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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 check. 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 check. a. These rules make it possible to gather info with your King. Risky, but possible. 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.
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 (Cannoneers). For the Queen's position: the Queen, the Chancellor, the Colonel, the Forequeen, the N2R4 (Meticulous Mashers), and the Hannibal (Amontillado).
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... :-)
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.
There is no link to highlow chess because, it seems, that old game never got on to www.cv.com!
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 check!
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?
Deserves 3 or 4 'excellents', I think! But I'll abide by the rules, and only give it 1. :-)
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.... :-)
I'm assuming the queen's side knight is a fibnif. shouldn't you say this somewhere?
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