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Ninth Century Indian Chess. Differs from Shatranj in the setup and the Elephant's move. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Smith wrote on Tue, Dec 16, 2008 06:19 AM UTC:
Well, Sam, I don't intend usually for my games to be played. I do for the sake of fun, not merely having fun in the process. I especially like having restrictions, such as a certain amount of spaces, as you can see from my 47-space games. When I create a game, I often create the board first. To me, the board is one of the most important catalysts for game ideas. For example, I have created a Jang Gi variant just from pondering upon a Fanorona board! Creating good games is merely a side effect to me, though I strive for playability.

Sam Trenholme wrote on Tue, Dec 16, 2008 06:10 AM UTC:
You know, looking at how this game has regional variants makes me realize that chess is like language. Like languages, there is a thriving conlang community. In other words, we chess variant inventors are like people who create constructed (artifical) languages; we spend a lot of time and effort making our variants, but, just as constructed languages have few or no speakers, constructed chess variants have few or no players.

Like languages, many people are most comfortable learning just one variant (normally, the standard 'FIDE'/'Mad Queen' variant), and mastering it. Like a language, learning to play a variant well is a lot of work that most chess players are not willing to invest time in doing.

The most popular Chess Variants are ones where we don't know who originally 'created' the variant; they just came in to being the way a natural language comes in to being, and ended up dominating the world for cultural reasons as much as for the quality of the variant itself.

So, yeah, inventing Chess variants is a fun, but is also, IMHO (in my humble opinion), ultimately pointless exercise.

Nuno Cruz wrote on Mon, Dec 15, 2008 11:05 PM UTC:
It seems that in India there was a bit of differences from one region to another. That is not surprising. Today we are living in a world that always want to 'standardize' things... but when there where now papers, TV, telephone or any means of communication but the spreaded word or the occasional manuscript, things tended to get local 'colors'. Chess was not different. Only with Islam it first appeared a standard version of chess (in the west of course..)

On the same page of Murray where this account is given it also appears the movement of the Burmese (or silver general) piece but referig to the Punjab in India. There is now doubt that it was the ancestor of the moves on this local varieties.

The quest for the discovery of the first version of chess is becoming so much more intriguing... and fascinating. :-)

📝John Ayer wrote on Thu, Jul 21, 2005 12:54 AM UTC:
I have been asked for the pawn-promotion rule. My only source, al-Adli as quoted by Murray, does not mention promotion. He describes the rules he found in India by comparing them with the rules he knew in Arabia, and as he makes no mention of pawn promotion, I can only guess that it was the same as in shatranj: a pawn reaching the last rank is promoted to firzan.

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