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Ramayana Chess. Chess variant inspired by the Ramayana epic. (Cells: 84) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
(zzo38) A. Black wrote on 2013-12-27 UTC

You didn't mention notations of pieces which aren't starting on the board. I can make up a suggestion (if you don't like it, make up the new one):

  • X = Buddha
  • J = Maharajah

A variant which may be possible if you want to add slightly some more Buddha, would be: If the Untouchable piece that has never captured anyone reaches the final row, it is also promoted to the Buddha. I would expect such a thing is also unlikely, but maybe it isn't unlikely enough.

I also noticed, this is the kind of game that the other pieces does not block your way.

There seem to be the possibility to move the Rakshasa next to a royal piece both in where it comes from and where it is moving into, and can keep to continue from there one or other player. If you don't like this, the variant can be done, that it is not allow to make a move of a Rakshasa ending up adjacent to a royal piece (of either color) if no pieces are removed from board as the result (pieces are removed either by capturing, or by the Rakshssa's requirement to remove the piece near it that allows it to move).

George Duke wrote on 2010-08-09 UTC
Devapala, that's a Camel, not a Giraffe, so the piece can negotiate the Archipelago. Charles Gilman asks that too in the first comment here seven years ago! I am sure Camel is the intent as well the optimization. And Yavana is intended Camel and Wazir. My earlier comment reference to Giraffe is sidetracked by topic of board symmetry, which discussion was including several threads, unusually so seeming out of context, in which Ramayana only figured. This now corrects March 2009 comment's error, as types board symmetry would hardly bear on whether the piece-type is Camel or Giraffe. Campos' perfectly good serious CV, Ramayana, must have Devapala as Camel. For example, move sequence by starting Devapala at a8, as a8-d9-c6-f5-i4-h1-i4-l5-m8-p9. Also convincing is that in compounds all the other regulars are there: Knight, Wazir, Ferz, Alfil, and Dabbabah. Although 84 squares, the board is thought of as 11x16.

Daniil Frolov wrote on 2010-08-09 UTC
I wanted to make preset for this, but seious question about it's rules is not answered: girrafe is (1,3) leaper here, but (1,3) leaper is usually called camel, while girrafe is (1,4) leaper! Where is mistake?

George Duke wrote on 2009-03-13 UTC
Besides Bell's preceding Campos' Ramayana by days with Cube Chess and Infinite Ring and Odalisque(Obelisque) all three as elongated 16x4, and Betza's follow-up 16x4 2x2x16 Race Chess, of course H.J.R. Murray documents around page 340 Oblong Chess as 16x4 one millennium ago. For some reason all the modern ones appear within days 2002-2003. Source: 'History of Chess' 1913.

George Duke wrote on 2009-03-09 UTC
Thanks, Charles, we'll re-look at those. I am assuming Campos means Giraffe for reasons that will become clear. Any board size has it factors, prime and non-prime. If you want a board of 77 squares, you're stuck with 7x11 and 77x1. 7x11 is about right, but ''1-Dim'' (as termed in the field of CVart) 77x1 is high and narrow. Ramayana(2002) is just about the first to solve the problem by innovative outliers. Incidentally, Luiz Carlos Campos and myself are in minority giving rank first then file rather than more conventional x first and y in two axes. Either way, horizontal or vertical first, the context well clarifies the meaning. Now outlier squares after Ramayana warrant board of 8x8 squares and distribution of 13 more symmetrically after some fashion. For 77, try an Omega-Chess-style triple corner at each of the four corners, like Falcon Chess 100 does in wrap-arounds of a1, a8, h1, and h8: we call them there y0, y1, y8, y9, a0, a9, h0, h9, z0, z1, z8, z9. That's (12 squares) + 64 = 76, and now one more as multiple occupancy super-square over, beneath, or through central d4, d5, e4, e5 covering all four of them at once. That does it. 64 + 12 +1 = 77. Symmetry, even for 77, thanks to outliers Ramayana-like. Think of possibilities that any board size whatsoever is attainable and representable. Instead, subverting rotational symmetry that we expect in boards, Ramayana elects outlier squares confined to Yellow's right (to be continued), still exhibiting reflection (bilateral) symmetry rotated pi/2 radians, since the whole board is mirror-symmetric about the line midway between the Untouchables.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2009-03-08 UTC
George Duke's interest in this variant has drawn my attention to it again.

He is quite right that my piece cataloguing has moved on considerably since my last comments, and I now have variants using the pieces mentioned. The Guru and Sadhu are indeed described in Man and Beast 03: From Ungulates Outward, and the Guru is used in one army each on pages 2 and 6 of my Armies of Faith series. The Sahib, Memsahib, and Nabob are described in Man and Beast 11: Long-nosed Generals, and are demotees on page 5 of Armies of Faith.

I notice that Luiz Carlos Campos has yet to clarify the Camel/Giraffe ambiguity - or correct his Brahmin description.

George Duke wrote on 2009-03-05 UTC
Buddha's Board. Ramayana(year 2002) is four-wide and unsymmetrical board slopes 90 degrees for visibility of course. Yellow plays left to right. There is no reward for entry to Archipelago except insofar as facilitating checkmate. Evil brilliant bad-Karma Rakshasa, when moved in lieu of a turn, means no take-backs or double-move. On your turn, evil Rakshasa figures against you, and when you move, demon Rakshasa or otherwise, he/she(Rakshasi) inures to your benefit consummating. BUDDHA is the one possible promotee and does not appear in the beginning. Are the compounds inclusive? Or giving the sense of inclusivity in the Ramayana context. FAD, DAN, (FN + Giraffe), (W + Giraffe), WD, FN, NA. Giraffe colour-switches and leaps 1 and 4 to opposite corner of 2 by 5 set of squares. It is worthwhile to think about the partial boards in the Indic Ocean and how they relate to the (transportable) arrival squares above -- apparently at first two disparate phenomena with Separate Realities.

George Duke wrote on 2009-02-27 UTC
So there is the three-way correspondence: Buddha : Rook = Bison : Falcon = Rakshasa : Bishop. What about Knight? Buddha : Rook = Knight : (Mao+Moa). Why do we prefer by far the left term only in case of Knight? The answer has several parts for follow-up and has to do with the Pawns. Staying with the artistic CV for now, the main Ramayana board is 64 squares. In earlier Melee and later Ender's, whoever occupies the opposite one-square castle or gate wins, but Ramayana provides only for strengthening Rajah to (Alfil plus King) there instead, and has usual checkmate (Melee too has its capture-mate alternate win condition). Can Rajah get to the Archipelago to escape trouble? Only once promoted and that by way of his Alfil jump once acquired. Same for the other seven -- without having promotion -- who all have at least one leap component built into their move definition suitable for island hopping. Each piece-type is different behind the Untouchables, eight of them counting Rajah-King. One more, the evil brilliant Rakshasa starts in the Indic Ocean. Okay, it works, make your first move, Yellow. It can be any of Pawn/Untouchable, or Giraffe, or Shikari, but it cannot be Rakshasa until there is a piece adjacent: and Rakshasa is the only ''neutral'' belonging to both. Two Rakshasas owned jointly are like Blue Queen's belonging to the two sides at once. Unlike Rakshasa, however, the Blue Queen is moved mandatorily each turn. Any one of these artworks in and of themselves would take a lifetime to appreciate the beauty of them: Ramayana, Melee, Ender's, Maxima, Bombalot, Thronschach, Blue Queen.

John Smith wrote on 2009-02-23 UTC
The board looks a bit cramped, so I'll withhold my rating. Mr. Duke is incorrect in that Leaping Rook : Rook = Bison : Falcon. Rook is single-path, whereas Falcon is multi-path. If Leaping Rook is made multi-path, it is still a Leaping Rook because it can take any step on its first. Also, please use (1,3) as Camel, as the practice of including the origin square in a piece's movement description is outdated. As a mathematician, you would know origin as (0,0), que no?

George Duke wrote on 2009-02-23 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Let's go deeper. Buddha of Ramayana of course is in fact ''Rook-all'' you notice I sought from Chatham and Paolowich at Joyce's ''Shatranj Values'' 12.July.2008. Gilman, myself, et al. forgot, whereas ask mid-term prolificist type in Joyce's camp where are FAN and WDN, that Betza defined long ago, and he simply won't tell you. (Joe Joyce knew perfectly well Kozune's (2005) Zune and Kone are his reuses, and such practice explains their irrelevance.) Now the important points follow: that the leaping Rook-all/Buddha here (1,2)(1,3)(1,4)... indeed helps fit the needs of the Ramayana Indic Ocean Archipelago. I sought Rook-all back there to denigrate Bison (2,4)(3,4). ROOK-ALL/BUDDHA IS TO ROOK AS BISON IS TO FALCON! Anyone acquainting with (2,4)(3,4) arrival squares immediately recognizes understandable patented Bison drearily as the least interesting possibility. By contrast all the multi-path alternatives of Falcon are intriguing: OSPREY, CROW(one-path), MERLIN, RAVEN, MARSH HAWK, FERRUGINOUS, MAN-0-WAR of ChessboardMath6 or any sliding modality combining Rook- and Bishop-style. The Ungulate, being further useless in pawn enhancement, yet like Buddha/Rook-all would have arcane application in oddball boards and win conditions (John Smith's versatile point at new Ender's Chess). The minimax solution for distinguishment among R, N, and B, respecting all of the arrival squares, has their enabler in full-stop (2,4)(3,4) spaces however arrived at. I well remembered Rook-all but honestly not sure whether ''Bishop-all'' (2,2)(3,3)... has ever been tried before here. Reject it out of hand (for other than holed-boards), the evil brilliant Raksasha, and Bishop-all is sure to become someone's vested interest. Campos answers another Frequently Asked Question: ''First choose one of the pieces you own adjacent to the Raksasha. Then make a Raksasha move (an x,x jump). The piece you chose is now removed from the board.'' With comprehension, highly original Ramayana(2002) begins to look like one of the better conceived, as follow-ups investigate.

George Duke wrote on 2009-02-20 UTCGood ★★★★
No more forgotten than the game Ramayana are two questions in earlier comments year 2004, those of Amin (seriously wanting ''ten thousand dozens'') and Charles Gilman. Actually Gilman has several, one ''Which is correct as an element of the Develapa move -- Camel 1:3 (2,4) or Giraffe 1:4 (2,5)?'' Gilman's nomenclature now bears misleadling year 2007 origination mostly, but they were really begun in 2003, concurrent with his asking at Ramayana here about potential piece names from Indian religion -- the harbinger of the rest of Man & Beast 01: Constitutional Characters to ''M&B 21: LHEE.'' Then he was only at ''03 From Ungulates Outward.'' The encyclopaedic cataloguing itself needs to be catalogued. It becomes reminiscent of British colonial records still housed in warehouses at India to be archived. One speculates, in first approximatation, there may average 50 new pieces or names or compounds per article, and so 50*21 over a thousand pieces, along that route including at least 15%-25% new inventions, however obscurantist, never undertaken to be named or thought of before. Thanks Charles. The FAQs of Luiz Carlos Campos clarify rules of Ramayana. For follow-up, how do the Soma Cube-like partial board squares integrate with the rest of the Ramayana system? (Hint: think leaping) A FAQ is ''Does the Rakshasa ever move by itself?'' Answer: ''No. Neutral pieces don't have moves of their own.''

Charles Gilman wrote on 2004-03-28 UTC
I have recently added two more piece names from Indian religion, both
oblique triangulators. They are the GURU (4:1 and 5:3) and the SADHU (5:2
and 7:3), and are found in my piece article From Ungulates Outwards. They
may be of use in future variants along similar themes.
	For all your lack of accuracy as to the meanings of Indian titles, you
certainly know of the existence of a lot of them. I am currently planning
a system of names for pieces mixing one- and two-step radial moves built
up from the secular titles SAHIB (Elephant+forward Ferz) and MEMSAHIB
(Dabbaba+forward Wazir). Do you know any other titles ending (or even
starting) with sahib, or related titles, which might suit other such

Anonymous wrote on 2004-02-21 UTC
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My Chess board size 8' x 8', so you will understand what will be the
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Moussambani wrote on 2004-01-06 UTC
In the Devapala, you also say Knight, but you put letter K in the abbreviations. Should be NFG (or C, as charles noted)

Charles Gilman wrote on 2003-06-15 UTC
This would be worthy of rating as good were it not for two errors.
	Firstly 'The Brahmin - a shaman' implies a somewhat more primitive and
localised religion than was the case. The Brahmins were a widespread and
unified priesthood much like that of an empire, as the vast geography
represented by the board suggests.
	Secondly, you include among the Devapala moves that of 'a Giraffe (1,3
jump)'. A Camel is 1:3, a Giraffe is 1:4. Which is correct as an element
of the Devapala move?

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