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Diagram testing thread[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2023-02-01 UTC

Capablanca Chess and Carrera Chess have BN and RN singletons in the wings. For a board this wide I think it can even be nice to spread out the 'power-pieces' a bit. I don't have any clear preference myself; I just put RF and BW where I did because that was where Kevin had put the Elephants that I replaced. But I don't see why this would beg for 'improvement'. If symmetry would be the holy grail, I would sooner take two BW in the wings than move singleton BW and RF to the center. (BW on 16x8 could be significantly stronger than Rook anyway, because it will in general attack the opponent in two places, rather than one.)

One point to consider is that there are already so many variants using Elephants, Cannons, and Vaos (to not even mention Archbishops and Chancellors). I experience it as very refreshing to also see some other pieces now and then. The WA, FD, BW and RF are only rarely encountered, outside shogi variants.

And as to 'unnatural moves': if a chessplayer would consider anything unnatural, it will be the Cannon and the Vao. The presence of those divergent hoppers really upsets everything you thought to know about tactics. And I don't think the FD is unnatural at all: it is just the conjugate of a King (i.e. the 45-degree rotated version moving on the sub-grid of one shade). And King moves are very natural. The WA is indeed a different matter; you will have to learn how to manouevre with it, just like novice chess players have to learn to manouevre with a Knight. But that seems a small matter compared to mastering the use of Cannons and such.

I don't see much fun in reducing every chess variant to a version of Shako or Pemba on a differently shaped board.

Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2023-02-01 UTC

If I may join and play with you on this interesting discussion, to my taste:

  • I agree with HG that it was too much strong pieces in the array (Amazon, RFN, BWN).

  • I don't like too much compound pieces like FD and WA, nice pattern but not natural (yes, this is subjective, but I feel it like this). I do prefer much FA (Elephant) and WD (War Machine) because I see a consistency in their move.

  • I don't like that singleton pieces (here Crowned R and Crowned B) are on sides where as some duo pieces are more in the center (on f,g,j,k). (Another subjective opinion).

  • I would suggest to use a pair of FA, a pair of WD. 4 spaces would remain. Have you considered to use a pair of Cannons and a pair of Vao? (Instead of the 2xFD, 1 RK, 1 BK).

H. G. Muller wrote on 2023-02-01 UTC

Ah yes, sorry. That is what I meant. I now corrected that.

Of course one can argue that the WD is similar to a Rook in the same way the FA is similar to the Bishop, but in the WD case there is a quite large value difference. And the WD is a very interesting piece in itself because of the combination of low value and mating potential.

Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2023-02-01 UTC

"And you already have the WD, which is also color bound"

You probably meant the FD, not the WD.

Duck Chess. A Duck that must be moved by both players can block your moves. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2023-02-01 UTC

Thanks for the info. I added the link in the notes section.

Tamás Bajusz wrote on 2023-02-01 UTC

Anyone can play Duck chess online on as well.

Diagram testing thread[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Kevin Pacey wrote on 2023-02-01 UTC

Thanks for the effort, H.G.! I'm glad Fast Castling is now supported by the I.D. (though I as a dinosaur personally have a ways to go before ever learning how to use that, especially authoring/inventing something with it).

Your modification to Constable-Spiel is interesting, and may deserve a name of its own (would we be co-inventors, if it takes root?!), even if I still prefer to keep the original around under the Constable-Spiel name.

I have 22 CV invention ideas (that I at the least haven't totally rejected yet), on scrap paper and scattered in comments on this CVP site since 2019 - a start would be for me to make settings files files for them at my leisure, before thinking about the long daunting process of submitting the ideas (Fergus once capped the number of submissions at a time by a member at 9 maximum; I have 9 published presets that also might use rules pages some day). With settings files done, people could locate the ideas a bit more easily, and also play them if they wish.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2023-02-01 UTC

For my taste the pieces in Officer Spiel are way too strong, while those in Constable Spiel (although I like that more) are a bit on the weak side. If you would replace the Elephants by a Crowned Rook and a Crowned Bishop you would have an interpolation of the two that has pretty much an ideal piece mix; it would add one rook-class piece, and one halfway Rook and Queen, next to three pairs of light pieces (of which the War Machine has mating power).

I suggest to replace the Elephant, because it seems the 'most redundant piece': its footprint is a subset of that of the Bishop, and although it can jump, you already have the WA that has that move. And you already have the WD, which is also color bound.

files=16 ranks=8 whitePrefix=w blackPrefix=b graphicsType=png graphicsDir=/graphics.dir/alfaeriePNG/ squareSize=50 lightShade=#cccc11 darkShade=#339933 rimColor=#111199 coordColor=#cccc11 firstRank=1 useMarkers=1 borders=0 newClick=1 pawn::::a2-p2 knight:N:::b1,o1 kirin::FD:warmachineferz:c1,n1 phoenix:X:WA:elephantwazir:f1,k1 war machine::WD:warmachinewazir:g1,j1 bishop::::d1,m1 rook::::a1,p1 crowned bishop:H:BW:promotedbishop:e1 crowned rook:D:RF:promotedrook:l1 queen::::h1 king::KispO8::i1

P.S. The Diagram now also supports 'fast castling'. (Flush browser cache!) The XBetza notation ispOn. It seemed fitting to use the p modifier to distinguish it from normal castling, as it is a castling that can hop over other pieces. For now the n is ignored; perhaps this can be interpreted as the maximum range over which the King is allowed to jump.

Elven Chess. 10x10 variant with 4 new pieces, of which one can double-capture. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2023-02-01 UTC

Ah, thanks for reporting this. The Interactive Diagram for Elven Chess was one of the first I ever posted, and it was still using off-side piece images, even though the corresponding images have long since all been uploaded to this site. I would never notice such things myself, because my browser settings have this madness of http blocking disabled; I consider it a browser bug that this exists in the first place.

Anyway, I have now made the Diagram use the on-site images, and also tweeked its appearance a bit.

Edward Webb wrote on 2023-02-01 UTC

The interactive diagram works, however the images for the pieces don't load for me.

I checked the browser console and it says that the images will not load if a website uses HTTPS and the images are hosted on a third party website that uses HTTP-only:

No More Mixed Messages About HTTPS

Diagram testing thread[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Kevin Pacey wrote on 2023-01-31 UTC

Below is a diagram for a (16x8) CV invention idea of mine, which might be called Officer-Spiel, that I can study at my leisure (Fast Castling rules like in Wide Chess, and FIDE pawn rules). It was inspired by my much earlier (8x10) CV invention idea Officer Chess (see 2019-02-16 post[s] in this thread), as well as by Michael Wortley Nolan's (14x8) Alekhine Chess (I thought, if that 8-rank CV with all its piece power, and no quick way to castle, has some popularity, maybe Officer-Spiel shouldn't be ruled out):


edit: Alternative setup for Officer-Spiel (currently prefer):


Kevin Pacey wrote on 2023-01-31 UTC

Here's a diagram for a (16x8) CV invention idea of mine, which might be called Constable-Spiel, that I can study at my leisure (Fast Castling rules as in Wide Chess, and FIDE pawn rules) - it was inspired by my earlier (8x10) CV invention idea Constable Chess (see 2020-12-16 post[s] in this thread):


Stone's Chess. Hidden Two archbishop variation. (8x10, Cells: 80) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]

Since this comment is for a page that has not been published yet, you must be signed in to read it.

ChessVA computer program
. Program for playing numerous Chess variants against your PC.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Aurelian Florea wrote on 2023-01-31 UTC

Ok, HG, thanks!

Interactive diagrams. (Updated!) Diagrams that interactively show piece moves.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2023-01-31 UTC

I am getting less and less happy with the WeirdPromotion() and BadZone() extension system for the Interactive Diagram. It is inconvenient that these are two different functions, and a shortcoming of WeirdPromotion() is its limited power for adding side effects to the move, and that it gets passed only a single locust square (while the NewClick entry system allows arbitrary many locust victims). This has been somewhat ameliorated by the kamikaze and burn/atomic pseudo-promotion codes, but there still remain lots of things that cannot be done.

It would be much better to have a single user-supplied function AlterMove(move), which gets the internal move representation passed as the single argument. This move representation is an array, which contains the coordinates of all involved squares (origin, destination, all locust squares, all squares where e.p. rights are generated, the promotion piece...). And what is even better: AlterMove() could make changes in that, (like adding locust squares), which would affect the original. As, unlike scalar objects, when an array gets passed to a function it will be the real thing, not a copy. So it could directly alter the promotion choice in the move, rather than returning it as a result, and leaving it for the standard code to incorporate it in the move.

The return value then could be reserved for signalling only. Like indicating that the move or promotion choice is forbidden, so that the move should be deleted from the move list. Or that the move is winning (e.g. by reaching a goal square). Or that a move thought to be a non-promotion should unexpectedly offer promotion choice (making the standard script duplicate the move, this time with other promotion choices, subjecting these again to AlterMove() to test whether these are allowed, and add those to the  move list when they are).

This would for instance also allow implementation of pieces like the Ultima Coordinator, which might need locust captures on distant squares at the intersection of its coordinate lines and those of the King. By switching the Diagram's tracking function on, the location of the King would be easily available, and the AlterMove() routine would just have to combine these with the coordinates of the destination on a Coordinator move, test whether there is an enemy there, and if there is, add it as a locust square to the move.

For backward compatibility the standard script could contain a default function for AlterMove(), which it invokes if the user has supplied a WeirdPromotion() or BadZone(), to call the latter two for the move in question, and translate the return values to the actions these request. (Like altering the promotion piece, or return the 'forbidden' code.) This seems a simpler and more powerful system. Perhaps some standard routines could be offered to simplify writing AlterMove(), like AddLocustSquare(move, x, y).

I am also wondering if I should devote some attention to configurable use of the trackPieces functionality in such a standard version of AlterMove(). Passive effects on adjacent pieces are not that uncommon in variants, especially immobilization. So where trackPieces=N now just serves to switch on the tracking for non-zero N, I could have N indicate a piece type for which the adjacent squares should automatically be marked in a neighbors[] array indexed by square number. And supply a new Diagram parameter neighbors, which could be given the values immobilize, pacify or burn, which then would activate to either forbid all moves with a piece standing on a marked square, forbid all its captures, or make moves to a marked square kamikaze moves, respectively. Then these rules could be implemented purely by configuration, without writing any script.

ChessVA computer program
. Program for playing numerous Chess variants against your PC.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2023-01-31 UTC

Short follow-up on posting diagrams: You must only write the board part of the FEN between the tages; the other stuff contained in a FEN would not be expressed in the image anyway. When I place your FEN between the tags I get this:

These are not the pieces you want; apparently the standard meaning for C is Cannon, for S Squirrel, and for J it is Camel. But that doesn't have to discourage you: you can either try an alternative likely letter (like M for Marshall), or replace the letter by the full name of the Alfaerie image in braces ({berolinapawn} and {fool}:

[ fen]3{FOOL}3k1w/10/10/8p1/2P5Pp/1{SERGEANT}7P/5{sergeant}4/10/4m4{fool}/7BK1[ /fen] gives


Mansindam (Pantheon tale). (Updated!) A variant that combines 'drop' rule and strong pieces, and there is no draw. (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Daphne Snowmoon wrote on 2023-01-31 UTC

Manshindam can be played here !

Chess 1010. Game played with 40 pieces. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Kevin Pacey wrote on 2023-01-30 UTC

@ editor(s): The text on the rules page of Chess 1010 has become a bit bunched up in places, without my making any changes to the published submission; maybe other submissions of mine or other members' may have also been affected somehow, by change(s) to this website(?)

@ David:

You're welcome to try to improve Chess 1010, even in case it's out of all recognition. It was one of my earlier CV inventions, that so far has attained zero popularity, at least on CVP site. My idea was to have only the Ks guard the pawn diagonally next to it (in front of a B) like in chess, so that said pawn might possibly be more menacingly attacked by a B (plus/or another piece, maybe) later in the game.

However, the asymmetric positioning of the other B (set beside each player's Q, so that it wouldn't attack the i-pawn guarded by an enemy B in the setup, or possibly an enemy g-pawn on its 5th rank) may be one thing that repulsed more than a few CV players about Chess 1010 thus far. Another thing being that many may like the pawn promotion rules of Grand Chess. Or, that any small change(s) to a CV with established popularity (i.e. Grand Chess, here) are not welcomed too much since people would rather play what's already popular.

A while back there was a discussion about underpromotions in CVs, a topic that Greg mentioned to me as interesting you. Here's a link with a comment thread where I gave a number of diagrams for cases I dreamt up of justifiable underpromotions in 8x8 Seirawan Chess (I've yet to come across a CV where I've noticed it's somehow provable that some underpromotion(s) are absolutely unnecessary to ever allow by the CV's rules):

Somewhere I got the idea that you are from Prince Edward Island, Canada. If so, you might possibly know Fred McKim, long-time Treasurer for the Chess Federation of Canada (CFC) - I reside in Ottawa (born on NATO airbase in France near Germany).

Game Courier Logs. View the logs of games played on Game Courier.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2023-01-30 UTC

It was using the wrong case for the promotion. It will now enter that move as N 7g-5j; +N-dest and work correctly.

ChessVA computer program
. Program for playing numerous Chess variants against your PC.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Aurelian Florea wrote on 2023-01-30 UTC

And because it was facing a difficult position white decided to go for a draw. Thanks Greg!

Greg Strong wrote on 2023-01-30 UTC

That's right. If white's last move was a chancellor, then it is a stalemate by either the old rules or the new rules.

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2023-01-30 UTC

White's previous move was by a chancellor from h8 to h10. That chancellor got captured. I now think I know what you mean, is what's the black joker's current power. The stalemate/checkmate status depends on that. And because the last moved white piece until white moves again is a chancellor that does not attack the king. We have a stalemate here.

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2023-01-30 UTC

No matter about my previous comment.

Greg Strong wrote on 2023-01-30 UTC

I have no idea what you mean

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2023-01-30 UTC

Agreed, but I'm not sure if it is a different stalemate.

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