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Comments by Jean-Louis Cazaux

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DrZ's Chess. Chess with a 3rd row added behind and new pieces. (8x10, Cells: 80) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-05-20 UTC

I don't like either using Man. I agree for Prince.

Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-05-20 UTC

Yes, I misinterpreted the pseudo-archbishop given here. It could be a compound of Bishop+Bion ("Korean Vao"), but the description is still ambiguous. Maybe it is the "Bion" only. Bion is the name that problemists gave to the diagonal piece that must jump once for moving with or without capturing. (pB in Betza's)

Concerning Man, of course I know how to spell Man in English and I even know that Mann is German. I have some instruction :=) . But some prefer to use Mann with the German spelling to distinguish the chess fairy piece from the human man. Mann is the choice made on Wikipedia for example. Dickins used Man. The Oxford Companion to CHess (Hooper & Whyld) used Mann. I would say that there is no consensus.

Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-05-20 UTC

Like other comments, I would recommend changing the name of non-standard pieces to names which more usual in chess variants and also because the names which are used now are well known to play differently.

Archbishop > Vao. If Vao is not appreciated there is Arrow, Bow. I use Crocodile in all my variants for some criticisable reasons.

Chancellor > Guard or Mann or Prince

Elephant > Camel

Hawk > Dragon King or Admiral or Sailor

Archbishop is widely used for Bishop+Knight, Elephant for Ferz+Alfil, Chancellor for Rook+Knight, Hawk for ADGH.

This is just an opinion and a suggestion, the author is free to decide of course.

ArchMage Chess. 10x10 30v30 Fantasy Chess. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-05-18 UTC

I'm not an editor either but I fully agree with H.G.'s comments. I think they are good advices if the author is open to modify, and thus improve, his page. I also thank him for referring to my own work.

Concerning the very annoying issue of names, I also agree with H.G. @ Aurelian, with a smile I would say that nobody has never seen a fight between a gryphon and a dragon to be sure which one is the strongest. After all, who knows, the gryphon is maybe x5 times bigger in scale than a dragon. We are biased by Hollywood movies.

Seriously, H.G. is right. There is too much confusion already. I admit that I am guilty to have contributed to the confusion too much. But we shall do all what is possible to convince new creators to change their mind. Of course the creator has the freedom to do what he wants. But even for him, if he wants some success to his invention, he will increase his chance by trying to respect legacy and heritage of those who invented CVs before him. One valid exception I see is if you need some specific names to fit with the theme or the consistency of your game. But if you have no precise reasons or constraints what is the interest to call Dragon a Gryphon and Gryphon a Manticore? You are just confusing your potential followers.

There are plenty of sources that can be consulted. The Wikipedia page on Fairy Chess Pieces. The Piececlopedia here. Or this page from 2001, where Derzhanski was calling F-then-R a Gryphon and W-then-B a Dragon!!!

The Jester (WA) is the Phoenix (from chu shogi).

The Warrior Prince (KAND) is the Lion (Metamachy) or Lioness (A.King).

The Princess is the Amazon. Princess is often a BN.

The Minotaur is the Centaur (is it really needed to change a Greek's monster by another one?)

The Pegasus is the Buffalo. Pegasus is often used for something else.

And Griffon, Dragon, have been commented enough.

Kindly, I believe that the author will be well inspired to follow the advices of the veterans who are dwelling here.

Wild Tamerlane Chess. Game Courier Preset to play Wild Tamerlane Chess, a fury on 11x11 board. (11x11, Cells: 121) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-05-16 UTC

This page is done too. It sends to a Game Courier preset with enforced rules for Wild Tamerlane. It could replace an existing page with the same title,, which points to a Game Courier Present not coded with no rules enforced.


Wild Tamerlane Chess. A clash on a 11x11 board with pairs Queens and Eagles/Gryphons. (11x11, Cells: 121) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-05-16 UTC

This page is done. I believe it can be opened up for the public. Thanks.

Very Heavy Chess. A lot of firepower with all compounds of classical chess pieces.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-05-07 UTC

@Bn Em: thank you for your comments. Quite informative. About Heroin, drug or female hero, I was sure that it was a link. According to WP:

The head of Bayer's research department reputedly coined the drug's new name of "heroin," based on the German heroisch which means "heroic, strong" (from the ancient Greek word "heros, ήρως").

To be back on this debate on BWN and RFN, I hesitate between Popess/Heroin which are a bit generic or Pythia/Valkyrie which are more strongly culturally marked.

At this moment, although I like the second pair, I prefer to stick with the first couple because it will be easier to use in an other CV where a Greek or a Viking reference could be awkward. I think that Popess and Heroin do carry what I wanted them to carry, the idea of being at the top of a pyramid, being feminine, one link to spiritual, one link to physical strength. They are immediately understandable.

Sure, they are not very common words, but BWN and RFN are not very common in CVs either.

Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-05-07 UTC

No I disagree. Popess is a word that can be used to designate someone, feminine, with a dominant position in a given domain. For instance I heard just today on radio someone speaking of a lady working in the shade for foreign affairs in France, saying she was the popess of the diplomats in her time in Paris circles. Even "pope" is used sometimes with this type of speech.

Maybe you don't know. You didn't know what a pythia is, so you don't know everything.

So, I have no problem at all to use Pope or Popess, not less than using King, Queen, Emperor, Guru, Emir, Shah or I don't know what.

On the contrary when you use the name of one person, many may think that you represent this person. Imagine I would want to honour Macron in chess, and I say, this piece is a Macron. Then if we have 2 Macrons on board, it is strange. There is no difference, if it is about Macron or Sissa.

Now, I don't care at all if games are using 2 Sissa, or 3 or 10. It's really fine with me. I understand the reference, I like it.

Manticore. Moves one space orthogonally, then slides outward as a Bishop.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-05-06 UTC

I just found that Ivan Derzhanski was calling this piece a Dragon in his study made in 2001.

Who is Who on Eight by Eight. A compilation of Zillions-estimated piece values on an 8x8 board.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-05-06 UTC

Yes Zillions overestimates hoppers and ranks the Cannon slightly below the Rook, and the Vao slightly below the Bishop, and the Leo slightly below the Queen, which is really excessive for the 3 of them.

Very Heavy Chess. A lot of firepower with all compounds of classical chess pieces.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-05-05 UTC

Thank you for all your feedbacks.

To Greg, python and heroine carry the same meaning in French and other languages as well. In French is even worse for Heroin, as héroine is the word for both the female hero and the drug.

To Joe, even if I'm French, I'm reluctant to use French words. It is not a solution, it is not good if two different pieces are named with the same word but in two different languages. Although there are (famous) existing cases (Ferz, Alfil, Cavalier, Chevalier, ...)

HG's Pythia is very good. Not all religions are Christian in the span of mankind history and geography. The Pythia was an important person in Greek religion in the Antiquity.

Yes, Heroine is kind of generic and yes, not very common in usage. I'm not very happy with it.

All that demonstrates that we have progresses to make for the gender issue :=)

Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-05-05 UTC

I had thought of Abbess but it doesn't sound high enough, and there is an Abbott (F4N) which is less than a Cardinal, so it would be strange to have the Abbess as Cardinal+King.

I like Baroness for the phonetics. But it lacks the religion field, and baron/baroness is a low noble rank.

Pythia is exactly the kind of word I was looking for!!!!

If Popess hurts people too much, why not Pythia. According to WP, Pythoness is also used. What is the best for English-speaking players?

As we are there, what do you think of Heroine for RKN (RFN actually). I wanted a feminine, warrior-like name. Isn't too vague? At a moment I was thinking of Valkyrie.

Do you have an opinion?

Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-05-04 UTC

Indeed, I wanted to change Templar for High Priestess. Then, I made a small search and found what Kevin is saying. This High Priestess is even referred on several places, so I can't ignore it. It plays as FAN. I thought about Reverend Mother, but it's too long. This how I came to Popess. The word exists.

Freemason is too heavily loaded. Several people are freemason and I'm not sure it won't be insulting for them, as they defined themselves as atheist too. That issue is complex, I prefer not going into it.

The 3 objections from Fergus are strange. Are Amazon, Gryphon, Manticore, Hyppogriff, Sylph, existing more than Popess? Are Bede, Bishopper, Barc, Ferfil, Vao, Ubi-Ubi more real? Is it possible to have 2 Sissa on the same game? Momess or something like this, would be an invention, not easily understandable.

Maybe I don't see the problem with Popess, the more I think, the more I like it.

Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-05-04 UTC

I have abandoned the name of Templar for the BKN, because Templar is used in other variants with other moves. I have adopted Popess which seems unused (although I wouldn't be surprised to be wrong).

For fun, Bikini would have been a possible alternative too.

Leo. (Updated!) Moves on queen lines, but must jump once when taking.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-05-03 UTC

I found an interesting source. Encyclopedia of Chess Problems.-Milan Velimirovic Kari Valtonen.2012-Comprimido


p96, the entry "Chinese pieces" says "introduced to a wider European publicity by P.Seyfert-Bitterfeld in the February 1936 issue of Die Schwalbe".

Also of interest the French book Le Guide des échecs, Traité complet" by Nicolas Giffard and Alain Biénabe (sadly passed away in 2021, see ) has a very strong part dedicated to Fairy Chess (I don't know something as complete in English) written by Biénabé. Page 1200 it presents the family of Chinese pieces and says (my translation):

These pieces were "discovered" (from Chinese chess) by P.Seyfert in 1936, but it is T.R. Dawson who gave their first noble letters to this family!

According to British Chess News, Leo (and Vao) had been invented in 1912.

Lion (2). (Updated!) Moves on queen-lines but must jump exactly one piece. Appears in fairy chess problems.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-05-02 UTC

The verb "to take" is confusing on this page. Once it used to mean "capture" which is common understanding I think.

But it is also written "a lion can move more squares after taking the `hurdle'". I believe that the lion is never capturing the hurdle. So, "after hopping the hurdle" would be more correct, except if I have misunderstood that move.

Chess 66. (Updated!) Board based on the 8x8 arrangement - with the difference that 66 fields are now available. (8x8, Cells: 66) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-04-19 UTC

I try to follow. So a Rook cannot go from a4 to 4. And I understood that if there is a piece on a4, it is not possible to have another piece on 4.

At the end I wonder if this game is simply playable. I wouldn't be able to explain it to anyone I'm afraid.

I'm pretty sure that it would be possible to build something interesting on Gernd's idea by melting the cells a4 & 4, as well as h5 & 5. Which was similar to HG's diagram.

Doing this

  • only 1 piece allowed on a4/4 or on h5/5
  • a Rook on a1 would threat up to b8 AND a8 (as wished by Gernd)
  • a Rook on h4 would threat up to a4/4
  • a Bishop on d1 would go up to a4/4
  • a Bishop on a4/4 would either go to f8 (keeping the color) or to d8 (switching the color).
  • a Knight on a4/4 could go to b6, c5, a6, c6, b3, a2, b2, c3 (interesting)
  • Chess 66 would have 64 cells which is maybe the real problem.

Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-04-19 UTC

The more it's explained, the less I understand. The "a bit difficult" seems soft in my case. Here,

"Bishop on d1 to the right: The move can go up to 5 (and not h5, this square cannot be occupied). The next move can be continued via g6, f7 etc"

How come the Bishop goes from 5 to g6?

You said h5 cannot be occupied (by this Bishop I presume).

When the Bishop goes from 5 to g6, is it affected if another piece stands on h5?

Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-04-18 UTC

I agree with your understanding Fergus. The best way to describe this geometry in a consistent manner for all pieces, remains to consider a4 and 4 (or h5 and 5) as a double cell. A piece on this double cell can be seen as being on both. Then, the diagram drawn by H.G. is fully correct.

PowerChess A game information page
. Chess with two extra squares on the middle rows.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-04-18 UTC

This page from 1999 gives Power Chess which looks very similar to Chess 66 from the same author, submitted in 2022 with a "new geometry".

Here also the given link leads to 404 error.

Chess 69A game information page
. Variant on modified chessboard with 69 squares.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-04-18 UTC

The link given here leads to 404

Chess 66. (Updated!) Board based on the 8x8 arrangement - with the difference that 66 fields are now available. (8x8, Cells: 66) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-04-18 UTC

Something doesn't work with this diagram. Maybe it is because only 2 colors are used, and a third one, neutral, should be used. Or because the triangular/losange doesn't work fine and something else has to be imagined.

I see the comments. It needs a lot of imagination to visualise something else and tell our brain that what we see is not right. What I see is simply a 66-cell board, where c1-b2-a3-4 is a diagonal, as well as 4-b5-c6-d7-e8, both being dark.

And a8-a7-a6-a5-4 is a column simply ending in 4. Like h1-h2-h3-h4-5, ending in 5.

That board only shifts the column (a to b, b to c, etc.) at the middle line. It doesn't change the color of the diagonals at all.

I understand the idea behind, but I think it needs to be worked more.

Devingt Chess. Decimal chess with 20 pieces per side including Sages (moving as Camels).[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-04-16 UTC

I have contacted the creator of Cardinal Super Chess to know the details of her rules (castling, initial P's move, promotion). She replied "My board and innovations are copywritten. I am not revealing all my rules as yet, until I produce it. I have some special rules. I know you understand". To be frank, no, I don't understand the need to hide rules of a chess variant. But I respect that choice. Whatever, I think I have my answer, it is very unlikely that Devingt Chess has been copying Cardinal SC, as I was suspecting knowing its author, quite poorly informed about chess variants.

Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-04-15 UTC

Wonderful. It seems to work perfectly fine. Thank you

Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-04-14 UTC

Yes I agree. Thanks for coding the GC for Devingt Chess. But according to the tests I've made, the Pawn's promotion doesn't work. I get a rectangle with ? when the Pawn reaches the last row.

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