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Caïssa Britannia. British themed variant with Lions, Unicorns, Dragons, Anglican Bishops, and a royal Queen. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Aurelian Florea wrote on 2020-11-14 UTC

@Fergus, For this game is perfect, the way you did it. I meant as an option. I see it better is 4 colors when I move knight riders. At least on a 12x12. That is it, and it is not possible anyway with the interactive diagram. It is possible with presets and tried a picture and liked it.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2020-11-14 UTC

and for myself in another how do I do it with 4 shades -yellow and silver not just silver with yellow at the same ranks as cherry and silver at the same ranks with dark blue- although I know Fergus does not consider this necessary

I consider it not just unnecessary but undesirable. I already tried Cavalier Chess with four colors back when I created it, and it was harder to make sense of than a three-color board. Besides that, this game's board uses the three colors of the British flag. Any fourth color would be arbitrary and make the board look less British.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2020-11-14 UTC

Extra shades is not a standard feature of the diagram, in the sense that it cannot be specified by a parameter in the Diagram definition, like startShade=.... can specify an alternative darkShade for making the diagram look nicer when it hasn't been used yet. The script does have an internal variable, though, that you can set by adding extra JavaScript on the page, like

      <script>oddShade = "#E04040";</script>

This would define an alternative startShade for the dark squares with odd coordinates.

There is no provision for an alternative lightShade.

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2020-11-14 UTC

HG, I still have not understood how you implemented the three shades or how I would implement 4 shades :)!

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2020-11-14 UTC

Found it. Thanks Kelvin!

KelvinFox wrote on 2020-11-14 UTC

It does have one in the comments

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2020-11-14 UTC

This game does not yet an interactive diagram, despite being a popular game here. @HG, Should I attempt one how do I write the shades function for this one (and for myself in another how do I do it with 4 shades -yellow and silver not just silver with yellow at the same ranks as cherry and silver at the same ranks with dark blue- although I know Fergus does not consider this necessary)?. Also for the Royal piece what should I do? I remember you guiding wdtr2 in something similar.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-11-16 UTC

Done, and I moved the ASCII diagram to the ALT text of the image.

Greg Strong wrote on 2019-11-16 UTC

The graphic diagram on this page is very small for some reason.  Don't think it was always that way.  I will fix in a few days if Fergus doesn't.

Calvin Daniels wrote on 2019-11-16 UTC

Love the rebuild of chess. It's less a variant and more a unique offering, like shogi as example.

I'd say two things surprised me. In changing almost every piece on the board was there any thought of a different approach to the pawn?

And, of more interest, doing something to save te knight from its 'pasted on feel', the only real disappointment with the game so far? It woul be rare that promotion to a knight would be a better option than a taken piece IMO so I doubt knights get much play.

Perhaps making them a 'Veteran Knight' knight/camel combined move would help.

Or, allowing promotion to a knight on 8 and 9 row, to anything captured in 10th. In that was a knight might be better option as it arrives to the fray earlier.

Just a couple of thoughts.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-02-03 UTC

Since a royal Queen cannot move through check, it can be checkmated in many of the same positions that would checkmate a King. For example, if a Rook or Bishop is checking it from more than one space away, it cannot capture the checking piece. If you replace it with a royal Chancellor, that piece now has up to 12 possible leaping moves, which is more than the royal Queen has. However, this is fewer than the royal piece in Cavalier Chess has, and checkmate is doable in that game. The main thing would be to design the army to complement the powers of the royal Chancellor. Extra diagonal pieces might be helpful, since it's going to be vulnerable to diagonal attacks. Maybe pieces with Camel or Zebra powers would be helpful too.

wdtr2 wrote on 2019-02-03 UTC
Reply to Kevin Fox's statement:

The Queen as a royal makes it harder to get it into checkmate IMO.  Making the chancellor royal would make it even harder to obtain checkmate.  Imagine the queen on rank 8, and 2 enemy rooks on rank 8 and 7.  The queen can attack the rook on rank 8, and the rook on rank 7 is acting as a barrier so that the queen must stay on rank 8.  If the rook on rank 8 is protected it is checkmate.  If we replace the queen with chancellor, the chancellor can escape with a horse movement to rank 6.  I think if you made the chancellor a royal, a lot of games would be drawn, due to lack of pieces to make a check, or the 50 move rule.  A royal chancellor has an improved ability to escape and move out of checkmate.


KelvinFox wrote on 2019-02-01 UTC

I wonder if German chess (with chancellor as the royal piece) would be a viable game

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-03-01 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

A fresh idea for a variant that at first made me wonder if the game was truly playable. The answer is a resounding yes!

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2017-08-18 UTC

Okay, that makes sense. In other words, a Queen cannot pass through check, because another piece could capture it while it is on the move, as it passes by so to speak, not just when it has reached its destination, and this is the same kind of thing that is happening when a Pawn is captured en passant.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2017-08-17 UTC

More generally 'en passant' (french for 'while passing') means that you capture a piece not on the square where it is, but on a square it passed through on the preceding move. In orthodox Chess Pawns can capture other Pawns en passant, and any piece can capture a King en passant (which, due to the rule that it is not legal to expose your King to capture, then means you cannot pass through check, and only applies to castling, as normal King moves never pass through anything).

In Caissa Britannia the royal piece does have normal moves that do pass through other squares.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2017-08-17 UTC

H. G., what do you mean by "the interpretation that the Royal Queen can be taken en passant by any other piece"? As I understand the term en passant, all it applies to in this game is one Pawn capturing another.

Daniel wrote on 2017-07-08 UTC

What if we use the Chu Shogi Lion?

magneton wrote on 2016-12-13 UTC

colour-switch bishop amazing idea what is its relative value if we changed it with colour-bound bishop in fide chess is same as rook or less  

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2016-10-08 UTC


I think the bishop is named anglican, not angelican!

H. G. Muller wrote on 2016-10-08 UTC
files=10 ranks=10 holdingsType=1 promoZone=1 maxPromote=1 promoChoice=N*D*B*R*L*Q*U royal=9 graphicsDir= whitePrefix=w blackPrefix=b graphicsType=png startShade=#4040E0 symmetry=mirror pawn::::a3-j3 knight:N::::10 dragon::DDAA::a1,j1 (anglican) bishop:B:BmW:bishop:d1,g1 prince consort::mQK:king:f1 rook::::b1,i1 lion::mQcpQ:cub:b2,i2 unicorn::BNN::c1,h1 royal Queen:Q:nQ:queen:e1

Caïssa Britannia

This very interesting variant contains some rather uncommon pieces, which made it a good candidate for the 'Diagram of the Week'.

Color coding of moves:

  • move or capture (sliding)
  • move or capture (jump)
  • non-capture only
  • capture only
  • moving into or passing through check

Passing through check

The most interesting aspect (and leading motive of the theme) here is of course the use of a powerful slider as royal piece. The brilliant idea of not allowing it to pass through check makes this work. Especially since you can pass through check to capture the opponent's royal. This fits with the interpretation that the Royal Queen can be taken en passant by any other piece, whenever she has made a multi-step move: if you use the multi-step move to capture the opponent's royal then you don't have to fear the e.p. retalliation, as the game is already finished.

This idea posed a challenge to the diagram, however, as originally this was made to display pseudo-legal moves. In this case that would be rather confusing. I could of course have switched it to displaying only fully legal moves, but this can sometimes be very confusing too, if you happen to click on a pinnend piece without realizing it, and only get to see part of the moves, those that stay on the pin ray.

So the solution I finally implemented is to keep showing pseudo-legal moves, except in the case of a royal. Then the diagram first calculates all pseudo-legal moves of the opponent (under the fiction that any target square would be occupied by a piece of us), and mark the thus attacked squares. Any move of our royal that would go to, or pass over such a marked square would then highlighted in gray. (Drag the Royal Queen to b6, and select it,to see what I mean.) Thus it still always shows you how the royal piece could move peudo-legally, but warns you about the passing through / into check. In orthodox Chess such a thing would only happen in the case of castling.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2016-07-22 UTC

T.R. Dawson didn't invent the leo. You must be confused with the grasshopper

Maybe I missed this comment earlier. I didn't confuse it with the Grasshopper. In A Guide to Fairy Chess, Anthony Dickins writes,

Now we meet a small family of pieces that must hop in order to capture over one man of either colour to any square beyond that man on the same line; but when not capturing, they move on their normal designated lines. The LEO moves like a Queen, the PAO moves like a Rook and the VAO moves like a Bishop. They were introduced by T. R. Dawson from Chinese Chess, probably before 1914. (p. 11)

Since the Leo and the Vao are not actually in Chinese Chess,  the assumption here is that he invented these pieces. If anyone has a reference to an earlier creation of the Leo, I would be happy to see it.

(zzo38) A. Black wrote on 2014-11-17 UTC
Then they have to change the name of the piece, I suppose; it doesn't need to result a new game. It could be called as a "British Rule", in such a case. (Alternatively, ignore a "British Rule" and don't change anything at all.)

Jenard Cabilao wrote on 2014-11-14 UTC
I wonder what will be of the game once the monarch becomes male. Will there be a new game in that case?

George Duke wrote on 2014-07-28 UTC
Scotland is represented heraldically by Unicorn, it says in the second sentence of Caissa Britannia rules.  Now Scotland may secede this September from United Kingdom,*, thus ending 300 years of union since Act of Settlement and 400 years since James VI of Scotland became James I of "Great Britain" after Elizabeth.

Scotia needs own CVs, and respectful to C. Britannia well-thought-out Rules, one can be subvariant of Caissa Britannia by taking the Unicorns with them and replacing with four Knights.  So "Caissa Scotia" is the same except not only new promotion exclusively to Knight, but also two Horses per side to start.

There is also Scottish Progressive Chess ( already existing.  Friedlander's form of Scottish is better, where each sequence ends early upon either Check or move to threatened square, White moving once then Black twice then White three times, and so on.  Scottish Progressive Caissa Britannia may yet save Uni(cor)n, not to have separate Scotland and England all over again. 

It appears too the most prolific CVer of all time Charles Gilman has nary Scottish-themed CV within his river and place series, although Scotland approaches 9% of United Kingdom in population and 33% land area.

[*High "undecided": http:]

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