OverLay is a variant of either chess and checkers, or ChesSers, nobody is really sure. It's been called "ChesSers on only one board", which is almost accurate.

It was invented by DavidClarke? and SteveHaas, who quickly addicted EvilSouthie, who then named the game.

The game is set up by having the normal starting checkers position set on the board, and then the normal starting chess position set on top of it. White should be on red checkers, black on black checkers.

Rules: On your turn you may either move a chess piece or a checkers piece. Chess pieces can only capture chess pieces, checker pieces can only capture checker pieces. If a moved piece is attached to another piece, and the square being moved to does not contain a piece of that type (chess/checker), that piece is moved along with it. If a checker can make a capture, it must, unless this would place the moving player in check. The game is won when the opponent's king is checkmated or all his checkers are gone. Getting out of check overrules checker force-jumps. If you are in check, you are not force-captured. (see notes) As in checkers, if you have no legal moves, you lose.

Some notes: If a piece is on a checker that is double-jumping, the piece only moves if the final square does not contain a chess piece. Intervening pieces are not moved. If a player is threatening the opponent's king, but has a force capture the next move, it is not check. The player being threatened cannot remove this force capture unless it simultaneously removes his king from being threatened (otherwise it'd be moving into check). Yes, this leads to the possibility of both kings being threatened and neither one being able to do anything about it. If you have a force capture, are attacking the opponent's king, and have your king threatened simultaneously (assuming your opponent has no force captures), you must first move your king out of check. Then you must force capture. Then and only then are you actually checking your opponent.

If you have your opponent's king on your checker, you can jump him into a position that checks him. If ever a person has no checkers on the board, they instantly lose. As such, if a king is in check but has the ability to capture his opponent's last checker, that counts of "getting out of check", and indeed wins. If a person has several checker jumps to move from, and some but not all move that player into check, they must choose from one of the avaliable jumps. This may force a player to do a double jump instead of a single jump.

(Anybody think of any other situations I missed?) -- EvilSouthie

Strategy: Strategy? What strategy? The game's so new, nobody knows how to play it very well. Moving a piece so that the opponent has to checker jump (and you don't have to checker jump back), then being able to move that piece again can lead to many valuable things. This is, actually, a large part of the game. Checkers are generally sacrificed for tempo. The game so far has generally been won on the chess side, although EvilSouthie seems to play for checker wins and does a decent job of it.

So far the only actual opening strategy, as devised by EvilSouthie: For white: P-g3, B-g2, move checkers around so that P-e3 is decent, P-e3. Still working on this.

Has recently (as of September 2001) spawned at least two variants: Knightmare Overlay (i.e. OverLay with Knightmare Chess cards) and OverlayHouse? (BugHouse cross OverLay). They both seem to be almost as broken as they are amusing, or possibly the other way around. The game of OverlayHouse? that I played was fun, although silly- checkers seemed to be the "I want the board to be in a different arrangement." piece when available to drop. Most checkmates aren't (I think we had six checkmates in one of the games I played, all gotten out of because of checker drops moving pieces around, including one that dragged a random checker halfway across the board so it'd be under a piece that needed moving and then moving it). -- EvilSouthie

An additional proposed name for the game is Buntelope, a reference to OverLay being something like cross between a bunny and an antelope.

Ok, I think its time to start a Wiki game of OverLay. If there are enough people who play, lets make this a public game. Otherwise I guess it'll just be me versus somebody. We will need to figure out a syntax for checkers moves. Any thoughts? I suspect it'd be best if all moves were done in the square->square fashion, although algebriac looks so much nicer... perhaps just the checker moves can be square->square. -EvilSouthie

1. g3 f6->e5

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Last edited June 27, 2003 12:48 (diff)