Remove The Guard is a chess variant that helps you to improve your ability to see who is protecting what.
Why Is Remove The Guard Useful?
Playing Remove the Guard will help you to better play chess for two reasons.
First of all, learning to have all of your pieces protected is very good for your overall chess skills. Pieces play together in chess, and your pieces protect each other when you play defense. This prevents your opponent to capture for free hanging pieces, which are pieces left undefended. The piece protecting another piece is called Guard or Defender. Remove the Guard will help to identify all the Guards both in your and in your opponent’s army.
Second reason: Remove the Guard is useful also to improve your checkmating skills.
Often, there are positions where a piece of your opponent prevents you from checkmating the King. Removing this piece from the game would allow you to checkmate.Take a look at this example:
You are playing Black. Moving your queen to h2 would checkmate the white King, but that square is protected by the white Knight in f3. The Knight would capture your Queen if she landed on h2. What can you do? You should get rid of the white Knight in f3! You can do that just capturing the Knight with your Rook in f7.
Remove The Guard helps you to identify the piece preventing checkmates, like the Knight in the example above.
Remove The Guard Rules
Set your board as normal, and play using the usual chess rules, with one basic exception.
When you capture a piece that was guarding another piece, you also capture what it used to protect for free (except if the protected piece is the King). If there is a choice between several pieces defended, you choose the one to remove.
Let’s say you are playing White and it’s your turn to move. If you capture the Knight in c6 with your Bishop in b5, you can also take straight away one of the pieces the Knight was guarding. You can choose between the black Queen in d8 or the black Pawn in e5. Removing the guard (the Knight in this example) allows you to remove one of the guarded pieces too.
Remove The Guard: Variant 1
If you want to play a different version of Remove the Guard, you can decide that as soon someone makes a capture, he can capture ALL the pieces that the guard was protecting, instead of just one piece. This is a more aggressive game, and quicker too, as the pieces usually come off the board quickly!
If you play this version of Remove the Guard, in the example above the white Bishop can take the Knight in c6, and then remove also the black Queen in d8, the black Pawn in e5 and the black Pawn in a7!
Remove The Guard: Variant 2
Another interesting variant: you win if you capture the King, rather than checkmating it. This means that there is no chess or checkmate in this game, since the Kings too can come off the board. When the King is in danger, there is no need to say “check”. You can capture the King also removing its guard.