The Naiad moves like a queen, any distance in any direction, but it cannot capture. The Naiad can repulse an enemy piece ahead and attract any piece to the rear. (1) The attracted piece is the nearest, of any colour, in the opposite movement direction. It is dragged the same number of squares that the Naiad moves. Thus, the distance between the two pieces will remain the same after the move. (2) An enemy piece can be repelled if the Naiad stops next to it. It is repelled the same number of squares that the Naiad moves, or as far as possible. The Naiad can be used for transporting friendly pieces, or dislocating enemy pieces. Friendly pawns can be brought nearer to the promotion square. Other rules are the same as in standard chess, except for the possible promotion to Naiad. The Naiad's value is 3, which corresponds to a knight or bishop (preliminary estimate).
If it is maneuvered to good positions the Naiad is very efficient. It can kidnap enemy pieces, which can subsequently be attacked, or it can improve the positions of the friendly pieces. Broken pawn chains can be repaired. A pawn that has advanced two steps can be retracted one or two steps. This means that the pawn's double-step is less critical. This piece introduces new interesting problems to the chessplayer.
Note: in an alternative variant the Naiad can only kidnap a piece if it moves one step. The 'weak' Naiad can better decide whether it wants to kidnap a piece. It can avoid dragging the piece along by moving farther than one step.
Naiad : any of the nymphs in classical mythology living in and giving life to lakes, rivers, springs, and fountains. The Naiads, appropriately in their relation to freshwater, were represented as beautiful, lighthearted, and beneficent. Like the other classes of nymphs, they were extremely long-lived, although not immortal.
You can download my free Naiad Chess program here (updated 2007-09-07), but you must own the software Zillions of Games to be able to run it (I recommend the download version).
Don't miss my other chess variants.
© M. Winther (October 2006).