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The Chess Variant Pages

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Skica. 10x10 with Ski Pieces and Camels. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2022-10-05 UTC
satellite=skica files=10 ranks=10 promoZone=3 promoChoice=!P,Q1,SQ2,W3 graphicsDir=/graphics.dir/alfaeriePNG/ graphicsType=png squareSize=50 darkShade=#8FABC3 lightShade=#CBDFFF rimColor=#677B8C coordColor=#CBDFFF borders=0 firstRank=1 symmetry=mirror pawn:P:ifmnDfmWfceF:pawn:a3-j3 knight:N:N:knight:c2,h2 camel::::d1,g1 ski-bishop:SR:jB:cardinal1:c1,h1 bishop:B:B:bishop:d2,g2 ski-rook:SB:jR:chancellor1:a1,j1 rook:R:R:rook:b2,i2 wildebeest::NC::e1 ski-queen:SQ:jQ:falcon:f1 queen:Q:Q:queen:e2 king:K:KisO3:king:f2


An interesting variant. Ski-pieces are not used all that often in variants, and should definitely give it a unique flavor. I also like the fact that castling makes the King end up well in a corner despite the fact that the Rooks are not on the edge. I could not find the inverted pieces in the Alfaerie PNG set, so I improvised a bit for those in the Diagram. (Alternatives would have been the symbols for the hoppers, or the halflings (but there is no halfling Queen.)

Daniel Zacharias wrote on 2022-10-05 UTC

They do hop

Greg Strong wrote on 2022-10-04 UTC

They hop over the first square

Isis and Cam. Two variants based on ancient English universities and the rivers near them. (6x8, Cells: 48) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Kevin Pacey wrote on 2022-10-04 UTC

Cam (short for Cameron!?) Neely was a (male) Boston Bruins ice hockey player, too (though Gilman didn't know it, yes Cam can be a woman's name, also even short for the UK Queen Consort's name Camilla). The word chess also means a form of grass. Words can sometimes have way more than one meaning.

Ved Lakhlani wrote on 2022-10-04 UTC

Cam can be short for Camille, which is a woman's name.

Skica. 10x10 with Ski Pieces and Camels. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-10-04 UTC

Just to make sure about the moves of the Ski-XXX. Can they hop over the 1st square if it is occupied or not? For example, is the Ski-Bishop moving as Alfil-then-Bishop, A(A-B) or like Tamerlane Chess Talia which needs a first square empty, nA(A-B) ?

Sac Chess. (Updated!) Game with 60 pieces. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Ben Reiniger wrote on 2022-10-03 UTC

I've moved a couple of the last comments to a new thread: Setup graphics, piece sets

Tiger Chess. A large game with fast-moving pieces.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-10-02 UTC

I was looking for the GC page for Tiger Chess. It is not visible in the Alphabetical Index. To find it I had to go in the database of the logs. Maybe someone can add this GC page for Tiger Chess in the Alphabetical Index?

Gross Chess. A big variant with a small learning curve. (12x12, Cells: 144) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2022-10-01 UTC

Is it just subject threads or also comments I can't post?

Adam DeWitt wrote on 2022-09-30 UTC

Fergus, you might want to update your hyperlinks, especially the link to the GC preset page for this game. Right now, it is not working because the page was moved.

Suzumu Shogi. 16x16 variant based on Tenjiku Shogi. (16x16, Cells: 256) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Adam DeWitt wrote on 2022-09-30 UTC

After all the ups and downs over 3+ years and a much needed break, I can finally say with certainty that Suzumu Shogi is done. The main changes are as follows:

  • The initial setup is different compared to the version you played (you can delete that game if you want).
  • The Heavenly Tetrarch now has the Fire Demon's burning ability in addition to its original move.
  • The Fire Demon and Heavenly Tetrarch are now contagious to pieces that capture them directly, except for the Drunk Elephant, King, and Prince.

The GC preset is up to date. I am planning on removing the old GC piece sets and set groups and uploading new ones once I manage to make contact with Greg Strong and Ben Reiniger.

Daniel Zacharias wrote on 2022-09-29 UTC

I'm interested in this game. I never got very familiar with the previous version so I'm wondering, what exactly is different here, and why? Also, is the game courier preset up-to-date?

Adam DeWitt wrote on 2022-09-29 UTC

Suzumu Shogi is ready

Tridimensional Chess (Star Trek). Three-dimensional chess from Star Trek. (x7, Cells: 64) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jim Tinsmith wrote on 2022-09-27 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

The premise for tri dimensional chess set's presence on federation star ships was to teach three dimensional combat tactics, which is something the Bartmess and Meder rules patently fail to do, by blocking circumventing moves.
The rules presented here, on chess variants, are not complete and lack rules for castling but also advocate inverted attack boards, which, if nothing else, are highly impractical.
Not only were the World Tri Dimensional Chess Federation rules written by a fighter pilot, to teach three dimensional aerial combat, which is more in keeping with the original theme, they also start the king and queen in the centre files and provide the most reasonable method for castling, as the attached images demonstrate.

King's side castling
Tri dimensional chess kings side castling
Tri dimensional chess king's side castling
Queen's side castling
Tri dimensional chess queen's side castling
Tri dimensional chess queen's side castling

Courier-Spiel. 19th century variant of Courier Chess. (12x8, Cells: 96) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-09-26 UTC

It is a little detail, but I recently observed that the initials of this 19th German author, Albers, is not H.G. but H.C. It is H.C. Albers. The mistake comes from the title page of his book, Unterricht im Schachspiele which is written (as well as the full book) with Gothic script. There is no doubt, the C of H.C. is the same than the C. of Courierspiele.

I don't know who was the first to make that mistake, then it crawled in many places including my own books. Fortunately we can also find some sources which are correct now, like Georgi Markov's papers.

Wild Tamerlane Chess. A clash on a 11x11 board with pairs Queens and Eagles/Gryphons. (11x11, Cells: 121) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-09-26 UTC

Indeed, M for caMel. Another mnemotechnic is M with 2 humps like the camel.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2022-09-26 UTC

M because of caMel, like we have N because of kNight. In his upcoming book Jean-Louis indeed uses M and G for Camel and Eagle, in all his variants.

In variants as large as Terachess or Chu Shogi having 1-letter piece ID becomes a real challenge. For Tenjiku Shogi it becomes impossible. WinBoard uses 'dressed letters', like P' or P". Unlike 2-letter IDs this can also be used in FEN.

Greg Strong wrote on 2022-09-25 UTC

How should the pieces in this game be annotated? Eagle and Elephant both begin with 'E' and Camel and Cannon both begin with 'C'. The Game Courier preset has the eagle as 'G' (since it is usually called a Gryphon) and the camel as 'M' (don't know why). Is this what you would like for the "official" notations?

Sac Chess. (Updated!) Game with 60 pieces. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Greg Strong wrote on 2022-09-25 UTC

I like the abstract pieces a lot and I use them when playing Gross Chess. But the farther you go from the standard types, the less well I think it works. In this game, you have Dragon King, Dragon Horse, and Amazon, and I don't think the abstract pieces are particularly effective.

I am disappointed to hear that Fergus requested you to use his graphics. I think it's fair to say that, while they may be good, they are decidedly non-standard. I do not think it helps our cause, (encouraging Chess enthusiasts to explore Chess variants), to make things appear more alien. Personally, I consider the standard for this site to be the Alfaerie graphics. Each contributor can, of course, choose whatever they like to represent their game.

What I think would be nice is to have buttons over the graphic which switch all page graphics between the options. I think H.G. has done this on some of his pages, but I don't know how it works. If it is not hard to do, I may start updating pages. OTOH, an argument can be made that the main diagram should be one of his interactive diagrams. Personally, I prefer to put the interactive diagram down in the "Computer Play" section, as I have done here,  But that may be because of my own biases.  The way I have the "Setup" section on that page is how I like to do it, largely because that's how it has been done here for a very long time (although I added the Initial Setup FEN.)

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2022-09-25 UTC

Thanks Greg.

While I find abstract diagrams sometimes not the easiest on the eyes, Fergus requested I use such for the Sac Chess Rules page (it was my first submission). H.G. thought the Alfarie figurines were more easily recognizable, too, but Fergus stated he himself was biased (having created the abstract figurines himself, I suppose).

For what it's worth, I prefer using the abstract pieces when playing Gross Chess, as I find the Champion piece type more recognizable when as an abstract figurine than as the helmeted figurine of a Champion in Alfarie. Maybe a similar story for the Vaos and Cannons, too.

Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2022-09-25 UTC

I understand the logic of the diagram with abstract pieces, but for me it requests a supplementary mental effort to figure out which one is what. IMO it works fine with the 6 standard pieces, but in this case with all combinations it is an extreme, and not really needed, difficulty. I believe that adding a conventional diagram would help the recognition of this game. I have one ready that I can post or send.

Greg Strong wrote on 2022-09-24 UTC

I have updated the diagrams. In the abstract-all piece set, the code for the chancellor is 'RN' not 'MA'. Perhaps it was changed at some point, but that's not something that should happen, as it would break things.

Caïssa Britannia. British themed variant with Lions, Unicorns, Dragons, Anglican Bishops, and a royal Queen. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Greg Strong wrote on 2022-09-24 UTC

You can play this with the latest ChessV release candidate: ChessV 2.3 RC2

Just unzip and run the EXE.

David Haft wrote on 2022-09-24 UTC

The ZoG file doesn't seem to work, giving error 'The following bitmap couldn't be loaded: "images\boards\rwb10x10bmp" '

If you could advise on a fix, I'd love to play this

Avatar Chess. (Updated!) Game with avatars that can assume any piece of chess, depending on the fields of the board. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Kevin Pacey wrote on 2022-09-24 UTC

Testing the game first with actual play, say using a preset on this website's Game Courier, would give players and viewers much clearer ideas about how any complex strategies might unfold in typical games.

Because the game is not played on a board that uses plain graphics (like a chess board), you (or someone else) may need the help of a CVP site editor or the webmaster to get the graphics of the board onto this website, for subsequent use on Game Courier when you (or someone else) will go about making a preset.

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