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Comments by David Howe

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Report here any pages that are not showing up[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
David Howe wrote on Sun, May 6, 2012 12:34 PM UTC:
I believe he's saying that the height of the squares is greater than the

Summary Prefix[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
David Howe wrote on Wed, May 2, 2012 11:43 AM UTC:
Fergus, the summary prefix is used for entries such as "The Last
Mourning". The summary is set to "Last Mourning" and the summary prefix
is "The". This allows entries to be listed in proper order. There is no
good reason for the prefix field to display after the summary field, and I
cannot remember why I did it that way. In any case, please feel free to
change it if you'd like.

Report here any pages that are not showing up[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
David Howe wrote on Sat, Apr 21, 2012 11:54 AM UTC:
Fixed. It was an "include_once" issue.

Index page of The Chess Variant Pages. Our main index page.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
David Howe wrote on Sun, Mar 18, 2012 06:03 PM UTC:
We're currently in the process of improving the CVP web site. This
includes using single sign-in sessions, ability to use OpenID to sign-in,
and an improved comment and rating system. This work takes time, so please
be patient. The indexing and current commenting/rating system will be in
various states of change over the next several weeks. We will try to keep
things usable, but just keep in mind that all this work is done in our
spare time.

The current commenting and rating system needs some attention, but for
minor problems, we will probably wait until the improvements are
implemented to fix them. If there are problems that are inhibiting their
use, we'll give them higher priority.

Thank you for your patience. I think the improvements that Fergus is making
will be well worth the wait!

[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
David Howe wrote on Sat, Mar 10, 2012 05:08 PM UTC:

Fergus, if you need any help with the SQL end of things, please let me know.

There are two existing rating and commenting systems. I will refer to the older (and heavily used) system as the rating and commenting system. The newer system, which is not used to any significant extent, I will call the newer rating system.

I agree that the newer rating system is not used (much to my chagrin, given the work I put into it) and should be wiped from the site. The older rating and commenting system seems to work acceptably, although it has its issues and limitations. I agree that we shouldn't toss years of valuable comments/ratings.

So my feeling is that we should have a single, consistent commenting and rating system. Having two parallel systems is confusing and inelegant. That said, I am at a loss for how to proceed. Somehow, we should keep what we have, but also add desired functionality, but as a single, comprehensive system.

I suppose we could export the existing comment and ratings into the proposed new system, and have a unified and elegant commenting and rating system. That will take more effort, but may be worth it.

Just my 2 cents. Please let me know if I can be of any help on the PHP or SQL end of things. I really hope we can achieve a more effective and elegant system than the existing one.

On Designing Good Chess Variants. Design goals and design principles for creating Chess variants.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
David Howe wrote on Sun, Feb 19, 2012 04:59 PM UTC:
Here's my take after a little thought. The point assignments probably need work.

A game which is a form of chess, is one which includes all of the following properties:

1. A game of movement and capture, rarely of placement (2 points)
2. Bilateral symmetry and equality of material (1 point)
3. Functionally differentiated pieces (2 points)
4. Capture by replacement (1 point)
5. Win by capturing a definitive singleton (royal piece) (3 points)
6. A Turn-based game (1 point)
7. A Two-player game (1 point)
8. A game of Complete information (1 point)
9. Played by moving pieces between discrete positions (2 points)
10. The players can move one piece per turn (1 point)
11. One piece type is more abundant than the others, quite weak, moves uni-directionally and can promote (1 point)

[1-5 (but not the point system) taken from: Parlett, D. S. (1999). The Oxford history of board games. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 277.]

[6-11 (but not the point system) taken from H. G. Muller's post on commenting system.]

Suggested terms:

Chess-game: 16 points (all properties)
Chess-like game: 10-15 points (many properties)
Chess-related game: 4-9 points (some properties)

Note that many chess variants are (according to this scheme) chess-like or chess-related games.


Go                = 0 + 1 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 1 + 1 + 1 +0/1+ 1 + 0 = 5/6
Checkers          = 2 + 1 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 0 = 9
Losing Chess      = 2 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 0 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 = 13
Extinction Chess  = 2 + 1 + 2 + 1 +0/1+ 1 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 = 13/14
Ultima            = 2 + 1 + 2 + 0 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 0 = 14
Progressive chess = 2 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 0 + 1 = 15
Grand chess       = 2 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 = 16

Index page of The Chess Variant Pages. Our main index page.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
David Howe wrote on Sat, Feb 11, 2012 01:03 PM UTC:
(zzo38) A. Black: Please specify which pages you want changed, and I'll see what I can do. Thanks! Charles: I've updated the link text for your page.

[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
David Howe wrote on Fri, Jan 27, 2012 05:35 PM UTC:
Hi all,

At the author's request, I have removed the page for Jeppseirawan. This
automatically removes all comments and ratings for this game. If you still
would like to read them, please contact me.

Let's all try to be civil and constructive when commenting on others'
work. Let's also try to not take ourselves (and others) so seriously. CB-J
is a prime example of using humor and friendliness to help avoid
unfortunate results.

Thank you.

Funny Notation[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
David Howe wrote on Sat, Jan 14, 2012 04:10 PM UTC:
Hi all, I hadn't seen this thread before. I found it while looking for a
place to propose my extensions to Betza's funny notation.

I feel that Betza's funny notation is a good place to start for defining
standard since it has been in use for many years, and seems to be
functioning as an 'undeclared' standard.

I would like to propose an extension to Betza's notation that perhaps
could be agreed upon by a group from the CV community and then published.
Obviously, such a standard will not be easy to agree upon, which is why I
am posting this as a proposal.

If any one is interested in forming a group with the purpose of attempting
to establish a move notation standard, please post here. Thanks!

Concise Guide to Chess Variants. Missing description[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
📝David Howe wrote on Sun, Jan 1, 2012 03:35 PM UTC:
Thank you. I used an Excel spreadsheet in combination with MS-Word mail merge to generate the web pages and index. As you might imagine, collecting, editing and generating the results took many months. After realizing that I could be working on this for years, I decided to just stop and get it out there.

Now I will be collecting suggested additions and modifications in preparation for the next version. Thanks for any feedback you can provide and Happy New Year to all!

📝David Howe wrote on Wed, Dec 28, 2011 12:47 PM UTC:
Thanks for the kind words. I'm sure the guide has many errors, and I'll be working on collecting them over the next few months so they can be corrected in the next version. I also plan on adding more to the guide, so if anyone has suggestions, please let me know. Thanks!

On Designing Good Chess Variants. Design goals and design principles for creating Chess variants.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
David Howe wrote on Thu, Jan 27, 2011 06:37 PM UTC:
While there is no detailed policy governing the editorial standards of this discussion board / commenting system, I'd like to remind everyone that we should try to be respectful and polite, even when disagreeing. It is easy to take criticism the wrong way, especially if it is couched in a somewhat condescending tone. We should also avoid the use of derogatory terms in our postings.

We have a lot of great postings and discussions. Let's try keep it polite and respectful.


Overyang. Variant using compounds of Yang Qi pieces. (11x13, Cells: 143) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
David Howe wrote on Fri, Dec 24, 2010 01:15 AM UTC:
Thanks Fergus!

Chess on a Longer Board with a few Pieces Added. On a 10 row by 8 column board, with three new pieces. (8x10, Cells: 80) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
💡📝David Howe wrote on Thu, Dec 23, 2010 02:12 PM UTC:
Good question. I hadn't thought of it. I would say, a pawn can promote to a wall, if at the time of promotion, the promotion square has an empty square to the immediate right and/or left. The wall would then be placed on the pawn's promotion square and the empty square.

Overyang. Variant using compounds of Yang Qi pieces. (11x13, Cells: 143) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
David Howe wrote on Thu, Dec 23, 2010 02:07 PM UTC:
Fergus, I will look into this. It may be a week or two due to the time of year. I have no idea why the generated code should display differently than the saved code. I tried using a different file name extension (.php instead of .html) but that produced the same results.

Matrix Chess. Chess played on a tessellation of pentagons and diamonds. The name comes from the matrix in which diamonds are found. (14x14, Cells: 196) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
David Howe wrote on Mon, Jun 14, 2010 12:23 PM UTC:
Hi David, OK, I have increased the limit to 1Mb for file size and for the daily limit. Please let me know if you need more. Also let me know when you're ready for this page to be posted. Thanks!

[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
David Howe wrote on Sun, Jan 3, 2010 01:54 PM UTC:
Mea Culpa. I have been terrible about processing email for the past few
months. I plan to start catching up soon. Apologies to all who have written
in and have not received any response. IMO 'old style' pages that need
updating should be converted to member submitted pages. I am not aware of
issues with updating the newer member submitted pages. Perhaps they've
been emailed to me and are sitting in my in-box right now. In any case, I
will be getting to the email soon. I promise. It's one of my many unspoken
(until now) new years resolutions.

By the way, if any one out there is interested in assisting with the site
as a volunteer, please let me know. This site runs on pure volunteerism. I
pay for the hosting and domain names, although this gets supplemented with
income from ads (another aspect I have been neglecting).

Let me wish all our readers, our active community of commenters, our Game
Courier players, our designers and authors, and our volunteers a very Happy
and Healthy New Year. We are a small community, but active and energetic. I
am glad this site can provide a focal point for discussion, design,
creative expression, exploration and playing.

[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
David Howe wrote on Fri, Dec 11, 2009 01:27 PM UTC:
What were you trying to change? I made some test changes to your 12# Chess
page at:

I was able to edit the contents with no problem.

David Howe wrote on Mon, Dec 7, 2009 03:30 PM UTC:
You found another bug in my code. Doesn't handle # properly. Anyway, I
fixed your submission and it is now up! Sorry about that!

David Howe wrote on Sun, Dec 6, 2009 07:23 PM UTC:
Sorry about that. All new submissions should be up on the What's New page

[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
David Howe wrote on Tue, Jul 7, 2009 01:58 AM UTC:
Already available:

Elephant, Canon, Guard, Ferz, Wazir, Giraffe, Camel, War machine, Various
pawns, Shogi pieces


Animal forms:


Knight forms:

Marshall: combines Rook + Knight
Cardinal: combines Bishop + Knight 
Amazon: combines Queen + Knight

Inverted forms:


I don't see as much need for Camel forms. Let's get the basics first!

David Howe wrote on Fri, Jul 3, 2009 08:03 PM UTC:
I am starting this thread for the purposes of discussing chess variant
related input for the next version of the Quivira font. See:

[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
David Howe wrote on Tue, Jun 23, 2009 01:16 PM UTC:
Sorry about the delays Mats. I am back in school and things are very busy
for me. I will try to get to this in the next few days. Sorry it's so
frustrating for you. Keep in mind, this site does not have any paid staff.
Just volunteers.

Ganymede Chess. Mark Hedden's idea for "a large chess variant with many weird pieces...which wouldn't seem too different from orthodox chess".[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
David Howe wrote on Sat, May 30, 2009 04:50 PM UTC:
It's always nice to hear John William Brown's name mentioned. He is a true innovator and I highly recommend his book Meta-Chess to any chess variant designer. Adjectives for the book: well thought out, imaginative, innovative, and methodical! One of these days I'm going to get my copy of Meta-Chess bound as a hardcover (it is currently comb-bound).

On that note, I will also say that I do not know if and when his updated edition of Meta-Chess is coming out. Anyone out there know?

[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
David Howe wrote on Mon, May 18, 2009 05:05 PM UTC:
Mats, what browser and OS are you using?

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