces that start on the opposite colour?). As soon as a second piece is locked in as a knight, no other piece can become a knight. Likewise a piece that moves one space forward may be a pawn, a rook, a king or a queen - but no longer has the opportunity to become a bishop or a knight. If it then moves two spaces sideways, it has further collapsed it's waveform to only include rook and queen possibilities.

These possibilities are visible to both players at all times. In traditional chess, a turn is one step:

  1. move a piece (with a requirement to resolve check if it exists).

In quantum chess, a turn is multiple steps: # Resolve check (which may be a declaration that an potential-check is not check because the threatened piece is not a king - thus collapsing it's waveform, or may involve moving a piece (this does not prove an potential-check was actual-check. It preserves the waveforms. # Move a piece (unless a piece was moved in the previous resolution stage)# Declare potential check (if the player chooses to do so - only if one of their pieces has the ability amongst it's options to challenge a could-be-king on the opposite site. I note here that declaring potential check may involve collapsing waveform of the attacking piece to allow it to make such an attack, but resolving check involves no such collapse, even if the resolution is acted in a way that implies the piece WAS king. Because of these three steps, and the multiple-waveform nature of all pieces, it means at the start of the game the front row is full of potential queens, and also potential kings. A call of potential-check may be made at the start of the game (but collapsing the attacking piece to queen/rook/bishop to do so, depending on the exact potential being queries.

The traditional chess "first move" is white. In quantum chess, the first *physical move* is still white, but the first action is in fact a "declare potential check" from black. This (like all potential potential-check checks (golly I enjoyed writing that)) is optional on the players behalf. Black may prefer to not collapse the waveform of any pieces by such a check, meaning white's first turn has no resolve and can go straight to "move a piece".


It's very likely that this is best implemented in computer, where each piece's waveform options can not only be easily visualised, but visual filters for waveform options can be applied easily, as well as predictive "if I move this piece and collapse it's waveform in a certain way, what other waveform collapses occur?". It is imagined that each of the six piece types be represented by a colour, and each piece thus be a pie-chart to show the waveforms it's still unclear on. (with the border of the pie chart in black/white to denote which side they're on)

A physical implementation may be done with Trivial Pursuit pieces.

See also

SpyChess also written up on this wiki is an older chess variant which shares the similarity that the types of each opponent's piece is unknown and is discovered through gameplay. However in Spy Chess, a piece's type is definitively known to their own side at the start of the game. Quantum Chess differs in that a type isn't definitively known, and a player can choose what each piece becomes throughout the game.

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