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Game Reviews by Tony Quintanilla

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Two Large Shatranj Variants. Missing description (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2015-05-20 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Great idea to explore short range moves, in the spirit of the ancient game!

Jetan Jeddara. Large Jetan variant, with new pieces. (16x12, Cells: 192) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2009-10-20 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
This is a great game and a lot of fun. The game is supposed to be played using multi-moves. I tried this with James. The game was very fun. Obviously it was not possible to precisely calculate the moves. Alternatively, one can play using single moves, which takes a long time because of the size of the board and number of pieces. The game has a lot of flavor and really appeals to the Martian theme, particularly using James' Game Courier graphics. This is a game for the adventuresome!

Atlantean Coffee House Shatranj. Grand Hexagonal Shatranj - the short-range project goes six-sided. (13x13, Cells: 127) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2009-10-20 UTCGood ★★★★
Sounds like a fun game. It's nice to see a hex game again. The pieces look powerful. Nice game.

Falcon Chess. Game on an 8x10 board with a new piece: The Falcon. (10x8, Cells: 80) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2007-07-17 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I agree that Falcon Chess is an excellent variant. The move of the Falcon is very interesting and provides for both strategic and tactical ideas. I have been playing a game with George and quite enjoy it (although I have not attended to my game recently!). I just wish that the Falcon piece could be used more frequently by other chess variant inventors (Switching Falcon Chess or Takeover Falcon Chess -- a 'takeover' Falcon, wow! -- anyone?).

TriMac HexChess. Hexagonal XiangQi. (Cells: 135) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2007-02-10 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Looks very interesting. The use of the board is innovative.

King's Reincarnation. Captured Kings return to the board, but at a price. 2 versions of play. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2006-09-25 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Very nice! Sounds like a lot of fun. I like the main variant, since it is more true to the basic idea. Also, a Queen-powered King would be awfully difficult to capture and would lead to draws, unless off-set by something, like an extreme promotion rule like the one in James Spratt's Imperial Chess. This is a kind of royal succession, with battle field promotion!

Atlantean Barroom Shatranj. Atlantean Barroom Shatranj Rules. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2006-05-01 UTCGood ★★★★
Sounds like fun (Priestess, swift like a horse, strength of an elephant?). Can a preset button or URL be added?

CCC - The Clash of Civilizations Chess. Missing description (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2006-04-06 UTCGood ★★★★
Interesting setup. 

It looks like you created a Game Courier preset for the setup diagram. 

It would be nice if you could add a preset button to your page? To do
this, copy the HTML form code for the preset button into your page HTML.
You can see to code at the bottom of the 'Editing a Preset' page, in a
window just above 'Available Pieces.'

Royal Amazon Chess. Queens are replaced by Royal Amazons. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2006-03-07 UTCGood ★★★★
This is a neat game. The idea of a Royal Amazon is intriguing in that it is both powerful and vulnerable. In the sample game I fell into the trap of capturing a seemingly exposed Rook, only to find my Amazon unable to escape without loosing the game. A word to the wise!

Caliph Qi and Tor Qi. Extension of Isis with compound colourbound pieces and overlapping royal-accessible areas. (6x9) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2006-03-07 UTCGood ★★★★
This sounds like it could be a fun game. It might be nice to try in Zillions or Game Courier.

Pretentious Chess. All Pieces can move as and demote to a Knight. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2006-03-07 UTCGood ★★★★
A Royal Knight is an interesting idea. The King has remained mostly unchanged because of the difficulty in checkmating a more powerful piece. However, a Royal Knight may be viable. Have you tested this?

Swap Chess. A move can consist of a series of pieces swapping places. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2006-01-03 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Joao, I would be interested in your comments on a question I have had for some time: did you consider the basic one-step swap which I described in Switching Chess? I described Switching Chess before I knew of Swap Chess or Balanced Swap Chess, however, I later found an applet by Ed Friedlander called Swap Chess 1 that is almost identical to Switching Chess and predated it, yet it is not attributed to you. I guess I am not sure about the originality of Switching Chess vis-a-vis Swap Chess.

Pocket Mutation Chess. Take one of your pieces off the board, maybe change it, keep it in reserve, and drop it on the board later. (8x8, Cells: 64) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2006-01-02 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Well deserved, Mike. Congratulations!

Storm the Ivory Tower. A Smess adaptation of Chinese Chess. (9x10, Cells: 90) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2005-12-19 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Very nice graphics, indeed. Perhaps both the Smess and the recolored options could be provided.

Giveaway Chess. Taking is obligatory; the first player that loses all his pieces wins. (8x8, Cells: 64) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2005-12-12 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Very nice use of Game Courier sample games!

Maka-Dai-Dai ShogiA game information page
. Historical ultra large Shogi variant.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2005-07-10 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Jean-Louis, I posted the link. I failed to add my name as the editor. However, you are the author of the original page! And a very good page, at that.

Salmon P. Chess. Huge three-dimensional game celebrating 10 years chess variant pages. (x10, Cells: 7500) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2005-05-07 UTCGood ★★★★
Wow is right. This game puts all other multi-dimentional games to shame! I have to admit I can't even wrap my mind around the rules, much less a game. But, what a game to admire, even if in a distant way. I reminds me of 'Magister Ludi'. What if someone created a musical instrument that played notes according to the moves made. One could then play by musical intuition rather than by brute calculation, which for this game proves completely inadequate -- at least for me.... The game is beautiful too in its sheer complexity, grandeur and geometry. As Greg says, I can't imagine AI that could play the game either, but someone might be able to program an instrument to play it. What a dream. The only reason I don't rate it excellent is because I can't imagine actually playing it, unless a dream came true.

Falcon Chess. Game on an 8x10 board with a new piece: The Falcon. (10x8, Cells: 80) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2005-03-02 UTCGood ★★★★
I have not yet played Falcon Chess, although I would like to. The idea of the Falcon, by itself, is good. It's a piece with interesting capabilities. The setup seems reasonable and, I am sure, has been well thought through and play tested. I can't agree with the 'poor' ratings, regardless of one's opinion of the pros- or cons- of patenting a chess: that's a different matter altogether, one which, unfortunately, has dominated these comment pages a bit too much -- in my opinion. In any case, its a good game and that is why I offered George the Game Courier preset -- to encourage play of this interesting chess.

Paloma Chess. Game with Royal Queen, promotable Kings, and an unusual array. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2005-02-14 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
First, thanks for naming this neat game for my daughter Paloma! She will be thrilled (as soon as she can play!). The feature that the Queen may not enter a square that is attacked and the starting setup should make this game very interesting. I have also posted a Game Courier preset for Paloma Chess.

Alice Chess. Classic Variant where pieces switch between two boards whenever they move. (8x8x2, Cells: 128) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2005-01-27 UTCGood ★★★★
It's true that Alice Chess can be confusing, but the rules are actually very simple. Any move must be legal on both boards and the pieces end their move on the other board. Its a bit of a mind bender, but not more so than 3-D or 3-D positional games, as George points out. This confusion, if you will, is actually thematic with the name. Alice keeps getting turned around. Nothing is what it seems. That's the fun of it. Playable? Yes, but the spirit of fun can't be forgotten. Blunders? Yes, but, hey, the Alice Knight kept falling off his horse, didn't he?

Jumping Chess. Pieces capture by jumping. Board has extra edge squares making it 10x10. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2005-01-23 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Well, I can't agree with the 'poor' rating. I played a couple of games of Jumping Chess with Peter. One of these is posted as a Game Courier Log and the other is posted as a Zillions Saved Game (See also). I enjoyed the games. I found that the jumping feature added an entirely new dimension to both capture and checkmate. The restricted outside ranks and files provided both opportunity and danger (which I found out the hard way). <p>As far as uniqueness, that does not determine whether a game is good or not. As far as the Knight's character being somehow degraded, I'm not sure I understand the logic there: all the pieces have different capture properties. As far as any 'veredict' from the number of Game Courier Logs, that does not say much, except for the most popular games, Shogi and Fisher Random Chess. Jumping Chess is No. 8 in the 2nd Game Courier Tournament Preference Poll -- not too bad; it'll probably enter. <p>Jumping Chess also inspired me to invent Takeover Chess, which also won a contest. Again, I don't claim any special chess prowess, however, I did enjoy the game very much. Isn't that the point?

Elephant Hunt. Ituri Forest Pygmi traditional game with chess-like elements. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2004-08-27 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I would like to share the following correspondance with Freederick.

On Sat, 21 Aug 2004 Tony Quintanilla wrote :
>...
>Very nice! How did you learn about this game?
>...

Thank you!

I learned about Elephant Hunt secondhand from a francophone friend of mine
in my college years, who had an interest in anthropology.  The notes in
Father Morceau's diary made much ado about the game being played on a
10x10 board; he theorized a lot about the Pygmies either borrowing the
game from a more advanced culture with a base-ten counting system, or
starting with a 5x5 field for the elephant (the Pygmies, it seems, use a
base-five system) from which the 10x10 board arose by subdivision.  All of
this is not germane to the rules of the game, and I don't remember it
well anyway.  The actual rules were given a skimpy and incomplete
treatment in the notes.  The author did mention that the Elephant moved on
the 5x5 field on which the 10x10 field for the Pygmies was 'overlaid by
halving', and that the Pygmies moved 'by hopping about, like our
chess-knight' but I personally doubt they actually made a Knight-move,
which is sort of abstract.  However, other possible alternatives (like D
and/or A) seem to me to be out of the question, as the Pygmies cannot
possibly win if colorbound.  Thus, not having other information, I
implemented them with a Knight-move, which makes for an interesting game. 
The Shaman (witch-doctor, IIRC, was the term employed) was described as
making 'double moves'.  I implemented this as W2F2; it could just as
well be t[NN], or perhaps the move of the Lion in Chu Shogi: t[KK].  These
variants also seem interesting and playable.  Unfortunately I have lost
contact with the friend who provided the information, and I have no idea
of other sources.

Sincerely yours
Freederick

Imperial Chess. Large variant with new pieces and victory by capture of royal pieces. (12x12, Cells: 144) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2004-07-22 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I've just completed a very nice <a href='http://play.chessvariants.com/pbm/play.php?game=Imperial+Chess&log=tony_quintanilla-whittlin-2004-193-062'>game</a> of Imperial Chess with the inventor. Its a very enjoyable game. <p>I think that there are two distinct aspects to this game. If one chooses, one could play the game the traditional way: one piece moves per turn. The normal way is to use the charge. Now James has also added 'rapid development' as well to speed up the moves prior to the charge. Note that once charges start, they can basically keep going until less than 6 pieces are available to attack in the end game. This makes this game basically a multi-move game, with the limitation that *only* one piece per file can be moved. <p>This is a very fast-paced way to play, fun, with a lot of surprizes and turns. Obviously, the strict calculation of moves and possibilities is near impossible. The large board and number of pieces makes the multi-move environment appropriate. <p>The moves of the pieces is very interesting, I find. While superficially they seem redundant, they are not. The key difference is whether orthogonal or diagonal moves are permitted; compare the Crossbowman and the Pikeman, for example. The Bishop and Rook (or Castle) add a Shogi-type feel to the game. The Catapult is an interesting longer distance piece that can come into play in closed positions. The Princess is a *very* interesting piece that does not capture but can promote -- unique, as far as I know. Capturing the entire Imperial family is not an easy task, but the multi-move environment makes this easier. <p>I should add that if you play the game on Game Courier using James' charming drawn figures and his map-type board (modeled after his hand-cast pieces and board) that this only adds to the fun!

Navia Dratp. An upcoming commercial chess variant with collectible, tradable pieces. (7x7, Cells: 49) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2004-07-03 UTCGood ★★★★
I think that what Matt is trying to argue for is: give the game a chance! Will it appeal to everyone, especially chess enthusiasts? No. Do collectible games (of which I too have partaken) have a 'down-side'? Yes. Does ND have some appealing features? Yes. Will it at least expose more people (kids) to chess and chess variants? Yes. So, let it be, and, in some way, support it. This page is a good idea.

Dreierschach A game information page
. 3-player hexagonal variant. (German Language)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2004-07-01 UTCGood ★★★★
Take a look at this interesting 3-player hexagonal variant on a German web site. Even if you don't read German, the diagrams should explain the game well. By the way, you can look at What's New in all languages at this <a href='/index/whatsnewalllang.php'>URL</a>.</p>

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