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ChessVA computer program
. Program for playing numerous Chess variants against your PC.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Daniel Zacharias wrote on Sat, Feb 3 08:28 AM UTC in reply to François Houdebert from 07:55 AM:

You can run it with wine, or you can recompile it to fix that problem. It assumes the wrong path separator in some places.

François Houdebert wrote on Sat, Feb 3 07:55 AM UTC:

Does anyone know how to run chessV under linux ?

mono ./ChessV.exe

results in "Directory of piece set graphics could not be found"

Aurelian Florea wrote on Sun, Sep 3, 2023 05:56 AM UTC:

Greg is not here, but has anyone else managed to implement the R2thenBishop and the B2thenRook in chessV?

Aurelian Florea wrote on Wed, Aug 16, 2023 02:33 PM UTC in reply to Aurelian Florea from 12:56 PM:

No matter I solved it!

Aurelian Florea wrote on Wed, Aug 16, 2023 12:56 PM UTC in reply to Aurelian Florea from Thu May 18 07:05 AM:


Are you here?

Aurelian Florea wrote on Sun, Jun 25, 2023 05:01 PM UTC:

Hello Greg,

How would chessV will understand pieces like R2thenBishop or B2thenRook? What about ignoring the first few step of these like in the Tamerlane chess giraffe?

Gerd Degens wrote on Sun, Jun 4, 2023 02:47 PM UTC in reply to Michael Nelson from Thu Jun 1 06:06 PM:

@Greg: Could you imagine to map my variants 'Conquer' and 'Bull's eye' in your ChessV? I would be glad.

Michael Nelson wrote on Thu, Jun 1, 2023 06:06 PM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★

A much better player than Zillions. I notice that version 2.2 is scriptable, and the scripting language looks easier than Zillions' Lisp-based scripting language (which is a monumental pain in the a** to debug--all those nested parens). Does ChessV have a scripting reference? I'd love to see it rather than ask a thousand questions in this thread.

Aurelian Florea wrote on Thu, May 18, 2023 07:05 AM UTC:

Hi Greg,

In the latest version I have the FEN does not contain anything about the last piece moved. The AI does not know how to checkmate in KJK.

[EDIT] I don't think I have the last version!

Aurelian Florea wrote on Mon, May 15, 2023 02:20 PM UTC:

Hi Greg,

A while ago you have said that maybe you'll try to make two ai play on different threads, so that they'd play different parameters. A nice feature paired with that, would be the ability to force the set of parameters. Maybe some could still remain random, if they are hard to do.

Joe Joyce wrote on Thu, Mar 16, 2023 03:31 AM UTC:

Hi, Greg! Thanks again for putting some of my games in ChessV. I deeply appreciate it. Gilded Grand Shatranj was a spur of the moment design, over the course of some minutes, quite literally exactly as it appears on the Grand Shatranj rules page, and almost that fast. That's the only write-up of it that I recall. If I actually wrote up all the games I've done while here as separate game pages, I'd show twice as many as appear here, or more. Many of the games are part of a series or variants of a particular game and/or style. Truthfully, many of my games are designed to illustrate the ideas as simply and easily and most familiarly as possible.

📝Greg Strong wrote on Wed, Mar 15, 2023 01:42 AM UTC in reply to Fergus Duniho from Tue Mar 14 06:48 PM:

Thanks, Fergus. Been tied up by work as of late. Some of these have been pending description for a long time. Here's a quick summary:

  • Duplex Chess -- a new double-move variant that I've invented and need to document.  I wanted to make a balanced, double-move variant that wasn't too overwhelming.  This is managed in this game by the fact that no piece has a range more than 2, and the same piece cannot move on both of a player's moves ... with the exception of the King.  The King can move twice making him a viscous attacker.  (He can hit-and-run, unlike any other piece.)  But exposing him has risks, since if he falls, the game ends instantly.
  • Gilded Grand Shatranj -- this is definily a Joy Joyce original, but doesn't have it's own page.  The text on the Grand Shatranj you mention is probably the source.
  • New Zealand Chess -- From Pritchard's Encyclopedia of Chess Variants.  "Rook becomes Knight and N becomes R when capturing only.  R & P endings described as 'bewildering' (BCM Sep 1903)." Is all the info I have.
  • Nightrider Chess -- Also from Pritchard's Encyclopedia of Chess Variants.  V. R. Parton (1950s)
  • Odyssey -- This is mine, it's a complicated, ambitious invention that needs a page. 
  • Opti Chess -- This is a differnet capablanca-array with flexible castling.  Derek put it forward in comments probably close to 20 years ago now.  It turns out that this array works really well (in terms of most options for good openings.)
  • Relative Royalty Chess -- This is weird.  It grew from ICS's TwoKings variant, for which the rules were a random outcome of how ICS handled the presence of more than one king.  But "TwoKings" had problems (not surprising, since the rules were kinda random).  Relative Royalty Chess was an attempt to fix those issues.  I made it only because when first published, an enthusiastic user on Talk Chess loved TwoKings and wanted this.  I don't know if anyone plays it, or knows, or even cares.  Maybe it should go away.  But, if not, it should be documented.
  • Unicorn Grand Chess -- This is the Unicorn Great Chess pieces with a more Grand Chess setup.  (Pawns on the 3rd ranks, Rooks start connected on the 1st, pawns promote on the 7th by replacement under Grand Chess rules.)  This was my idea to adapt Uncorn Great in this way.  David ok'd the invention.  As much as I like Unicorn Great, I think this is even better.  Hasn't really been played here, but it has been built into ChessV for nearly 20 years.
  • Warochess -- This was emailed to me.  It was also submitted here, but if memory serves, it wasn't published on the basis that it was too close to other variants.
  • Wild Castle -- This is another thing to spring from ICS.  It's basically like FRC except there are only 18 setups.  (Rooks are always in the corner.)

🕸Fergus Duniho wrote on Tue, Mar 14, 2023 06:48 PM UTC:

Since Greg hasn't responded to my earlier question, I went ahead with adding a ChessV tag to games playable on ChessV.

Here are the games on ChessV I did not find a page for here:

  • Duplex Chess by Greg Strong
  • Gilded Grand Shatranj by Joe Joyce (This is briefly mentioned on the Grand Shatranj page, but the description is too brief, and the Game Courier preset it links to has no landing page, does not describe the rules, and is not programmed to enforce the rules.)
  • New Zealand Chess by Unknown
  • Nightrider Chess by V. R. Parton (maybe it's in one of his documents, but it doesn't have its own page.)
  • Odyssey by Greg Strong
  • Opti Chess by Derek Nalls
  • Relative Royalty Chess by various
  • Unicorn Grand Chess by David Paulowich and Greg Strong
  • Warochess by Eric Warolus
  • Wild Castle by Unknown

With this complete, I have edited the header to use the ChessV tag to tell whether a game is supported in ChessV, and I have removed the Chessv column from the Item table.

🕸Fergus Duniho wrote on Wed, Mar 1, 2023 10:27 PM UTC:

As a demo for how a ChessV tag could be used, I created and populated a Zillions OTB tag for games that come with Zillions-of-Games, and I added code to add an item to the Play menu for games that come with Zillions-of-Games.

🕸Fergus Duniho wrote on Wed, Mar 1, 2023 07:00 PM UTC:


It appears your site doesn't support https. An easy way to fix this is to use CloudFlare for your DNS, as this site does. I have a free CloudFlare account that lets me use flexible SSL/TLS for free without hosting any files on this site.

Also, do you think it would be better to use a ChessV tag for games supported by ChessV? I created a column in the Item table for you to mark games supported by ChessV, but you haven't been doing that. I just marked Cylindrical Chess as supported by ChessV, and now the Play menu lists it as playable on ChessV.

📝Greg Strong wrote on Fri, Feb 24, 2023 03:18 PM UTC in reply to Daniel Zacharias from Thu Feb 23 06:55 AM:

The "variation" setting should not result in it making bad moves. The "weakening" setting certainly can if you turn it up. Regarding endgames, when the material gets down to only a few pieces, ChessV can have difficulty determining how to close the deal. I need to post a new build - I have made some definite improvements in this area.

Aurelian Florea wrote on Fri, Feb 24, 2023 09:23 AM UTC in reply to Daniel Zacharias from Thu Feb 23 06:55 AM:

I have observed that, too. I think it because it chooses among positions that are already winning!

Daniel Zacharias wrote on Thu, Feb 23, 2023 06:55 AM UTC:

I've noticed ChessV making some obviously bad moves in endgames. Could that be due to the variation setting?

Aurelian Florea wrote on Tue, Feb 14, 2023 05:13 PM UTC in reply to Greg Strong from 05:09 PM:


📝Greg Strong wrote on Tue, Feb 14, 2023 05:09 PM UTC in reply to Aurelian Florea from 02:42 AM:

If you have at least one colorbound piece on each shade, there is a half pawn bonus. If you have two or more colorbound pieces on one shade with none on the other, there is a large penalty.

Aurelian Florea wrote on Tue, Feb 14, 2023 02:42 AM UTC in reply to Aurelian Florea from Mon Feb 13 12:58 PM:


Have you noticed my previous comment!

Aurelian Florea wrote on Mon, Feb 13, 2023 12:58 PM UTC in reply to Aurelian Florea from Thu Feb 2 04:26 PM:

@Greg, I have searched the source code and the documentation but I did not understood is the evaluation for the colourbound pieces pair is a bonus or a penalty. I need to know this in my bishops vs knights (for example) experiments.

Aurelian Florea wrote on Thu, Feb 2, 2023 04:26 PM UTC in reply to Greg Strong from 04:07 PM:

I'll look into it more deeply hopefully!

📝Greg Strong wrote on Thu, Feb 2, 2023 04:07 PM UTC in reply to Aurelian Florea from 03:44 PM:

Presumably, there was some reason that was not apparent. No way for me to say.

Aurelian Florea wrote on Thu, Feb 2, 2023 03:44 PM UTC in reply to Greg Strong from 03:39 PM:

I've seen a game where a pawn has promoted to joker and not to rook for no apparent reason. Any insight towards why?!

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