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The Chess Variant Pages

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Game Reviews by Nasmichael Farris

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Dimension X. Chess on two planes - one with the usual chess pieces, the other with spooky trans-dimensional pieces with strange interactions. (8x8x2, Cells: 128) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Nasmichael Farris wrote on 2006-07-26 UTCGood ★★★★
Intriguing. It seems to be a very original game, with opportunities for novice and more masterful chess players. I look forward to seeing some finished games.

Shako. Cannons and elephants are added in variant on 10 by 10 board. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Nasmichael Farris wrote on 2006-07-26 UTCGood ★★★★
This game looks to be well thought out.  I am pleased to see the
re-unification of the game as it is perceived through both eastern and
western eyes.  Each stands to gain something from the other.
I am glad it was submitted to the 3rd Courier tournament.  Thanks also to
Hans B. for the translation from the French.

CCC - The Clash of Civilizations Chess. Missing description (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Nasmichael Farris wrote on 2006-04-05 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Awesome and innovative idea. Now, THAT is a battle I'd like to see!

Free Castling Rule. Less restrictive castling rules. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Nasmichael Farris wrote on 2005-09-07 UTCGood ★★★★
I am glad it is posted here.

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]
Nasmichael Farris wrote on 2005-01-18 UTCGood ★★★★
Intriguing. I have to try it. I am not sure how many opponents I can get to play over-the-board--but I will ask a good one. I am not too fond of the riders, but the fusion idea is pleasant. How do you (collectively) think it would play if the more advanced player (e.g., by more than 200 points) took standard FIDE pieces, and the novice took the Pocket Mutation pieces--or in another vein, that the more advanced player could only choose a more limited number of mutations, decided before gameplay begins.

Shogi. Missing description (9x9, Cells: 81) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Nasmichael Farris wrote on 2005-01-13 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Thanks for the information!  Manabu Terao, thank you also for the link.

I have never heard of the Invisible Ink Composition, the moves of which
for the shape of a letter or ideogram.  Wonderful idea.

That is one reason why investigation of chess variants is good for the
mind.  New ideas, different cultures, change of perspective.  Thank you.

Mamra Chess. Adds the Mamra, a piece that only Pawns may capture. (8x8, Cells: 66) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Nasmichael Farris wrote on 2005-01-01 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Intriguing idea, George. I have faced you on the board at in Gothic Chess, seen your ideas in the forums on the Royal Game. I also now get to appreciate your good board vision in this incarnation as well. Thank you for this contribution. In order to use this Mamra on the standard 8x8 board, maybe a variant rule could be added in OTB play so that it is dropped like the 'Pocket Knight' variant stylementioned onsite--that is to say, at some point in the game, the Mamra can be 'parachuted' into play, and moves proceed normally. The extra two squares are not a deterrent, though; I know that the king (or some other piece) can utilize the extra long diagonal (i1-b8 or b1-i8). Bishop or queen may take advantage of these, although it may discourage queenside castling. I would like to see some gamescores from some games.

Goldchess and Silverchess. Standard board and setup, but new moves for pieces. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Nasmichael Farris wrote on 2004-12-31 UTCGood ★★★★
Intriguing. How does it play as you have described it? Any gamescores you can share?

Many Rules in One Game. List chess and variants.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Nasmichael Farris wrote on 2004-12-10 UTCGood ★★★★
That your mind would allow such flexibility lets me know that you might be a great opponent for any of the variants!

Hostage Chess. Pieces taken are held hostage and can be exchanged against other pieces and then dropped. (8x8, Cells: 64) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Nasmichael Farris wrote on 2004-11-28 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I am very pleased this variant has been exposed here at wish that other sites were aware of and had provisions to play this very playable and entertaining (and difficult) variant. The possibilities for two players of varying strengths to have a challenging game together are strong, and (having tried the game out with players above, below, and around my strength in reference to our standard games) in any event, it is an exciting proposition. Kudos to John Leslie for the opportunity to create a bridge between eastern and western chess styles. In the 2005 Game Courier tournament, I would be excited to see this game offered as an option to play!

Superchess and Monarch. Booklet in English and Dutch and book in Dutch about large chess variants with fantasy pieces.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Nasmichael Farris wrote on 2004-11-18 UTCGood ★★★★
Are there any gamescores of some particularly interesting games from the tournaments available?

Primitive Chess. Short-range major pieces and no pawns, but a piece like an apprentice for each major piece. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Nasmichael Farris wrote on 2004-11-09 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I'd be interested in trying this game over-the-board.  Or correspondence.
In the process of learning the game and its development, I have many youth
who could benefit from being able to earn new power on the board so as to
learn to respect that power and use it wisely.

Recapitulative Chess. Variant where the Queen, Rook and Bishop have their older moves until promoted. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Nasmichael Farris wrote on 2004-11-09 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Impressive. This seems like it would catch the eye of many a chessfan/historian, and would be a good segway into history of culture, as gameplay is so important to a cultural understanding. (Big bag of chess pieces to carry around, though.) :o)

Avon. Four-player game; two players sharing the White and two the Black pieces. (8x10, Cells: 80) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Nasmichael Farris wrote on 2004-11-09 UTCGood ★★★★
It is good to see the contributions from a true chessfan and one who is ready to give an honest critique of the games invented and offered here. I enjoy the possibility of the game, and the division of powers given to the pieces in this style of gameplay. Thanks, Charles, for your participation.

Gadsden's Toroidal Chess. Edges of the board are considered to be adjacent. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Nasmichael Farris wrote on 2004-11-08 UTCGood ★★★★
Would a 10x10 board help lessen the cramped space?

Alice Chess. Classic Variant where pieces switch between two boards whenever they move. (8x8x2, Cells: 128) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Nasmichael Farris wrote on 2004-11-08 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
How many Alice Chess games have been played at the ChessVariants Courier Play by e-mail system? Any favorites from the players here? I would like to correct myself in terms of the knight tour for Alice--the bishops can move forward and backward past the 'goal square' -- like parallel parking a car- -- and thereby hit any square on both boards. But the knights are a bit more trouble mentally, to hit a square on either board. It seems like the piece, on a tour, having hit every other square in the tour once, could shift the pathway and set about coming back to the target mirror squares. If a note from George Jelliss at the website is used in reference to an algorithm for normal 64 square chessboards-- --'It is in fact possible to devise rules that will produce an exact tour, without deviation from the rule at any point, and without backtracking. In Chessics #22 (1985) I gave four examples of such 'Synthetic Tours'. They use Warnsdorff's rule ('Play the knight to a square where it commands the fewest squares not yet used') in conjunction with either the Obtuse rule ('Play the knight at as obtuse an angle as possible to the previous move - straight if possible') or the Acute rule ('Play the knight at as acute an angle as possible to the previous move'). The second rule either takes over when Warnsdorff's rule breaks down (I write these rules WO and WA), or the second rule is applied to the choice of moves suggested by the first rule (I write these rules W/O and W/A). The four combination rules all work if the tour is started a1-b3'-- then perhaps the idea could be extrapolated to the Alice boards. I have not yet done so today, but I aim to try. That would mean that the square is a WHOLE TOUR at most from that mirror square, and so would be useless for most short games, but something to consider. (Most games are so far much shorter than a corresponding 'FIDE Standard' game counterpart.) Or again, now that I am sitting still thinking about it, perhaps you are right. Again, thanks to all for their contributions.

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