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Dimachaer ChessA game information page
. Introducing the Dimachaer, a bifurcation piece that always lands on the diagonal second leg (zrf available).[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2009-10-09 UTC
I have no final verdict on the piece values yet (after 60 games the Knights are slightly leading), but  did form an opinion on the aesthetical value of these kind of pieces:

The square where the two legs are joined creates an ambiguity: does it belong to the first leg, the second, or both? This would involve a certain amount of arbitariness in the design of pieces that have different move rights on each leg.

Now for Bent Hoppers this ambiguity is naturally resolved, because the junction square is occupied by the platform, and not accessible anyway. For the jump-on-1st-leg Bifurcators it would be natural to count the junction square as part of the second leg, because, like the rest of this leg, it is behind the platform. The fact that the bend does not occur at the platform itself it aesthetically slightly displeasing. Note furthermore that jump-on-1st-leg hopping pieces only make sense if they have no capture rights before the hop; otherwise it would not be clear if an enemy piece is a victim or a platform.

The bouncing and hop-on-2nd-leg pieces reek of a non-causality that I strongly dislike. It is not logical that they are deflected by something that is not really in their primary path. Furthermore, they are not true bifurcators: their path does not split. (I guess you could allow them to continue on their first leg and take a later deflection; in that case their bifurction is asymmetrical, and could eventually split in more than two paths.) I like none of that.

The collission-type Bifurcator would be natural if the move rights where the same everywhere, as there is no natural break in the path. I would appreciate a piece that can do zero-or-more steps along the first leg better than one that could do only one-or-more. Of course 'the same everywhere' in practice means that it must be able to capture and non-capture everywhere, or it would be pretty useless. And this raises the concern about the ambiguity of enemy pieces serving as collision partners or capture victims. So I guess that the most logical piece of this type would only collide with friends, and capture foes.

Really interesting would be a colliding Bifurcator that would not lose its bifurcating ability on the second leg. I.e. it could make an unlimited number of collisions with friendly pieces, changing its direction by 45 degrees on each collision. This could be called a Billiards piece.

Apart from this, I like the jump-on-1st-leg piece without capture rights on the 1st leg best. And to not lose its value in the extreme in the end-game, it should have non-capture moves along the first leg. I would expect it to be able to capture directly after the hop, though. If not, I think a Bent Hopper would be more regular, and thus nicer.