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Secret Agent Chess. Each player chooses one opposing minor piece to be a secret agent. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Joseph DiMuro wrote on Thu, Mar 13, 2003 08:30 PM UTC:
I'm still trying to shape Identity Crisis into a workable variant. I found
another potential rule dispute; what happens when a pawn promotes? Since
we want the game to be minimum moderation, I would suggest:

1. You can only promote to a non-royal piece that you started the game
2. Your opponent is told what CLASS of piece you're promoting to (i.e.
Queen class, Rook class, or whatever). Of course, he's not told WHICH
piece you're promoting to!

Anyway, I've almost finished an expanded set of pieces; my goal is to
have 12 substitutes for each FIDE piece. (Which may be too many... :-D)
I'll keep you posted.

gnohmon wrote on Thu, Feb 27, 2003 04:48 AM UTC:
Thanks for the comments about Identity Crisis.

Identity Crisis was just an idea thrown out without much thought, whether
playable or not, no complete rules, just an interesting idea. But, since
you're interested, here goes:

It's not prechess, so you know which piece is your opponent's King. In
order to keep it a 'minimum moderation' game, the players must resolve

1. You say check when you give check. If the reply fails to get out of
check, you say so and a different move must be tried. You don't say
double check. For example, in the position from Reti-Tartakower, blitz
game at NY 1924, White (Reti) plays Bd2-g5 check; Tartakower (whose King
is at d8 in case you don't remember) does not know if the check comes
from the Rd1 or from the Bg5, or both; but he can find out by trying 2
illegal moves.

2. If your opponent moves into check, you reject the move and a different
move must be played. Notice you do not say which of your pieces is giving

a. These rules make it possible to gather info with your King. Risky, but

b. If you deliberately allow an illegal move in order to sucker your
opponent into a later disaster, you are a dastardly cur and no gentleman
will play with you. If you mistakenly allow an illegal move, it should
stand as given?

Perhaps these rules are not perfect; but I doubt one can improve them more
than 50%, and so the question arises whether Identity Crisis would be a
better game if it used an active moderator, like Kriegspiel except that
the moderator has a bit less work to do.

I like your list of pieces, but remember more is better because the bigger
the list the more uncertainty.

Joseph DiMuro wrote on Thu, Feb 27, 2003 12:04 AM UTC:
Here's a possible piece list for 'Identity Crisis'. Six choices for each
position, with enough similarities between the pieces to help conceal the
key differences. Let me know what you think...

For the Rook's position: the Rook, the Half-Duck, the Charging Rook, the
Fourfer (Meticulous Mashers), the Hasdrubal (Amontillado), and the
Howitzer (Cannoneers).

For the Knight's position: the Knight, the Waffle, the Woody Rook, the
Fibnif, the Knishop, and the Napoleon (Cannoneers).

For the Bishop's position: the Bishop, the Bishight, the B4nD (Meticulous
Mashers), the F2zF2, the Halfling-Bede (Amontillado), and the Carronade

For the Queen's position: the Queen, the Chancellor, the Colonel, the
Forequeen, the N2R4 (Meticulous Mashers), and the Hannibal (Amontillado).

Joseph DiMuro wrote on Wed, Feb 26, 2003 10:45 PM UTC:
How would checks be handled in the 'Identity Crisis' variation? Since the
identities of the pieces are unknown at the start of the game, players
might sometimes attempt to move into check. I assume it would be handled
as follows:

1. When a player gives check, he must say 'Check'. (Or instead, the
moderator says that check was just given.)
2. The moderator informs the players when they make a move into check-
such moves must be taken back.

Then again, you could play that moving into check is legal, and capturing
the king wins! Too risky for my taste, though... :-)

Tony Quintanilla wrote on Tue, Feb 25, 2003 10:06 PM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
I like the idea of the Secret Agent. I got to thinking that if one wants to play Secret Agent Chess by e-mail a workable means of identifying the Secret Agent if a moderator is not available would be to send a text file with the identity of the Secret Agent along with the first move. The text file is left unopened until the Secret Agent is revealed. If using Zillions to play by e-mail by trading ZSG files, its easy to play Secret Agent Chess. One would just replace the designated piece with a right-click selection in your own color to reveal the Secret Agent.

gnohmon wrote on Sun, Feb 23, 2003 04:48 AM UTC:
There is no link to highlow chess because, it seems, that old game
never got on to!

gnohmon wrote on Sun, Feb 23, 2003 04:03 AM UTC:
I have no objection to getting multiple 'excellents'.

By the way, if an additional rating (superb, bravissimo, wow!, whatever)
were added, do you think people would use it appropriately (that is,
rarely), or do you think it would soon degenerate to having the same
meaning that excellent does now?

I suppose there's a chess variant in that -- if you move your piece too
often, it degenerates to something weaker. This rule eliminates perpetual

Tim Stiles wrote on Sat, Feb 22, 2003 09:10 PM UTC:
Maximum moderation. hmm. would that be where all pieces are invisible, have completely different moves and captures(including capture methods) and placed in random locations, 4 are randomly secret agents and every even numbered turn has completely random moves?

Joseph DiMuro wrote on Sat, Feb 22, 2003 08:21 PM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
Deserves 3 or 4 'excellents', I think! But I'll abide by the rules, and only give it 1. :-)

Anonymous wrote on Sat, Feb 22, 2003 06:23 PM UTC:
Maximum moderation? Well, I reckon that'd be 'UN, May I? Chess', in which every move must be approved by the Security Council or some similar august deliberative body.... :-)

Tim Stiles wrote on Sat, Feb 22, 2003 10:48 AM UTC:Good ★★★★
I'm assuming the queen's side knight is a fibnif. shouldn't you say this somewhere?

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