Ultima is a variant of chess that brings a whole new aspect of piece-based teamplay to life. Rather than making the movements of the pieces important, as per chess, it's the way the pieces capture that makes Ultima so special.

Robert Abbott had created Ultima, and it first appeared in the December 1962 issue of "Recreational Mathematics Magazine". Later, when he published his book of "Abbott's New Card Games", he modified a few rules. Players didn't like that too much, so the original set stands.

Ultima is played on a standard 8x8 chessboard (or checkerboard, if you prefer), with a standard chess set in the chess starting position. Before the game begins, the rook on each player's left is turned upside-down. The object is to capture the opponent's king. Check is not announced, and the king will leave the board, unlike in chess.

The first piece of mention is the King. The piece that represents the King is, of course, the king. It moves just like in regular chess. The King cannot put itself in a place where it could be captured.

Then there's the Pawns. There are 8 of them. They move like rooks, orthogonally for as far as they wish, until blocked. Their method of capturing is quite strange; it sandwiches the captured piece between itself and an allied piece. Thus, a single Pawn can capture three pieces. The diagram demonstrates a Pawn capture. Note that the assisting piece doesn't have to be a Pawn, it just has to be of the same color.

(Excuse the ascii chessboard. Empty white squares are asterisks, black squares are @s.)

```* @ * @ * @ * @
@ * @ * @ * @ *
* @ * @ * @ * @
@ P K < - - P *
* @ * @ * @ * @
@ * @ * @ * @ *
* @ * @ * @ * @
@ * @ * @ * @ *
```

The upside down rook is an Immobilizer. The Immobilizer moves like a queen. It prevents any orthogonally adjacent pieces from moving. However, an Immobilized piece can capture itself as a turn, allowing for another piece to attack. Often times, Immobilizers will be stuck Immobilizing each other while the rest of the game plays on.

The right side up rook is the Coordinator. It too moves like a queen (In fact everything does, minus the Pawns and King.). The Coordinator captures by making a rectangle with the allied King, and it attacks the corners that are occupied by neither King nor Coordinator in question.

```* @ * @ * @ * @
@ * @ * @ * @ *
* @ * @ * @ * @
C * @ X @ * @ *
* @ * @ * @ * @
@ * @ * @ * @ *
* @ * @ * @ * @
X * @ K @ * @ *
```

Those knight looking pieces are called Long Leapers. They cannot actually leap, unless they do so to capture. They move like queens until they reach their targeted captured piece (if there is a target), then jump over the piece any number of spaces. If the player wishes, the process can be repeated, providing the Long Leaper is still moving in the same direction.

```* @ * @ * @ * @
@ * @ * @ * @ *
* @ * @ * @ * @
@ * @ W @ * @ *
* @ * @ * @ * @
@ * @ * @ * @ *
* @ * L * @ * @
@ * @ * @ * @ *
```

```* @ * o * @ * @
@ * @ o @ * @ *
* @ * o * @ * @
@ * @ X @ * @ *
* @ * @ * @ * @
@ * @ * @ * @ *
* @ * @ * @ * @
@ * @ * @ * @ *
```

Her Majesty has turned into a coward, and has earned the name Withdrawer. She(?) captures pieces by moving away from them. Starting her move at an orthogonally adjacent square, and moving away from it, the formerly adjacent piece is now captured.

The Chamelions posing as bishops are very versatile pieces, as they can capture in all of the above ways. However, there is a catch: they must capture their target in the same fashion the target would capture something. As of now I am unsure of how this would work against Immobilizers and other Chamelions.

Please learn from my mistake and don't try learning Ultima while you're learning Chess. Either learn it before or after.