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The Chess Variant Pages

This page is written by the game's inventor, H. G. Muller.

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H. G. Muller wrote on 2019-10-18 UTC

Alfaerie is one of the six preconfigured settings in the design wizard for the interactive diagram, (setting the right values for the image directory, square size, white/black prefix and graphics type at the press of a button), and in fact the default choice. Other buttons give you Abstract, Motif, Utrecht, 2 sizes XBoard presets. And of course you could use your own uploaded graphics, by supplying the location and other parameters to the design wizard explicitly.

For the pieces I needed Alfaerie was not too bad. I had to improvise a bit for the (Mounted) Veteran, using the Wazir(-Knight) instead, thus only indicating the non-capture move correctly. But that seemed acceptible.

Some of the other Alfaerie pieces look embarrasingly simplistic (e.g. Elephant), so I usually prefer the XBoard theme when I need any of those. Even the orthodox pieces look pretty ugly in Alfaerie; they are not anti-aliased, giving them a very ragged appearance. This is so 20th-century... I think it is high time someone would take the trouble replacing all the Alfaerie image files by anti-aliased versions (with alpha channel).


BTW, I am happy you like Veteran Chess. I have not programmed it into any engine yet, but I play-tested it against a regular participant of the Dutch Superchess championship over the board, and it seemed quite playable. That 1:1 trading is discouraged by leaving the opponent with a promoted piece seems compensated well enough by that in 2:1 trading you can promote your second piece to compensate for the loss of the first. E.g. a Pawn protected by a Pawn is pretty much unassailable in orthodox Chess, but here after BxP, PxP, NxP=M promoting the Knight to a Rook-class piece plus capture of two Pawns seems enough compensation for the Bishop. So you don't get into stand-off situations too easily.

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