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Comments by H. G. Muller

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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2018-10-06
 By David  Paulowich. TenCubed Chess. Variant on 10 by 10 board with combination pieces. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-08 UTC
files=10 ranks=10 graphicsDir=/graphics.dir/alfaeriePNG/ promoZone=1 maxPromote=1 squareSize=50 graphicsType=png lightShade=#FFFFD0 startShade=#4F705F rimColor=#7F3700 coordColor=#FFDEAD borders=0 firstRank=1 useMarkers=1 promoChoice=QAC symmetry=mirror pawn::::a3-j3 knight:N:::c2,h2 bishop::::d2,g2 rook::::b2,i2 champion::::c1,h1 wizard:::moon:d1,g1 archbishop:::cardinal:e1 marshall:::chancellor:f1 queen::::e2 king::K::f2

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2001-01-04
 By Peter S. Hatch. Fantasy Grand Chess. Variant of Grand Chess with different armies and fantasy theme. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-08 UTC

This can be treated the same way. Just define none of the Horde pieces as promoting, and entirely rely on the user-supplied function WeirdPromotion() to handle all promotions. Then you can make the depth (or in fact any shape) of the promotion zone dependent on the piece type. I checked, and I see there already is a way to veto a move: return 1022 as the promotion piece. For a real promotion, return the number of the promoted piece type.

There doesn't seem to be a provision for kamikaze moves, though; returning 0 means no promotion. So I would have to add a code for that (1021?).


H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-08 UTC

I dont think the wierd promotion rules for horde are implementable in the diagram.

You mean those of the Orc? That is indeed too weird. It is like a locust capture throuh a Universal Leaper move, combined with 'promotion' to an empty square (kamikaze capture). And it can only be done when the fF move can enter the zone.

Kamikaze moves can already be implemented throuh providing a JavaScript routine WeirdPromotion(). A cU move in combinaiton with a kamikaze WeirdPromotion would do it. Except that it would then be able to do it from any square of the board, not just when it ended in the zone. One can also provide a routine BadZone() to veto moves, but I think that doesn't get the from-square of the move passed as an argument. (I used it for zone confinement in Xianqi, but it can also be used to enforce type-specific capture as in Stratego.) Not sure if WeirdPromotion() can veto moves; it should not be difficult to allow it to do so. It could then test whether the Orc was able to enter the zone. It would not be able to distinuish a normal capture of the Orc in the zone from a 'promotion capture', but I assume one would never voluntarily 'explode' the Orc if it could capture normally. So the Orc could be defined as a non-promotion piece, but all Orc captures could be tested for being diagonally forward, and if not, result in suicide if the Orc could enter the zone.

Triple (or more) captures can be defined in XBetza, but the UI of the diagram currently has no way to enter those. This is still on the to-do list, but so far the Lion Dog from the large Shogi variants was the only piece that would need it. So it did not have a very high priority.


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2008-05-25
 By Carlos  Cetina. Cetran Chess 2. Missing description (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-08 UTC
files=8 ranks=8 graphicsDir=/graphics.dir/alfaeriePNG/ promoZone=1 maxPromote=1 squareSize=50 graphicsType=png lightShade=#FFDEAD startShade=#CD853F rimColor=#8B4513 coordColor=#FFDEAD borders=0 firstRank=1 useMarkers=1 promoChoice=QACNSDR symmetry=none shuffle=QACNSDRK pawn::fmWfcF::a2-h2,,a7-h7 knight:N:::h1,,d8 rook::::e1,,f8 dragon horse::BW:promotedbishop:b1,,h8 sissa::aivsQ:guard:f1,,c8 archbishop:::cardinal:c1,,a8 chancellor::::a1,,b8 queen::::g1,,e8 king::K::d1,,g8

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2016-11-17
 By Dmitry  Eskin. Asymmetric Chess. Chess with alternative units but classical types and mechanics. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-08 UTC

Oops, that is indeed a problem. The promotin pieces must always be defined first, so that maxPromote can specify how many promoting types there are. CwdA did not have this problem, as they had only one type of Pawns, defined first in the common part. I guess I must glue the variable parts of the diagram together a bit more carefully to get the desired order (using more + delimiters in the stored definitions to split them up). I will work on it.


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2010-01-10
 By Joe  Joyce. Great Shatranj. Great Shatranj. (10x8, Cells: 80) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-08 UTC

Great Shatranj R

files=10 ranks=8 graphicsDir=http://www.chessvariants.com/graphics.dir/alfaeriePNG35/ promoZone=1 maxPromote=1 squareSize=35 graphicsType=png lightShade=#DDDDAA startShade=#AA6600 rimColor=#BB8822 coordColor=#FFFFFF borders=0 firstRank=1 useMarkers=1 promoChoice=G*N*H*M*E*D holdingsType=1 baring=0 pawn::fmWfcF::a2-j2 knight:N:::b1,i1 high priestess::FAN:highpriestess:g1 minister::WND:knightwazirdabbabah:f1 elephant::AF:elephantferz:c1,h1 rook::R::a1,j1 general::K:guard:d1 king::K::e1

H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-08 UTC

Great Shatranj D

files=10 ranks=8 graphicsDir=http://www.chessvariants.com/graphics.dir/alfaeriePNG35/ promoZone=1 maxPromote=1 squareSize=35 graphicsType=png lightShade=#DDDDAA startShade=#AA6600 rimColor=#BB8822 coordColor=#FFFFFF borders=0 firstRank=1 useMarkers=1 promoChoice=G*N*H*M*E*D holdingsType=1 baring=0 pawn::fmWfcF::a2-j2 knight:N:::b1,i1 high priestess::FAN:highpriestess:g1 minister::WND:knightwazirdabbabah:f1 elephant::AF:elephantferz:c1,h1 dabbaba::WD:warmachinewazir:a1,j1 general::K:guard:d1 king::K::e1

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2010-04-08
 By Joe  Joyce. Grand Shatranj. Grand Shatranj. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-08 UTC

Grand Shatranj R

The AI of this diagram has a slightly imperfect implementation of the rules: The 'Stranded Pawn' promotion option on last rank is always available, and such a Pawn can only promote after it moves. I is assumed this will have no effect whatsoever, because it would never choose to stay a Pawn when other choices are available, and refrain from promoting when there aren't in the extremely rare case it would have such an opportunity.

files=10 ranks=10 graphicsDir=/graphics.dir/alfaeriePNG35/ promoZone=2 maxPromote=2 squareSize=35 graphicsType=png lightShade=#DDDDAA startShade=#AA6600 rimColor=#BB8822 coordColor=#FFFFFF borders=0 firstRank=1 useMarkers=1 promoChoice=S1*N*H*M*O*R*J!P holdingsType=1 baring=0 pawn::fmWfcF::a3-j3 stranded pawn::sW:pawn: knight:N:::b2,i2 rook::::a1,j1 high priestess::FAN:highpriestess:g2 minister::WND:knightwazirdabbabah:f2 oliphant::A2FmpafafFafmpafF:elephantriderferz:c2,h2 jumping general::KAD:jumpinggeneral:d2 king::K::e2

H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-08 UTC

Grand Shatranj D

The AI of this diagram has a slightly imperfect implementation of the rules: The 'Stranded Pawn' promotion option on last rank is always available, and such a Pawn can only promote after it moves. I is assumed this will have no effect whatsoever, because it would never choose to stay a Pawn when other choices are available, and refrain from promoting when there aren't in the extremely rare case it would have such an opportunity.

files=10 ranks=10 graphicsDir=/graphics.dir/alfaeriePNG35/ promoZone=2 maxPromote=2 squareSize=35 graphicsType=png lightShade=#DDDDAA startShade=#AA6600 rimColor=#BB8822 coordColor=#FFFFFF borders=0 firstRank=1 useMarkers=1 promoChoice=S1*N*H*M*O*L*J!P holdingsType=1 baring=0 pawn::fmWfcF::a3-j3 stranded pawn::sW:pawn: knight:N:::b2,i2 high priestess::FAN:highpriestess:g2 minister::WND:knightwazirdabbabah:f2 oliphant::A2FmpafafFafmpafF:elephantriderferz:c2,h2 lightning war machine::WD2mpafafWafmpafW:warmachineriderwazir:a1,j1 jumping general::KAD:jumpinggeneral:d2 king::K::e2

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2020-04-09
 By Adam  DeWitt. Hook Shogi. Smaller version of Taishin Shogi on a 19x19 board.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-08 UTC

However, it is important to keep in mind that if the descriptions for the pieces are all kept within the diagram itself on a CVP article, then people might not know where to find the moves of the pieces, even when the text used to open/close the table mentions descriptions.

I did not mean to propose hiding the table like the piece legend for the diagram is hidden by default. Or even have the diagram generate it 'on the fly' in the client's browser. (Noe that the diagram can make the piece table appear anywhere on the page, in a place of your choice, through the satellite parameter.) The problem with the latter is that it would not work for people that have disabled JavaScript in their browser.

So I can see why you, and presumably many others, want such a list in your articles. So my proposal was actually: given the fact that the piece names / images / moves already have to be specified to create a diagram, couldn't we make life easier for the author by offering him as a free side effect the HTML for an (almost complete) table, which he just has to copy-paste into his article in the place where he wants it to appear? Most people would create the diagrams through the design wizard or the play-test applet, and would then copy-paste the provided HTML for the diagram into their article. They could do the same for a table with textual descriptions, which the design wizard would show in another text-box (or perhaps in the same box, after pressing a button "Piece Table".

And it doesn't matter whether the descriptions for complex pieces like Lions or Hook Movers would be inaccurate, clumsy or missing; there will be only few of such pieces, and the author can edit their description by hand after he copy-pasted the table into his article.

As to the format of the table - What I meant was this:  In the article above you use the piece names in the first column. E.g. "King", and then the text says "The King moves one step in each direction". Mentioning "King" twice here is redundant; you could have said "Moves one step in each direction", because people already know it pertains to the King from the first column. But I think it would be better to keep the piece name in the move description, as you had, and replace the name column by an image column. Presumably you did not do that because it is a lot of work to write all the HTML image tags with the URLs of the images. But when generated automatically that would not be an issue. It would also not be an issue to attach a handler to the table cells so that clicking on them would evoke some response (for those with JavaScript enabled). E.g. like opening/closing a normally hidden able row right below the one clicked, which by default would be empty, but which the author could use to provide a hand-made move diagram.


NEW! This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2021-05-02
 By H. G.  Muller. Variants playable against the diagram's AI. Index of variants that can be played against the interactive diagram.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-08 UTC

However, I noticed that Ryugi was missing.

Oh, I completely missed that one.I added it now. 9 hours is pretty extreme. That was on 2 ply? There must be an enormous search explosion in quiescence search. I guess the problem is jumping generals, which can always make captures, mostly bad ones. And the diagram's AI doesn't use a transposition table yet. So if you have several generals, it will be trying all their captures in combinatorially many orders. In my Tenjiku Shogi engine 'Inferno' I solved that by riguorously pruning any H x protected L capture in QS.

Anyway, the diagram behaves badly for long thinking times, because the search is done by the main thread. This triggers complaints from the browser ("a script is slowing down your browser") if it takes more than 10 sec. I mus figure out how to delegate the search to a 'worker thread' that runs in the background; this is what Jocly does for ist AI. (In the 2-vs-1 checkmating appletI solved it by generating the EGT in steps, having each step schedule the next through a timeout, so that it could attend to other browser functions (such as actually displaying and formatting the step results) in between.)

I left diagrams where I was in doubt out of the list. That included most large Shogi variants, also my own 13x13 variants. These can be added later if they check out OK. Perhaps dai Shogi should not even be in the list; I never tried that one. Sac Chess also seems to give problems, at least at > 2 ply.


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2007-05-04
 By David  Paulowich. Opulent Lemurian Shatranj. Joe Joyce's Shaman and Hero pieces are now on a larger board. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-08 UTC

When you click on the 'Hero' at a1, it can go to c4, and also the War Elephant on d2 can go to f1. This isn't right is it.

Refresh your browser cache(Shift + reload). There was a bug in the Betza parser of the diagram that caused this. The directional modifiers of a continuation leg are normally interpreted in the (8-fold) K system, so that even on 4-fold aoms like W or F you can use fs to get a 45-degree bent. But absence of any directional modifier in a continuation leg is defined as 'all directions except back to the square you came from', and the meaning of 'all' should only be 'all orthogonal' if the original atom was 4-fold. So that aF means two F steps in arbitrary direction, not an F step followed by a K step. The diagram was allowing the latter, though, and I had to fix that.


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2001-01-04
 By Peter S. Hatch. Fantasy Grand Chess. Variant of Grand Chess with different armies and fantasy theme. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-07 UTC

It seems to be workign now. By the way, how do you choose which piece is royal?

With parameter royal=N, where N is the number of the piece type in the piece list (= the order in which you defined them). You can have several such parameters; if you have none, the last piece will be considered royal.


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2005-05-01
 By Joe  Joyce. Modern Shatranj. A bridge between modern chess and the historic game of Shatranj. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-07 UTC
promoZone=1 promoChoice=G graphicsDir=http://www.chessvariants.com/graphics.dir/small/ whitePrefix=W blackPrefix=B graphicsType=gif squareSize=35 darkShade=#FFFFFF symmetry=mirror stalemate=win baring=0 Pawn::fmWfcF:Pawn:a2-h2 General::K::e1 Elephant:B:FA:Elephant:c1,f1 Knight:N:::b1,g1 Rook::::a1,h1 King::K::d1

UPDATED! This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2021-04-12
 By Joe  Joyce. Lemurian Shatranj. (Updated!) Missing description (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-07 UTC
files=8 ranks=8 graphicsDir=http://www.chessvariants.com/graphics.dir/alfaeriePNG35/ promoZone=1 squareSize=35 graphicsType=png lightShade=#FFFFFF darkShade=#CCBBFF rimColor=#141194 coordColor=#EFEF1F borders=0 firstRank=1 useMarkers=1 promoChoice=G*H*S*W holdingsype=1 stalemate=win baring=0 pawn::fmWfcF::a2-h2 war elephant::FAD:elephantferzwarmachine:a1,h1 bent shaman:S:AFmpafaFampafF:bentshaman:c1,f1 bent hero:H:WDmpafaWampafW:benthero:b1,g1 sliding general:G:KaK:slidinggeneral:d1 king::K::e1

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2001-01-04
 By Peter S. Hatch. Fantasy Grand Chess. Variant of Grand Chess with different armies and fantasy theme. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-07 UTC

Testing the interactive diagram thing, but i can’t seem to make it work

Try Shift + reload, to make sure the cache is refreshed for the betza.js script. I just had some problems with the diagram too, and I jus uploaded a new version to fix those. For me most of the functions in your diagram seem to work now. (didn't try the AI, though.)

Otherwise, what exactly does not work?

One thing I foresee that will cause trouble is that you use the same id for white and black pieces. The diagram is not smart enough to keep separate sets of ids for white and black; it always assumes that each side can have all pieces in the list. So this will cause ambiguity, and will probably wreck the SAN parser when you want to paste back a recorded game. I solved that in CwdA by giving all black pieces a quote in their id.


This item is a desktop publishing resource
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2016-04-09
 By Fergus  Duniho. Diagram Designer. Lets you display diagrams without uploading any graphics.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-07 UTC

I can confirm that originally the Snake was not displayed in the diagram that Jörg posted. I looked at the page source, and the diagram was a direct link to the diagram generator, which did contain the S in the intended square in the CGI parameter. But no show... But now it magically appeared, with the same browser (FireFox). There must have been something temporarily wrong on the server, such that the server-side script could not find the Snake image file to compose the entire image.


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2007-05-04
 By David  Paulowich. Opulent Lemurian Shatranj. Joe Joyce's Shaman and Hero pieces are now on a larger board. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-07 UTC
files=10 ranks=10 graphicsDir=/graphics.dir/alfaeriePNG/ promoZone=1 promoChoice=G*H*R*S*W*N holdingsType=1 squareSize=50 graphicsType=png lightShade=#FFFFCF startShade=#70B09F rimColor=#0F0F90 coordColor=#EFEF1F borders=0 firstRank=1 useMarkers=1 stalemate=win pawn::fmWfcF::a3-j3 knight:N:::c2,h2 war elephant::FaF:elephantferz:d2,g2 rook::::b2,i2 bent shaman:S:AFmpafaFampafF:bentshaman:d1,g1 bent hero:H:WDmpafaWampafW:benthero:a1,j1 general::K:guard:e2 king::K::f2

UPDATED! This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2021-03-29
 By Aurelian  Florea. Grand Apothecary Chess-Modern. (Updated!) Very large Board variant obtained trough tinkering with known games.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-07 UTC

But most of my time in Inkscape has been making SVGs for Fergus's abstract pieces.

Well, it is good to have SVG for other themes too. (Although I personally think that set is awful.) Perhaps I will work on Chess Utrecht too, if I have some spare time. (Fat chance...)

And we should also work on replacing Alfaerie GIFs by PNGs, in diagrams where this is already possible (which is most, I suppose). I already did this in all my diagrams that used Alfaerie. (But most are usin XBoard33.) Often in is just a matter of adding PNG to the pathname of the graphics directory, and changing the graphics type to png.


H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-07 UTC

It would be nice if the interactive diagram could be given a "zoom" setting like the diagram designer has.

This would be possible only if we use the SVG images directly in the diagram, or when the diagram would directly use the SVG renderer. The latter is obviously already possible, as it is what the diagram editor does: this is based on the normal diagram with the graphicsDir set to the URL of the renderer. But the render is off-site, and so far Fergus did not manage to compile it on the CVP server due to CentOS - Ubuntu differences. So this is not recommended.

As to directly using the SVG: I am not sure if all browsers can do that. Perhaps by now they can. In that case the HTML specifying the image can specify the desired size, and I could have the diagram script include the size specifier. But there would not be any color subsitutions; no way HTML or browsers are going to do that. So it would require the SVGs to be available in both colors. I suppose this is easy to achieve with an edit script.

It won't solve Aurelian's problem, though, which is that the PNG / SVG alfaerie set does not yet cover everything that is available as GIF.

What is wrong with displaying the text in the browser at 80%?

@Aurelian: scaling the raster images makes them more ugly, and the GIF set is quite ugly to begin with. Its use should be discouraged even when no scaling is necessary / desired. Anyway for Grand Apothecary Modern all pieces you need are available, not?

@Greg: We really should continue expanding the SVG set. Perhaps on a demand basis. If Aurelian just needs two or three new images, it would not be that much effort to create those.

 


NEW! This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2021-05-06
 By Jean-Louis  Cazaux. Maasai Chess. Large CV with 48 pieces per side, of 20 types including Sergent Maasai as improved Pawns.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-07 UTC

Its not completely unreasonable that someone migth derive advantage from playing with more familiar setup (assuming one would play this variant enough).

It is very questionable, though, whether in a variant this large where the differences in setup are applied somewhere in the rear of the army, that there will be anything familiar at all to the position by the time the battle really starts. Black can force white to start with (some of his) pieces in a certain constellation, but he cannot control what moves white will play afterwards. Most white players would play totally different, and by the time the pieces in the back-rank come into play you would always be in a position you have never seen before. Unless black is playing against the same white player all the time, which would also stick to the single variation he likes. In which case the position would be just as familiar to that white player, and the alledged compensation would go up in smoke.


H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-07 UTC

I agree that it is exceedingly unlikely that anyone would ever develop opening theory for these games. And of course it is your design, and you can pick the rules anyway you like them.

But what I object to (since your submission is open for review) is your claim that the rule you propose compensates the first-move advantage. Especially if you don't believe yourself that black would ever go to the trouble of developing opening theory, it is a misleading claim.


H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-07 UTC

It seems to me that the black player who chooses the setup has an advantage to his white opponent who doesn't know what will be the setup. It is true that the black player may know an opening theory for his favorite setup but as they are a lot of possible setups, one would have to know a lot of opening theories which is reducing the impact in my opinion.

There is no game-theoretical advantage from choosing btween a number of symmetric, and therefore mostly equivalent start position. The only way black can derive any advantage from this is by having very extensive opening knowledge for the setup he is going to choose. Only white would have to prepare for all openings, if he has no clue what black is going to choose. (Which presumably is hopeless, due to the large number.) Black, however, only has to prepare for one, and can use that one in every game he plays as black. (And even if it is commonly known what he will pick, it is not much help to the white player if he has to play a variety of opponents.)

So I think that rather than doing away with the burden of opening theory, your rules compell the players to study opening theory for black, in order to neutralize the first-move advantage.


UPDATED! This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2021-03-29
 By Aurelian  Florea. Grand Apothecary Chess-Modern. (Updated!) Very large Board variant obtained trough tinkering with known games.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-07 UTC

They are in the directory /graphics.dir/alfaeriePNG35/ . Don't forget to change to graphicsType=png .

 


NEW! This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2021-05-06
 By Jean-Louis  Cazaux. Maasai Chess. Large CV with 48 pieces per side, of 20 types including Sergent Maasai as improved Pawns.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-06 UTC

Why do you say that black's privilege of choosing the initial setup would compensate the first-move advantage? It shouldn't be worth anything, because white gets exactly the same arrangement of pieces. And having one player determine the setup interferes with the purpose of having no opening theory.


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