|Congo, invented by a seven year old in 1982, in little more than an hour, went on to become the second most popular Chess variant at the games club 'Fanatic' at Twente University, the Netherlands.|
Congo takes pride of place on the cover of David Pritchard's 'The Encyclopedia of Chess Variants' (G&P Publications, P.O. Box 20, Godalming, Surrey GU8 4YP, UK. - ISBN 0-9524142-0-1).
The applet shows the board with the pieces in initial position. There are two players, black and white. White begins. Players move - and must move - in turn.
- The object of Congo is to capture the opponent's Lion. There's no rule against a Lion moving into check: it is simply captured. Since players must move on their turn, this effectively makes stalemate a win.
- The Lion is the proverbial King of this jungle. With one exception he may not leave his 3x3 castle. Inside he moves and captures as the King in Chess.
- The mutual check rule: If Lions face one another along an open file or diagonal, both are in check and the player whose turn it is can capture his opponent's Lion and win. This is the exception mentioned above.
With the exception of the crocodile, that cannot drown, and the Lion, that cannot enter the river, pieces are subject to the following:
- A piece that ends its move in the river must leave it next turn or drown.
A drowned piece is removed at the end of the turn. The piece may not have moved at all, for instance because its Lion had to move out of check (!), or may have moved within the river, or even, in the Monkey's case, out of and back into the river. In the latter cases any captures made are legal.
|In the diagram the white Lion cannot move to the d-file because it will be captured. Anticipating that the zebra moves as the knight in Chess, white must NOT move b2-c4+, because the black Lion would move to the c-file, pinning it in the river where it would drown, and thus drawing the game. As it is, the game is won: in Congo a Lion and any piece, including a pawn, always wins against a bare Lion.|
In the diagram the elephant can capture the black pawn.
Two elephants leapfrogging a file, are known as the elephant roll.
Congo pawns are very logical in their forward movement, less so in their abilities of retreat. Yet, here it is:
Using the Congo applet
Congo © Demian Freeling
Java applet © Ed van Zon