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Ajax Chess. All pieces have can play one square in any direction, the Mastodon leaper complements the Knight. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Charles Gilman wrote on 2010-08-22 UTC
I've recently noticed that this older variant also adds noncapturing moves to pieces, although the move added is quite a different one.

By 'moving freely' in my previous comment here, I meant an Ajax move that would allow Generals and Ferzes to leave and re-enter their Fortress - or for the matter the enemy one - by a noncapturing move, and Elephants to cross the River by a one-step move. Sorry for taking so long to explain.


Jose Carrillo wrote on 2010-02-08 UTC
Charles,

Not sure I followed you there.

The game we are playing is with all pieces gaining their Ajax moves.

The King, Guard and Elephant definitely have specific improvements over their Chinese Chess counterparts related to the Palace and River.

But the other pieces: Rook, Cannon and Knight (Horse) all also get Ajax moves.

Rooks and Cannons have a 1-step non-capturing diagonal move.

The Knight (like the Elephant) get a 1-step non-capturing move in every direction (orthogonal or diagonal).

Maybe I misunderstood your comment...

Charles Gilman wrote on 2010-02-08 UTC
Well of course having the Ajax moves inherit the River and Fortress limitations is only one interpretation. That's the game we're currently playing, but what about one where pieces can move freely by one-step noncapturing moves?

Jose Carrillo wrote on 2010-02-08 UTC
Gee thanks!

Feels like opening Pandoras' box...

I'm actually going to enjoy much Ajax Xiangqi! My problem with Xiangqi was the uselessness of the Elephant (Alfil). But the Ajax version, while still limited to it's own side of the board, can reach all squares! That's an improvement!

Charles Gilman wrote on 2010-02-08 UTC
My goodness, given that these presets do not enforce rules, you could play an Ajax version of anything! An Ajax game of the Carrera/Bird/Capablanca family would have some really powerful pieces. Ajax Courier, Ajax Timur's, Ajax Duke of Rutland, I'm an Ajax Wazir... you've hit upon something remarkable here. The Xiang Qi preset could be used for my Eleport XQ, Elliards XQ, and Alibaba Qi! If there were a 'rate other comments' option this use of presets would merit an 'Excellent'.

Jose Carrillo wrote on 2010-02-07 UTC
Interesting idea.

Want to try it?
http://play.chessvariants.org/pbm/play.php?game%3DAjax+Xiangqi%26settings%3DCambaluc
http://play.chessvariants.org/pbm/play.php?game%3DAjax+Xiangqi%26settings%3DChinese

I'll send you and invite.

Interesting new elephant! Now it can reach ALL squares behind the river.

Pieces move as in Xiangqi, with the additional Ajax non-capturing steps. All other Xiangqi rules are the same.

King/General: moves and captures 1-step orthogonally, plus Ajax 1-step diagonal; can't leave the palace

Advisor/Guards: moves and captures 1-step diagonally, plus Ajax 1-step orthogonal; can't leave the palace

Rook/Chariot: regular rook, plus Ajax 1-step diagonal

Horse/Knight: regular chinese knight, plus Ajax 1-step around perimeter

Elephant: regular chinese elephant, plus Ajax 1-step around perimeter; can't cross the River

Cannon: regular chinese cannon, plus Ajax 1-step around perimeter

Pawns/Soldiers: regular chinese pawn - No Ajax additional moves.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2010-02-07 UTC
It occurs to me that an Ajax Xiang Qi would be interesting. Short-range pieces would be considerably enhanced relatively to standard Xiang Qi.

Jose Carrillo wrote on 2010-02-01 UTC
Thanks Charles!

I have to admit I like the 'Ajax Rider' concept you coined together!

I will experiment with these riders later, especially the Ajax Rider Rook.

Thanks also for the link on Bolyar Chess!

Funnily enough, I am experimenting an Ajax Citadels variant with Carlos Cetina, and lately (after Omega chess) I seem to find Citadel variants all over the place...

I find interesting the Bolyar concept of a higher promotion at the Citadel (to Generals) and may explore this concept.

Ajax Rider Rook (represented below by a Boylar Queen): It moves & captures like a Rook, and it may also play as a non-capturing Bishop.


Charles Gilman wrote on 2010-02-01 UTCGood ★★★★
The rating is really for the whole family of variants, which has inspired to scrap Bolyar extrapolations and go for Ajax extrapolations instead. I just wanted to thank you for pushing me that extra distance, and hope that the choice of heroes named for other directions is to your liking. For now I've put such pieces using the hybrid diagonal aside.

Jose Carrillo wrote on 2010-01-22 UTC
Thanks Antoine.

Can you also add the Guard (Man or Commoner) to the Alfaerie for Ajax piece set?

'G' => 'alfaerie/wguard.gif', 'g' => 'alfaerie/bguard.gif',

- - -

Below is the full new Ajax Piece Set definition:


http://www.chessvariants.org/graphics.dir/;

$pieces = array(
'K' => 'alfaerie/wking.gif', 'k' => 'alfaerie/bking.gif',
'Q' => 'alfaerie/wqueen.gif', 'q' => 'alfaerie/bqueen.gif',
'B' => 'alfaerie/wpromotedbishop.gif', 'b' => 'alfaerie/bpromotedbishop.gif',
'M' => 'alfaeriemisc/lavallee/wsissa2.gif', 'm' =>
'alfaeriemisc/lavallee/bsissa2.gif',
'N' => 'alfaeriemisc/bagleyjones/wknightzzstar.gif', 'n' =>
'alfaeriemisc/bagleyjones/bknightzzstar.gif',
'P' => 'alfaerie/wpawn.gif', 'p' => 'alfaerie/bpawn.gif',
'R' => 'alfaerie/wpromotedrook.gif', 'r' => 'alfaerie/bpromotedrook.gif',
'F' => 'alfaeriemisc/carrillo/wajaxfalcon.gif', 'f' =>
'alfaeriemisc/carrillo/bajaxfalcon.gif',
'A' => 'alfaeriemisc/carrillo/wajax-archbishop2.gif', 'a' =>
'alfaeriemisc/carrillo/bajax-archbishop2.gif',
'C' => 'alfaeriemisc/carrillo/wajax-chancellor2.gif', 'c' =>
'alfaeriemisc/carrillo/bajax-chancellor2.gif',
'G' => 'alfaerie/wguard.gif', 'g' => 'alfaerie/bguard.gif',
'E' => 'alfaeriemisc/carrillo/wajaxelephant.gif', 'e' =>
'alfaeriemisc/carrillo/bajaxelephant.gif',
'S' => 'alfaeriemisc/carrillo/wajaxsilverelephant.gif', 's' =>
'alfaeriemisc/carrillo/bajaxsilverelephant.gif'
);

?>

Antoine Fourrière wrote on 2010-01-21 UTC
Done.

Jose Carrillo wrote on 2010-01-21 UTC
Hi Antoine Fourrière,

Can you please add my two new pieces below for the Ajax Elephant to the 'Alfaerie: Many' piece set? 

Can you also add them to Alfaerie for Ajax set?

I'm assuming you are going to call them:

White Elephant => 'alfaeriemisc/carrillo/wajaxelephant.gif'
Black Elephant => 'alfaeriemisc/carrillo/bajaxelephant.gif'

Jose Carrillo wrote on 2010-01-18 UTC
Hi Antoine Fourrière, (or Fergus),

Can you please add my two new pieces below for the Ajax Elephant to the 'Alfaerie: Many' piece set?



It's a Burmese Elephant (Shogi Silver) that can also move one (non-capturing) step sideways or backwards.

Thanks.

Jose Carrillo wrote on 2009-11-21 UTC
Fergus said: But this game avoids these faults (Ultra Chess), because the pieces cannot capture with their additional powers of movement.

Absolutely!

In a simple way (in my opinion) Ajax Chess allows players to increase their tactical play without sacrificing or taking away the distinctiveness of the orthodox pieces.

Ajax Chess was an independant creation to Ultra Chess. I never heard of Ultra Chess until David Paulowich's comment below pointed out the similarity.

As I had pointed out earlier, this position shows one reason why I didn't want my Ajax Rooks, Bishops and Knights to be able to capture with their 'adopted' moves:



This position is from my game with Vitya Makov is after 5.Bi7 with the Bishop pinning Black's Knight.

Should the Black Knight be able to capture on it's one-square 'adopted' moves (like it could in Ultra Chess), this type of pins would be impossible, for ... Nxi7 would remove the threat, which would make the game boring, and eliminate some of the chess tactics (i.e. the simple Pin above) we are acustommed to.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2009-11-21 UTC
It shouldn't be difficult to program this game for Game Courier. But instead of doing it myself, I will leave it as an exercise for someone else. You can use one of the chess include files. The chess2 include file makes development easier, though the chess include file will also work. Since most of the pieces in this game are divergent pieces, you can look at the code in chess2 for Cannons to see how to program divergent pieces.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2009-11-21 UTC

If you do a search on Ajax Chess, you'll find some web-based Chess programs, so called because Ajax is short for Asychronous JavaScript and XML.

This game is very similar to Ultra Chess from 1999. While I haven't played this game, what I recall from playing that game is that adding a King's move to each piece took away from the distinctiveness of each piece, making it harder for pieces to threaten each other without being threatened back, and I believe it made the Knight a little too powerful. But this game avoids these faults, because the pieces cannot capture with their additional powers of movement.


Antoine Fourrière wrote on 2009-11-02 UTC
Oops, it's corrected.

Jose Carrillo wrote on 2009-11-02 UTC
Thanks Antoine.

Sorry, you made the Black Ajax Falcon invisible, but not the White one.

The White Ajax Falcon shows a gray background when used:
http://play.chessvariants.org/pbm/play.php?game%3DAjax+Wars+Chess%26settings%3DAlfaerie

Can you fix it? Thanks.

Antoine Fourrière wrote on 2009-11-01 UTC
Done.

Jose Carrillo wrote on 2009-10-31 UTC
Thanks Antoine.

Sorry to bother you again, can you please add my new Ajax Falcons too?



They have the combined movement of a Korean Elephant, Korean (or Chinese) Knight and Wazir, plus the characteristic Ajax one 'non-capturing' step in the remaining diagonal directions.



Ajax Falcons are improved Korean Elephants, which move one orthogonal step plus 2 diagonal steps. All squares in the path of the Korean Elephant must be unoccupied for the Elephant to reach it's destination.

The Ajax Falcon is not a leaper, so just like the Korean Elephant must also have the path clear to reach the 2nd diagonal square (labeled 3 on the diagram), but the Ajax Falcon can also move and capture at any square along the path to their 3rd square.

Therefore the Ajax Falcon can stop at their 1st diagonal square (labeled 2 on the diagram), provided the first orthogonal step is empty; giving the Ajax Falcon the Korean Knight move capability.

The Falcon can also just move and capture on it's first orthogonal square (labeled 1 on the diagram) in the path of it's Korean Elephant move, just like a Wazir.

Finally the Ajax Falcon has a one 'non-capturing' step in the remaining diagonal directions (red circles in the diagram), like a Ferz, to complete the one-step movement characteristic of the Ajax pieces.

Thanks.

Antoine Fourrière wrote on 2009-10-30 UTC
Done.

Jose Carrillo wrote on 2009-10-30 UTC
Hi Antoine Fourrière, (or Fergus),

Can you please add my two new pieces below for the Ajax Silver Elephant to the 'Alfaerie: Many' piece set?



It's a Silver Elephant that can move one (non-capturing) step sideways or backwards.

Thanks.

Jose Carrillo wrote on 2009-08-01 UTC
Two new Ajax pieces are:

Ajax-Archbishop:

The Ajax-Archbishop moves like Bishop+Knight, plus it has one orthogonal non-capturing 'adopted' step.

Ajax-Chancellor:

The Ajax-Chancellor moves like Rook+Knight, plus it has one diagonal non-capturing 'adopted' step.

These two pieces are use used in the variants: Ajax Modern Random Chess (9x9) and Ajax-Capablanca Chess (10x8)

Jose Carrillo wrote on 2009-07-18 UTC
This is another reason why I didn't want my Ajax Rooks, Bishops and Knights to be able to capture with their 'adopted' moves:



This position is from my game with Vitya Makov is after 5.Bi7 with the Bishop pinning Black's Knight.

Should the Black Knight be able to capture on it's one-square 'adopted' moves, this type of pins would be impossible, for ... Nxi7 would remove the threat.

In my opinion this would make the game boring, and eliminate some of the chess tactics we are acustommed to.

On the other hand look at the possibilities of the new 'adopted' moves:

...

These positions are from my game with Jeremy Good before and after 8... Bc4+ check! with the c-Bishop switching from dark to light squares to find a new outpost to carry an attack.

Ajax Chess has the option to have Bishops playing in the same color squares, something I'm comfortable with.

Same color square Bishops that can switch back and forth from light to dark squares could make a nasty pair of aggresive Bishops.

Jose Carrillo wrote on 2009-07-10 UTC
Thanks for the info David. I wasn't aware of Micheletto's Ultra Chess.

The problem (in my opinion) with Ultra Chess is that all the pieces are able to capture each other upon close contact, and a King will never be able to go hunting or to defend itself against minor pieces in endgames because he will be hindered by the check received by any of the other pieces one square move.

Ajax Chess doesn't allow a capture on the pieces 'adopted' steps. Therefore in an endgame, a King is allowed to defend himself against a Bishop (Knight or Rook) as they can't capture or check him orthogonally (adjacently or diagonally).

The pieces on the other hand get an easy way to find a new outpost to perform their attacks. 

A 2 Knights and King endgame will finish swiftly in a mate in Ajax Chess.

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