The Chess Variant Pages

Check out Metamachy, our featured variant for December, 2023.

Enter Your Reply

The Comment You're Replying To
H. G. Muller wrote on Wed, Feb 1 07:52 PM UTC in reply to Kevin Pacey from 07:26 PM:


... though I still don't fully trust computer analysis to give reliable piece values for a given board size (e.g. may well depend at least to some extent on what else is on the board, and where exactly it's placed, in the setup used by a given computer study).

This is why serious computer studies always use a number of different mixes of opponent pieces, and average over many shuffles of those as initial setup. E.g. if you want to compare the value of Queen, Archbishop and Chancellor, you don't just play these against each other (e.g. in a FIDE setup whetre one player starts with A or C instead of a Q), but also against, say, R+B, R+N, R+N+P, 2B+N, B+2N (deleting these for the player that has Q, C or A, and deleting Q of the other player), to see which of the super-pieces does better, and by how much.

To test an Alibaba (which I apparently did once), you would replace 2N, N+B, 2B or R for two Alibabas (and give the opponent Pawn odds to get closer to equality), and just a single N or B for one Alibaba.

How does your estimate take account of the severe color binding of the Alibaba? Because of that it seems a very weak piece to me. It can for instance not act against half the Pawns.

Ancient Shatranj theory indeed values different Pawns differently. In Shatranj an Alfil is considered slightly better than an average Pawn. But you should keep in mind that a FIDE Pawn is worth significantly more than a Shatranj Pawn, because it has a game-deciding promotion, while in Shatranj an extra Ferz is often not helpful at all. And I suspect a lot of the value of the Alfil is that, even if tactically worthless, it acts as insurance against loss by baring when only weak pieces are left.

Edit Form

Comment on the page Alibaba

Quick Markdown Guide

By default, new comments may be entered as Markdown, simple markup syntax designed to be readable and not look like markup. Comments stored as Markdown will be converted to HTML by Parsedown before displaying them. This follows the Github Flavored Markdown Spec with support for Markdown Extra. For a good overview of Markdown in general, check out the Markdown Guide. Here is a quick comparison of some commonly used Markdown with the rendered result:

Top level header: <H1>

Block quote

Second paragraph in block quote

First Paragraph of response. Italics, bold, and bold italics.

Second Paragraph after blank line. Here is some HTML code mixed in with the Markdown, and here is the same <U>HTML code</U> enclosed by backticks.

Secondary Header: <H2>

  • Unordered list item
  • Second unordered list item
  • New unordered list
    • Nested list item

Third Level header <H3>

  1. An ordered list item.
  2. A second ordered list item with the same number.
  3. A third ordered list item.
Here is some preformatted text.
  This line begins with some indentation.
    This begins with even more indentation.
And this line has no indentation.

Alt text for a graphic image

A definition list
A list of terms, each with one or more definitions following it.
An HTML construct using the tags <DL>, <DT> and <DD>.
A term
Its definition after a colon.
A second definition.
A third definition.
Another term following a blank line
The definition of that term.