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Recognized Chess Variants. Index page listing the variants we feel are most significant. (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2005-12-10 UTC
It looks like we don't currently have a page describing Chu Shogi. All we have is a link page to another site. I'll add it to the list of candidates after it is better represented here.

Antoine Fourrière wrote on 2005-12-10 UTC
In case candidates are still added by proposition (and not only by making it to a Game Courier Tournament), I would suggest to add Berolina Chess. It is played on Brainking and the Berolina Pawn looks as natural as the Cardinal and the Marshall.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2006-02-07 UTC
Get in any nominations for recognized Chess variants. The next poll for a new one will last during the sign of Pisces, the last sign of winter.

Christine Bagley-Jones wrote on 2006-02-07 UTC
i have noticed, if you click on 'Recognized Chess Variants' on this page,
it takes you to a page where all the variants have a picture, and are
described etc etc.
now, with the game 'chaturanga for 4 players' there is this comment.

'Two player variants would be, in this theory, formed by unifying two
armies, replacing the second king by a different piece.'

i don't know who wrote this, but i don't think they have ever played the
game. First of all, this completely destroys the 'doublemate' game. It is
perfectly playable with 1 player taking 2 sides, and the other player
taking 2 sides, with all kings in the game. 
It would stop the fun of having one army mated, and that
player fighting to release from mate with their other army.
Secondly, how are you going to make it balanced, where are you going to
put exactly, the kings, you will have a 'king army' attacking a
'non-king' army and 'non-king' army attacking 'king-army' for one
player, (or whatever) while the 2nd player won't have the same.
it is a natural way of the game, that 'red' and 'yellow' are against
'black' and 'green', with red in bottom left hand corner, and red
moving first, game going clockwise. red naturally attacks black, (of
course can attack green, but the way the pieces are set, it is easier and
natural to attack black, mainly because of the pawns) black natural
attacks yellow, yellow attacks green and green attacks red, so this makes
the problem of just making 2 kings.
i think it must be total speculation, to say remove a king per side and
add another piece, i have played the game, with one vs one, each taking 2
sides, it plays perfectly. I have never seen anywhere written this idea.
it comes from a conditioned mind that chess is 1 vs 1, 1 king per side.
oh and btw, red should be lower left corner, yellow is top right.

Jared McComb wrote on 2006-02-08 UTC
I would like to nominate Yonin Shogi. It is a very capable (not to mention enjoyable) adaptation of the classic Shogi for four players, and its handling of check and mate is unique and opens up a strategic level not available in most other four-handed games.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2006-02-22 UTC
I won't be including Yonin Shogi in the next poll. Its page has been here for less than a year, and it was nominated by the author of its page. The review spoke only to its quality and not to its popularity, and given that I have never heard of it before, it might not be all that popular yet. I also don't think it has much of a chance of winning first place. As a multiplayer game, fewer people here will have the opportunity to play it, and no one will be able to play it on Game Courier. Aside from the historical Chaturanga for Four Players, there are no multiplayer variants among the recognized variants. I think the best way to handle the addition of one would be to (1) add multiplayer capability to Game Courier, (2) hold a tournament for the most popularly approved of multiplayer variants, then (3) let people vote on a multiplayer variant to be added to the recognized variants.

Jared McComb wrote on 2006-02-22 UTC
Whoops, I didn't think that I shouldn't nominate it because I made the
page.  I thought that I could do so because I didn't invent the game.

As for its popularity, it was made into a Super Famicom (Japanese SNES)
game (not many CVs are besides Chess and Shogi), although the rest of your
argument sort of makes this a moot point.

Anonymous wrote on 2006-03-04 UTCGood ★★★★
Possibly Makruk deserves recognition, especially after it was played (and acclaimed) by Vladimir Kramnik.

Derek Nalls wrote on 2006-03-30 UTC
The opening setups, piece moves and rules of the game are all well-explained. Many of us are so experienced at playing our favorite games, the relative piece values (where known and published) are at least, roughly obvious to us, consciously or subconsciously. However, this can be a maddening problem for newcomers- the difference between playing with a clear, tactical plan and playing blindly thru tactical chaos. For several games for which relative piece values are fairly well-established, they should be published upon their respective game pages. That is how Wikipedia does it!

Anonymous wrote on 2006-03-31 UTC
Minor correction to Mr. Nalls' comment: 'That is how people who use Wikipedia and take it upon themselves to edit the pages do it.'

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2006-06-08 UTC
Before I start the poll for this Spring's new recognized variant, let me ask if anyone has any further nominations. Please review any game you nominate. The brief comments made in favor of Makruk are not an adequate review.

Abdul-Rahman Sibahi wrote on 2006-09-14 UTC
Atomic Chess is popular, it is played in several live chess sites. I don't
see a reason wht it shouldn't be a recognized variant. There are even
websites about it. To name two :

and :

Stephen Stockman wrote on 2006-09-15 UTC
4-Way Chess isn't recognized either so I don't think it's that big of a deal, there's still lots of people who play it, and that's all that really matters anyway.

jim tupper wrote on 2006-09-15 UTC
i'm looking for an introductory game for a bright 6 year old.Los Alomos looks like a good simplification,but his attention span may be too short for it.would switching pawn positions be a reasonable acceleration ? any other 'teaching' games available?

Dan Kelly wrote on 2006-09-17 UTCGood ★★★★
Hi, is there a place for comments on the Janus Chess page? I can't seem to find any! Also will anyone want to play Janus Chess with me in email? Thanks!

Christine Bagley-Jones wrote on 2006-09-17 UTC

Andy Maxson wrote on 2007-02-03 UTCGood ★★★★
I think you should add maharajah and the sepoys to the the list of recognized variants

Mike wrote on 2009-02-17 UTC
I would like to recommend Makruk/Ouk Chatranj as a recognized variant.  It
has been around for centuries and is widely played in Thailand and
Cambodia.  It appears to have a similar popular status in Thailand as
Shogi does in Japan (media reports of professional games, etc.)  It is not
'obsolete,' but is still popular in some parts of the world.  If Xiangqi,
Shogi, and Janggi are recognized, I think Makruk should get a spot on the

A quick review: I don't have much time to write one, but I'll briefly
state that I find it a very subtle game with a lot of tactical plays and
nuances.  Although similar to Western/Orthodox Chess, the lack of the
powerful queen and bishops in this game provides the players with the
challenge of overcoming the wall of pawns (called bia) by tactical
manoeuvres perhaps even seemingly costly sacrifices.  The khon is a
particularly interesting piece -- it moves like the silver in Shogi, and
is generally slower than the knight (called ma), but in end game
situations it can be considerably more powerful due to its unique

Accordingly, I strongly recommend making Makruk/Ouk Chatranj a recognized
chess variant.

George Duke wrote on 2009-12-03 UTC
The last nominee in Recognized was 3.5 years ago, Crazyhouse. 91 of the 92 comments here were before 3 years ago. All things pass, fads or fancy. Recognized has about 40 pretty good games, but it's hard to play many more than that, even a whole community.

Bob Slevich wrote on 2010-10-07 UTC

I have seen an interesting variant, called though I can't find it anywhere
it is quite fun. All players are labeled on the bottom with numbers, each
unique. Every type of player is assigned a number of points it is worth,
pawns, 1, rooks 2, horses 3, bishops 4, and the king and queen are not
assigned any.
Each of the two players is given a certain number of points, perhaps five.
They then each have five cards of paper (same number as points), and
secretly 'choose' their enemy's players, writing their numbers of the
chosen players on their cards before the first piece is moved. A player may
choose to 'buy' five of their enemy's pawns, or their bishop and a pawn,
the horse and a rook, etc, to equal the amount of points they were given.
During the game the players can order their enemy's players to desert, or
refuse orders at any time, and they will then change color. Your opponent
must 'prove' he has 'bought' your player before game started by
presenting the card he wrote the number of that player on to you. You may
kill your own players on suspicion of treason, and you may kill your own
players to get out of a checkmate. This makes for an interesting game. Has
anyone else here played this? What is it called?

Anonymous wrote on 2010-10-07 UTC
Why Makruk is not recognized variant? In Thailand it's more popular than international chess.

Simon Jepps wrote on 2010-10-10 UTC
I asked the same question about Seirawan Chess. I'm sure since they've started tournaments and all sorts now that it should be listed.

Paul wrote on 2010-11-14 UTC
A favorite chess variant of mine that I've played on the Zillions of Games
software is called Alekhine Chess. Of all the chess variants that I played
on Zillions it's my favorite. You can read about it here;id=39

It has a non-standard board size of 8 x 14 squares and 3 non-standard
pieces. The rook/knight, bishop/knight and a queen/knight. All the other
chess pieces are used. If you wanted to play it on a standard 8 x 8 board
you could play a variant of this variant by just using one rook, knight,
bishop, bishop/knight, rook/knight and queen/knight and that way get in the
3 different pieces on a standard board. 

I recommend Alekhine Chess to anyone looking for an interesting chess
variant. May not be easy to find someone to play it with though you could
play it on the Zillions of Games software. Zillions came out years ago and
am not sure if it is compatible with Vista or Windows 7 but it is with XP
and earlier versions of Windows. Anyone looking for a way to play chess
variants against a computer might want to check out Zillions of games.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2010-11-14 UTC
I have tested Zillions of Games with Windows Vista and Windows 7, and it works with both.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2010-11-14 UTC
Fairy-Max should also not have any problems playing such a variant,if you configure it for it.

Superchess,as predefined in Fairy-Max, is sort of an implementation of this on an 8x8 board, where the orthodox pieces are randomly replaced by RN, BR, QN and KN.

dr_zied_haddad wrote on 2011-12-12 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Gives as usual good staff.
Continue providing us with new material.

Shi Ji wrote on 2012-04-04 UTC
I suggest Sittuyin the Burmese chess, Makruk the Thai chess, Shatar the Mongolian chess to be recognized as recognized chess variants. These are vintage games played by large group of people for centuries. The differences between them and chess or other historic variants are even more than that between Janggi and Xiangqi.

Power wrote on 2012-11-20 UTC
The grammar in "This game has been invented in 1899" is wrong (present perfect). It should be "This game was invented in 1899" (simple past).

Dongyeon Park wrote on 2012-12-10 UTC
I think Changgi (janggi) should be a Classic candidate,

Christine Bagley-Jones wrote on 2012-12-10 UTC

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-02-17 UTC

Are there still being nominations taken for new Recognized Variant(s)? If so, it appears the only way to submit a (mandatory) proper review of a nominated game is to give a rating of a game (must be 'Good' or 'Excellent') via a Comment on this webpage (rather than on the game's own webpage), and to include one's reasoning why the game in question should be a Recognized one (and in which category), rather than give a more normal type of review.

It seems that the idea of having a Recognized Variant of the month is long a thing of the past, unless there is a wish to revive the idea.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-02-17 UTC

Somehow Chaturanga is not given in any category on the index page for Recognized Variants, though I found it by clicking on the link to a list of all Recognized Variants.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-02-17 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I nominate Circular Chess to be a Recognized Variant of the Popular category.

My review begins with a quote from the CVP webpage for Circular Chess:

"In 1996, Dave Reynolds started the Circular Chess Society, and this (so far small but growing) Society had [its] first world championship in 1996."

I find this excellent game a challenge to play because one not only must consider each front of the battle, but how they might affect each other.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-02-17 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I nominate Janus Chess to be a Recognized Variant of the Popular category.

My review begins with a quote from the CVP webpage for this game:

"Several chess masters and grandmasters play this game, and have participated in Janus Chess tournaments, including Korchnoi."

I like that in this variant the minor pieces and Janus pieces often seem to all develop smoothly, nice for a 10x8 game.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-02-17 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I nominate Shatar to be a Recognized Variant of the Vintage category.

My review begins with a quote from the game's CVP webpage:

"Shatar was the variant of chess, played for many centuries in Mongolia, before it was replaced by FIDE chess by pressure of the former CCCP."

I find the restrictions on how one can perform a final series of checks in order to win, rather than merely draw, to give this variant an interesting and challenging twist.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-02-17 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I nominate Modern Shatranj to be a Recognized Variant of the Acclaimed category.

My review begins with a quote from the game's CVP webpage:

"[Modern Shatranj] is intermediate between Shatranj and Orthodox Chess."

With modern elephants (aka ferfils) replacing bishops, and generals (aka guards) replacing queens (plus pawns moving only always one step and promoting to general), the game otherwise plays as a kind of slower paced, but elegant, version of orthodox chess.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-02-17 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I nominate Eurasian Chess as a Recognized Variant of the Acclaimed category.

I begin my review with a quote from the game's CVP webpage:

"[The inventor] conceived of the game as a synthesis of European and Asian forms of Chess, predominantly FIDE Chess and Chinese Chess. But [the inventor] also incorporated elements from Grand Chess, another popular variant from Europe..."

I find this synthesis of other games and their elements to have produced a refreshing result. The cannon and vao pieces, along with the rules governing the kings and pawn promotions, can affect a game's tactics and strategy in interesting ways.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-02-17 UTC

Gads! Somehow I missed the following on the index page:

"Note: This [Recognized Chess Variants] is a defunct program that has been idle since 2006. It has been replaced by the Favorites page, which ranks the favorite games of our members."

In spite of that, somehow I like the idea of having a seperate program to isolate what is considered to be the cream of chess variants, by editorial staff plus CVP members. Too bad I stayed up late last night, if there's still no thought of reviving the program by editorial staff. :(

Greg Strong wrote on 2018-02-17 UTC

Although the Recognized Variants list hasn't been updated in a long time, I'm not sure that it couldn't be updated.  I agree with you that there is value in both this list and in the "Favorites."   I've actually been thinking about what is the best way to update this.  There are certainly at least a few games that should be added and possibly one or two that should be removed in my opinion.

All of the games you have nominated for addition seem reasonable to me.  I would also add Chu Shogi, as it has been played for, literally, hundreds of years, and is still played today.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-02-17 UTC

Hi Greg

I thought of nominating Chu Shogi, but I never finished playing the single (over-the-board) game I played against a friend once, so I felt unsure of it's merits as far as being a good game to play. I've never played a game of Shatar, but it's close enough to FIDE that I can grasp its merits. I also haven't played Makruk, but as the game's page states games are frequently drawn, I wasn't enthusiastic about rating the game even as high as "Good", though I'm sure it's a real thrill when someone does pull off a nice win. Other historic or regional games surely ought to be considered as Recognized Variant candidates, too.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-02-18 UTC

@ Greg:

I can suggest a way to re-open this program, if enough editorial staff are interested in doing so:

1) At the end of each month, a panel of editorial staff (plus a single willing expert in their opinion, such as H.G., added if necessary to make the panel an odd number if desired) will review all of that month's properly submitted nominations of games to become Recognized Variants to be added to the index page (similarly, perhaps nominations to consider changing a Recognized Variant's category, such as from Vintage to Classic, might be considered). Also, there could be a review of any properly submitted nominations of games that should be removed from said index page. Note that any member of the panel will recuse himself if one of his inventions is up for consideration;

2) After review individually by each member of the panel, the panel will discuss among itself, and then vote on, whether to accept (or remove) each of nominated games on (or from) the index page. I'd recommend, so that the index page doesn't change too quickly, that a vote must be unanamous to add or remove a game from the index page. However, a 2/3+ majority or simple majority might be preferred instead (up to editorial staff). Note that if a panel of an odd number cannot be composed in time, a tied vote could be considered as a vote to keep the status quo regarding a properly nominated game's status.


Aside from the above suggestion of mine, I'm wondering if the existing rules on how to properly submit a nomination of a game to be a Recognized Variant are adequate, or whether there should be an idea offered of what a review by a nominator should look like, e.g. minimum number of words.

Ben Reiniger wrote on 2018-02-19 UTC

I think the Recognized list is about as long as it should be: I'd like it to serve as a short list of games that somebody new to variants and this site would start with.

The Classic are unlikely to be touched any time soon.  The Vintage and Famous could be updated over time, but it should be a slow process (in particular, see the criteria for Vintage).  The Popular and Acclaimed lists, to me, have been superceded by the Favorites list and Game Courier's most played list.  However, in the spirit of keeping the page up to date, I wouldn't mind (1) dropping these lists in favor of links to Favorites and GC-MostPlayed or (2) updating the list(s) with panel-chosen games; in either case, I would advocate for keeping a historical recording of what games are removed or added and when (removed games should be thought of perhaps as good games that have gone out of vogue).

If this gets updated: I don't think there needs to be any word count or similarly mechanical requirement for proposals.  The proposal just needs to convince whoever is making the decisions that a game should be added.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-02-20 UTC

Hi Ben

Fwiw, I saw a comment under this subject thread, posted some years ago, to the effect that Korean Chess ought to be considered for upgrading to Classic status (one long time CVP contributer subsequently concurred).

A way to keep the number of Recognized Variants on the index page to a small number might be to set an arbitrary maximum number of them to be allowed on the index page, say 40, 50, or even as many as 100 (still a tiny fraction of the number of variants that can be found on this website), though I doubt this last figure will be reached for a long time, if ever, if future panels are as selective as may be called for.

The 'Popular Variants' category does have a series of criteria stated on the index page, which at least some future panel members could insist be satisfied as well as possible by a nominated game to the category. 'Acclaimed Variants' as a category could be more representative of the cream of them, as selected by a future panel.

To my mind, a Recognized Variants list is a suggested set of lists of categories of what are the cream of (in other words, the most distinguished) chess variants, which the GC Top 50 or Member Favourites lists don't necessarily claim to show (these other lists can be looked at by anyone looking for a second or third opinion, so to speak). 

H. G. Muller wrote on 2018-02-20 UTC

I think it is important to have a well-maintained list of 'recognized variants'. This is not the same as a 'favorite'. Variants can be important for historic reasons, such as Shatranj, which is an awful game by today's standards, but a 'must-know' for everyone whose curiosity goes beyond orthodox Chess.

Regional variants, played today by millions of people (such as Makruk and Jiangi) definitely belog in this list. And so does Chu Shogi: it is possible to play that 'life' (i.e. in real time, with clocks, rather than correspondence) on-line on a server dedicated for it. How many other variants can claim that? In addition it has been central in the development of Japanese Chess.

Greg Strong wrote on 2018-03-07 UTC

I think it is important to have a well-maintained list of 'recognized variants'. This is not the same as a 'favorite'.

I completely agree.  The "favorites" is a useful feature, and a great addition, but in my mind is something rather different than an official list of Recognized Variants, curated by the editoral staff, with the advice and concent of the members.  The favorites list is more point-in-time.  The number of participants of this website actively marking things as favorites is limited; the number of people who will go back and un-mark even moreso.  The "most popular on game courier" is also a great feature, but again something different.  I'm happy with the progress we are making in giving our users various metrics to help explore the universe of chess variants and cull out the hundreds of unremarked upon variants.  I have some ideas about how we can further that process as well.  But I think, for the forseeable future, the Recognized Variants list will still fill a unique role.  Although it has not been updated for a long time, looking at it now as an editor and chess variant enthusiast, I still think it's pretty darn good, and I don't think you'll find a better short-list of variants with which to explore this space anywhere.  To me, this demonstrates its utility.

In light of recent comments, though, there are a couple of omitions.  I didn't realise that neither Circular Chess nor Byzantine Chess were listed until Kevin Pacey mentioned it.  I had recently noticed Chu Shogi because of H. G. Muller's page submission and Game Courier activity, but never noticed that oversight before.  And Kevin also mentioned Janus Chess.  That is also an oversight as well.

There are, I'm sure, other games that could be included, and maybe some that should be removed.  But I don't think we're yet in the place for a formal process on this.  So, for now, I would propose that we add the following three items: Chu Shogi, in the Vintage category, and Circular Chess and Janus Chess in the Popular category.  If any member of the community feels that one of these additions is not justified, please reply.  Otherwise, in a week and a half, if no objection is raised, I will add them.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-03-07 UTC

In case it was missed, earlier I also mentioned that Chaturanga is already a Recognized Variant, but somehow it was not listed on the index page for Recognized Variants, so perhaps this might be changed too, unless somehow the omission was intentional.

Greg Strong wrote on 2018-03-07 UTC

That may have been intentional.  Turns out we don't actually know what the rules of Chaturanga were, and it's entirely possible that the rules were the same as Shatranj.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-03-18 UTC

@ Greg:

Has there been any objection or reason(s) to delay putting Chu Shogi, Circular Chess or Janus Chess on the CVP list of Recognized Chess Variants?

Greg Strong wrote on 2018-03-20 UTC

Having received no objections, Chu Shogi, Circular Chess, and Janus Chess have been added as Recognized Variants.  They have been added to this page, and flagged as Recognized in the database so they will be boldface in the index.  I notice that some of the pages for Recognized variants don't have the 'Recognized' banner at the top, so I'll work on taking care of that as well.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2018-03-21 UTC

I think Makruk also deserves to be recognized. More than a million people play it as their primry board game, and it is at least as different from orthodox Chess as Jiangi is from Xiangqi.

BTW, what about Kyoto Shogi? I don't know how popular that is (it seems an awful game to me, for humans), but I noticed that pieces for it are commercially sold in Japan. Which must seem worth something.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-03-21 UTC

Thanks Greg.

Besides the two variants H.G. just suggested, I've seen a number of other variants suggested to be recognized, as I quickly went back through all the comments over the years, so far within this thread. The number is reasonably small, so perhaps they are worth recapping (Fergus may have considered many, if not all, of these already, however):

1.Seirawan Chess; 2.Alekhine Chess (I think I might well not agree); 3.The Maharajah and The Sepoys; 4. 4-way chess; 5. Atomic Chess; 6. Yonin Shogi; 7.Sittuyin (Burmese Chess); 8.Rococo; 9.Carrera's Chess; 10.Makruk and 11.Kyoto Shogi (the two H.G. mentioned last post).

I also noticed that Fergus commented that he was going to remove (2 player) Chaturanga from the Recognized Chess Variants list - somehow it's still listed as such except for on the index page for Recognized Chess Variants.

Greg Strong wrote on 2018-03-21 UTC

Ok, sorry I didn't notice Makruk.  Obviously, as one of the most popular CVs in the world, that belongs here as well.  It has now been added.  I've also added Rococo to the Popular category.  This game has established its popularity here for well over a decade, and it was the most popular game on the Our Favorites list that wasn't recognized.  I remember reading that Pritchard was planning on including Rococo in the sequal to Encyclopedia of Chess Variants and was working with the editors on this (printing functionality added to Game Courier to make diagrams for the book maybe?  It was something like that.)

I've removed the 'recognized' database flag from Chaturanga so it won't be highlighted as recognized in the lists any more.  Thanks Kevin for pointing that out.

I'm not inclined to add anything else right now, although Eurasian and and possibly some of the other suggestions might well belong here.  We're currently at 45 games and I could see the list going up to 50 (a nice round number), but these are the first additions in twelve years and we've just added four, so no need to rush it.  I think we have corrected for the glaring omissions.  I am going to work on adding the Recognized logo to the tops of the approprate game pages and probably modifying the text on this page somewhat to reflect how it differs from the other popular game lists.

I think for future additions, while popularity on this site is great, evidence of significant popularity in the world at large is more important.  The Our Favorites and Game Courier Top 50 lists already provide insite into what is popular here. Another thing I'm going to do is flag some of the most popular games from these two lists in the database as 'primary' so that they also appear in the short list at the top of each alphabetical index page.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2018-03-22 UTC

I think 'recognized' should involve more than just being popular on CVP. I doubt that, say, Eurasian Chess is known outside this website at all. (But I could be wrong.) Atomic Chess does seem to be widely known, however. There are many servers where you can play that on line (e.g. ICC, FICS, LiChess). Variants like ThreeCheck and Horde also seem to be gaining popularity (e.g. on and LiChess).

I'm also somewhat surprised by the fact that we do list Janus Chess, and not Capablanca. I learned of Capablanca Chess long before I ever heard of Janus Chess. It is a bit of a problem, however, that there are many very similar 10x8 variants (Carrera, Bird, Embassy, Schoolbook, the unspeakable one), some not very notable, but others being the first, the best-known, the best playable, etc. Perhaps they should be grouped and listed as '10x8 Chess'.

I also wonder whether Tenjiku Shogi would deserve some mention. There do exist people playing this outside this website, although the community is not very large.

These are just suggestions to keep in mind; I don't feel very strongly on any of it.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-03-22 UTC

Fwiw, I felt more able to nominate Eurasian Chess and Modern Shatranj to the Acclaimed Category of Recognized Chess Variants as I saw that there were already precedents in that category for variants unknown or little known outside of CVP, as far as I know (namely Anti-King Chess II and Crazy 38s). These variants all seem to meet the stated criteria for nominees to the Acclaimed category that's on the index page, anyway.

Flagging Top 50 Game Courier List and Our Favorites (sp) variants as Primary Items in the main CVP alphabetical indicies is an interesting idea to attract attention to more games more frequently, and Eurasian Chess certainly would then become a Primary Item. As an inventor myself, I had some slim hope that one day a variant of mine might become an Acclaimed Variant, but just getting one flagged as a Primary Item is also nice too, promotionally speaking.

I also had thoughts of Capablanca Chess being nominated as a Recognized Variant (maybe I assumed it already was?). One thing I haven't noticed is if it is being promoted even a little, like Janus Chess is (e.g. some events with it played). As far as I know, Capablanca Chess never caught on the way Fischer Random Chess kind of did, speaking of another world chess champion's variant.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2018-03-23 UTC

IMO the 'acclaimed' section is the most dubious. It seems a legacy of the time from before we had 'favorites', and the need for its existence seems to have vanished now we have the latter.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-03-23 UTC

I sort of agree, except the Acclaimed category variants are ones selected by editor(s) (after being nominated), so there could be an argument the editor(s) are choosing 'quality' variants that may or may not have already made the Favorites list chosen just by CVP members, who might be less qualified to judge the worthiness of the variants in question.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2018-03-28 UTC

It seems we don't even have a Kyoto-Shogi page here. That is, there is a link page, with a defunct link.

Greg Strong wrote on 2018-03-28 UTC

Ok, I will make a page hopefully this weekend.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2018-03-28 UTC

I haven't been keeping up, and I just now read the new comments on this page from this year. I guess I can live with the three new additions that have been made to the list. I'm not sure of the antiquity of Janus Chess, as the page on it doesn't provide a source I can check out. Some things could be removed from the Acclaimed section. Some of the games that made it won design contests but have since been ignored. I'm particularly thinking of Crazy 38s and of Flip Chess and Flip Shogi. Magnetic Chess was highly acclaimed by Pritchard, and I believe the other three have been well-regarded on this site. Maybe this section could use some expansion to include other recent inventions. The Acclaimed category is a good one to keep, because it lets us single out very good games that are not getting a lot of attention in the press or on other websites. Regarding including Eurasian Chess, it is currently tied with Gross Chess as the most favorited of my games, and my personal opinion is that Gross Chess is the better game. Perhaps we could have another category or even expand the Acclaimed category to include the very favorite games of prolific inventors with some peer review over the selection. For example, an inventor could pick the favorite of his own games, and if enough of the editorial staff or other qualified peers approve, it could be added.

Greg Strong wrote on 2018-03-29 UTC

According to the wikipedia entry, Janus Chess was invented in 1978.  There is a reference to Prichard's Classified Encyclopedia of Chess Variants.  I assume that's the source for the date, because I don't know where else it would come from, but I can't confirm.  I have his Encyclopedia of Chess Variants, but not the Classfied one (sadly, as it is long out of print and is selling for about $175.)  Of the three that I added, I admit this one is less clear-cut than the other two which I considered glaring omissions.  I do know it has seen significant play on brainking.

Also, H.G. has a point that a Capablanca-like game belongs here also, given its long history (back to the 1600s) and the fact that it still spawns variants played today.  It's just difficult to say which game to list.  I'd say Capablanca Chess.  An argument could also be made for Carrera's since that is the original, but Capablanca's is better-known, was invented by one of the best Chess players of all time, and is still played today.

I think the Acclaimed category has merit also, although it is the least necessary and most subjective.  I like your suggestions, Fergus.  There are a couple games in there that should go and you picked the same ones I would.  I think Eurasian Chess may be better-known than Gross Chess, but I completely agree that Gross Chess is better.  It's a terrific game that I've played a lot and am playing right now.  I've been meaning to get around to writing a review.  Eurasian, on the other hand, I would rate "Good", but not "Excellent."  Although, personally, my favorite of your games is Kamakazi Mortal Shogi.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2018-03-29 UTC

I agree that Capablanca Chess would possibly be the best choice, as  fame probably should have higher weight than priority in the 'recognized' concept. I would not think it a crazy idea, though, to include the various 10x8 sub-variants as a group, perhaps under the name "Capablanca(-like) Chess". And then have it refer to a page that gives an overview of the various initial setups, with links to their articles, and mentioning the slight differences that might exist w.r.t. castling rules. (I think that Schoolbook has 'free castling', and Carrera no castling at all. And there also is Reihard Scharnagl's Capablanca Random Chess, which uses Fischer castling like Chess960.)

As a side note: My personal favorite from Fergus' games is Caissa Brittanica. But that is perhaps because I pay more attention to originality than to playability. And the idea to have a slider that cannot pass through check as a royal piece is very original, and seems to work quite well.

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2018-03-29 UTC


My favorite game of yours is Caissa Britania although is quite tactical for my taste but it always gives me an otherworldly sensation. I hope to get better as I am quite poor at it :)!

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2018-03-29 UTC

I see now HG agrees with me, so cheers to all of you :)!

John Lawson wrote on 2018-03-31 UTC


I have The Classified Encyclopedia of Chess Variants, so I looked it up.  There's not a lot of additional information.  It says Janus Chess was invented in 1978 by Rudolf Lauterbach and Werner Schoendorf, and originally marketed as Super-Chess.  The only references mentioned are, "Booklet Janus Schach, also photocopy of manufacturer's publicity material."

Greg Strong wrote on 2018-03-31 UTC

Excellent.  Thank you, John.  As Pritchard is an established authority on the historical chess variants, I think that establishes the historical providence of Janus Chess.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2018-03-31 UTC

Indeed it does. But it doesn't remove my feeling that 'Capablanca-like Chess', with a history that goes back to Pietro Carrera and backing of a World Champion is more deserving of the 'recognized' title. I would even go so far as to consider Carrera Chess, Bird Chess and Capablanca Chess each by themselves more 'recognized' than Janus Chess. Not that I want to propose to really do that. Because they are just too similar.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-03-31 UTC

Janus Chess at least is a slightly distinctive 10x8 variant from the rest, in that 2 archbishop piece types are used rather than 1 archbishop and 1 chancellor piece type, per side. Regarding all the 10x8 variants that use exactly the same armies per side as Capablanca Chess (but with differing setups), fwiw, I'd nominate just Capablanca Chess for Vintage category, as apparently it is by far the most famous of the bunch, and not bother (at least for now) with rest of the similar 10x8 gang. I could make a more formal nomination, if such were still required and nominations for Recognized Chess Variants are still open to being accepted at this time.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-03-31 UTC

Regarding my own invented games I've favourited (all the ones with presets, as it happens), Butterfly Chess has one more supporter (i.e. favourited by 3 total currently)  than Sac Chess, which I think is my best variant to date, and is the only one to have made Game Courier's Top 50 played List currently. The other two variants that have one other supporter than just me, currently, are Hannibal Chess and Frog Chess, which I also consider among my best four invented variants to date (not sure the last two have both existed for at least 1 year). Aside from that, I would think the requirement that an inventor cannot nominate his own games to be Recognized Chess Variants will still be in place, if and when more nominations are being accepted.

In my opinion, variants that are played a lot on Game Courier perhaps should receive at least a little more weight for being recognized etc. if in all the logs to date the inventor is not nearly always one of the players involved. I seem to recall George alluded to this sort of point in a post of his long ago.

If Fergus is looking for another category to add to Recognized Chess Variants, aside from keeping the Acclaimed category, perhaps a category "The Next Chess?" is an idea, that is one for variants which editor(s) speculate are so promising as to rival or even overtake chess' popularity as the top variant globally some day. This category might need to borrow some choice variants from those already placed in other categor(ies), though.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2018-03-31 UTC

I'm not yet sure what to call the new category I proposed, but "Next Chess" is not a good fit. This name presumes a certain design goal behind the variants, and my idea is simply to showcase the best works from prolific inventors. This could include games that some people think could contend for the next Chess, but it could also include games that just go off in a different direction than Chess. I was thinking of calling it a Masterpiece category, but that seems too presumptuous. Showpiece or Showcase might work better.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-03-31 UTC

Hard to sum up the category title you'd like, Fergus, if only one word is allowed to describe it. "Inventor's Choice" is two words (like "President's Choice" was once an advertising gimmick for a supermarket chain), if you're willing to allow that. Then there's just "Choice" as the variants category title. Other than that, your "Showcase" title idea may be the best fit.

If "The Next Chess?" won't work as a Recognized Chess Variant category in any way, perhaps a seperate new page for the concept might be an idea.

Greg Strong wrote on 2018-04-01 UTC

[EDIT: this was posted before I saw Kevin's reply]

I agree that "Next Chess" is a bad name for the reasons you enumerate.  Not to get too far off-track, but I do not even believe in the idea that there will ever be a "next chess."  Our society is becoming increasingly complicated and specialized.  There is only a "Chess" of such stature because it evolved in a different time.  Now there are thousands of chess variants, thousands of other types of board games (even if you only count commercial games), to say nothing of video games and virtual reality.  Very few kids play Chess anymore.  Even in China, where access to technology is more limited and people tend to be more traditional, I'm told that many fewer children are playing Xiangqi.

I like the idea of allowing our members an opportunity to have a Recognized variant.  I'm not even sure they would need to be "prolific" inventors.  Obviously there must be some criteria - everyone can't have a Recognized variant - but, as an example, I think Falcon Chess should definitely make the cut despite the fact that George Duke is not a prolific inventor.  Actually, I'm not sure the number of games invented should be particularly importnat.  As a counter-example, Charles Gilman is THE most prolific inventor, but his games are basically not played at all, not even by him.  I'm thinking something more like this: an inventor that can show that total play of all his or her games, put together, passes some threshold, gets to have a Recognized variant.  Also, I think the "Acclaimed" category is perfect for this - I see no need to create yet another category, provided we add the additional restriction that the invetor can pick his or her favorite game, but only from only those that have some demonstrated popularity.  No one should object to you picking Gross Chess, Eurasian Chess, or even a less popular game like KMS.  But if you wanted to pick, for example, Voidrider Chess, it would be much more of a stretch to call that game "Acclaimed."

To switch gears, I'm inclined to add Capablanca to the Vintage category.  Any objections?

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-04-01 UTC

Still off-topic (briefly, I hope) my chess club in Ottawa has a large proportion of junior players, as does Canada's National Chess Federation (the former perhaps due to a lot of local chess teachers and interested parents, the latter due to a policy perhaps more geared to youth chess for some time now). In both cases, there's a high proportion of Chinese and Russian kids, at least nationally going by the names. Maybe Canada bucks the trend though.

Chess is an established great game, not easy to overtake as yet. Herdlike, people generally want to play or do the one true classical thing that everyone else seems to, it seems. On a website I once visited chess variants only were played about 2% of the time for many years, half of that bughouse and a quarter of that crazyhouse. One thing chess has going for it over shogi is simply the pretty physical piece figurines, a form of instant advertising for the game that works all over the planet. It'll take a while before chess variant equipment spreads, if many manufactureres can be persuaded it's a winning bet.

If I had to pick a few 'Next Chess' candidates on the spur of the moment, there would be shogi (in spite of the physical pieces), or maybe even Crazyhouse, or Bughouse if 4 players desired, although I'd suspect these last two might be short-lived even if so, as good opening variations seem to be limited. Sticking my neck out more, maybe (10x10) Eurasian Chess has a future, or (in spite of the huge 12x12 board size) Gross Chess perhaps. Picking my own (10x10) Sac Chess may be immodest, but it's possible too. :)

H. G. Muller wrote on 2018-04-01 UTC

The way I see it is that the 'recognized' concept should mean "embraced by the World".  I don't think it is a good idea to 'pollute' that by maintaining a category that only requires the game to be appreciated on this website.

There might very well be room for distinguishing games that have some special merit according to the community on this website, in addition to the favorites (which have as only disadvantage that it is not very clear, and in practice probably quite inhomogeneous, by what aspect they are judged). But I would prefer that to be independent of the 'recognized' title.

E.g. we could have an 'Ground-Breaking' award for variants that incorporate some innovative idea that works especially well. I am thinking of multi-path pieces in Falcon Chess, the sliding royal in Caissa Brittanica, total asymmetry in Spartan Chess. Variants that stick out from the "different board size, differently moving sliders and leapers" crowd.

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2018-04-01 UTC

About the next chess part, maybe with good reason my 2 apothecaries seem to be rather forgotten, even if they were designed with that in mind. The good reason part stems from the fact that they are quite "crazy". And they probably have issues especially Apothecary 2. Anyway I don't see a reason to appreciate your own games. It is way subjective anyway. I obviously like my apothecaries quite a bit. I design them with my taste in mind whether I like it or not. I'm not sure why I'd comment on this besides the fact that I cannot se any reason. But for the plenty of math aficionados here please remember that via the Godel's incompleteness theorems mathematics teaches us that self-referential is at best ambiguous. I'm not saying inventors should not try to promote. They very much should. I do, too :)! On the other hand a most played here category is a very good idea and should overlap with everything else. Also maybe some balancing could be employed to compensate for game length because a tenjiku shogi game should worth more than say a chu shogi game and the later more than an omega chess game. This is all I have to say. Also of topic I really need to get to the rest of my apothecary series (check my personal information), because I had promised and got lazy. Thanks for listening guys :)!

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-04-01 UTC

At this point it might be worth recapping/revisiting something from the index page, in case we wish to revise it:

"What is a Recognized Variant?

When you come to this site, you will find hundreds of Chess variants to choose from. But with so many, how do you tell the dross from the gold? How can you be sure to find one that you'll really like? We began the Recognized Chess Variants section to help you find something you'll like without much fuss and bother. A recognized variant is one that we have selected, either by ballot or editorial decision, as one that is worth trying out, or at least worth knowing about. We don't guarantee that the recognized variants are the best of the best. You may well find that the games that become your favorites have never been recognized here. But what we can say of these selections is that they tend to be time-tested, popular, critically acclaimed, or at least of some significant interest. By starting with some of the games here, you are likely to find something that you really like; and once you begin to form your own preferences, it will be easier to decide what to try next."

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-04-02 UTC

I've just looked at all the chess variants currently in the Acclaimed category, and curiously all arguably to at least some small extent (i.e. the pawn rules for McCooey's Hexagonal Chess, in the most problematical case) might satisfy H.G.'s general description of what entrants to a Ground-Breaking category might be like (as well as the example variants that he suggested). Maybe in the past the editor(s) generally saw things his way when they made their selections, when it came to admitting variants into the Acclaimed category, as it is currently named.

I'd note that as far as the chess variants world goes, a lot of inventors and experts on chess variants, if not those who primarily just play variants, have at some time or another made their way to The Chess Variant Pages, which also generally seems to be a (if not The) major chess variant website for the whole world. Hence it might be argued that this website does more or less speak for the whole chess variants world. :)

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2018-04-02 UTC

There were originally no categories, and at some point, I organized them into categories. Most of the recognized variants were added before I did this.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-04-02 UTC

I like the category tier system for the Recognized Variants that you created, Fergus, although I'm not clear on why just (or at all) the 'Famous' category variants are presented in more (and individual) detail, nor am I clear on why it's considered a tier below Accaimed, in terms of prestige. I'd have the Famous above the Acclaimed variants, except if detailed treatment of Famous variants looked nicer for the list of Recognized Variants as a whole, if Famous variants was to be the last tier just due to that treatment being reserved only for it. I'm thinking of the part describing Famous variants that reads " may be more likely to find someone who already knows how to play the game...", which sounds to me like such variants actually are popular to some extent, if not time-tested as well, and these are given as the main measures of prestige for a given tier ("The main factors that differentiate the tiers are time-testedness and popularity.").

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2018-04-03 UTC

By famous, I actually mean merely famous. Some variants are famous for reasons other than popularity or quality. Shatranj was played for a long time without competition from better variants, and it is a seminal game in the history of Chess. Chaturanga for Four Players is a historic variant that some people have claimed is the original form of Chess. Tamerlane Chess is a well-known historic variant. Los Alamos Chess is notable for being the first Chess variant played by a computer, though this is due to Chess being too complicated for early computers, not to any special appeal of the game for human players. Dragonchess is widely known among D&D players, because it was created by the inventor of D&D and published in Dragon magazine, which many D&D players subscribed to, but I expect very few of them began playing the game. Star Trek Tridimensional Chess is widely known to Star Trek fans, and its unique design and the popularity of Star Trek have made it emblematic of Chess variants in general, yet very few people who know of the game actually play it. All-in-all, I think we could remove every game in this category from the Recognized variants list without taking away anything important from it.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-04-03 UTC

Except most or all of these Famous variants are more or less literally 'recognized' (by mere mention) by the whole chess variants world, I'd guess. At least Shatranj and Tamerlane Chess have been played on Game Courier many times, too. I also recall earlier H.G. specifically mentioned Shatranj as a must-know for those at all into CVs.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2018-04-03 UTC

I didn't start the Recognized variant list, and "Recognized" might be the wrong word to convey what is intended. In a broad sense, something is recognized if enough people would know what it is. In a narrower sense, something is recognized for having some particular quality. When awards are given for recognition of something, it isn't simply for being widely known. It might be appropriate to replace the Recognized variants with Recommended variants if the word "recognized" is causing confusion.

Testing ability to update comment after modifying code.

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2018-04-03 UTC

For what is worth I agree witt the term recomended Fergus.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2018-04-03 UTC

I don't think the term 'recognized' could cause any confusion, and I don;t think it is a good idea to change it. Certainly not into 'recommended'. I would never recommend Shatranj...

Greg Strong wrote on 2018-04-03 UTC

I personally do not think changing the name would be an improvement.  These are not variants recognized by the world at large, they are variants called out for recognition by us - the CVP community.  I never found that to be unclear, but the text of this page needs to be updated anyway, so it could certainly be made clear.  And even if "Recommended" was considered slightly better, I still wouldn't be in favor of the change because (A) it has been the 'Recognized' variants page for probably 20 years and (B) it would be a significant amount of work to make the change - editing the HTML of dozens of game pages plus tracking down all the places in the PHP code where items with the Recognized flag triggers display of the 'Recognized' text.  And we'd either need to change the name of the column in the SQL table, and deal with all the ramificaitons of that, or else live with that discontinuity probably forever.

I am certainly in favor of some changes to the game list, and soon I will weigh in a little more on the ideas posted recently.  But if we are going to put in significant effort, I think there are other things on the site where our time could be better spent.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2018-04-04 UTC

I don't think the term 'recognized' could cause any confusion

We should not make any such assumption until we look at how people understand the term.

Kevin Pacey has said, "most or all of these Famous variants are more or less literally 'recognized' (by mere mention) by the whole chess variants world."

You have said, "The way I see it is that the 'recognized' concept should mean 'embraced by the World.'"

Greg Strong has said, "These are not variants recognized by the world at large, they are variants called out for recognition by us - the CVP community."

I have said on this page, "A recognized variant is one that we have selected, either by ballot or editorial decision, as one that is worth trying out, or at least worth knowing about."

Since these do not all express the same understanding of what is meant, it appears that someone is confused.

and I don;t think it is a good idea to change it. Certainly not into 'recommended'. I would never recommend Shatranj...

In case you missed it, I was recommending removing Shatranj from the list. As long as we do that, Shatranj wouldn't continue to be an objection to renaming Recognized variants to the less confusing Recommended variants.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2018-04-04 UTC

Because he says 'literally' I don't think there was any confusion in Kevin's mind that 'recognized' in the context we use it doe not mean 'they know what it is when the see it'.

It seems to me that 'recommended' would just duplicate the functionality of 'favorites'.

Greg Strong wrote on 2018-04-04 UTC

I think my quote and your quote are 100% compatible.  H.G.'s quote concerns what he feels the page should be, not what it is.  And Kevin's quote was a single sentense from is assertion that the Famous category should be ranked above the Acclaimed category.  I don't think it sums up Kevin's understanding of this page given all he has written on the subject.  So I don't think you've demonstrated any confusion, although there still could be.

And I'm fine with axing the Famous category.  Shatranj is the only one I would be hesitant to lose, but perhaps we could make a new page for historically noteworthy variants, such as Shatranj and Tamerlane.  Heck, I think we could move Courier Chess off the Recognized page and onto that page as well.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2018-04-04 UTC

Now that I've attempted to play Courier Chess, I am definitely in favor of removing it. It is just about the worst, most boring variant I have ever played. Some of the historic variants have already been mentioned on The History of Chess Variants page. This page will probably do for listing historically noteworthy variants, and historically noteworthy games that haven't been mentioned on it yet might be added.

Greg Strong wrote on 2018-04-04 UTC

Yeah, Courier Chess is pretty awful.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2018-04-04 UTC

Well, my stance from the beginning is that there is room, next to the favorites, for a listing of variants that now or at some earlier point in history have been successful, widely known and influential. Shatranj and Courier definitely belong on such a list, no matter how boring they are to play.

Another listing (next to the favorites) of variants the community on this website recommends for playing, seems redundant. If that is the idea of this 'recognized' title, than Fergus' original assessment that this is an obsolete program, not worth reviving, would hit the nail spot on.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-04-04 UTC

The title sentence for the index page may reveal what the (original?) editor(s) felt most clearly summed up what "Recognized" Chess Variants were meant to be:

Index page listing the variants we feel are most significant

As far as what the word 'significant' means, there may be more room for flexibility, e.g. to include the various possible definitions of what the word 'recognized' means as far as the variants chosen to be listed. Courier Chess, Tamerlane Chess and Shatranj certainly seem 'significant', and are historical variants besides, even if not always recommendable to be played. Perhaps 'Most (or Very) Significant Chess Variants' would be the best title of all, though the practical drawbacks of making such a change have been pointed out by Greg.

I'm fine with the program of having contests for recognized variant of the month staying obsolete, since keeping that up may have taken a lot of effort. Making occasional (if not monthly) amendments to the 'Recognized Chess Variants' list, on the other hand, would seem to take far less effort on the part of editor(s) - I'd prefer a panel do it, but so far just one editor (Greg) seems to have handled some amendments to the list without generating much fuss about the actual changes made.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2018-04-04 UTC

Well, what was written was written before the 'favorites' concept had been implemented. And now that the latter has been implemented, what was written might not make much sense anymore. We definitely don't need a second program that does in a less transparent way what we already have in the 'favorites'.

That being said, 'significant' is indeed something different from 'recommended'. Since all forms of Chess are thought to be drived from Shatranj, I would think that Shatranj is the most significant of all. Just like the Australopithicus is a very significant hominid, even though I would not want to be married to one.

Furthermore, "what people on this site consider significant" is not at all the same as "what people consider significant on this site". That anything posted here reflects what we feel should be self-evident: we are the ones posting it.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-04-04 UTC

I'd suggest again that it may be important that the Recognized Chess Variants list choices are screened by knowlegable editor(s), while the favorites list choices are not. That could make for an important difference in quality between the two lists, unless it can be argued that CVP members collectively know what makes a significant variant at least as well as editor(s). The Favorites list at the least might serve those looking for yet another opinion, perhaps as given mainly by those who primary play variants, so that list seems to have a right to exist, too.

P.S.: You could do worse than marrying an Australopithicus. :)

H. G. Muller wrote on 2018-04-05 UTC

Well, I would say that editors who claim a game is great for playing while almost no one on this site wants to play it, are just plain wrong, rather than 'more knowledgeable'. It seems to me that a distinction 'only CVP editors like this' is not useful to anyone except the editors, and isn't really worth publishing.

To provide any added value for the general reader, the criteria according to which the variants in the list have been judged must officially be different.

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2018-04-05 UTC

I remember a while ago, maybe two weeks, having seen a list with how many times each game has been played, but now I'm not sure where. That one is an interesting one to mention. Anyone know where to find it? Even there there are some factors as larger board games are normal to be played rarer as they take more time to complete. But if we take this into acoount is a very good list :)!

bukovski wrote on 2018-04-05 UTC

@Fergus Duniho and @Greg Strong: Does your evaluation of Courier Chess include the 19th-century Kurierspiel described here on CVP?

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-04-05 UTC

@ H.G.:

The criteria CVP members use to choose their favourites on the CVP Favorites List is unknowable, especially given that more than one person is doing the selecting. Presumably a game is selected more often than not due to being enjoyable to play for that person, though some games on the list do not have Game Courier presets yet, I would note. I recall at one point (as now) the recommended (official!?) criteria for choosing a favourite variant was to select just a variant you actually play, but in practice it seemed to me CVP members didn't always follow that criteria.

Hence naturally any criteria Recognized Chess Variants officially ever uses would not ever knowably be always 'different' from that of the Favorites List (at least unofficially, or as far as CVP members are concerned), if you happened to think of 'different' in that sense. If as I think you may have meant (too or instead) by 'different', the criteria for Recognized Chess Variants officially should be changed, or at least be made more clear, yes I think we're all trying to help the editors decide on that issue with our discussions here, unless some of us have decisively given up on the idea of this list as useless. I'd note that though editor(s) made the final screening, CVP members originally nominated by ballot (maybe later sometimes by a formal nomination process) at least some of the variant(s) to be Recognized (I don't know how frequently members gave input though, e.g. in the case of something merely significant rather than enjoyable, like Shatranj).

I would note that at least Fergus' stated criteria for each Recognized Chess Variant 'Category' seem clear-cut enough, in most if not all cases. However, the original list of Recognized Chess Variants was not organized into categories this way, and as far as I know the re-organizing of a lot of the (earlier) admitted Recognized Chess Variants into these Categories (along with deciding that they met the stated criteria of the categories they were placed in) was done solely by Fergus.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-04-05 UTC

Fwiw, I personally haven't found Courier Chess always too boring to enjoy playing it, though I'm only in the middle of playing my second game of it now. The webpage for this game points out it was vogue in a region of Germany for many years (longer than the arguably more exciting Courier-Spiel was), so that may count for something, given that it wasn't too many centuries ago. Somewhere I read that the slower pace of the game may have appealed to more women in its day than faster-paced variant(s) that came later, too.

[edit: Note: I've edited my previous post in this thread a bit.]

H. G. Muller wrote on 2018-04-06 UTC

I think Courier Chess became popular in the time that Shatranj was the dominant form of Chess. And I don't think it is more boring that Shatranj; the Commoner and Bishop are more interesting pieces than the Ferz and Alfil. In addition, the promotion rules seem to be completely unknown, and we just assume it was the same as in Shatranj. Which is about the most boring promotion rule you can imagine. If promotion was to Commoner, or to the piece starting in the file (not unheard of: Grant Acedrex had that rule), it would make the game far more interesting. And another plausible rule is promotion to any captured piece.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-04-10 UTC

@ Greg:

About 10 days ago you posted you were thinking of adding Capablanca Chess to the Vintage category of Recognized Chess Variants. Has there been any objection to that specifically, and, if not, is the addition to be soon?

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