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Comments by Joshua Morris

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AAUUGHH! Chess. After every move, there's a 1 in 18 chance of the rules switching to another in a list of variants. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Joshua Morris wrote on Tue, Dec 9, 2008 10:02 PM UTC:Good ★★★★
This is too funny. Sounds like a recipe for entertaining chaos. :)

Wildebeest Chess. Variant on an 10 by 11 board with extra jumping pieces. (11x10, Cells: 110) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Joshua Morris wrote on Fri, Nov 2, 2007 01:17 AM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
Just wanted to add my 'Excellent' rating.  This game is right up there with Grand Chess.

I have a question for all you Wildebeesters.  Either side can deliver a smothered Fool's Mate on move 2 using the long leap of a Camel or Wildebeest.  This can be defended against in a few ways.  Does this cause opening variety to be limited, in anyone's experience?  Or is it more like Qh5 in OrthoChess, an aggressive move that tends to backfire if the opponent defends well?

Bland Chess. Chess with no diagonal moves. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Joshua Morris wrote on Fri, Oct 5, 2007 06:29 PM UTC:
Is this a joke? I ask because of the name... and because the line 'The bishops cannot move at all in this game' cracked me up. :)

Delta88 Chess. Chess on a Trigonal Board. (11x8, Cells: 88) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Joshua Morris wrote on Thu, Aug 30, 2007 07:21 AM UTC:Good ★★★★
Interesting idea.  I've often wondered what a triangular Chess might look like.

Also:  Oww, my brain!

Dragonfly. Drop pieces you have taken on a 7 by 7 board. (7x7, Cells: 49) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Joshua Morris wrote on Fri, May 11, 2007 04:21 PM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
I'm surprised there have been no comments on this game, particularly given the popularity of Grand Chess.  The game is great as presented, but it also makes an excellent game for Bughouse - the absence of queens and the destruction of pawns makes it even better than Orthodox Bughouse, in my opinion.

Cataclysm. Large board game with short-range pieces designed to be dramatic without being overly complicated or dragging on too long. (12x16, Cells: 192) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Joshua Morris wrote on Wed, Apr 18, 2007 05:26 AM UTC:Good ★★★★
Damn.  I've been working on a ShortRange variant with pieces very similar to your Elephant, Tiger, and Duke - identical, in fact, save for one less square of range (WB3, FR3, and Q2).  Great minds... *smirk*

I'll still throw it out there if playtesting proves it to be any good - it's just that now I'll look like a copycat.

'It's not a's an homage!' :)

As for Cataclysm, I like it.  I like the big board.  I like all the pieces save the Great Rook, and that's only because I have a personal dislike of hoppers.  All in all, it looks like fun.

Easterhouse. Captured pieces switch between Xiang Qi and Shogi boards. (9x19, Cells: 171) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Joshua Morris wrote on Wed, Apr 18, 2007 05:17 AM UTC:Good ★★★★
Imaginative!  I (and many others, I'm sure) have often thought of playing Bughouse using Grand Chess or Capablanca Chess or something in place of OrthoChess, but I've never considered playing Bughouse with two different games.  It's a fascinating idea.

Personally, I think it would be even more interesting to allow captured pieces to retain their character on the new board rather than morphing to fit the game being played.  I'd love to see Orthodox Chess played side-by-side with Shogi; imagine the horror on a Shogi player's face when his opponent drops a queen on the board.

Kozune. Missing description (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
💡📝Joshua Morris wrote on Fri, Apr 13, 2007 07:59 PM UTC:
Drops *are* terrifying, especially to the newcomer; I've played enough
Bughouse to know that.  I think drops explain why Shogi masters are
naturally good at Chess whereas Chess masters often struggle with Shogi.

Regular Kozune doesn't use drops, however, unless one counts the Sho's
ability to create pawns.

I think it's natural for these 'new' pieces to be rediscovered
independently over and over, especially if the 'inventors' have
read Betza's articles here on CV.  If one likes short-range pieces, the
Wazir-Dabbabah and Ferz-Alfil are the natural complements to the standard

And they are vicious little pieces.  One of the things we discovered while
playing Kozune was that checks can never be blocked - if the Sho is in
check, he *has* to move.  This is obvious in hindsight, but came as an
amusing surprise during playtesting.

My local ChessVar club has plans to play Chess vs Kozune on a 9x9 board. 
We'll see just how vicious these shorties can be when put up against the
much heavier firepower of the Orthodox Chess army (plus an extra Queen!). 
Perhaps the Kozune army's agility can overpower the Chess army's brute
strength.  I'll post here when it's been tried.

Hyperchess. A chess variant on a board representing 4-D space that closely parallels traditional Chess. (4x(), Cells: 256) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Joshua Morris wrote on Fri, Apr 13, 2007 06:06 AM UTC:Good ★★★★
Damn!  I recently had a very similar idea for a 5x5 set of 5x5 boards.  Thought I was the first.

I guess my game will have to be a Hyperchess variant. :)

Besiege Chess. Double height chess board, where black is surrounded by white. (8x16, Cells: 128) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Joshua Morris wrote on Fri, Feb 23, 2007 09:21 AM UTC:
I can't rate the game as written; it looks great, but I haven't played

I just want to add that my personal group of Chess dorks got together for
some Bughouse only to have one member fail to show.  Left with three
players, we decided to try Besiege Chess as a three-player game instead:
white, black, and yellow (another color we happened to have on hand). 
White and yellow both had orthodox sets, while black retained it's double
set and three queens.  Each player got one move per round, going in the
order white, black, yellow.

The resulting game was amazing.  It was like a cross between Chess and
Diplomacy.  Black was initially savaged by the two-front war, but things
changed rapidly when white and yellow realized that whoever expended more
resources destroying black would likely lose to the other.  It became a
protracted and exciting battle, with players sometimes declining to take
opposing rooks or queens of one side because the position they were in
gave them an advantage over, or at least temporarily distracted, the

There were double-checks, in which a piece from one army would check both
enemy kings at once.  There was an instance in which one king found
himself in check from both other players.  We conceived of scenarios in
which one player could inadvertently assist in the checkmate of another by
the third.

The first checkmated player had all his pieces removed from the board to
allow the others to finish.  Next time, however, we plan to have it so
that the player who captures another's king gets control of his remaining
pieces.  This will encourage more aggression and discourage turtling.

It was great fun.  Thanks to the author of Besiege Chess for giving us the

Stanley Random Chess A game information page
. Missing description[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Joshua Morris wrote on Wed, Oct 5, 2005 11:13 PM UTC:Good ★★★★
I find SRC amusing. The site contains pages of Chess history, fiction, and poetry - what's wrong with Chess humor? I don't think humor ought to be excluded just because some Chess players are humorless. :)

Do-or-die Chess. Chess on an 8-by-5 board. Three ranks have been removed. (8x5, Cells: 40) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Joshua Morris wrote on Wed, Oct 5, 2005 10:24 PM UTC:Good ★★★★
I've played this game a few times now.  It's fun!

Does white have an advantage?  White won most of the games we played.

Kozune. Missing description (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
💡📝Joshua Morris wrote on Wed, Aug 10, 2005 07:53 AM UTC:
> A small inner-game dynamic question:  Can a Sho actually spawn
> other pieces on its seventh, eighth and ninth ranks?

I think it's better to let the Sho spawn only pawns.  This way, it takes
at least two moves to create a powerful piece - one to create the pawn and
one for the pawn to take a step.  This gives the opponent a chance to do
something about it.

(There should probably be a rule that pawns can't be created on the 9th
rank, but that seems obvious enough to go without saying.)

On the other hand, I can envision a 'Summoner's Duel' type of variant
where all pieces begin in-hand and enter the board only when summoned by
the Sho.

Thanks to everyone for the kind words.  I hope the gameplay lives up to
your expectations.

💡📝Joshua Morris wrote on Sun, Aug 7, 2005 09:02 AM UTC:
We've been playing without drops; as Larry Smith implied, the Sho's
ability to create pawns makes draws uncommon.  A Sho on it's seventh rank
is a dangerous beast.  'Drop Kozune' could be a fine variant, however.

We've been using plain old rooks, bishops, and knights for pieces.  It's
easy enough to remember, 'This piece looks like a rook, so it moves like a
rook, but only two spaces.  And it leaps.'  Well, perhaps not so easy.  It
does challenge our Chess-based pattern recognition.

You could use graphics from the Alfarie collection on Game Courier.  I
know there is a Wazir-Dabbaba graphic (the 'Woody Rook' from The
Remarkable Rookies), and there's probably a Ferz-Alfil.  An ordinary
knight should suffice for the Ne, since they are identical.

For symbolic representation, I like a modified Parham notation:

ko: +
zu: x
ne: o

A kozu would be a + and x combined, a zune an x in a circle, etc.

Sadly, I can't use Zillions; I don't run Windows.  Even so, I would be
thrilled to see a ZRF.

Drawless Chess. Simple rules are added to make draws impossible. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Joshua Morris wrote on Fri, Jul 22, 2005 01:22 AM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
I love it. Draws are far too common in OrthoChess. A hard-fought battle to the draw can be satisfying, but most - stalemates, draws where one side has two knights while the other is left with a bare king - are unsatisfying.

Chigorin Chess. White has knights instead of bishops and a chancellor for his queen; black has bishops instead of knights. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Joshua Morris wrote on Tue, Jul 12, 2005 10:14 AM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
I have played this game many times; it remains one of my favorite Chess variants.

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