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Falcon Chess: Background and Patent Text Excerpts. With background summary of chess variants.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2011-04-15 UTC
There is no announcement to that effect on this page. In fact, the comment prior to mine was dated two months before the patent expired. I also didn't see any announcement about this on the other pages for Falcon Chess.

George Duke wrote on 2011-04-14 UTC
I announced so here at the time two years ago that we were letting it lapse. It became generally known by other CVers. USP5690334 ran 1997-January 2010 (petition to revive was possible actually through 2010), long enough to establish authorship, not all the way to maximum 2017. Patenting like that fit the era up to the 1990s and is become controversial in field of Chess. When the Mayan calandar cyclical period turns over in 616 days 21.12.12 fittingly the Falcon briefly close-quartered will have shortly-since lapsed too. This present patent text is one chapter of a book draft on cvs and falcon chess piece. I did not know they could not play Falcon in the site's ''game courier.'' Copyright or patent are much the same our cv field now, but they are not perceived that way. As Hutnik and Good and others know more detailed, I scale back every March/April, so sorry for brevity, just to recontinue later ''NextChess'' topic, ''ChessboardMath'' topic, also more recent threads like ''What Was Happening 5 yrs ago, 10 yrs. ago,'' to be recontributed to. Falcon presets for the one engine g.c? I provided evidence the patents (overseas too) were in effect partly in order to see them played in G.C.; now I assert they are not in effect partly in order to see them played in g.c. You could use the yankee cliche of the great cultural unwashed, ''same difference.'' Perfectly seriously, the Falcon games are approved for play in g.c., and like most others' cvs anywhere else with due attribution, from the very beginning unwaveringly the different time periods: 1992(pre-cvpage date of invention of falcon with assistance of Vera C.)-1996(full public disclosure), 1997-2010, 2010-2017, as well as all 2017 and beyond. Have at it. Not to screw up the preferred Official Rules of Chess as of now year 2011, they are including the three, no Queen promotion, free castling with King required movement at least one and Rook over adjacent, and yet to be implemented any station Guarding the Queen. See_Diagonal-Oblong_G.t.Q._adaptable_to_squares.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2011-04-13 UTC
I just checked on the status of this patent, and I found 5690334 in a list titled 'PATENTS WHICH EXPIRED ON November 25, 2009 DUE TO FAILURE TO PAY MAINTENANCE FEES.' So it looks like the patent has expired. Unless George Duke provides evidence that the patent is still in effect, I will lift the ban on playing Falcon Chess on Game Courier.

Joe Joyce wrote on 2009-08-23 UTC
Oh, George, I certainly wasn't claiming anyone's setup. In fact, I probably read... hm, I'm positive I read something, now that we're discussing it, about falcons in the center. I was merely looking at the results of bishops in the corners, and saw only that one way to cover all the pawns, falcons in the center. There aren't that many possible positions. In fact, I'd be surprised if someone hasn't grabbed each one by now. Shall we look at a few?

Bishops in the corners, symmetrical setup, all pawns covered:

BRNQ; BQNR; ... okay, let's try with falcons: 
BRNQF; BQNRF; ... um, did I leave any out? 

Let's try with knights: 
NBQR; NQBR; NQRB... and add falcons: 
NBQFR; NQBFR. 

Of these, the only one I like is the double-castled position of NQRBBRKN, and I question the balance of a game that puts a Q and R on one end and a K and R on the other.

George Duke wrote on 2009-08-22 UTC
BRNQFFKNRB(Joyce array) protects all pawns and was previously named Horus 3.October.2004 here, but since that was already a CV of Aronson, Joyce array it is now renamed. Also because ''Horus'' is then freed up to be synonymous with Falcon for the piece, sort of like Horse and Knight. We can have four fundamentals intuitively obvious as soundalikes Horus and Horse, Rook and Fool(out of French). Others include RBFNK(Templars), FBRNK(Pyramids), FRNBK(Cheops), RNBKF Osiris, RFNBK(Sibahi).

Joe Joyce wrote on 2009-08-21 UTC
The question of what piece belongs in the corner is interesting and I'm sure has been debated *far* longer than we think. Here's my $.02 worth:

Regardless of the merits of all pawns defended in the opening, only configurations where the 2 end pawns [1 on either side] on an 8x8 are guarded work well for playing purposes, since you don't have to be trying to guard what should be anchoring the rest of your pawn line, and pushing a rook's pawn is not a highly desirable opening move in modern versions of chess. And that the 2 end pawns and their 2 immediate neighbors are guarded is reasonable for playing purposes on an 8x10. 

Sticking the bishops in the corners on either a square or rectangular board where they start along the longer side allows them to bear on both the opponent's pawn and piece ranks. I find this ability to pin a pawn or force an exchange with the opening move to be a flaw, in the sense that it is a forcing mechanism, guiding the game into a particular set of pathways, and thus too unbalancing toward white. It certainly isn't a fatal flaw; Wildebeest Chess is popular, and it uses that first-move attack as a feature. Sticking the bishops in the corners on 8x10 requires one to centerize the falcons to guard all pawns in the opening, BRNQFFKNRB, for what that's worth.

Sticking the knights in the corners is generally frowned upon because they are so far from the action and they are so slow. You also find problems guarding all the pawns with cornered Ns. However, you might use the double-castled set-up, with bishops in the middle, on 8x8, thus: NQRBBRKN, and the king's N would almost certainly be in the thick of things without even moving, for what that is worth.  

And just to finish off with the one other thing I agree with you on in your last post, George: I do think the 'white is right, queen on color' placement is the 'normal' position. However, this just means we're both old fogies. ;-)

George Duke wrote on 2009-08-20 UTC
Abdul-Rahman Sibahi's advice on the platform for introducing the first of the four fundamental chess pieces in the array, bolstered by some feedback from Joe Joyce, is holding up. On the one hand, gating brings about asymmetry hard to set aright(Sibahi). On the other, in what increasingly gets termed ''Pastchess'' -- the old tired 64-square paradigm -- it is almost self-evident Rook should stay cornered (Joyce). The antique simpler case (64) ramifies to necessary 8x10, a commonsense mathematical technique. Thanks Joe. Corroboration by Sibahi yields these three initial positions with thus no half-move half-measures of drop or gating, nor unnatural corridor outside the rectilinear box: RFNBKQBNFR, RNFBKQBFNR, RNBFKQFBNR. So Falcon is slotted and the other pieces stay the same. Why ''KQ'' and not ''QK''? Because ''White-right'' square pattern is preserved in the board with Queens on own colour. White-right and Queen-own are more important than having preserved ''...QK...'' One or the other had to go. Their question was, and is, independent of ARS's steering to RFNB... For some purposes, suggested by Hutnik's multiformations, all 24 arrays would still apply as a practical matter, those straightforwardly requiring central King and Queen but allowing Rook uncornered also. Such is the present state of the art: RNFB, RNBF, RFNB, RBNF, RBFN, RFBN, and 6 more each for Knight cornered, Bishop cornered, and Falcon cornered in turn. Total Falcon Random Chess arrays number 24 minimally, or very technically (all but irrelevantly), 48 if switching King and Queen -- usually considered to be isomorphic mirrors.

George Duke wrote on 2009-05-04 UTC
Unlike Sissa, Falcon is of intermediate range. Short-range, regardless of recent re-interpretations, is one step and maybe two. Two steps are the transition to intermediate: Pawns' gaining two-step 500 years ago gave them some intermediate mobility. The patent 5690334 writes in the beginning Background under 'E' written 13 years ago: ''A move of three squares is intriguing because it is of intermediate range. In orthodox chess, at one extreme are the king, the pawns and the knights, that all move less than three squares. At the other extreme are the bishops, rooks and the queen that all can move more than three squares. A movement pattern of some intermediate range, like three-square, is more likely to preserve the nature and dynamics of orthodox pieces' existing interrelationships.'' Intermediate would be 2, 3, or 4 steps, but it is arbitrary because, for example, Falcon is more effective long-range than Bishop, on account of Bishop's being blocked most directions most of the time. It would be interesting to determine in huge sample on 8x8 whether Bishop's average maximum move in the real game scores is greater than 3; I would guess 2.6 or 2.8. That includes wide-open end games (with each position counted once and equally), where Bishop's range becomes likely automatically at least 4 (from the center), though too potentially blocked. Now Falcon also on 8x8 would come out 2.3 to 2.9, the average of a very, very lengthy string of 0's and 3's appropriately weighted. So, who is long-range really, Falcon or Bishop?

Larry Smith wrote on 2008-11-15 UTC
There is also a Falcon in Tori Shogi, a late 18th century game.

So there seems to be quite a number of prior uses of this particular nomenclature.

Larry Smith wrote on 2008-11-15 UTC
BTW, has anyone mentioned that V.R.Parton previously published a chess piece with the name Falcon in '100 SQUARES FOR CHESS+DAMANTE'? I believe that this predates 1974, which was the year of his death.

Of course, he was quite prolific with Chess variants. I personally consider him 'The Chess Variant Master'.

The above paper presented a 10x10 variant of a game developed by Karl Schulz around 1943.

George Duke wrote on 2008-11-15 UTC
[Later noticing: Smith's next to last comment this thread states some outright nonsense, but improved tone of his last one excludes further comment.] Larry Smith is trying to communicate but his words are not very understandable, and I pass on rereading Smith's very last comment for comprehension. Smith's early sentences are stilted, incoherent or incorrect, but I appreciate they are courteous (I think). [Postcript below] Smith is sort of ''rapping'' out some jargon words and phrases he thinks are important. What is far, far more important than that Falcon Chess exists in an old patent (document disclosure 1995, applied 1996, granted 1997, based on inventor's notebook to 1992), is that Falcon is one of the four fundamental Chess pieces. Jeremy Good calls three-path Falcon ''the greatest innovation in Chess in four hundred years.'' Good is thinking of Carrera's Centaur and Champion of early 1600s for that landmark. Regardless whether that bears out, Falcon Chess will continue to be protected by registered Copyrights, Trademark (in abeyance), and Patent. The book I am writing on Falcon draws heavily on many various characterizations I have made in this comment system, become a useful filing system, and a few descriptions here also of others. So, thanks to Chess Variant Page to contend here with views of different persuasion and quality. And everyone for their interest in the patented novelty, sure Track One material. (I have not decided yet how to weave Falcon into ''NextChess3.'') // On Smith's mention of ''duplication,'' the legal priniciple of equivalents allows for wide divergence being part of the same patent. I brought up ''equivalents'' several times here already.

Larry Smith wrote on 2008-11-15 UTC
George,

You have every right to exercise your patent. The large percentage of its elements are common knowledge, and therefore would fall outside the arena of exclusive use.

And the resemblance to the Bison is quite minor, being only an identical translation. The conditionals for this translation are more than sufficient to prove as a significant modification.

So feel free to manufacture sets based on this patent.

But this patent does not allow for denial of innovation. Only duplication. Thus if someone manufactured a product which duplicated that described by your patent, you could quickly take action. And the unique element of this patent could be jealously defended.

As to the rejection of patent applications. Most are rejected because they are improperly prepared. Some are immediately challenged by representatives of those holding prior claim, remember that large corporations keep teams of patent attorneys on staff and they review any new application which falls within their area of concern.

The rules of Monopoly and Scrabble are covered by copyrights. The construction of the game sets are covered by patents. Their names are covered by trademarks.

These do not prevent the creation of new acquisition-type or crossword games. Only their duplication.

As to publishing an implementation of this game, I will have to regretfully pass on such a project. Not because I think that the concept is un-worthy of such, I actually think that it is an interesting variant. But because I believe that such a project would not be enjoyable. I take into consideration not only your comments directed to me personally but those which you have delivered to others.

George Duke wrote on 2008-11-15 UTC
Also part of patent process is usual original rejection of the Patent in an action by the authority. Occasionally that is pro forma, to wait and see if anything comes up, or there are any challenges, because in the interim the text has been published for any to view. More often than not, the examiners request changes and clarification of description or claims. There is a response by the prospective patenter and another action by authority, back and forth, formally declared and recorded. The opportunity presents for examiner to call to attention prior art that applicant may not have been aware and resulting amendment of Claims pursuant to the further disclosure, to stay in line fully with the rightful novelty. The entire process is conducted with the utmost decorum and many times takes several years.

George Duke wrote on 2008-11-15 UTC
[ Incidentally I would guess USP5690334 is in top 5% of patents for strength in embodying wholly new idea and not tweaking prior art, as many, say half, European and North American patents do, limiting their scope thereby.] I patented Falcon Chess essentially before CVPage existed. Why would Monopoly(tm) or Scrabble(tm) have patented? As a boost to their discovery, anticipating implementation. Larry Smith, notable for his recent ''vomiting'' comments, that evidently CVPage thinks are to be tolerated, makes uninformed points again. Half of USA patent applications are rejected (at full expense to the applicant), about the average anywhere, and their purpose over-all is to encourage innovation. There is more literature by factor of hundreds on Patents than chess variations. So, offhand repetition of opinions or rumours on degree of search of prior art are irrelevant to actual practice recorded in journals, books and available Internet sites. As indicated, Intellectual Property is extensive field of study, and USA is in line with the greater parts of the world respecting I.P. Moreover, particular USP5690334 is protected elsewhere than USA. Any fees for royalties are in single-digit percentages, no great deal, and provide ongoing value-added. Methods for games patented have 150-year history in France, UK, USA. Bison is theoretical construct made useful by USP5690334. I think of patent in all jurisdictions, including European Patent Office, as being along continuum of intellectual property with copyrights, registered copyrights, trademarks, and patents. You have what could be characterized as a ''mini-patent-related'' right with your original game rules of any type. In any jurisdiction, some patents are broad, some very narrow. Methods patents are fully accepted worldwide. These are elementary points, hopefully not needing to be elaborated much more, because I doubt CVPage wants long thread on patents. Duniho stresses that CVPage ''helps would-be inventors learn what has been done before.'' I welcome any Bison-Falcon implementation 8x10 and larger. If it overlaps Patent, just make it collaboration.

Larry Smith wrote on 2008-11-14 UTC
H.G., you are correct. There is no automatic verification of a patent, unless the applicant is willing to pay for such.

And patents do not retard innovation. Thus modifications and improvements may be pursued. The holder of the previous patent may challenge such, but they will need to prove that such were not significant to warrant a new patent. And often this is avoided by the new patent merely referencing the previous one.

The patent only allows the holder to manufacture a product under the specific quidelines which they have stated. If challenged they have a legal reference to prove their claim. But if the court recognizes a significant prior claim, or that the patent does not represent a significant improvement, the patent may be revoked.

Of course, you really need to talk to a patent attorney to get all the nuances of this system.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2008-11-14 UTC
Note that in the U.S. you can pretty much patent anything, no matter how non-sensical or untenable the patent is. I heard there is no research by the patent office on originality or correctness (except for perpetual-motion machines, where you have to provie a working model), like there is in most European countries. You pay the fee, you get the patent, that's it. The system is based on the idea that invalid patents will be challenged in court, and the court will then decide if the patent is upheld or not. So the fact that a U.S. patent exists for something doesn't prove a whole lot. It might just mean that no one felt the need to challenge it, despite the fact that it was total nonsense, or was done before by others.

Larry Smith wrote on 2008-11-14 UTC
You cannot claim rights to elements published prior to your patent.

For example, those elements which resemble the Mad Queen variant(FIDE) are not yours to claim. The ability of a piece to make conditional steps to a destination are also not yours(see Edgar Rice Burroughs' Chessmen of Mars). The particular destinations for a piece are not yours to claim(see Bison). The playing fields are not yours to claim(see various published games for this).

You may only claim the specific piece. And though it has been given a name, you cannot restrict the use of a common word(that's why most patents use constructed words to denote a proprietary item).

You may want to consult a lawyer. You may have wasted both time and money obtaining this patent. You could simply have published the concept with little or no cost and received the same amount of recognition(or potential profit).

George Duke wrote on 2008-11-13 UTC
USP5690334 is paired Bison on 8x10. Problemists' Bison, used once or twice in 1970's, is incorporated into CV for the first time in history, by law with the sentences, at third from last paragraph written in 1995, ''Another possible embodiment is that in which the falcon has the ability to jump or leap over an intervening piece, as the knight can.'' Bison. Leaping Bison. Leaper to (2,4) and (3,4). Never before done or realized as fitting like a jigsaw puzzle into Rook, Knight, and Bishop. Now to improve Bison further, we ever so slightly weaken her in the embodiment by far preferred. We make her a Darter with three pathways. Bison is the clue, as are the 15 or so compounds of (Knight + Camel) in 'ECV' (1994) and 6 or 8 compounds of (Knight + Zebra) in 'ECV' (1994) and two or three of (N+C+Z), as in 1920's Cavalry Chess by Frank Maus. Please call the patented reacher to the 16 squares beyond the Knight, any of Bison, Falcon, Snake, Phoenix, Spider, Octopus as you will. The patent is methods', for the method, as you would a chemical process, by comparison. Once some particular method of sequencing DNA is described, for one example within ''methods,'' it may not be so hard to duplicate the process, in a good laboratory. After the fact of discovery is much easier. But except for personal and friendly use, individual trial and error, it is the right exclusively of the proprietorship to do it publicly.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2008-11-12 UTC
of which prolificist CVers are ignorant in their make-believe universe.

This is the kind of comment I would like you to watch out for and delete before sending. It's fine to point out that many CV inventors do not always examine what came before. That much is true, and it is one of the things this website is here to correct. By collecting together records of the many and diverse Chess variants around, this site helps would-be inventors learn what has been done before. But the statement quoted above goes beyond this into expressing prejudice.


George Duke wrote on 2008-11-10 UTC
It was a hard slog in 1992 and 1993 thinking through the one complement of R, N, and F, breaking new ground, and then stooping to legalese to protect the idea in patenting. What made more sense, considering what Scrabble(tm) and Monopoly(tm) had done before? There is frankly no other complement strictly speaking mathematically. The template for Rook, Knight, and Bishop, the tie that binds. Many, many candidate offshoots were rejected, some out of hand, some with difficulty. These were pre-Internet days. I don't think I heard the word ''Internet'' until a year later, but obviously technicians had shop talk discussion about it already then. We had respect not to burden others with failed attempts, the dwarfs and giants, the grotesque and abysmal, the puerile and the damned, every insignificant finding. They were cast aside. All those rejects, some half-imagined, become today 90% of the subject matter of Chess Variant Page and such affiliates as Zillions (the latter motivated by filthy lucre -- as we all need to be to some extent). 
With proliferation, any inchoate idea, even regardless of prior art, becomes actualized on screen. They put up ''new CVs'' and leave for historians, one of my specialties, to know whether it is done before. Prolificists rarely have done their homework, as to where their new combination, usually but not always unimaginative, fits into the panoply. The piles of gems amid the rubbish tower high. For example, there are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of chess and games patents of UK, France, Canada, USA, Singapore, not only a few, of which prolificist CVers are ignorant in their make-believe universe.

George Duke wrote on 2008-11-08 UTC
Hans Bodlaender, founder of CVP, introduced this article in 2001 under What's New saying ''with nice background summary of Chess Variants.'' ''Nice.'' Never used at all under What's New in any other case, all approximately (400 times 15 years) 6000 posts. Never ''nice'' or ''excellent'' or ''good,'' the one exception in two decades. Not by Bodlaender, David Howe, or Joe Joyce. It is just not done in that one-line, up to 20 words, introduction there. Scroll down week by week currently, or three years back, and read what each post consists of, where to click at ''What's New.'' It is traditionally only descriptive. Never ''nice.'' I have read every CVP post since 1996 and am still complimented by founder Bodlaender's favourable description. Now the other long Falcon article gets more Poors than Excellents, because it gives service to the prolificists' ethos, I have come to believe.

Jeremy Good wrote on 2007-08-31 UTC
George, so can I add a preset for both Cheops Falcon Chess and Osiris Falcon Chess?

George Duke wrote on 2007-08-31 UTC
Thanks for the input. That one is called Cheops Falcon Chess over here and actually since 1993, and Abdul-Rahman mentions it too in Comment yr. 2007 at that Falcon Chess year 2000 article, but there is no Preset for this FRNBQK... We think it works oddly to develop Falcon and to tuck co-equal Falcon in the corner Omega-like just to preserve more of a 'RNB' semblence. It ranks 4th or 5th to taste, and right now RNFBQK... is official Chess, always subject to be overtaken by the one ARSibahi likes RFNBQK..., or original RNBF..., or even one with Knights more centralized, or Falcon's centralized RNBQFFKBNR, Osiris' Falcon Chess protecting them all too. [Maybe a re-look makes this 'Cheops Falcon-cornered' currently third choice, so hoping for a Preset to try it here too]

George Duke wrote on 2004-10-03 UTC
RBFNKQNFBR (Ra Ra.), or Templars' Falcon Chess. The a- and j-pawns are doubly protected, and the centralized knights are something to see. Falcons themselves cannot cover pawns without gaps in one or both ranks. Other arrays that protect all pawns at the outset follow. FBRNKQNRBF, or Pyramids' Falcon Chess. FRNBKQBNRF, or Cheops' Falcon Chess. Fischer-Random-Chess-like, FC claims cover all 453,600 possible initial positions (not all of them named) of the established piece mix on 8x10, 9x10, and 10x10 and larger. The operable words in claim 9(d):'...all at predetermined locations each on one of the squares.....' Still more arrays protecting all Pawns switch K and Q away from e- and f-files. BRNKFFQNRB, or Horus' Falcon Chess. RNBKFFQBNR, or Osiris' Falcon Chess. Thus specific drawings from 2000 FC article in CVP are only prototypical.

George Duke wrote on 2004-09-29 UTC
Not having found it in any prior art, I submit that 'Modified Free Castling' is invented and first appears in this methods Patent from 1997. Claim 6 reads: 'The method of claim 5 wherein said castling move allows said king to move two or more squares toward the rook and the rook to move over said king to the adjacent square.' Claim 7 reads: 'The method of claim 5 wherein said castling move allows said king to move one or more squares toward the rook and the rook to move over said king to the adjacent square.' Both Castling maneuvres thus restrict Rook's placement from the freer Italian Rules. Even today only one game duplicates the method for castling. MFC can be used in any CV, for it appears peripherally above as dependent claim. A related form is used in Super-Capablanca Chess(Pritchard's ECV) allowing King to move 2,3 or 4 on a larger board.[I approached MFC from a programming perspective C++ at the time, foreseeing problem of dual decision for placement of R and K]

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