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DISCLAIMER: The ideas expressed on this page are the creative work of its author, Claudio Martins Jaguaribe, and they might not be shared by others responsible for this website.

Base Pieces and Templates.

Dear Friends: This article is a little contribution, about an idea that I had and had been a lot of help to me. In a variation of the Lavoisier's Law, famous guy in Brazil said: Nothing is created, everything is copied. Well, so, when I was looking for a new way to reduce the pieces movements to a minimum I stumbled in the D&D 3.0 idea, templates! For those who don't play D&D, here is a quick explanation: when AD&D was going under the major revision that generated D&D 3.0, a lot of creatures would need to be redesigned under the new rules. That would be a lot of work, imagine an entry for every race that could become a vampire, a werewolf, be an elemental … So, what was the answer? Create a group of changes that would be applied to the desired creature. To this group of changes they gave the name of template, and to the creatures that would be modified by the template they gave the name of base creatures. So, you would ask, how does it apply to the chess pieces? Easy, if we think as any piece that moves only one cell as a base piece, all commands that we give to that piece will be a template. So, base pieces are the same thing as atoms! Big deal… No, they aren't. The atoms concept, I believe, doesn't comprehend all one cell moves and is also applied to the knight, which, under the template rules, is a template. So, again: what is a base piece? The base piece is the piece that moves one single cell. I use the word cell instead of square to include the hexagonal and 3d variants. For didactic purposes I'll use the wazir (moves one to any orthogonal direction), the ferz (moves one to any diagonal direction) and the man (wazir plus ferz compound). So, the first and most easy template is: slides n cells. That gives us the long range equivalent: rook, bishop and queen. Other templates could be: move to the second cell leaping. That would give us the dabbabah, the alfil and the alibaba. Leap is a template by itself, that have a pre-condition to be used when the total number of cells is bigger than 2. The knight, and other L leapers (like the camel or the zebra), can be defined in wazir/ferz movements. Here it is: Piece W F Knight 1 1 Camel 2 1 Giraffe 3 1 Zebra 1 2 Antelope 1 3 So, the knight can be defined by three templates: i- moves one orthogonal cell and then move an outward diagonal cell or; ii- moves one diagonal cell and then move an outward orthogonal cell; iii- Leap. The outward command is needed to avoid the inward moves, typical of the sissa and, if Carlos Cetina is ok, its family (like zebra-sissa) that are able to move inward (225°, 315°). The templates can be added to create a new piece, the cleric, if I remember it right is a good example. I- slide n cells (ferz) or; II- Leap to the 2nd orthogonal cell. So, as you can see, with these concepts, we can reduce most of the movement definitions to a mathematical relation, like those we were used to see when we were kids in school., such as : x belongs to N such that x is grater or equal to y, rings any bell? Hugs!


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By Claudio Martins Jaguaribe.
Web page created: 2010-05-31. Web page last updated: 2010-05-31