Crazy Elephant is a variant of Shatranj where players can to drop captured pieces as in CrazyHouse. This variant was originally suggested by Thomas Meehan (Orangeaurochs). Shatranj is the medieval predecessor to modern chess.
1. Pieces and Setup
Like Shatranj, Crazy Elephant is played with a slightly different set of pieces to standard chess, in particular with Alfils (elephants) replacing Bishops and Firzans replacing Queens.
The initial setup of the board is identical to standard chess, with the Alfils and Firzans taking the same places as their standard chess equivalents.
The rules of Crazy Elephant are similar to Standard Chess, with the following exceptions:
(rules derived from Shatranj)
- There is no initial two-step Pawn move
- There is no en passant capture option
- There is no castling option
- Pawns arriving at the last rank always promote to Firzans
- Stalemate counts as a win
- Bare King counts as a win, provided that your King cannot be bared on the very next move
- Two bare Kings count as a draw
(rules derived from CrazyHouse)
- Pieces you capture become yours to use as you wish on a future turn (and vice versa for your opponent). You can "drop" them anywhere on the board including checking the King. Pawns cannot be dropped on the 1st or 8th rank, and if a promoted pawn is captured, it reverts back to a Pawn.
You can view captured material via the "Material" tab. Here you can click on any piece of your opponent's colour and then click on the square you wish to place it on.
in the current implementation bare king rules inherited from Shatranj apply only to the pieces present on the board (this is the only way bare king is at all possible in CrazyElephant, after all)
3. Strategy and Tactics
Just like in CrazyHouse, captured pieces are as important for the evaluation of the position as those present on the board. It is a good habit to think with Material tab active.
The game is far more aggressive and tactical than Shatranj, but lack of queens makes checkmating more difficult comparing to CrazyHouse. Still, the general strategy is closer to that of CrazyHouse.
Alfils (elephants) can be very strong when dropped (just like knights in CrazyHouse). Don't sacrifice them too easily. And look for opportunities of crushing attack with alfil and faras drops.
Don't weaken your 2nd rank too much. Enemy pawns and pieces can be dropped on emptied squares. And if you vacate g7 (or b7) before moving your knight, you may offer your rook for free
4. Example Games
Crazy Elephant Test Tournament
Checkmating with knight and alfil drops (see also the white's 9th move for example exploitation of weakened second rank)
Game Page Help
The Action Bar
The Action Bar is the most important part of the game screen, this is where you interact with the game by entering moves, conditional moves, comments, draw offers, resignations, and much more (if you are not viewing one of your own games, the Action Bar is not shown). The Action Bar is in four parts, from left to right:
- The Move Input Box: where your move or conditional move is shown; it is possible to type into this box, but not recommended, you can enter your move by dragging and dropping the pieces on the board.
- The Action Selection Dropdown: this is where you select the action you want to do, for example, move, enter a comment, accept a draw offer, claim a draw, etc. Only the actions which are relevant to the current game are shown.
- The Continue Button: this button sends your action back to our server; sometimes you might see a pop-up text box before the action is sent, this is so that you can write a message to your opponent. You can set your preferences so that this box is always shown to confirm you move (under the "Chess Board" tab "Confirm moves before committing), some people find this helpful as a "blunder check".
- The Next Game button: clicking the button will take you to the next game for which it is your move.
The Game Information Panel
Under the Action Bar, you should find the Game Information Panel. This gives you more information about the game; because there is too much information to see on one screen here, it is arranged into "tab"; you can move between the various screens by clicking the buttons, from left to right:
- Game Overview: this tab shows the full history of the game, including comments (you cannot read the comments from another player's game, unless the game is marked as "public"), leave taken, etc. You can click the moves to see the position on the chess board.
- Hide Comments: this tab shows the moves of the game only, without the distraction of the comments shown on the game overview tab.
- Material Balance: this tab shows the captured pieces in the game. If you are playing CrazyHouse chess, or a similar game, you can drag pieces from here to the board to make a "drop".
- Tags: You can "tag" games, this makes it easier to come back to games, you can find the games you have tagged from the game database screen.
- Variant Information: this tab is available for some chess variants, it will show you a description of the variant.
- Opening Information: In standard chess games, this tab will show you information about the chess opening you have been playing, taken from the Game Explorer.
- Analysis Board: Opening this tab will overlay an "analysis board" on the main chess board; you can move the pieces around freely on this board to try out various ideas in the game.
- Engine Analysis: This tab allows you to analyse the game using a chess engine; because the use of engines is not allowed on SchemingMind, this tab is not available for ongoing games.
- Help: If you are reading this, you have already figured out what the help button does!
The Chess Board
The chess board shows the current position in your game; if it is your move, or if you can enter a conditional move, you can drag and drop the pieces on the chess board.
If you wish to castle, simply drag your king over the rook on the side you wish to castle on. When you promote a pawn, you will see a pop-up prompting you to select the promoted piece.
We have a number of different designs for chess boards and pieces, you can select the one you prefer from your personal preferences.
Under the chess board is a navigation toolbar (this toolbar looks slightly different if you are looking at the analysis board).
From left to right:
- Download Game: This button will allow you to download the game in PGN format.
- Move to the Start: This button will show the start position of the game.
- Previous Move: This button will move position shown on the board back one move.
- Next Move: This button will show the next position on the board.
- Last Move: This button will show the current position on the board.
- Flip: This button will show the board from the other player's perspective (by default you see games from White's perspective unless you are Black; you can select an option to always show the board from White's perspective in your personal preferences).
- Animate: If you are not looking at the last move in the game, this button will animate the game from the shown position to the last move.
- Stop Animation: This button will stop the animation.
- Analysis Board: This button will show the Analysis Board (see above).
View this article in the Knowledge Base.