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The Chess Variant Pages



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H. G. Muller wrote on 2013-12-16 UTC
Well, I am not the author of Nebiyu, so this is hard to answer for me. From inspecting the alien.ini file I get a fair impression of how it is used: there is a section where you can define piece types and their moves. And there is a section where you can define games by specifying which of the defined pieces participates in them, how they promote, what the initial setup and board size is, etc.

I have never tried to define a game there from scratch myself, however. I quickly looked up the rules of Tori Shogi, and it seems it should be possible to play this under WinBoard as variant shogi with modified board size and pieceToCharTable. Only 6 different piece types can be in the hand, and this does not exceed the number of board ranks. (This would be a problem in Wa with drops.)

You would have to make a WinBoard settings file tori.ini similar to mini.ini in the mini-Shogi package, to configure WinBoard for Tori Shogi. Obviously you would have to change the board size specs to 7x7, with holdings for 6. The tricky thing is always the /pieceToCharTable; here you would have to define which WinBoard symbols you would want to use for the various Tori pieces, and what one-letter ID to assign to them. Those that can promote should be in the first eleven, and 11 places later a + should be defined to indicate it can promote. For non-promoting pieces you could use any of the 22. WinBoard won't have pieces that would move as irregularly as some Tori pieces; therefore you would always have to switch legality testing off.

WinBoard has independent definition of how pieces move in Shogi and in all other variants, but in Shogi currently no move is defined at all for piece types that are not occurring in Sho Shogi. Perhaps in a future WinBoard version I should define some of these as having the moves of Tori pieces! People can always define external bitmaps for them.

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