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Comments by John Lawson

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Tai Shogi pictures. Photos of a commercially available Tai Shogi set.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
📝John Lawson wrote on Sun, Oct 13, 2019 11:30 AM UTC:

I still have an old price list, and George Hodges did not make a Taikyoku Shogi set.

Change your password[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
John Lawson wrote on Thu, Aug 8, 2019 11:07 PM UTC:

I've had emails like that, similar to yours.

Makarenko's Chess. Pieces are stacks which can be split and combined to create other pieces.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Lawson wrote on Fri, Jan 11, 2019 01:40 PM UTC:

Heck, unstack all the pieces, and turn the game into Maharaja and the Sepoys.

Modern Chess. Variant on a 9 by 9 board with piece that combines bishop and knight moves. (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Lawson wrote on Thu, Jun 28, 2018 04:50 PM UTC:


I have a Modern Chess set, so I checked the official rules. They state that the game be played as it is set up. That is, one player has two bishops on white, the other had two bishops on black. The author seems to think this is better. The inventor permits, with prior agreement of both players before the start of the game, the "Adjustment of the Bishop".  Each player may swap one bishop with either neighboring piece, providing neither has moved.  This expressly forbidden in the official rules.

AmazonsA game information page
. Amazons and a computer version.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Lawson wrote on Mon, Apr 23, 2018 06:52 PM UTC:


As Ben said, the CVP tends to be inclusive  as far as what is considered a chess variant.  There have been several discussions over the years, and it is always too hard to draw a precise line.  Ultima was questioned because it didn't have replacement capture. There was a discussion around Nemoroth because the victory ondition was stalemate and the piece interactions were unique.  All in all, any game inspired by chess that might interest a variantist would be included.

Test Page. Members-Only Missing description[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]

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Mortal Shogi. A Shogi variant in which pieces aren't all immortal. (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Lawson wrote on Wed, Apr 11, 2018 12:26 AM UTC:

After all these years, I see a typo. In the description of the promotion of the Bishop, it is called a "Rook".

Kyoto Shogi. Modern 5x5 Shogi variant where pieces promote and unpromote with every move.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Lawson wrote on Sun, Apr 1, 2018 10:05 PM UTC:

I found this Kyoto Shogi page on the Wayback Machine.  I also have the Abstract Games Magazine issue referended, but it's been packed and won't be available for a few weeks.

John Lawson wrote on Sun, Apr 1, 2018 03:22 PM UTC:


Talk about synchonicity, I just came across the Kyoto shogi pieces I got from George Hodges, while packing to move.  I looked around in my stuff, and found the rules are not included in Hodges Ten Shogi Variants, nor is the answer to your checkmate question in the screen print of the moves I have from Steve Evans' SHOGIVAR.  The Classified Encyclopedia of Chess Variants, after describing the moves, says "All othe rules as in Shogi". There is also a Zillions implementation by Steve Evans, but I no longer have a working version of ZoG.

Recognized Chess Variants. Index page listing the variants we feel are most significant. (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Lawson wrote on Sat, Mar 31, 2018 03:55 AM UTC:


I have The Classified Encyclopedia of Chess Variants, so I looked it up.  There's not a lot of additional information.  It says Janus Chess was invented in 1978 by Rudolf Lauterbach and Werner Schoendorf, and originally marketed as Super-Chess.  The only references mentioned are, "Booklet Janus Schach, also photocopy of manufacturer's publicity material."

MSlifeform-chess[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Lawson wrote on Sat, Jan 23, 2016 03:19 AM UTC:
Just to clarify, Hands either move four spaces as a Rook, or one Knight move?

Taikyoku Shogi. Extremely large shogi variant. (36x36, Cells: 1296) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Lawson wrote on Wed, Dec 23, 2015 11:20 PM UTC:
I have MS Office both at home and work, so I could likely read the file and translate to another format if you send it to me.  The email account in my member record is still current.

John Lawson wrote on Wed, Dec 23, 2015 04:51 AM UTC:
I have been out of touch for years, but I don't think George ever made Taikyoku sets.  Tai Shogi sets for sure, since I have one, but none larger.

John Lawson wrote on Tue, Dec 22, 2015 12:22 AM UTC:
George Hodges died about five years ago.

15-50-500YrsAgo[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
John Lawson wrote on Tue, Aug 18, 2015 10:05 PM UTC:
Pizza Kings is more like immortality-lite. I should have written up my
Nemoroth variant, based on bodily functions, but it would have grossly
violated the CVP's G rating. And I do mean "grossly"...

John Lawson wrote on Sun, Aug 16, 2015 01:19 PM UTC:
I think there a number of old fogies that are no longer active, but check
in occasionally and will comment if something they were involved in comes

John Lawson wrote on Tue, Aug 11, 2015 02:14 AM UTC:
I started coming here in late 97 or early 98, when we got our first home
pc. I find it amazing that it has been nearly 20 years.

Chameleon (1). Take a piece in the way that piece is taking.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Lawson wrote on Mon, Jul 20, 2015 04:47 AM UTC:
Any piece that is immobilzed can self-destruct, including the Immobilizer.

Fugue. Based on Ultima and Rococo this game has pieces that capture in unusual ways. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Lawson wrote on Sun, Oct 12, 2014 01:15 AM UTC:
I have no special knowledge of Fugue, but two considerations lead me to believe that the spotter must be on the same side as the Archer. First, the friendly piece is referred to in the paragraph on the Archer, so I infer the spotter is friendly to the Archer.  Second, I interpret "spotting" as being like an artillery spotter, and logically, why would a piece spot another piece from its own side for an enemy Archer.
Your friend sounds like a rules lawyer; he should relax, especially if this argument is five years old.  Of course, you could play the game both ways and report back here which you fond to be better.

Chancellor. Moves like rook or as knight.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Lawson wrote on Thu, Oct 9, 2014 04:03 AM UTC:
For what it's worth, Murray in chapter XVI (p. 346) describes such a game, but it is modern.  The description occurs directly after a description of a 14th C. shatranj-al-kabir, so perhaps a mistake was made.

Ultima. Game where each type of piece has a different capturing ability. Also called Baroque. (8x8, Cells: 64) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Lawson wrote on Sat, Jan 4, 2014 05:37 AM UTC:
Withdrawing is from Fanorona, played on Madagascar.  According to "Abbot's New Card Games", the Coordinator and the Immobilizer are original pieces, as is the Chameleon.

Ziggurat. Mesopotamian-themed variant on a 43-square board. (13x5, Cells: 43) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Lawson wrote on Mon, Jul 1, 2013 03:52 AM UTC:
It's been quite a while, but I believe Spearmen do not promote.  Since I believe Glenn wrote the zrf himself, trying it in Zillions would give a solid answer.

Rules of Chess FAQ. Frequently asked chess questions.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Lawson wrote on Fri, May 17, 2013 10:22 PM UTC:
No, castling can only be done with the rook.  The king is moved two spaces toward the rook, and the rook is then placed on the other side of the king.  There are other limitations as well, all detailed in the rules.

Michael Howe's Universal Chess[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
John Lawson wrote on Thu, Nov 15, 2012 11:02 PM UTC:
I think I remember that Mike pulled all his content from this site a couple
years ago.  He is no longer on the contributor list.

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