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Thoughts on Chess with Different Pawns. The difficulties of composing Chess with Different Pawns.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2015-02-12 UTC
> and noting that it is forbidden to give permanent check in Shatranj

This is the first time I hear of this. The rules in the Sjatranj article on this website make no mention of a ban on perpetual checks. Where does this come from?

Steven Streetman wrote on 2015-02-10 UTC
Concerning chess with different pawns on one side...

In Spartan Chess the White side, the Persians, are a conventional FIDA army. For the black side, the Spartans, everything is different.

The pawns (a variation of Berolina pawns) and the pieces, are all different. In addition, the Spartans have two kings, not one (historical). Despite all of the differences (pawns, pieces, Kings) the game has proven in thousands of computer vs. computer games to be more balanced than FIDA chess. In FIDA chess white has a winning percentage advantage of 54% and a draw rate of 33%. Spartan Chess has proven to have a winning percentage of 50.5% for the Spartans (Black) and a draw rate of 25%.

Hence, Spartan Chess is more balanced and less drawish than FIDA chess. I have pondered why this is true and I really do not know why.

Spartan Chess Web Site
Spartan Chess on Chess Variants


Jörg Knappen wrote on 2010-11-18 UTC
A very interesting note worth reading again from time to time.

What makes me wonder here are the remarks about old shatranj and that
K+4F (same colour) should win against K+R. I tried this by hand and found no way of confirming this claim. 5 Ferzes of the same colour are a different thing: A chain of Ferzes along the long diagonal can confine the rook in one diagonal half of the board (with the help of the King and noting that it is forbidden to give permanent check in Shatranj). Then, the net of Ferzes can be tightened until the rook is caught in a net and can be taken by the King.

There is still considerable counterplay by an active defending King, and exact play is needed.

I think, the mentioned scenarioes are worth a computer analysis.

--Jörg Knappen

George Duke wrote on 2009-06-03 UTC
Even if they are the same type, different Pawns have inherently different values from the get-go. That makes sense just by imagining arrays of wild-eyed variantists. A Pawn in third rank has to be worth that noticeable fraction more than 2nd-ranker. Keying off some pages in Murray around 228, Betza says, ''King's Pawn in estimated values in Shatranj is worth twice the value [!] of a Rook's Pawn, and in Modern Chess, the same as in Shatranj....'' Does this come up in 20th Century Chess literature? Less so than you would expect since they do not even give odds like in 18th Century Philidor's time, where a good player might omit one Knight, and so on. I meant to mention at Fourriere's Pocket Polypiece Chess that Russians have periodically banned or shunned blindfold chess, because of supposed damage it does to mental faculties, and the same can be said of ''Polypiece-ing,'' moving any piece changing the piece-types of 33% of the pieces on board until the next move of piece flips some 1/3 of them again; and again.

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