The Chess Variant Pages

Check out Gross Chess, our featured variant for June, 2023.

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Comments by Fergus Duniho

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Featured Chess Variants. Chess Variants Featured in our Page Headers.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
🕸📝Fergus Duniho wrote on 2023-06-01 UTC

Aurelian Florea wrote:

I'd like to second Gross chess!

Max Koval wrote:

Gross chess seems to be a good nomination.

Since these two additional seconds for Gross Chess came in today, it seems to have the most support, and I have made it the featured variant for June.

🕸📝Fergus Duniho wrote on 2023-06-01 UTC

So you'd better do something about that, then...

For now, I have just added a false to the condition to keep it from showing.

🕸📝Fergus Duniho wrote on 2023-05-31 UTC

The feat. column indicates whether the variant was already featured before (which I think should disqualify it).

None of the games you marked as featured are mentioned on this page as having been featured. They are all marked in the database as being primary links, but that is not the same thing as having been featured. So, it should not disqualify them.

🕸📝Fergus Duniho wrote on 2023-05-31 UTC

Duck Chess for June?

Because we have not provided much support for this game on the Chess Variant Pages, I would like to hold off on that. I am completely unfamiliar with this game, and I have not found any record of games played. In the meantime, there are some other games that have received a nomination and a second.

🕸📝Fergus Duniho wrote on 2023-05-31 UTC

Let's round up the nominations:

David Paulowich nominated Tiger Hunt and Sort of Almost Chess. His nomination of his own Opulent Lemurian Shatranj does not count, because inventors cannot nominate their own games.

H. G. Muller has nominated Duck Chess, and Jean-Louis Cazaux has seconded it.

Jean-Louis Cazaux has nominated Superschaak, and the games mentioned in his recent book More Chess and More Than Chess Expanded C., Sac C., Opulent C., Elven C., Gross C., Hectochess, and Enhanced Courier C. H. G. Muller has said to him

The variants from your latest book are all good candidates. But they do belong to a family of closely related games, which was the theme of the book. So also here I suggest that we should not pick too many of those in a row, but regularly also pay attention to variants that involve more exotic rules that put them outside the scope of your book.

I'll take this as a second for these games.

H. G. Muller has also nominated Superchess, Paco Shako, Musketeer Chess, Tenjiku Shogi, Chu Shogi, and Spartan Chess. Assuming that Superchess is Superschaak, Jean-Louis seconded it.

Edward Webb nominated Metamachy.

IDs[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
🕸Fergus Duniho wrote on 2023-05-26 UTC

Do you want to change your ID of Cryinto or your name of Rechefiltr is Fire? The former will involve replacing it in multiple tables of the database, and we have no script for that. The latter should be something you can edit yourself.

Scientist[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
🕸Fergus Duniho wrote on 2023-05-19 UTC

Because I thought that the movement of the piece and the name of the piece would make sense.

Just to take Scientist as an example, this name for the piece you provided a diagram for seems completely arbitrary.

Also, I split the thread because I didn't know how to paste multiple pictures at the same time.

It looks like you are posting Interactive Diagrams instead of pictures, except that they are not working as Interactive Diagrams should, because you are not including the Betza code.

If you just want static diagrams, we do have the Diagram Designer for that. This will give you HTML code for displaying an image of the diagram. It's easy enough to post multiple diagrams in the same comment or page.

Generally, when you post movement diagrams and name pieces, you should have some context for this, such as an actual game they are used in. Verbal descriptions are also helpful for telling whether the piece in question is a normal leaper or a lame leaper.

🕸Fergus Duniho wrote on 2023-05-18 UTC

Why are you using separate subject threads for a variety of piece diagrams without any context or description?

Ultima. Game where each type of piece has a different capturing ability. (8x8, Cells: 64) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
🕸📝Fergus Duniho wrote on 2023-05-15 UTC

It turns out that Abbott has included a copy of the original 1962 article on Ultima on his website, and I have now added a link to it. Here is what it says on the object of the game:

KING: The king moves and captures in exactly the same fashion as the chess king. The object of the game is to capture this king. The same rules for declaring check apply as in chess.

One could get the impression from this description that the object is just to capture the king, as this does not explicitly mention checkmate or stalemate. If Abbott was referencing this version of the rules, he could have misremembered the object of the game. Since a change in object has not been mentioned as one of the changes between the 1963 and 1968 editions, I am assuming until I learn for sure otherwise that the 1963 edition specifies checkmate and stalemate as the winning conditions. Also, if it "moves and captures in exactly the same fashion as the chess king," it could not move into check.

🕸📝Fergus Duniho wrote on 2023-05-15 UTC

So, the copy of Abbott's New Card Games that I ordered turned out to be the 1968 edition. When I looked at the record of my Amazon order in hopes of complaining about this, it said it was the 1968 edition. Checking ebay, I saw another copy with the same cover described as the 1963 edition, and maybe that is why I thought this would be the 1963 edition. As David previously reported, this edition limits the distance a piece may move to the rank it is on from that player's perspective.

Getting to the question of whether the game is won through capture or checkmate, here is what it says,

The object of the game is to capture the enemy king. The players declare check in a fashion similar to that of Chess. That is, if a player makes a move that puts him in a position to take the enemy king on the next move, he announces check. A player may not move into a position that puts his own king in check.

The game is won when a player achieves checkmate, attacking the enemy king in such a way that it cannot escape capture on the next turn. A player also wins if his opponent is unable to move any of his pieces.

Although he first seems to say that it is won through capturing the enemy king, the sentences I have put in boldface make it clear that the game is won by checkmating or stalemating the opponent, and as a player may not make any move that places (or presumably leaves) his king in check, any position where a king could actually be captured is illegal.

🕸📝Fergus Duniho wrote on 2023-05-10 UTC

So if we are bent on introducing new sets that have never been used before, we better give it some thought before acting rashly.

A variation on the Alfaerie Animals set has long been in use for Rococo, which is based on Ultima. Since it appears that the Alfaerie Animals set has not been in independent use, I have replaced its Withdrawer image with the ox image used in Rococo. This also brings it more in line with the Galactic set, which was the default set for the original Game Courier preset, as that set uses an ox for the Withdrawer and a Kanagaroo for the Long Leaper. Also, its Pincer Pawn image matches the image used for another Alfaerie set that has long been in use on Game Courier. What I think happened is that David Howe made the Alfaerie Animals set first, and then he later designed other pieces for Ultima and replaced that set with the new set.

Each of the other sets has long been in use or is similar to one that has been. The Alfaerie Chess pieces have long been used for other variants. Judging by records, I had created my Abstract pieces for Ultima by early 2004. I have long made them available on Game Courier, and they are now the default for the new Ultima preset. David Howe's Ultima-Alt set was previously used on this page and is still used on the animated diagrams page. And your Alfaerie Queens set is a variation on David's most recent Alfaerie set for Ultima, which has long been available on Game Courier, but it differs because some of the images in that set have not been converted to SVG yet.

🕸📝Fergus Duniho wrote on 2023-05-10 UTC

is it really needed to include the 'Alfaerie Animals' representation? Showing multiple representations can only increase confusion. It should be obvious that chess pieces can be represented by any set of images, and one can even buy orthodox chess sets where all pieces are sheep, frogs, pigs or heroes and villains from Star Wars. Is anyone actually using this 'Alfaerie Animals' representation? If not, why would we encourage this particular choice over the few million others that could be concocted with animal images from the Alfaerie set?

This set was in the sets directory for Game Courier, and I didn't realize until today that it wasn't showing up in Game Courier. So, I have now corrected this. Although the images it uses are not all available as SVGs, I consider it the best Alfaerie set for Ultima, because the images are distinct from each other while also suggesting the powers of each piece. The Alfaerie Queens set slows down my recognition of the pieces, because they look too similar, and the Alfaerie Chess set uses pieces that mostly do not suggest the powers of each piece, as the piece designs used were not intended for Ultima.

🕸📝Fergus Duniho wrote on 2023-05-10 UTC

I have now finished the new diagrams for this page, and I have updated the piece descriptions, mostly by copying and modifying descriptions I already wrote for Game Courier. But I also checked the other descriptions to make sure I wasn't missing any important details.

If there are to be static move diagrams, they should not be made with the Abstract piece set. For people with JavaScript off these pieces have not been introduced; they would only be aware of the 'inverted rook' or ultima-alt representations, so the move diagrams would be useless to them.

I have also updated the setup diagrams. I moved the ultima-alt diagram to the page for the animated diagrams, and I added two diagrams that show up when JavaScript is disabled. One uses the Alfaerie Chess pieces, and one uses the Abstract pieces. They will also show up in the printed version.

🕸📝Fergus Duniho wrote on 2023-05-09 UTC

I see no logic in having a separate page for move diagrams, no matter how revolutionary these were at the time of their publishing. Move diagrams belong in the piece section of the article describing the variant, and the page with the move diagrams would make an excellent Pieces section for this article.

Now that you have moved the animated diagrams to this page, I see the logic to keeping them on a separate page. Animations on a page are annoying, which is why <BLINK> is no longer part of HTML. Also, animated diagrams are not suitable for printing should someone choose to print the page to have a copy of the rules. It's better to provide static diagrams, as I was starting to do before I got sidetracked by other things. Anyway, I was able to get a cached copy of the older version of the page. So, my work on the static diagrams has not been lost.

🕸📝Fergus Duniho wrote on 2023-05-09 UTC

Now that Utrecht is available in SVG and 50x50 PNG I think it would be better to use that rather than Alfaerie to present this representation as the primary diagram, and only show 'Ultima-Alt', 'Alfaerie Queens' and 'Abstract' as alternatives.

I disagree and have changed it back to using Alfaerie.

🕸📝Fergus Duniho wrote on 2023-05-08 UTC

I wrote this in 2004:

The Wikipedia page on Baroque Chess currently asserts that Robert Abbott did not invent the game, as can be discovered by reading the Fairy Chessmen by Lewis Padgett. I expect this is a bunch of nonsense and have explained why in the discussion area for Wikipedia's Baroque Chess page. However, I have not read the Fairy Chessmen and cannot get ahold of a copy.

Since then, I have read The Fairy Chessmen by Lewis Padgett, which was a penname for the husband/wife team of Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore, and it does not describe Ultima. It does show a knowledge of fairy chess and mentions some pieces, such as the nightrider and the grasshopper, but it is a science fiction novel and does not delve into the subject too much. Since I have it on my Kindle, I searched for the names of Ultima pieces and did not find any except the king.

🕸📝Fergus Duniho wrote on 2023-05-07 UTC

In my research, I learned that Robert Abbott died in 2018. To confirm the 1963 rules once and for all, I have ordered a copy of his book.

🕸📝Fergus Duniho wrote on 2023-05-07 UTC

in Ultima the object is to capture the king, not achieve check mate.

Since it's on Abbott's page, that gives it authority. But I should do some more checking, as Pritchard said "The object remains checkmate," and I'm aware that Abbott tried to revise Ultima, but the original version remained more popular.

Piececlopedia: Wildebeest. A Knight/Camel compound from Wildebeest Chess.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
🕸📝Fergus Duniho wrote on 2023-05-04 UTC

I generated it with Stable Diffusion.

Featured Chess Variants. Chess Variants Featured in our Page Headers.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
🕸📝Fergus Duniho wrote on 2023-05-02 UTC

Having the primary results first was very useful, as most of the time I would be looking for one of those.

The primary pages still show up in the main search results, and they are in boldface so you can recognize them more easily. I see no need to list them separately before listing them again in the full search results.

🕸📝Fergus Duniho wrote on 2023-05-02 UTC

Among relatively known ones, I personally would vote for Modern Chess and Singularity Chess.

If you want to nominate games, please include a link to each game's page on this site. After all, the first requirement for a game to be featured is that it have a page on this site. Once we see the page, we can determine whether it meets the other requirements.

🕸📝Fergus Duniho wrote on 2023-05-02 UTC

It seems none of the recognized variants is displayed at the top of the alphabetical index pages anymore.

Also, in the past, primary pages would appear in the search results ahead of the complete search results, and the complete search results would appear only if there were not too many. Since I modified queryinc.php to always show the actual search results, the need to show the primary pages separately was not as great. I also thought it could make the search results confusing by leading people to not look at the complete search results. So, primary pages no longer show up separately unless that's what you specifically choose to search for.

🕸📝Fergus Duniho wrote on 2023-05-02 UTC

Then what does Primary do? (Note that Links can also be Primary, but that's entirely separate.)

In the past, search results would show only primary links if there were too many search results, and you would be provided with links to subcategories that might not have too many search results. Since I did not consider this a good way to provide search results, I recently changed this when I updated queryinc.php. Search results are now limited to 500 at a time, and if there are more, you get a link to another page of results. You can still see a list of primary links if you want to, but they no longer show up by default. All that usually happens is that the name and description appear in boldface.

Primary links are not synonymous with recognized variants or featured variants, though at one time, a link to the games marked primary was misleadingly called featured. Currently, the notice about the featured game gives a link to this page, which should help encourage people to post nominations in a more timely manner.

🕸📝Fergus Duniho wrote on 2023-05-01 UTC

No, we have separate pages for Zillions-of-Games files, as this makes it easier for someone interested in them to search or browse through them. Start to post a page like you would to post a game, but choose the "Create Zillions Item" option.

🕸📝Fergus Duniho wrote on 2023-05-01 UTC

I have to find how uploading them on this site.

We have a file manger for that. It's the same one you use to upload graphics, and it will accept .zip files.

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