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Comments by Alfred Pfeiffer

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Lion Chess[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Alfred Pfeiffer wrote on 2013-05-18 UTC
Lion is a well known piece of fairy chess, and means an extended

PawnX: new modest vatiant[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Alfred Pfeiffer wrote on 2012-12-23 UTC

there are some curios effects with your PawnTrap.zrf.

1) King may move into check if there are possibilities to capture a pawn.
   Example:  1.d4 Nf6 2.e4 Nxe4 3.Kd2?! Nxf2

2) No defense against checks if there are possibilities to capture a pawn.
   Example:  1.d4 e6 2.b3 Be7 3.f3 g5 4.Nh3 Bb4# 
             "Checkmate: Black wins!"

I assume this is not intended by you but a weakness of your zrf.

Alfred Pfeiffer wrote on 2012-11-07 UTC
I tried your PawnX.zrf (computer vs. computer). Following happened:

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.e4 N:e4 3.h3 N:d2 4.K:d2 g5 5.N:g5 Bh6 "Stalemate!" Black

Is this what you expected?

Carpenter. compound of Knight and Dabbaba.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Alfred Pfeiffer wrote on 2012-01-27 UTC
This piece occured already as fairy chess piece 'Templar' in a problem composition of Bernd Schwarzkopf, published in the German magazine 'Problemkiste', No.23, 12/1984 (see 
''P1112855'' and '').

Raumschach. The classical variant of three-dimensional chess: 5 by 5 by 5. (5x(5x5), Cells: 125) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Alfred Pfeiffer wrote on 2010-08-20 UTC
The initial setup of the black pieces is wrong. 
For the correct starting array swap the black Bishops with the Unicorns. Then you get the following arrangement at the Level D:

| u | b | q | u | b | 5  Queen Dc5; Bishop Db5, De5; Unicorn Da5, Dd5; 
| p | p | p | p | p | 4  Pawn Da4, Db4, Dc4; Dd4; De4.
|   |   |   |   |   | 3
|   |   |   |   |   | 2
|   |   |   |   |   | 1
  a   b   c   d   e

Unfortunately also the Zillions file in '' copied this error.

The error does not occur at the old page for this variant: ''.

See also the books:
 Anthony Dickins: A Guide to Fairy Chess, and
 D. B. Pritchard: The Encyclopedia of Chess Variants.

Trampoline Chess. Each player has a Trampoline that allows friendly pieces to make a second move. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Alfred Pfeiffer wrote on 2009-12-07 UTC
Joao Pedro Neto invented a similar game in 2005. He named it 'Hopp Chess'. 
The description is on the 'Trabsact Sagme Diaries', entry of May 17, 2005:

Amazons. Queens fire arrows to make squares unpassable. Last player that moves wins. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Alfred Pfeiffer wrote on 2008-11-03 UTC
You find a download for an Amazons.zrf by Jens Markmann at the end of 
his web page

King's Guard Chess. Pawns move like kings and only Pawns may capture. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Alfred Pfeiffer wrote on 2008-06-13 UTCGood ★★★★
Why should a side without pawns lose the game?  In chess the game is 
lost usually by the loss of royal pieces (king).  I assume the king 
could resist against his capturing in many cases, so a draw seems 
possible.  Also you could try to win without pawns by stalemating 
the opponent's pieces.

Korean ChessA game information page
. Korean Chess: presentation plus a strong Zillions implementation.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Alfred Pfeiffer wrote on 2006-11-06 UTC
In the book
David Wurman: 'Chinesisches Schach, Koreanisches Schach', 1991, Verlag Harry Deutsch, Frankfurt am Main, Thun, ISBN 3-8171-1166-5, (German)
the passing is allowed anytime.

Here is the text to this 'Sonderregel' (special rule):
Im koreanischen Schach gibt es keinen Zugzwang. Sollte es für einen Spieler taktisch ungünstig sein, irgendeinen Stein, insbesondere seinen König, zu bewegen, dreht er ihn einfach um. Dies gilt als Zug, denn alle Figuren sind ja beidseitig beschriftet.

Janggi - 장기 - Korean Chess. The variant of chess played in Korea. (9x10, Cells: 90) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Alfred Pfeiffer wrote on 2006-11-06 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Precision to an entry in the section 'Books':

  Wurman, David: 'Chinesisches Schach, Koreanisches Schach'.
  Verlag Harry Deutsch, Franfurt am Main, Thun; 1991, 
  ISBN 3-8171-1166-5

[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Alfred Pfeiffer wrote on 2006-06-01 UTC
Hello Mats, you wrote
I think the asymmetry in Elk Chess is probably good.
It creates a strategical tension, and castling will tend to be on different wings.
Moreover, should it not be asymetric, then the Elks would tend to be exchanged immediately, e.g.,
1.Eg3 Eg6.
Your arguments are plausible and the opinion is to accept.
Notwithstanding I propose you to introduce both types of the Elk
(of course this needs slightly different graphics to distinguish them):
  • the B/W-Elk: it moves on the black squares as rook, but on the white squares it jumps like a knight
    (this is the actual used type); and
  • the W/B-Elk: it moves on the white squares as rook, and on the black squares it leaps like a knight
    (I proposed this type for the white pieces).

With this two types you may build easily different setups (symmetric or not, first move as knight or not).

Did you consider to apply this new method (different move possibilities depending on the color of the square)
to other combinations of pieces, e.g.

  • Elk pawns: move (when not capturing) as pawn or as knight (forward only), capture always diagonal;
  • a Rook/Nightrider piece (how to name it?)

Alfred Pfeiffer

Alfred Pfeiffer wrote on 2006-05-31 UTC
Hi Mats, 

your definition of 'Elk Chess' generates an asymmetry in the
possibilities for the initial position:  White can develop immediately its
elk on the king side with a knight move to the row in front of its pawn,
Black cannot do so.  At the queen side the situation is inverse.

You could reach easily symmetry by a little change in the rules:
 - for white swap the colors when the elk has to move as knight/rook;
 - for the black elk let the definition as it is.
(Also a converse definition would be possible, depending at which wing you
prefer a quick development of this piece.)

Shortly you could summarize this new rule as follow:
The Elk moves at squares of its own color like a rook, at squares of 
the opposite color as a knight (or the converse regulation). 

Alfred Pfeiffer

Alfred Pfeiffer wrote on 2006-05-31 UTC
Mats, I have to rehabilitate you partially because I read now that in the
anglophone countries the problem friends use the denotation Moose for
that piece which was named as elk in the cited source (from Germany),
look e.g. to ''.

But here are fairy chess definitions for some others of your animals:

'Elephant': Queen+Nightrider, used also in some game variants, 
            e.g. 'Wolf Chess'

'Mammoth':  moves like a rook but only if it can capture
            (from A. M. Dickins: A guide to fairy chess.)

Alfred Pfeiffer

Alfred Pfeiffer wrote on 2006-05-30 UTC
Hello Mats,

why do you not use an other name for your new piece?
'Elk' (German 'Elch')is already the name for a known fairy chess
(look at '').

There is already a lot of confusion because of the existence of
different names for same pieces, but the situation becomes extrem
mistakably by using same names for different pieces.

Alfred Pfeiffer

P.S.: This remark is valid also for other new pieces you introduced,
e.g. ''
describes an other 'Scorpion', and maybe also the name 'Mammoth' is
already used by fairy chess composers (but I do not know their 

Bario. Pieces are undefined until they move. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Alfred Pfeiffer wrote on 2006-03-21 UTC
I could contact the inventor Panos Louridas and resolve some of the details
that remained untold in the article and my previous comment (19.01.2006).

First I should mention again, that an essential paramater in this game is
the _number of types_ of pieces that a player owns. If it is only 1 or 
less then for this player virtual play never occurs. This ruling principle
will help (I hope) to understand the following clarifications.

1) We should complete the rules about the capturing of pieces (real
or virtual) by the following:

If the number of types of pieces (real and potential) of a player will 
reduced by the capture to 1 and he owns virtual stones yet then the 
virtual piece(s) of this player will be replaced instantly by the 
potential pieces they stand for, and this event is not the start of 
a recycling (because such players are excluded from playing with 
virtual pieces).

2) Promotions of Pawns:

The owner of the pawn chooses (at usual) a piece to become for the pawn.
This pieces goes to the resevoir and becomes a virtual piece on the board

then and only then if the number of types of pieces in the reservoir 
will be greater than 1 (including the new piece by the promoting).
If this condition is not fulfilled the promoted piece stays a real piece.


a) Before the promoting of a pawn the player does not own any other 
   piece.  Then the promoted piece will remain real evidently.

b) Before the promoting of a pawn the player owns only one type of other
   piece(s) (always real by the rules mentioned above). If he chooses
   for the promoting pawn the same type as he already owns then all
   of his pieces will stay real; if he chooses for the pawn a piece of
   another type then instantly all of his pieces will go to the his 
   reservoir and will be substituted by virtual piecs on the board.
   Furthermore the player also will take part again in the future
   recycling cycles.

c) Before the promoting of a pawn the player owns more than one types
   of pieces, but all of them except one are already in the real state.
   If now the player chooses the same type of piece like the one that
   is represented by his last virtual piece then the promoted piece
   stay real; if he chooses a type other than that of the virtual
   his promoted piece will become virtual and the choosen type of
   piece will be added to his reservoir.

d) Before the promoting of a pawn the player owns more than one types
   of pieces and at least two of its pieces are in the virtual state 
   and stand for different types.  In this case the promoted pieces
   always becomes a virtual piece and the choosen promotion goes to
   the reservoir.

Friendly Greetings,
Alfred Pfeiffer

Blizzard Chess. Chess, as if it had been developed by the software industry.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Alfred Pfeiffer wrote on 2005-07-20 UTCGood ★★★★
I work on a zrf with a variant for each Patch Level.
In some cases my interpretation of the rules differs 
lightly with those in Larry's zrf.
I hope I can it offer this week (perhaps tomorrow) to
the community.

Alfred Pfeiffer

ZRF question[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Alfred Pfeiffer wrote on 2003-01-20 UTC
'I'd like to set up a game where white chooses a piece to use and drops
  it on his first rank.  This causes an identical blue piece to appear 
  blue's first rank on the rotationally (or perhaps reflectionally)
  on symmetrical square...'

I propose to define an additional direction (here called 'mirror') that
links the squares from the first row to its symmetrical field. Example:

    (links mirror (a1 h8)(b1 g8)(c1 f8)(d1 e8)(e1 d8)(f1 c8)(g1 b8)(h1

Then in the setup phase you should be able to determine 'easily' by use
this additional direction, where related pieces are to be placed.

For different variants of symmetry use different lists for 'mirror'.

Ultima: German[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Alfred Pfeiffer wrote on 2002-11-13 UTC
Hi Joerg,

I assume in German 'official' names for Ultima pieces does not exist.
Each author tries to find the best adaption.  The German version of
Zillions used names that differ from my inventions. I wrote a small
article for the magazin 'Computer-Schach und Spiele'. Please look to
for the content.

Friendly greetings,
Alfred Pfeiffer

All-mate Chess. Pieces are captured by having them `checkmated'. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Alfred Pfeiffer wrote on 2002-08-09 UTC
I still have a question: When multiple pieces are mated, and then the
removing of the first of them results in the effect that the remaining
piece(s) no longer will be mated, do you then stop the removing or
do you continue to remove until you have removed all initially mated 

Mono-dimensional Chess. Small, one dimensional variant with unorthodox pieces. (1x10, Cells: 10) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Alfred Pfeiffer wrote on 2002-07-30 UTC
Of course this variant is new, but there are already some examples 
with chess for one-dimensional boards:

1) The 'One Ring Chess' by L. L. Smith 2001, where 32 fields are
   arranged to build a closed circle, published at the Zillions page

2) I have a bilingual book (German and English) 

  Dr. Karl Fabel, C. E. Kemp: 'Schach ohne Grenzen - Chess unlimited'
  Walter Rau Verlag, Duesseldorf und Kempten, 1969

with the following short section about the subject (I quote from the
english part, FCR = Fairy Chess Review, TDR = Thomas Rayner Dawson):


  We now move off the 8x8 board, it is sometime necessary!
  In 1944, as a wartime diversion, FCR had a tourney for problems
  of any kind on an one-dimensional board, that is a single line
  of squares of any lenght.  N. M. Gibbins who proposed and judged
  the tourney, expected the entry to be small.  In fact there were
  85 problems.  TDR won 1st. and 2nd. prizes with two sets of
  problems.  The themes of the first set, of 8, were 'self-
  interference, line-closing, grab, crosscheck, chain interference,
  mutual obstruction, and triangular Grimshaw interference'!  How
  did he get all this on a single line?  By using composite pieces.

  No. 1 is one of this set.  We will refer to squares simply by the
  the numbers 1, 2, ... 15, 16, starting from the bottom.  The rider
  (R for short) at 16 can be play along 16, 13, 10, 7, 4, 1, as a 
  3-rider, and along 16, 11, 6, 1, as a 5-rider.  The problem is 
  built on the fact that 16 and 1 are in both sets.  The solution is  
  1. K9 P5, 2. P12#;  1.... P12, 2. P5#.  Not 1. P5 threat 2. Rx13# 
  as black is stalemate, P13 is now pinned.  And not 1. P12 threat 
  2. Rx6#, also stalemate as P6 is now pinned.  

  These are two highly thematic tries.  The mates are discovered
  mates, there is a double battery from the rider at 16.  Two-line
  chess on a one-line board!

The position which the referred diagram No. 1 to is following;

White: K8, R16, P4, P10 (R = combined 3-rider and 5-rider, 4 pieces)
Black: K1, P2, P6, P12 (4 pieces);  Board 1 x 16, 
Mate in 2,  FCR 1944.

Alfred Pfeiffer

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