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Falcon Chess. Game on an 8x10 board with a new piece: The Falcon. (10x8, Cells: 80) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2016-10-02 UTC

The problem is that 'lame' is an ill-defined concept for 'oblique' moves (i.e. not strictly orthogonal or diagonal). E.g. look at the Xiangqi Horse (Mao). It is a lame Knight. But that in itself doesn't tell you that it can be blocked on the W; squares, rather than the F squares, like the 'Moa'. Or whether it is multi-path, and can only blocked by occupying both squares. So one has to specify the path, square by square.

This can be done by describing the move as a sequence of steps. The Mao takes one orthogonal step, followed by an outward diagonal one. This can be described by afsW: 'a' (= 'again') for indicating there are two steps, and 'fs' behind it to indicate how it bends. So the Mao is described as a two-step Wazir that bends 45 degrees after the first step. The default modality for the first step is 'm', (because another step follows), so it does not have to be written. The Moa would be afsF, and the Moo would be afsK, so it can start in any of the 8 directions.

The notation for the Falcon used here is an extension of that to 3 steps (so there are two 'a', each followe by two descriptions of how the trajectory bends). There are 3 path types: bend early, bend late and bend twice. E.g. bend early can be written as afsafK: the second step forward-sideway compared to the first, and the third 'forward' compared to the second. Unfortunately the twice-bent path has to be written as one left+right and one right+left path, as there is no way to indicate in the third step "now bend in the opposite direction". This is how I finally arrive at afsafKafafsKaflafrKafraflK.

The additional 'm' written in the diagram are really redundant, and act as a reminder only. For non-final leg 'm' is the default, like for a final (or only) leg 'mc' is the default modality. That makes the XBetza system tuned to representing lame leapers. Pieces that capture or hop on their way do need extra modifiers to indicate that.