The Chess Variant Pages

This page is written by the game's inventor, Joe Joyce.

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Joe Joyce wrote on 2021-04-12 UTC

"Are those now the ‘default’ versions of the Hero and Shaman then?" - Bn Em

Actually, the bent versions were the original design for those 2 pieces. They are made as literally half of the pieces I put in Atlantean Barroom Shatranj, but are about three quarters as effective. At that point I hadn't realized the knight was unnecessary in Lemurian because the hero did the knight's job. I'd put the heroes in the rook's positions and still had the knights in their positions, but they were too weak, and I was kinda stuck. Then the Muse granted me an inspiration.

I am more wargamer than chess enthusiast, and old enough to have been there at the beginning of the wargaming hobby. One thing those early games did was compare themselves to chess, and that idea of military chess stuck in my head for decades before I took a side track by considering the limited or linear (good naming choice!) hero and shaman, and Chieftain shatranj popped into my head. Since I still hadn't gotten Lemurian right, I wrote up and posted Chieftain Chess (it sounds better than Chieftain Shatranj) before Lemurian, thus making the linear versions of hero and shaman appear to have been designed first.

So, yes, courtesy of better naming and actual precedence, the "bent" versions are the default, and the linear versions are the "derived" pieces.

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