KindredSpirit’s Kaleidoscope: Extinction Chess– A Variant That Rocks!

EXTINCTION CHESS, invented by NOSTer R. Wayne Schmittberger, uses the regular chessboard, chessmen and initial setup for the start of play.  Rules vary to this extent: King can be captured; a check is announced when only one piece of a pair remaining is attacked.  The tactical objective is to eliminate one pair by capture of opponent’s species which wins the game.  Thus, capture of the King, Queen, or pair of Knights, Bishops or Rooks creates an extinction of like units–to avoid losing, one of a pair must remain in play.  Capture of all eight pawns also technically would win.  The promotion of a pawn reaching the eighth rank can be named any piece including the King, so technically there could be two Kings or any other unit promotion possible.

Fabrice Liardet from Geneva, Switzerland related to me that over 200 active chessplayers live and participate in his city and he organized tournaments of 8-minute games featuring 27 variants of which Extinction Chess was very popular.

Here are some sample games that demonstrate the tactics and exhibit the types of captures that win the games.

A)  1. e4  e5  2. Nf3  Nc6  3. Bc4  Bc5  4. d3  Nf6  5. Bb5  h6.

This is to stop Bg5, winning by capturing both Knights.

6. Bxc6  dxc6  7. Nxe5  Qd4  8. Nxf7!

A salutary example of the flexibility required of this variant because now if 8. … Qxf2  9. Kxf2 capture of the Queen  specie causes a win by extinction!!

8. …Kxf7  9. Qf3 Resigns.

White threatens the Knight and if it moves, he captures the King.

1. d4  e6  2. Nf3  Nf6  3. Bg5  Be7  4. e3  O-O  5. c4  Re8  6. Qb3  d5  7. c5  Ne4  8. Bxe7+

The attack on the Queen necessitates a “check”.

8. … Rxe7  9. Nbd2  Nxd2+++

This triple +++ means 3 species attacked with capture of the Queen, Bishop or Knight wins through extinction.

10. Nxd2 

Now, neither player can afford to lose the remaining Knight or Bishop.

10. … e5  11. dxe5  Rxe5  12. O-O-O  Qf6

Threatening …Qxf2 winning by capturing either the Bishop or Knight.

13. f3  d4  14.  Re1 Rxc5+ 15. Kb1 Qc6 16. Bd3  Rxc2+ 17. Nf1  Rf2+18. Ng3  Rxg2+ 19. Resigns

Either 19. Nh5 Qh6 or 19. Nf1  Qxf3 wins.

Players who like this variant will see the game length greatly shortened.  Each participant is thrown on their own with little value from the books or computer.

TRY EXTINCTION CHESS !   You might find it is fascinating  as regular chess.

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