OFFICIAL PLUNDERCHESS® RULES

PRINTABLE RULES (PDF)


Before You Begin

Playing PlunderChess® requires that you know how to play the traditional game of chess. If you are just starting out, we recommend that you set the vest pieces to the side temporarily and first learn the rules of chess.  Once you know the basics, then you will be ready to take chess to the next level by playing PlunderChess®!


The Game of PlunderChess®

The objective of PlunderChess® is the same as traditional chess... to win the game by placing your opponent’s king into checkmate. As the game develops, battles ensue and captured opposing chessmen (“material”) will be removed from play, one piece at a time. The more material a player captures, the weaker his/her opponent becomes and the greater the likelihood of achieving the goal of checkmate. PlunderChess® goes beyond traditional chess by allowing players the added strategy of strengthening their chess pieces as the game progresses. This strengthening comes as the chess pieces gain additional moving capabilities acquired from their captured opponent’s pieces. It is this unique feature that makes playing PlunderChess® a “got-to-play-more” game!


(11) Point Rules Overview


1. "Plundering" occurs when a chess piece captures an opposing piece and immediately "plunders" or "acquires" additional moving capabilities directly from the piece it just captured, hence, strengthening the capturing piece.

2. Plundering is optional and may be declined by the player making the capture. YES, sometimes you do NOT want to plunder a vest from the spoils of the kill!! The case for NOT plundering would be if you suspect your opponent will immediately capture you back (making a "trade") and acquire the vest you just plundered. (See rule #9 below)

3. When plundering is elected, a "colored vest" that corresponds to the moving capabilities being plundered, gets coupled to the chess piece that made the kill. This newly acquired vest, readily visible to both players, signifies the pieces extra moving capabilities for one future move. NOTE: If you are playing PlunderChess® via the game App (available in the iTunes AppStore) this unique plundering feature is illustrated by the overlaying of a colored corresponding banner (again, called "vests") on the piece that makes the capture.

4. The added moving capability provided by a plundered vest may be used one time only on any future move. (I.e., the plundered vest may be used on it's very next move or carried around on the board and used later in the game, but only once.)

5. When a capture takes place, in order for the “capturing” chess piece to plunder a vest, the vest must offer it some type of additional moving benefit or said capturing piece will not be allowed to plunder that vest. (I.e., you will never see a queen wearing a rook vest because a queen already possesses the moving capabilities of a rook and a rook vest provides NO additional moving benefits to the queen.)

6. After a vest is used (one time) to move a chess piece on the board, it is immediately rendered powerless and immediately expunged from play.

7. No more then one plundered vest is allowed to be worn on any one chess piece at a time. (I.e., you will never see a piece wearing two or more vests.)

8. If a chess piece wearing a plundered vest makes another capture (assuming capture was NOT due to its vest power), it may still swap out its unused vest for a freshly captured vest.

9. If you capture a piece that is wearing a vest, you may; a) plunder the vest it wears, or… b) plunder a vest that represents the captured piece, or… c) altogether decline to plunder a vest. Your choice.

10. Vests check automatically and have unlimited checking capabilities! For instance, if a chess piece wearing a vest is moved on the board (by the power of its traditional moves) to a new position whereby the power from the vest is now attacking the opposing king, this is an automatic check. Additionally, the vest that is "automatically checking" the opposing king, IS NOT SURRENDERED because vests have unlimited checking privileges.

11. "Pawn vests" are NOT promotable, only the actual pawn chess pieces are.


Rules in Greater Detail


Part I. Definitions

Chess Piece – A chess piece is any one of the traditional (yet uniquely designed) chessmen or chess playing pieces used in battle against your opponent. Each PlunderChess® game set comes packaged with the following (36) chess pieces:

• King - 2 white units and 2 black units

• Queen - 2 white units and 2 black units

• Bishop - 2 white units and 2 black units

• Knight - 2 white units and 2 black units

• Rook - 2 white units and 2 black units

• Pawn - 8 white units and 8 black units

(Note: The PlunderChess® game comes packaged with an extra king and extra queen for each player.)

Plunder – The word used to describe when a chess piece captures an opposing chess piece and “plunders” or “confiscates” moving capabilities from the captured piece. When plundering occurs, the capturing chess piece attaches to itself, a vest that corresponds to some or all of the moving capabilities of the just captured piece.

Privileged – Any chess piece that wears a vest is considered to be “privileged” because the vest empowers it with added moving capabilities. We refer to the privileged chess pieces first by the type of piece it is and then by the acquired vest it wears. For example… “privileged white pawn with rook vest power,” or “privileged black knight with bishop vest power,” etc.

Conventional-Move – A “conventional-move” is made when a chess piece, privileged or unprivileged, moves based upon the authority granted by the type of piece it is only. For example, when a privileged rook with bishop vest power moves as a rook or when an unprivileged knight moves as a knight, etc. 

Vest Piece – A vest piece (or vest) is any one of the “collared shaped” rings designed to easily slide over and encircle the main body of any one of the chess pieces. At different points of play in the game, these vests may be acquired by the chess pieces. In the game PlunderChess®, there are six different types of vests, each representing added moving capabilities to the chess pieces wearing them. These vests vary by color, title and empowerment. The titles given to each vest, their quantities and colors are described below:

• King Vest - Purple - 2 units

• Queen Vest - Yellow - 2 units

• Bishop Vest - Blue - 2 units

• Knight Vest - Orange - 2 units

• Rook Vest - Red -2 units

• Pawn Vest - Green - 5 unit

(Note:  King vests are only used when playing “two-king” PlunderChess® game variations.) 

Unprivileged – Any chess piece that is not wearing a vest is considered “unprivileged”. In other words, its moves are limited to the authority granted by the type of chess piece it is. All chess pieces begin the game in unprivileged status.

Vest Move – A “vest-move” is made when a privileged chess piece moves based upon the authority granted by the plundered vest it wears. For example, when a privileged pawn with queen vest power moves as a queen, or when a privileged knight with bishop vest power moves as a bishop, etc. A plundered vest may be used for one move only. After completion of this vest-move, the vest is considered “used up” or “spent”, and must immediately be uncoupled from the chess piece wearing it and returned to the vest stand out of play.


Part II. Game Rules

2-1. To Start Play – All chess pieces begin the game in their normal starting positions just as they would in traditional chess play. Vest pieces are kept to the side, temporarily out of play. White makes first move of the game.

2-2. Playing the Game – As the game proceeds, chess pieces will be captured and removed from play. The capturing pieces earn the opportunity of becoming privileged by plundering moving capabilities from the captured chess pieces. This unique “plundering” feature gives players the opportunity to strengthen their chessmen as the game is played out.

2-3. Moves of an “Unprivileged” Piece – All unprivileged chess pieces may only make conventional-moves. In other words, the unprivileged chess piece has no additional moving capabilities and moves just like it would in traditional chess play.

2-4. Moves of a “Privileged” Piece – All privileged chess pieces are capable of making either a conventional-move or a vest-move. In other words, a privileged chess piece may move based upon the authority granted from the type of chess piece it is or from the type of vest it wears.

2-5. Key Points To Plundering

  • The ability to Plunder is available to every chess piece.  Every chess piece in the game of PlunderChess® is capable of capturing and plundering additional moving capabilities from opposing chess pieces.  However, not every capture will result in plundering.
  • Plundering is NOT always permitted.  For plundering to be permitted, the plundered vest MUST provide some benefit to the chess piece wearing it.  If it does not, plundering is illegal and will not be allowed.  

  • Plundering is optional.  Plundering is a right earned and does NOT have to be elected.  When the option presents itself, the choice to plunder may be declined by the player of the capturing chess piece.  If however plundering is chosen, the capturing chess piece plunders (attaches to itself) a vest that now empowers it with added moving capabilities taken from the captured chess piece.

  • The plundered vest must represent the moving capabilities taken from the captured piece. The vest plundered must directly correspond to whatever moving capabilities the capturing chess piece is taking from the captured chess piece.  In other words, if the capturing chess piece is plundering the additional moving capabilities of a knight, then it must acquire the knight vest, etc.

  • Chess pieces are limited to wearing ONE plundered vest at a time.  No chess piece may possess more than one vest at any one time.  In other words, you will not see a chess piece on the board wearing two or more vests.

  • Plundered vests are good for one move only.  A privileged chess piece with vest power is entitled to exercise its vest-move option for one future move whenever it so desires.  Upon completion of this vest-move, the vest is considered “used up” or “spent” and must immediately be uncoupled from the chess piece wearing it and returned to the vest stand out of play.

  • When a privileged chess piece captures and plunders via its vest-move.   When a privileged chess piece uses its vest power to capture an opposing piece (i.e. the capturing move is a vest-move) it may immediately plunder (if permitted, see table 2-8) new moving capabilities from its captured piece.  Of course the “just used/spent” vest must first be uncoupled and discarded from play before plundering any new vest.

  • When a privileged chess piece captures and plunders via its conventional-move.   When a privileged chess piece captures an opposing chess piece apart from using its vest power (i.e. the capturing move is a conventional-move) it will be allowed to immediately plunder (if permitted, see table 2-8) new moving capabilities from its captured piece.  Of course the “un-used” vest must first be uncoupled and discarded from play before plundering any new vest.


2-6. Greater Detail 

Upon capturing an opponent’s chess piece, if the capturing piece and the captured piece are both unprivileged, then the capturing chess piece may (if permitted, see permitted table) plunder a vest that represents the moving capabilities of the captured chess piece. 


PlunderChess-Example-2.jpg

Upon capturing an opponent’s chess piece, if the capturing chess piece is unprivileged and the captured chess piece is privileged, then the capturing chess piece may (if permitted, see permitted table) plunder a vest that represents the moving capabilities of the captured chess piece, or plunder the actual vest that is worn by the captured chess piece.


PlunderChess-Rules-Example-3.jpg


Upon capturing an opponent’s chess piece, if the capturing piece is privileged and the capturing move was a conventional-move, and the captured piece is unprivileged, then the capturing chess piece may decline to plunder and keep its unused vest or may (if permitted, see permitted table) immediately plunder a replacement vest provided it uncouples and removes its unused vest from play.  The new plundered replacement vest must represent the moving capabilities of the captured chess piece.


PlunderChess-Rules-Example-d.jpg

Upon capturing an opponent’s chess piece, if the capturing piece is privileged and the capturing move was a conventional-move, and the captured piece too is privileged, then the capturing chess piece may decline to plunder and keep its unused vest or may (if permitted, see permitted table) immediately uncouple and remove. 


plunderchess-greater-detail-e

Upon capturing an opponent’s chess piece, if the capturing piece is privileged and the capturing move was a vest-move, and the captured piece is unprivileged, then the capturing piece must first uncouple and remove from play its “used up” vest.  Then it may (if permitted, see permitted table) immediately plunder a vest that represents the moving capabilities of the captured chess piece.


plunderchess-greater-detail-f

Upon capturing an opponent’s chess piece, if the capturing piece is privileged and the capturing move was a vest-move, and the captured piece too is privileged, then the capturing piece must first uncouple and remove from play its “used up” vest.  Then it may (if permitted, see permitted table) immediately plunder a vest that represents the moving capabilities of the captured chess piece, or plunder the actual vest that is worn by the captured chess piece.


2-7. Plundering Your Opponent in the context of Tabletop Board Play

As mentioned earlier, plundering is optional and may be declined.  To avoid confusion and possible disputes over whether or not a player is electing to plunder from a capture, the decision to plunder must be made prior to the close of the player's turn.  It is important therefore, that the player of the capturing chess piece adhere to the following three steps when plundering, or his/her right to plunder is forfeited.

  1. The aggressor player moves the capturing chess piece onto the same square as the opponent’s piece being targeted for capture.  (Both pieces now temporarily occupy the same square.)
  2. At this time, BEFORE REMOVING THE OPPONENT'S CAPTURED PIECE FROM PLAY, if plundering is desired, the player of the capturing chess piece must now take possession of a permitted vest and attach it, or “couple” it, to the capturing chess piece.
  3. Once the vest has been coupled to the capturing chess piece, then and only then, may the player of the capturing chess piece remove the opponent's captured chess piece from play.

2-8. Table of Priveleged Chess Piece Combinations

Chess Piece:PawnRookKnightBishopQueenKing
Plundered
vests that
offer a
benefit:
RookPawnPawnPawnKnightRook
KnightKnightRookRookPawn**Knight
BishopBishopBishopKnight Bishop
QueenQueenQueenQueen Queen
King*King*King*King* Pawn**

* King vests may be plundered when playing “Two King” variations – See FAQ 3-11
** Only benefit of queen wearing pawn vest is the possible future en passant capture of an enemy pawn – See 2-10


2-9. Rules Pertaining to Kings

a) Putting a Privileged King into Check or Checkmate – In theory, privileged kings are more difficult to put into checkmate because they are harder to “pin down”.  When a privileged king is put into check, it may escape the threat by any “permissible” means.  These permissible means would include vest-moves.  Vest-moves may be used for whatever advantage they bring (offensive or defensive) to the chess piece wearing them.

b) Privileged Kings making vest-moves – When a privileged king makes a vest move, it WILL be allowed to PASS THROUGH squares that are threatened by opposing chess pieces.  (Of course it cannot move INTO check!)

c) Kings Putting Opposing Kings into check or checkmate – In the game of PlunderChess®, kings ARE permitted, under limited circumstances, to put opposing kings into check or even checkmate. For this to occur, the following three conditions MUST be met:

1) The attacking king MUST be privileged with one of the following vests; queen, rook, bishop or knight.

2) The threat from the attacking king MUST come from the plundered vest it wears.  (This allows the aggressor king to threaten its opposing king from a safe distance, via its vest-move, where the pursued king is unable to offer a counter attack.)

3) The attacking king MUST NOT move itself into check.


2-10. En Passant Captures

All en passant capture rules that apply in traditional chess will also apply in PlunderChess®.  Additionally, any chess piece privileged with pawn vest power is permitted to capture enemy pawns via the en passant rule.  A previously moved pawn, returning to any square in its second row, whether privileged or unprivileged, will be vulnerable to the en passant capture.


2-11. Castling

All castling rules that apply in traditional chess will also apply in PlunderChess®.  In addition, if any of the squares directly between the king and castling rook are threatened by an opposing piece, due to a conventional-move or a vest-move, castling will not be permitted.


2-12. Promotion of Privileged Pawns and/or Unprivileged Pawns

When a pawn, Privileged or Unprivileged, advances all the way to the other end of the board, it immediately becomes promoted to a queen, rook, knight or bishop. Regardless of the type of move it made to get there, whether a conventional-move or a vest-move, it must be promoted. Pawns that reach the end of the board cannot remain pawns nor can they be promoted to kings.

When a “Privileged” pawn reaches the other end of the board by a…

Type of Move:Resulting In:Conclusions
Vest-MoveNo Capture• Used vest is uncoupled from pawn and discarded from play
• Pawn is immediately promoted
Vest-MoveCapture• Used vest is uncoupled from pawn and discarded from play
• Pawn is immediately promoted
• Newly promoted piece may plunder from captured piece (if permitted, see table 2-8)
Conventional-Move No Capture• Pawn is immediately promoted
• Un-used vest may be coupled to newly promoted piece (if permitted, see table 2-8) or discarded from play
Conventional-Move Capture• Pawn is immediately promoted
• Un-used vest may be coupled to newly promoted piece (if permitted, see table 2-8) or discarded from play
• Newly promoted piece may plunder a new replacement vest from captured piece (if permitted, see table 2–8)

When an “UnPrivileged” pawn reaches the other end of the board by a…

Type of Move:Resulting In:Conclusions
Conventional-Move No Capture• Pawn is immediately promoted
• Un-used vest may be coupled to newly promoted piece (if permitted, see table 2-8) or discarded from play
Conventional-Move Capture• Pawn is immediately promoted
• Newly promoted piece may plunder a new replacement vest from captured piece (if permitted, see table 2–8)