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Comments by Ben Reiniger

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How to Design and Post Your Own Game. A reference for those who want to post their own games here.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Ben Reiniger wrote on 2022-11-28 UTC

I suspect some people will still get along better with a WYSIWYG editor than with markdown, even with the quick guide. Is it worth considering other editors? There's StackExchange's open-source editor "Stacks-Editor," but it's quite new (still in an open beta?).

I agree that mangling whitespace, even when we generally prefer non-ASCII diagrams, is a serious offense.

Home page of The Chess Variant Pages. Homepage of The Chess Variant Pages.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Ben Reiniger wrote on 2022-11-17 UTC

The diffs between page revisions don't seem to work anymore, possibly due to the server move. I get a short part of the introduction and no other text, and generally no highlighted diffs.

Hoigi. Missing description (9x9x3, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Ben Reiniger wrote on 2022-11-03 UTC

Either include a full description of the rules here, or submit it as an external link page instead.

Fluidity Chess. Dissect the pieces. Standard board without pawns. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Ben Reiniger wrote on 2022-11-03 UTC

The moves aren't completely clear to me; some examples would probably help.

The sliders must reach an empty square beyond a single captured piece, I think? The knights can capture up to three pieces, but always move 2 then 1? The kings don't capture at all?

Arktur. Two kings and randomized setup. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Ben Reiniger wrote on 2022-10-19 UTC

I don't understand the sample game in this page; quite possibly I'm missing something obvious. 7...Qxc6 balances material?

What's New?[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Ben Reiniger wrote on 2022-10-09 UTC

I've added a link to What's New to the menu. It already appears on the home page under the Explore heading.

Setup graphics, piece sets[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Ben Reiniger wrote on 2022-10-09 UTC

(I think I've fixed the subject title for comments in this thread; it wasn't an artifact of the site move, but rather of me not being thorough enough in database edits when I moved over the two first comments.)

Sac Chess. (Updated!) Game with 60 pieces. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Ben Reiniger wrote on 2022-10-03 UTC

I've moved a couple of the last comments to a new thread: Setup graphics, piece sets

Setup graphics, piece sets[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Ben Reiniger wrote on 2022-10-03 UTC

I'm spinning off a discussion from Sac Chess around piece set images to a separate thread (moving the last two which didn't discuss Sac Chess at all, but leaving a couple that are split-subject).

what do you see as a disadvantage for using Interactive Diagrams as the main diagram? -- H.G. Muller

I see two minor downsides to the interactive diagram as the main/first/only setup display: it takes a little longer to load, and after making use of the interactivity it is no longer a setup diagram (requires a refresh, or is there a button for reset now?).

The interactive diagram has the benefit of also supplementing the Piece descriptions (position-specific and interaction-specific piece rules are needed in addition, and for accessibility a text move description should always appear) and giving some Playability.

What I think would be nice is to have buttons over the graphic which switch all page graphics between the options. -- Greg Strong

A graphics selection button would be nice, although of course it wouldn't apply to pages requiring (or otherwise using) custom images. Perhaps even better, we could take to setting some more user-specific configurations, and let a logged-in user automatically use their favored piece set when possible?

Fergus requested I use [abstract diagrams] Kevin Pacey

If I found the comments you're referring to, I wouldn't characterize it as a request, and I'm sorry if it came across as an editorial request. You should feel free to use whatever graphics you want. (I guess I should caveat that: we do strongly encourage using the site's tools when possible for consistency, and using piece graphics that are traditionally used for corresponding pieces.)

Avatar Chess. Game with avatars that can assume any piece of chess, depending on the fields of the board. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Ben Reiniger wrote on 2022-09-05 UTC

OK, with that I think the 2-avatar closing files mate works. Without loss of generality (now that everything is symmetric), say defending avatarius (I'm just going to call it "king" for the rest of this) is somewhere on files a-d. We should have plenty of time to set up two avatars on, say, h4 and g5, then can walk them to f6 and g5. The defending king is somewhere a-e.

Next we want to pivot from g5 to e8; we can go through h5, and we just need to be sure to defend e8. The f6 avatar covers most of the ground, leaving only d7, and zugzwang makes it easy.

Next to pivot from f6 to d1. The steps f5,h5 will do for travel, and again we just need to ensure safety of the landing square. This time it looks like we need to use the friendly king, using zugzwang to ensure d2 is not occupied so that our king can move to e1.

The hardest pivot might be from e8 to c3. I think the friendly king needs to get into the a-c files now in order to protect c3 while not blocking the d-file queen guard. I think this is possible through e1-d2-c2, keeping the e8 avatar to prevent escape while our king is on d2, using a bit of zugzwang to force our king's way in?

After that it's easier, with c3 protecting b4 for the next pivot (through e.g. d5, or f3/g4-f4), and then a final c3-a1 or c3-h8-a8 (depending on which half of the a file the enemy king is confined to).

Ben Reiniger wrote on 2022-09-03 UTC

It'd almost be straightforward to force mate with two avatars (plus the friendly avatarius) occupying rook or queen cells in consecutive files, except for forcing the king away from the e file.

The two sides aren't symmetric: an avatar on the black queen-start cell d8 can move and remain queen-powered at f6 or g5, but one on the white queen-start cell d1 cannot. I wonder if exchanging the king and queen starting cells on the 8th rank (completing rotational symmetry for the whole board) would be better for both points.

Game Courier User's Guide. How to play games with the CV Play-by-Mail system.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Ben Reiniger wrote on 2022-08-23 UTC

I don't play much on GC, so I'm hesitant to make edits to the instructions or provide defaults on time controls, but I suspect Fergus or Greg would be amenable. My uninformed suggestion for a default setting would be something like grace_time=3days, spare_time=2months. The idea is to almost exclusively use grace time, but given substantive difficulties in life, a couple months of reserve time for the game. No bonus times or anything else, to keep it clean.

Empress Chess. Help your Empress win her battle. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Ben Reiniger wrote on 2022-08-06 UTC

This seems basically impossible to win: the empress is so mobile that it cannot be effectively mated, and achieving a 20 point gap is huge: being ahead by a princess and both rooks isn't even enough.

Three Realms Chess. A three layer variant with familiar and fantastical pieces. (8x8x3, Cells: 192) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Ben Reiniger wrote on 2022-07-27 UTC


It's particularly interesting how some of the 1-piece endgames (rook, angel) end up looking like a classical one to force the king out of Earth and then having the friendly king deliver the final attack. (The angel's isn't completely clear to me, since the lone king may move to the underworld early to avoid the angel's attacks, but I guess that's a significant enough detriment that then the friendly king can manage on his own.)

Four bridges. 4v4 Chess on a 17x17 board. (17x17, Cells: 264) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Ben Reiniger wrote on 2022-07-25 UTC

You should mention on this page what the two teams are, and what happens when a king is captured (both clarified on the linked site). Also turn order probably needs to be specified, even if it mostly doesn't matter. (For expediency of games, at least over the board, I would suggest to consider a team moves all at once, choosing the order amongst the four moves however they like.)

I notice the game is not symmetric: the "inner" team has what I assume to be an advantage of the vertical bridges that the "outer" team lacks.

Mirodoly. Piececlopedia: Mirodoly. Some theoretical principles of the analysis of pieces, both for classical chess and for modern chess.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Ben Reiniger wrote on 2022-07-19 UTC

This doesn't qualify for inclusion in the Piececlopedia, but could be a Piece article introducing your Archer (a camel+zebra in the usual parlance) and Sagittarius (antelope+giraffe, though the further out leaps get the less often they are used and so I would take those names with a bit more skepticism about universality).

ArchMage Chess. 10x10 30v30 Fantasy Chess. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Ben Reiniger wrote on 2022-07-19 UTC

Several of the image files now appear to be missing.

Alexander Chess. A more battle-like version of chess. (10x10, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Ben Reiniger wrote on 2022-07-19 UTC

I feel like I've seen this before, but I can't find it on our pages right now. There is a thread from 2014 on, and a slightly older post on another thread there. But if it doesn't exist here, I'm fine publishing this page. (I think the link description should be more explicit on what the change is.)

Chess 66. Board based on the 8x8 arrangement - with the difference that 66 fields are now available. (8x8, Cells: 66) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Ben Reiniger wrote on 2022-07-18 UTC

That helps, yes. To be explicit about the "last" question in each case then, the answer is "not"? My piece on a4 (1) cannot be captured by and also (2) blocks movement (to a1...3) of an opponent rook on a8?

Ben Reiniger wrote on 2022-07-17 UTC

I didn't really follow the discussion on this variant earlier, but gave the page a fresh read. I think I mostly get it now, except how capturing on a switch works. It might be clarified in the comments, but it should be made plain in the page text as well. (Perhaps it is there too and I have missed it and/or it wasn't quite clear enough.)

Let's say I have a piece on 4, and the opponent has a piece that can otherwise move to a4 but not 4. Can they capture (and if so where do they end their move) or not (if not, could they potentially continue moving through a4 past my piece? I'm not sure that makes sense for any piece at the edge of the board like this, so probably moot, but I'll ask in case)?

Same question reversing 4 and a4. (Now the last question certainly can apply, e.g. the opponent piece is a rook on a8.)

Chess with magic fields. Missing description (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Ben Reiniger wrote on 2022-07-17 UTC

Does the movement of a magic field in a player's turn necessarily happen either before or after piece movement, or it can be either?

Rule 3 remains unclear to me. Is it forbidding a piece that starts a move on a magic field from ending on a square with a magic field (either the same or the other magic field)?

From the images, I assume the fields start at e1,4,5,8; that should be mentioned in the text. (If they can be moved one at a time to anywhere, it doesn't matter much so long as they aren't under improvable pieces.)

thosam chess. gapablanca chess improvment. (8x10, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Ben Reiniger wrote on 2022-07-17 UTC

I don't think just changing the starting setup of Capablanca chess qualifies for publication, unless you can provide reasoning to support that the new setup is superior or at least leads to significantly different (and interesting) gameplay?

And of course you would need to complete/correct the description. Your other open submissions similarly lack substance and/or clarity of description.

Avatar Chess. Game with avatars that can assume any piece of chess, depending on the fields of the board. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Ben Reiniger wrote on 2022-07-16 UTC


I'm reminded of the #Powerup-Zone tag, but this doesn't fit there. There's also Lumberjack which is sort of a simpler version of this, and of course Smess.

Continental Chess. Continental Chess is Chess Variations with many types of pieces such as stepper, leaper, hopper and rider. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Ben Reiniger wrote on 2022-07-16 UTC

I've taken a stab at clarifying the 64+16 rule, please check that it is what was intended. I also cleaned up grammar in a few places (though it looks like someone else had a pass a the same today?).

Interactive diagrams. Diagrams that interactively show piece moves.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Ben Reiniger wrote on 2022-07-12 UTC

The immobilizer works for me when moving pieces around, but not when playing against the AI.

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