In-character reference - Alain

Red Knight/chess-isms for my reference:
  • "The Grandmaster knows…" (e.g. "Heaven only knows)
  • "Checkmate's edge!" (Oath)
  • "Zugzwang!" (Oath, based on the chess term – an uncomfortable position in which one would be in no difficulty were it not for the fact that one has to make a move in a situation where all legal moves lead to trouble.)
  • "Back-rank mate" (possible nickname for Elithia, for her ability to reach out from the rear to strike at a single critical target)
  • "J'adoube" (instead of "shifting")
  • "Knight" (possible nickname for Dot, given her ability to teleport, similar to the knight's ability to move regardless of intervening pieces.)]
What's Lanceboard? (From WotCs 3.5 adaptation of Undermountain, room 9)

Lanceboard is a variant of chess popular on the Sword Coast. It uses a board 7 squares long and 5 squares wide made of red and white squares. The goal of lanceboard is to get your queen to the other side of the board. Play progresses fast and furious and, as with chess, many variants of lanceboard exist.

Set Up: Each player has one queen that starts in the middle square of the nearest rank on the narrow side. Each player also has four knights and one champion. These are arranged as the player sees fit in the second rank from that player's starting side. The player of the white pieces places his knights and champion first.

Play: Once the player of the red pieces places all of his knights and champions, the player of the white pieces begins play with the first move, and play progresses with each player taking a turn by moving one piece.

Knights: Knights move like knights in chess (essentially a knight moves along an L-shaped path and it can jump over other pieces in its path). When a knight ends its move in an enemy knight or champion's square, the enemy is turned backward to indicate it has taken a hit, and the enemy knight or champion slides back toward its starting side by one square. If a piece occupies that space, the enemy knight or champion is eliminated. Knights and champions can take two hits before being eliminated.

Knights that end their move in the enemy queen's square take the queen captive. The queen remains with the capturing knight, moving with him until that knight is eliminated. Once the knight is eliminated, the queen is placed in any free square adjacent to the knight or champion that freed her.

Champions: Champions follow the same rules as knights, but they immediately eliminate any knight or champion they land on.

Queens: Queens move like bishops in chess (in other words, they move any number of squares along a diagonal path) except they cannot enter an enemy's square. The most popular variant of lanceboard allows the queen to move like the queen does in chess (which is a straight, horizontal, vertical, or diagonal line).

Other chess terminology of possible use:
  • Advantage
    • A player whose position is considered objectively better is said to have the advantage.
  • Arbiter
    • Chess does not have referees or umpires, it has Arbiters for the enforcement of the rules, and Directors for the organisation of tournaments (a distinction recognized in America).
  • Bad Bishop
    • If a bishop is hemmed in by pawns, and therefore has limited mobility, it is considered bad.
  • Blockade
    • The blocking of a pawn or pawns by a piece or pieces.
  • Candidate move
    • One of a number of possible realistic moves. there may be a number of legal moves available but only moves that can achieve something positive within the framework of the current game can be called candidate moves.
  • Castling
    • A move in which the king and a rook move simultaneously and the only move where the king is allowed to move more than one square. It may only be carried out if neither the king nor the rook concerned have not previously moved at any time in the game and provided the king and none of the squares involved are currently under direct attack by an opposing piece. However, when castling the rook can immediately give check as a result of the move should the opposing king be on e1 or e8, as appropriate, and there are no other pieces on the e-file. Castling kingside with the White pieces takes the king from e1 to g1 while the rook from h1 moves to e1, replacing the king. Castling queenside takes the king from e1 to c1 while the rook from a1 moves to e1. Castling with the Black pieces is self-evident from the foregoing explanation. Once this move has been employed in a game the pieces involved resume their normal moving powers and castling cannot be repeated even if the pieces resume their original positions.
  • Check
    • When the king is directly attacked. The game is lost unless the king can be moved our of check, or another piece can be placed between the king and the attacking piece, or the attacking piece can be captured.
  • Checkmate
    • If the king is in check and there is no legal move that can get him out of check (see check) he is checkmated and the game is lost.
  • Development
    • The art of bringing out one's forces.
  • Discovered check
    • A check delivered by a piece whose line of attack has previously been blocked by a member of the same side which has moved away on the given move.
  • Endgame
    • The last stages of a game, involving few pieces, usually without queens for either side.
  • En Passant
    • (In passing) A special pawn capture which can only be effected once by each side in a game. If, for example, Black has a pawn on his fifth rank (say e4) and White, taking advantage of the facility to move a pawn two squares forward on its first move, moves (say) d2-d4, Black can capture this pawn – but only on the very next move – placing the capturing pawn on d3.
  • En prise
    • This is said of a piece (other than the king) which is under attack.
  • Fianchetto
    • An Italian term, now in general use, to describe the positioning of a bishop in the penultimate square of the long diagonal (ie White's b2, g2, Black's b7, g7).
  • Forced move
    • A move which must be made lest the player lose material or even be checkmated.
  • Gambit
    • A sacrifice in the opening.
  • Isolated pawn
    • A pawn is said to be isolated when there are no pawns of the same army on adjoining files. Generally, isolated pawns, or isolani's, are considered to be weak.
  • Minority attack
    • An advance by a small number of pawns against a greater number.
  • Outpost
    • A hole in the enemy position which can be occupied by a minor piece, or sometimes by a rook.
  • Overloading
    • Giving a piece more duties (usually in defence) than it can cope with.
  • Passed pawn
    • A pawn which has no enemy pawns ahead of it on the same or adjacent file.
  • Perpetual check
    • A situation where one player can give check to the enemy king indefinitely, resulting in a draw.
  • Poisoned Pawn
    • An unprotected pawn which, if captured, causes positional problems or material loss. It is also a variation of the Najdorf Variation of the Sicilian Defence, where some players call White's pawn on b2 a poisoned pawn since it is dangerous for Black to capture it.
  • Positional
    • As opposed to tactical play, positional play has more to do with moving pieces into advantageous position than with direct attacks or winning of material.
  • Prophylaxis
    • The art of setting up a defence before an attack is actually launched.
  • Sacrifice
    • A move which gives up material in order to gain some positional or tactical advantage.
  • Tempo
    • A measurement of time as it pertains to chess. To waste a tempo is to take two moves to get a piece to a square which it could have reached in a single move. For example, moving a pawn from a2-a3-a4instead of directly from a2-a4.
  • Transposition
    • A single position can sometimes be reached by a variety of paths. Play transposes into a given variation when a position is reached via a route other than the one given in standard reference works. For example 1. e2-e4 e7-e5 2. Ng1-f3 is a normal series of moves, but 1.Ng1-f3 e7-e5 2. e2-e4 would be a very strange transpositional path since 2. Nf3xe5 was a possible alternative.
  • Trap
    • A situation where a superficially tempting move is left available for an unwary opponent. If he takes the bait it usually results in an advantage – even a win – for the player who set the trap.
  • Unsound
    • A term used to describe a failed stratagem or tactic.
  • Waiting Move
    • A move that, while not achieving anything positive, does not weaken the position.
  • Weak square
    • A square which cannot be guarded by a pawn and upon which an enemy piece can be placed to his advantage.

In-character reference - Alain

Horn of the North wolfhound Elkhorn