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Comments by João Neto

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Mutators. Article discussing the concept of Mutators.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
📝João Neto wrote on Mon, May 26, 2008 10:29 AM UTC:
Hi Richard.

Thanks for that taxonomic work. The harder part is too make those concepts glue together. How to translate those ideas into types and how to compose those types into a game.

📝João Neto wrote on Fri, May 23, 2008 06:14 PM UTC:
A mutator language must be typed. Not all mutators go with each other. Some mutators deal with turns (like progressive mutators), others deal with pieces (eg, apply [Real] to chess king], and so on... This should ease the job of the programmer as well as the language designer.

Connect Chess. Players win by forming a link between the first and last ranks of the board. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
💡📝João Neto wrote on Wed, Jan 18, 2006 01:32 PM UTC:
[I just saw this question now] Indeed that situation was not specified by the original rules. I would say: (a) if a player forms a friendly link and also an enemy link, he wins; (b) if he forms just an enemy link, he loses.

David Pritchard. Death notice.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
João Neto wrote on Tue, Jan 3, 2006 07:19 PM UTC:
David Pritchard's death is a loss (every death is) but his work on chess
variants is very much alive and, hopefully, will continue to be fruitful
for a long time.

I feel that and its community of users (the only ones
that give some meaning to this collection of information) is a remarkable
tribute to his previous, pre-internet work, 'the Encyclopedia of Chess
Variants'. May our interest be a persistent thank you.

Swap Chess. A move can consist of a series of pieces swapping places. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
💡📝João Neto wrote on Tue, Jan 3, 2006 07:01 PM UTC:
>did you consider the basic one-step swap which I described in Switching

To be honest, I don't remember :-) But I guess not, usually I tend to
create faster games that FIDE chess, and by allowing just one move per
turn (which might be a swap) my intuition tells me that it would be harder
to mate a swapping king (of course, I may be wrong). Anyway, I don't
recall ever tried the rules of Switching Chess on my chess ruminations.

>I described Switching Chess before I knew of Swap Chess or Balanced Swap

>Chess, however, I later found an applet by Ed Friedlander called Swap
>Chess 1 that is almost identical to Switching Chess and predated it, 
>yet it is not attributed to you. 

I suppose Ed Friedlander read about swap chess here at
He has applets of other games of mine (like magnetic or capture-the-flag
chess). I think that applet implements Balanced Swap Chess.

>I guess I am not sure about the originality of Switching Chess vis-a-vis
>Swap Chess.

This seems a case of convergent invention. The idea is too simple and will
probably be 'found' many other times. Eventually, it was already invented
before 1998.


💡📝João Neto wrote on Tue, Jan 3, 2006 05:47 PM UTC:
Your rule seems appropriate. These original rules create too much havoc on
the position, and make medium-term strategies difficult to plan. 

At that time, I start playing a better variant of the same idea: Balanced
Swap Chess (
In this variant, the moving ability is much more constrained: only one
swap per move. 

Thanks for your comments! If you like to try a game of balanced swap
chess, email me.

Abstract ChessA game information page
. Pieces are represented by stacks of different heights.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
💡📝João Neto wrote on Thu, Jul 22, 2004 05:33 PM UTC:
Well, 14 knights is indeed a powerful army, but takes time to make it.
The other player may develop is own pieces in comfortable positions. But
that's the spirit of abchess, see the position and reshape your own army

💡📝João Neto wrote on Wed, Jul 21, 2004 08:10 AM UTC:
That's a good idea. But it probably would mean that both players would try
to keep their queens near an adjacent piece, so they can create a new King
while demoting the previous King (if attacked) to a queen and escape the
attack. And this tactic could continue in a cycle.

Usually, I don't like this type of thing (ie, multiple Kings, demoting
royal pieces, ...).

Switching Chess. In addition to normal moves, switch with an adjacent friendly piece. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
João Neto wrote on Tue, Jul 20, 2004 09:18 AM UTC:
Even with Greg's extra rule, I think the game will create many passive
positions. You could restrict the switch option to non-royal pieces, so
the King could not switch (and so, couldn't easily escape eventual

Also, check Swap Chess ( as a
similar CV concept.

Towers Chess. Win by pushing towers to the Kings' squares. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
João Neto wrote on Fri, Jun 25, 2004 11:44 AM UTC:
I didn't understand the winning condition. How the game ends?

If the goal is stated in a sufficient abstract way, this may be a general
mutator for games with movement.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to Chess - Part II. Several chess variants in the context of a Socratic dialog.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
📝João Neto wrote on Thu, Jun 17, 2004 07:23 AM UTC:
Not yet... Only the future may tell you for sure :-)

Slide Chess ZIP file. Variant on 44 squares with moving cages.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
💡João Neto wrote on Tue, Jun 15, 2004 07:22 AM UTC:
The 1st point (check using a cage insertion) is correct.

However, the 2nd point may happen. A pawn inside a cage can be promoted by
an insertion. Check the comments in the game webpage.

Once again, thanks for your work on the ZRF :-)

Slide-Chess. Variant on 44 squares with moving cages. (7x8, Cells: 44) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
💡📝João Neto wrote on Wed, Jun 9, 2004 02:32 PM UTC:
yes, that's right. 

Inside the cages they are in a non-zone regarding promotions, as the
typical place inside most companies :-)

💡📝João Neto wrote on Wed, Jun 9, 2004 02:12 PM UTC:
the pawn can be inside a cage, eg:

8    [O] ( )        
7   . n b k b n r   
6   . p p p p p p              
5   . . . . . . .
4   . . . . . . .
3   . O O O O O O
2   R N B K B N R
  a b c d e f g h i

now, if that cage is inserted into the board, the pawn will be at the last
row and will be promoted. Since the cage may belong to the adversary, it is
the mover that decides the promotion, not the owner

💡📝João Neto wrote on Fri, Jun 4, 2004 05:44 PM UTC:
Hi, indeed Roberto got it right in his ZRF. 

The idea is that the remaining sliding square should not be at the
opposite edge (so, it will not go out of bounds). Both sliding squares
must be diagonally or orthogonally adjacent to the main 6x7 board. 

The last pushed square on the 6x7 board can have pieces, except a King.

Sorry about the wording, natural language can be though :-)

Joao Neto

Slide Chess ZIP file. Variant on 44 squares with moving cages.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
💡João Neto wrote on Sun, May 16, 2004 08:16 AM UTC:
Hi Antoine

I wish to thank you to implement Slide Chess.

One problem: Each cage begins on the last player row, you must switch
cages in the setup (this is to avoid direct attacks to the enemy tower)

The Central Squares. 3d chess variant where all three levels share their central squares. (3x(6x6), Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
💡📝João Neto wrote on Thu, Mar 20, 2003 12:51 PM UTC:
I made that game a long time ago (2-3 years) but I think that you could have a Queen just if you promote a pawn. In the setup, the Queen is too powerful on such small board.

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