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The Chess Variant Pages

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Greg Strong wrote on 2007-10-01 UTC

Hi David,

You crashed two hard drives? You really should stop taking out your anger on the hard drives with a rubber mallet. Smash the mouse instead - they are much cheaper :) I am not surprised that you don't remember the Capablanca variant. We had been discussing unicorns on 80 squares, and I was in the middle of adding support for all the various Capa variants to ChessV, and I asked you if I could replace the unicorn with an archbishop and add it, and you said something like 'sure, why not.' Then I don't think we ever discussed again. But since it's your logic, philosophy, and vision behind the design, I consider it your game. So I leave it entirely to you to respond to John and decide what to do about Capablanca Chess, Paulowich Variant and/or Victorian Chess. Victorian Chess does have a better ring to it :) I'm surprised that that name hasn't been used before. (And that it never occured to me, either.) If you would like a page made for C.C.P.V., I'd be happy to make one.

John, David can probably explain better than I can the reason for the promotion rules, but basically it is because promotion to any lesser piece would be completely pointless. In Chess, you may want to under-promote because promotion to a Queen would cause stalemate. (This has happened several times in grand-master level play.) So, in this game, if it is the Queen's Rook-move that stalemates, you would promote to an Archbishop. And if it's the Queen's Bishop-move that stalemates, you promote to a Chancellor. No other promotion makes any sense. In Chess you might want to promote to a Knight if it just happens to provide a nice fork, but since the Chancellor and Archbishop make Knight-moves, that isn't necessary either. Now you might well believe that promotion to a lower piece should be allowed even if pointless. That is, of course, more of an artistic judgement. As a writer of chess variant software, I don't like the pointless moves, simply because difficulty the computer has playing any given variant grows exponentially with the number of legal moves, so I don't like extra moves in there clogging it up.

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