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Comments by Fergus Duniho

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Testing[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-10-17 UTC

I just checked my page rules on Cloudflare. They are set to cache drawdiagram.php and to bypass the cache for all other PHP scripts. In case it helps, I just chopped the "www." part off of the URLs. From what I understand of the documentation, this is not required.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-10-17 UTC

Although I haven't got a response to my ticket, and the host still says "Virtual server not found", things do appear to be working again.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-10-16 UTC

As far as I can tell, there is a problem with the server. It is somehow partly online and partly offline, and it is also affecting my blog, which has its own domain. I have submitted a ticket about this to the hosting service, and they will hopefully do something about it.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-10-16 UTC

Testing again. The host says " Virtual server not found ", but pages are showing up, and I was able to log in. I haven't been able to move in Game Courier all day. I get 520 errors when I try to, but I've seen that other people have moved today.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-10-15 UTC


Change your password[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-08-06 UTC

A while ago, one longtime member shared with me an extortion scam email he had received that included his CVP password in it. Today I received a similar email that included my CVP password. If you get such emails, just ignore them. It talks about installing malware on your computer, recording your passwords, recording you through your webcam, then conveniently removing all trace of the malware from your computer. It's just a scam, not a real extortion threat.

I don't think it's a coincidence that the password it included in the email was the one for this site. Until just now, I had not changed it in years, and several years ago, all passwords here were encrypted as MD5 hashes. This is very insecure, because there is a fixed relationship between the original word and the encryption, which allows people to build translation dictionaries that can identify your password from its MD5 hash.

If there were really malware on my computer monitoring my passwords, the hacker could just as easily steal my Paypal password, which would prove lucrative without going through the trouble of trying to blackmail me.

If you have not changed your password in a long time, it will still be encrypted as an MD5 hash. To fix this, sign in and change your password. Your new password will be encrypted in a format that does not have a 1-to-1 relation with the password, and it will be much more secure. While you could keep the same password and just update its encryption, that is what I had done, and this email proved that this was not enough to protect my password. The best thing you can do to protect your password is to change it.

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2019-07-06
 By Prussia  General. StrataChess v1.0. separate Strategic and Tactical gameplay. 2-6 players. Element of Chance. Terrain. Build your own armies.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-07-23 UTC

I have added a page rule on Cloudflare for bypassing the cache for PHP scripts with the extension .php, leaving one exception for the drawdiagram.php script, which should be cached. This should make scripts for editing content load the latest changes.

This item is a miscellaneous item
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2015-12-11
 Author: Fergus  Duniho. Home page of The Chess Variant Pages. Missing description[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-07-22 UTC

If that is still happening, please provide details on how to replicate the problem. Otherwise, it is hard to know what is going on or how to address it.

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2019-07-20
 By Prussia  General. Hidden Random Chess. This is a two-player game that incorporates the element of chance in chess.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-07-18 UTC

The setup section says "See illustration," but there is no illustration. One would be helpful to have. Also, the setup says nothing about the board. I'm presuming it's the usual 8x8 Chess board, but it would be helpful to mention this explicitly.

The name Disc Chess brings to mind Terry Pratchett's Discworld and suggests to me a game played on a circular board. Also, it's not the only game with disc shaped pieces. Chinese Chess is also played with disc-shaped pieces. I agree with Ben that a name reflecting the hidden information aspect of this game would be most appropriate. Something like Undercover Chess might work.

This item is an unknown type!
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2003-01-05
 By Fergus  Duniho. Game Courier. Missing description[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-05-18 UTC

Nowadays, $orientation is mainly used when viewing a game, just in case you find side-flipping on each move disorienting and would like to view a game from a fixed perspective. It can be set in a preset or settings file with the use of GAME Code. It may also have a legitimate use in fairy chess problems, but it looks like the code for handling them needs to be overhauled.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-05-18 UTC

That's now fixed. The settings file was an old one with some obsolete settings. It had $orientation set to "White", but setting this variable is no longer allowed when creating a new preset. I changed its value to "auto", which is the default. I'm now going to look into how I still use this variable.

MySQL[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-05-08 UTC

I just updated the database server to version 10 of MariaDB.

This item is a play-by-email page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2015-05-07
 Author: Fergus  Duniho. Inventor: David  Paulowich. Unicorn Great Chess. Enjoyable game: Great Chess pawn structure encloses two half-ducks - "lions" - with exciting bishop-nightrider - "unicorn.".[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-03-10 UTC

It will work correctly now. The coordinates stored for checking legal castling moves on for Black were on rank 8 instead of rank 10.

This item is a play-by-email page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2016-04-04
 Author: Charles  Daniel and Fergus  Duniho. Inventor: Charles  Daniel. Colossus. 10x10 chess with 4 Rooks, 4 Knights, 4 Bishops, 10 Pawns, 1 Queen and 1 King![All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-03-06 UTC

That information was already there in the Notation section. I tweaked it a little to make it clearer.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-03-05 UTC

That was indeed the problem. You castled by moving your Rook to the King's space, which was done as a Rook move, but castling this way did not include any code for updating the variable storing the King's position. There was an add command for moving the King, but it needed to be followed by a set command that otherwise looked the same. I have now added the appropriate set commands, and you can now capture the Bishop with your Pawn.

This item is a contest or tournament
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2019-02-16
 By Greg  Strong. Game Courier Tournament 2019. Chess Variant Tournament to be played on Game Courier.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-03-04 UTC

When I looked over the time controls before, I didn't notice the thing about the 4 moves per week pace. I had previously modified the invitation script to not include the option of setting a pace in the time controls, but I forgot about doing the same thing in the script for defining a round. The code is kept in Game Courier for backwards compatibility with games that still use it, but I do not recommend its use. Here is how it works. I have added some extra comments to better explain things.

// As long as you keep the desired pace, your reserve time is kept from falling below $sparetime.
// $i is the turn being checked. $i & 1 returns 0 or 1 to identify the player.
if ($timeleft[$i & 1] < $sparetime) {
    // Total time that has passed from beginning of game
    $timepassed = ($timestamps[$i] - $timestamps[0]);
    // If average duration for a move is less than the set duration for a move,
    // then moves are being made faster than required,
    // and $timeleft is raised to value of $sparetime.
    // Equivalent to -> if ((($timepassed / 2) / $i) < ($paceperiod / $pacefreq)) 
    // but loses no precision and avoids division by zero error
    if ((($timepassed / 2) * $pacefreq) < ($paceperiod * $i))
        $timeleft[$i & 1] = $sparetime;

One problem with this is that it divides the time passed by 2, which is accurate only when each player takes exactly as long to move as the other player. It would be more accurate to count up how much time each player has individually used. So, it will normally reward both players or neither player, depending on how fast the game is moving along. It does not account for individual variation in playing speed. Because it divides time passed by two, the pace it checks for is actually half as fast as the pace specified. So, if the pace is 4 moves per week, it will reward players for moving twice a week. Without knowing how it works, you might imagine that it will enforce a certain pace. It will not do that. It will just reward players for keeping a minimum pace. When combined with other time controls that already reward players for moving quickly, it may help inflate how much time players have left. With the pace set to 4 moves per week, it will be possible to play slow, leisurely games that will take many months.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-03-01 UTC

Sunday is March 3rd.

This item is a reference work
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2002-09-23
 Author: Arnaldo Rodrigues D'Almeida. Hexagonal Chess Notation. Article discussing Hexagonal Chess notation.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-02-20 UTC


Reviews should be written as comments, not as pages. The review you mentioned was written before we had a comment system in place. To distinguish your comment as a review, give it a rating, and do not rate any of your other comments on the same page. When you favorite a game and write a review for it, a review link will show up for it on your personal information page. You will also find a link to a listing of reviews on the What's New page.

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2019-03-08
 By Adam  DeWitt. Hectochess. 10x10 variant that can be played with 2 mismatched Chess sets.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-02-20 UTC

Regarding the ability to let either side move first, this was criticized in the comments for Yangsi, and you removed it from that game. I hope you will do the same here.

Since your Cannon moves as a Leo, why not call it that and change your graphic images for it?

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2017-08-07
 Author: H. G.  Muller. Inventor: Jean-Louis  Cazaux. Metamachy. Large game with a variety of regular fairy pieces.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-02-07 UTC

Ideally, I want to treat Metamachy as a game in which White has the first move of the first turn but Black has a special setup move before White moves. The trouble is that the more complicated Game Courier has gotten, the more difficult it has become to change how it behaves. I have some ideas for what to do, but I also worry about breaking things to get it done. It also takes a lot of inspection of the code to figure out how it works and what can be changed. Some of my ideas might also be useful for supporting multi-player games, but that's another thing I have not added yet because of the difficulty in doing so.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-02-05 UTC

I have made good progress toward making a rule-enforcing preset for Metamachy. The last thing to do is to enable Black to place pieces before White moves. Game Courier is not currently set up to allow anyone to do anything before the first player moves. One way to handle this would be to give the first move to Black, but this would involve inverting the board, switching the sections coding for each side, and listing White as the second player in the movelist. I would rather avoid all that, but that means working out a way to allow the second player a pre-game move.

This item is an unknown type!
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2003-09-09
 Author: Fergus  Duniho. Game Courier Logs. View the logs of games played on Game Courier.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-02-05 UTC

I found a line of HTML that included "{$userid}" for inserting the value of the $userid variable, and I changed it to a PHP echo statement.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-02-04 UTC

The second link is wrong. It contains the string "{$userid}" instead of the value of the $userid variable. From what page are you getting this link?

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-02-04 UTC

This hasn't happened to me. Keep track of the page you were on when this happened, and get back to me with this. Also, make sure the problem is not simply that it is not currently your turn in any game.

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2005-06-13
 By Fergus  Duniho. Caïssa Britannia. British themed variant with Lions, Unicorns, Dragons, Anglican Bishops, and a royal Queen. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-02-03 UTC

Since a royal Queen cannot move through check, it can be checkmated in many of the same positions that would checkmate a King. For example, if a Rook or Bishop is checking it from more than one space away, it cannot capture the checking piece. If you replace it with a royal Chancellor, that piece now has up to 12 possible leaping moves, which is more than the royal Queen has. However, this is fewer than the royal piece in Cavalier Chess has, and checkmate is doable in that game. The main thing would be to design the army to complement the powers of the royal Chancellor. Extra diagonal pieces might be helpful, since it's going to be vulnerable to diagonal attacks. Maybe pieces with Camel or Zebra powers would be helpful too.

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