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Game Reviews by Roberto Lavieri

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Shako. Cannons and elephants are added in variant on 10 by 10 board. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Roberto Lavieri wrote on Mon, Aug 14, 2006 10:48 PM UTC:Good ★★★★
I think this games is (perhaps more than FIDE-Chess) very sensitive to openings. You can be quickly in clear disadvantage after some weak opening moves. Some care is needed...

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]
Roberto Lavieri wrote on Sat, Jul 22, 2006 12:18 AM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
That's a good idea. We need a new Page, what about 'Ultima Tips'-?. A good theoretical developement may need tons of material; some of us are moderately experienced players, but I�m sure we are not big authorities,and a theory developed by us may be biased, somewhat primitive and far from exhaustive and water-proof. I can do something about it time to time, I suppose that other experienced players here can do something too: Matthew, Antoine, some others and, generally, everybody who visit TCVP can give us something interesting...

Moderate Progressive Chess. A player may make one more move than his opponent just made. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Roberto Lavieri wrote on Tue, Jul 18, 2006 01:58 AM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
Well, I have tried this game briefly. I have to say it seems better than you can figure at first view. I may be influenced because I always rate good or excellent other progresive variants, but I feel this variant more nice to play.

House of Mirrors Chess. Mirrors and reflective pieces add interesting twists to strategy by making pieces appear in 2 or 3 places at the same time. (8x8, Cells: 87) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Roberto Lavieri wrote on Tue, Jul 18, 2006 01:53 AM UTC:Good ★★★★
Very interesting!. Being me, I would put more mirrors, but it is fine as is now,

Italian Progressive Chess. White moves once, black two times, white three times, etc. Check is only allowed at last move of series. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Roberto Lavieri wrote on Tue, Jul 4, 2006 10:15 PM UTC:Good ★★★★
This game is a classic. It is very difficult to master, due the extreme deepness regardless you can finish a game in very few moves. On purpose of other Italian things, (caugh, caugh), see the sports news.

Three Elephant Chess. War Towers destroy 3 spaces at a time - protect your elephants while capturing your opponent's. (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Roberto Lavieri wrote on Sat, Jun 3, 2006 11:39 AM UTC:Good ★★★★
This game seems to be very strategic, perhaps a bit slow, but it does not affects the fun, this game, as is, seems to be very interesting. My experience with stones is not negative, I like these pieces if you want a less tactical and a more strategical game, but I admit that it can slow the game. I need some tests to evaluate better this game; for a while, a 'good' rating.

Joshua's Chess. Missing description (12x12, Cells: 144) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Roberto Lavieri wrote on Sat, Dec 31, 2005 06:46 PM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
It looks very playable at first appearance, and I guess it is a good game, by genetical reasons. What about a ZRF, to see?

Regenbogen. Unusual spectrum-based game with Wizards, Clerics and Spirits. (Cells: 44) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Roberto Lavieri wrote on Mon, Dec 19, 2005 11:47 PM UTC:Good ★★★★
To see!. Yes, I think that the ZRF implementation could be challenging. The game itself looks interesting, but I have not had opportunity to make any kind of tests.

Giveaway Chess. Taking is obligatory; the first player that loses all his pieces wins. (8x8, Cells: 64) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Roberto Lavieri wrote on Tue, Dec 13, 2005 01:37 PM UTC:Good ★★★★
I don´t know whether some extensive computer analysis has been done for this game, the branching factor is by far much less than in chess. With the aid of actual technology, it seems to be a good project, perhaps factible, to determine if it its true of false the empirical suspect that the game is a forced win for White.

Sigma 4 Shogi. Missing description (7x7, Cells: 49) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Roberto Lavieri wrote on Tue, Nov 29, 2005 12:28 PM UTC:Good ★★★★
It seems pretty interesting, although I have not played it yet. Intuitively, I only have doubts about the up-to-four stones on the basis, there are Camels and Zebras in the game, so power should be innecessarily high for a 7x7 game. I have to make some tests to see.

Shatranj of Troy. A Shatranj variant with Shogi-like drops, a Trojan Horse (with 6 pieces inside),. (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Roberto Lavieri wrote on Thu, Nov 17, 2005 12:36 PM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
Nice idea, Shogi is great by many reasons, but the relatively low power of many pieces is a special element of interest when there are drops, and Shatranj looks excellent for this purpose too. I have to play it to see how it works. My only observation: I prefer that after a Horse of Troy capture, it changes sides, but its contents are lost, i.e., it transforms to a single Knight.

Hasami Shogi. Popular Japanese game, playable with Shogi set. (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Roberto Lavieri wrote on Sun, Oct 23, 2005 08:54 PM UTC:Good ★★★★
Hasami Shogi is an interesting game, I don´t know about the origins, but it
is very different from Shogi, so the name could be any other not associated
with Shogi.There are other similar games. I have read that 
Mak-yek is played in Siam (and Malaysia under the name Apit-sodok) with
the same goal, on the same board, but the 16 stones of each player are
placed on the first and third row. The moves are the same, but the capture
is custodian and also by intervention. Intervention capture is the opposite
of custodian. If a stone moves between two enemy stones, it captures both
stones. I have not played these variants, but my intuition says to me that
they can be much more violent than HS.

U12 Shogi. A new kind of large shogi game. (12x12, Cells: 144) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Roberto Lavieri wrote on Tue, Sep 13, 2005 02:48 PM UTC:Good ★★★★
I have not played the game yet, it looks interesting, but I have the first impression that the average number of moves to finish a game would be high, not less than 120 moves. Has anoyone tried this game?.

Amazons. Queens fire arrows to make squares unpassable. Last player that moves wins. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Roberto Lavieri wrote on Wed, Sep 7, 2005 12:06 PM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
If you are interested in this popular territorial game and you are
encouraged to try a very strong opponent, I suggest the AMAZONG Java
applet that you can find at: 
AMAZONG is perhasp the strongest program playing Amazons now,
nevertheless, it can be beated by humans, I have won a couple of times
(but I have lost at least ten games against it). I think AMAZONG, under
conventional time controls, plays at a level equivalent to 2400-2500
rating, translating it to Chess ELO, but the Java applet only uses a few
seconds for each move, so the level is a bit lower, although it is strong
enough, I believe not less than 2200. Try it!.

Argess. White and Black have different starting positions. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Roberto Lavieri wrote on Tue, Sep 6, 2005 12:53 PM UTC:Good ★★★★
Interesting. I need some tests to take a better idea.

Hamiltonian Chess. Win by forming a Hamiltonian path between your pieces. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Roberto Lavieri wrote on Sat, Aug 27, 2005 10:35 PM UTC:Good ★★★★
Good abstract game

Opulent Chess. A derivative of Grand Chess with additional jumping pieces (Lion and Wizard). (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Roberto Lavieri wrote on Sun, Jul 17, 2005 02:17 PM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
I have tested this game a few times, and I can say it is as good as 
Grand-Chess, although with a different taste. Yes, the game tendence is to
moderately long games, with average of 100-120 moves to finish a good
Opulent Chess game, but it does not demerit the game, the game play is
very interesting, deep, rich and, yes, it is very strategic. I like it.

Amazons. Queens fire arrows to make squares unpassable. Last player that moves wins. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Roberto Lavieri wrote on Fri, Jul 8, 2005 09:39 PM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
I don´t know how many users and members of TCVP have played this great
game. I have only seen at that Andreas has been an active
Amazons player, with a good performance. The best rated Amazons player at
brainking is Grim Reaper (Ed Trice)
Total score: 269 wins, 17 draws, 0 losses.
Impressively good score.

Angels and Devils. Chess game where white has two Angels and black has two Devils. (10x8, Cells: 80) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Roberto Lavieri wrote on Sat, Jul 2, 2005 01:02 PM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
Interesting, I have to play a test game to see details.
Mike, I have tested CHESS V vs. ZILLIONS in ULTIMA. The results have shown
 notorious superiority of CHESS V:  10 to 0 !!!. Chess V plays ULTIMA quite
well, Zillions plays it relatively weak, I have not problems to beat
Zillions in every game I play against it, but I have troubles to beat
CHESS V, I can not do that very often, say, one victory in four games I
play against CHESS V, more or less. My estimated ratings in ULTIMA are:
CHESS V between 2000-2200 ULTIMA ELO rating (Using FIDE-Chess
terminology), and Zillions around 1700, perhaps less. I have not tested
the rest of the games.

Commedia dell'Arte Chess. A Pawnless variant with themed pieces on a 10x10 board with 5 square groups of 4 cells removed. (10x10, Cells: 80) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Roberto Lavieri wrote on Fri, Jun 17, 2005 04:03 PM UTC:Good ★★★★
Many games with a missing central squares can give the players the feeling of a like-Circular-Chess game play. In this case, the pieces used look very interesting, and can add richness and beauty. I have not made tests, but my first subjective impresion is that the game play should be nice. Once I try it (if I have the time to do that, I´ll prepare a primitive ZRF this weekend, it looks relatively easy), the 'good' rating can change, I suspect that this game can be excellent, and my measure is my standard: Game play quality, in my personal opinion, of course.

Grand Chess. Christian Freeling's popular large chess variant on 10 by 10 board. Rules and links. (10x10, Cells: 100) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Roberto Lavieri wrote on Mon, Jun 13, 2005 02:16 AM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
Some people has critiziced the initial setup. Others think that the Pawns in third rank and majority of bigger pieces in second is not the best idea. I strongly disagree, this game is excellent, and much more: for me, it is one of the best decimal variants ever made. The measures: the beauty, deepness and interest of an average game. Superb.

veSQuj - Chess with 21st century armies. A highly tactical variant with a 21st-century-war theme. (6x6, Cells: 36) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Roberto Lavieri wrote on Sun, May 29, 2005 11:45 AM UTC:Good ★★★★
Good game in a little board, very tactical, although very sensitive to clearly weak moves. I would try a version in 7x7 or 8x8, to see. I suppose the name is nice to hear, because it is in Klingon. The most similar to Klingon I have heard, apart from Star Trek, was a grabation of a mathematical conference by a japanese spokeman, running the grabation in reverse and slow velocity. Many people says it is a difficult-to-learn language. I am not sure, some babies months-aged speak something that can be, very probably, re-directed to Klingon by patient parents.

Mitosis Chess. Each captured major piece in this game returns to the board as the two or three pieces it originally consisted of. (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Roberto Lavieri wrote on Wed, May 25, 2005 05:16 PM UTC:Good ★★★★
I am very curious to see the ongoing game in the Courier System, I have not a clear idea about the game play, but I guess it may be very interesting, rich in possibilities, undoubtely deep and ...complex!.

Hexa Decimal. Larger hexagonal chess variant. (11x11, Cells: 90) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Roberto Lavieri wrote on Sun, May 22, 2005 09:59 PM UTC:Good ★★★★
I have played a test game (main variant) against Zillions. I could win after 278 moves, interesting game but really extense, and I think it is not casualty, it is very possible that the game tendence is to last a lot of moves. My opinion is that there are too many pieces, and perhaps the game works better in a slightly smaller board and with less pieces. I have not tried the (included) variant with less pieces, but I am sure the game lenght average is much less in this variant, I´ll try it soon.

Opulent Chess. A derivative of Grand Chess with additional jumping pieces (Lion and Wizard). (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Roberto Lavieri wrote on Fri, May 13, 2005 03:04 PM UTC:Good ★★★★
A very good (Excellent?) variant of Grand Chess, rich in possibilities, excellent initial set-up and with a smooth game play. I have to test it a few times more, my first experience against Zillions was a very extense game of 140 moves. (Zillions plays it relatively well, but with some ingenuity in position of pieces. Nevertheless, it was a hard-to-win test game)

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