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Comments by Malcolm Webb

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Tower Chess. Game with additional stationary pieces.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Malcolm Webb wrote on 2018-04-03 UTC

Firstly a question: can one side drop both cathedrals on squares of the same colour?

Secondly, my own opinion about the ability to drop the stationary pieces anywhere is that I prefer it over the idea of only dropping to specific squares.

Thirdly another option for your consideration: each side can only drop their Palace if they have lost their Queen, each side can only drop a Tower if they have lost a Rook (and can only drop both Towers if they lost both Rooks), and each side can only drop a Cathedral if they lost a Bishop (possibly with a rule that it must be only on the same colour square as the Bishop which was lost). But this is just a suggestion.

Spookyhouse Chess. Strange and tricky dropchess.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Malcolm Webb wrote on 2017-10-28 UTC

The Ghost piece in the game "Black Ghost" can be captured, making it weaker than and very different from the Ghost in this game. So it is more like the Chess 2 game.

The game of "Pole Chess" has an uncapturable piece called the "Pole" which could go anywhere on the board, Piers Anthony mentioned this game and this piece in a science fiction novel in 1988. {Piers Anthony's description mentioned that there was one special circumstance in which the Pole could be captured, but he never described and apparently never worked out the "Pole-capturing" rule.} There is an article about Pole Chess on this website, as well as my own Zillions implementation of the game.

Pole Chess. Missing description (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Malcolm Webb wrote on 2017-06-11 UTC

I have posted a Zillions implementation of Piers Anthony's "Pole Chess". I noticed that the Pole does have a few offensive uses, even though Piers Anthony envisioned it as a defensive piece. One of its offensive uses is to block the escape of an enemy King, and thus contribute indirectly to the King being checkmated. I would therefore suspect that the "Pole-capturing" rule should make the game MORE "drawish".

My Zillions-rules file has one default version and nine different variants.

The default version does not allow the Pole to ever be captured. Each of the nine variants has its own "Pole-capturing" rule:

VARIANT ONE: The King may take the enemy Pole if it is in check and it has no other move.

VARIANT TWO: You may take the enemy Pole if you are in check.

VARIANT THREE: Your King may take the enemy Pole.

VARIANT FOUR: You may take the enemy Pole with any piece if it is next to your King.

VARIANT FIVE: A Pole may suicide-capture the enemy Pole with a King-move.

VARIANT SIX: A Pole may take the enemy Pole with a King-move, but can be captured normally from then on.

VARIANT SEVEN: If a Pole gives discovered check, it may be captured normally from then on.

VARIANT EIGHT: A Pole can capture and be captured if your King is in check and has no other move.

VARIANT NINE: Your Pole may suicide-capture the enemy Pole if by so doing you will "bare" your king.

Only my rule in Variant Two is identical to the rules proposed by A. Black: it is identical to his rules X and XI (these two rules are identical if you think about them).

Royal Rumble. A 6 board all-out melee with random pieces, royals and starting positions.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Malcolm Webb wrote on 2017-04-27 UTCGood ★★★★

Two minor points:

A) The "Dababbaphant" is more commonly known as an "Alibaba.

B) The picket comes from Tamerlane Chess, not Courier Chess.

Compound Courier Custom Chess. Game uses the Courier 12x8 board and adds knight compound pirces. (12x8, Cells: 96) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Malcolm Webb wrote on 2017-03-09 UTC

Hi Graeme,

I note that the pawns start on the third row, and hence pawns in ranks a, e and l are undefended in their starting positions. whereas some of the other pieces are triply-defended. Was this your intention when arranging these pieces? Most games with a pawn-row on the third row do so because there are at least one or two pieces on the second row, but that isn't the case here.

I also notice you have one each of the Queen and the Marshall but two each of the other queen-equivalent piece, namely (in this game) the Courier. (The Bishop-Knight compound piece has also been called the Princess, the Archbishop and the Cardinal, and these are only the three most popular names).

These issues aren't necessarily faults. I just wanted to know your thoughts on the matter.

SquireKnight. Squire Knight combines Knight and Forward/Backward Pawn like moves. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Malcolm Webb wrote on 2017-03-01 UTCAverage ★★★

There is a fairy piece called the "Dragon", combining the movements of  the Knight and the Pawn. However the Pawn movements are in a forward direction only. If it has not moved yet, the Dragon gets a two-step forward movement possibility (with an associated vulnerability to an en passant capture).

Ancient Bulgarian Chess (Bulgarian)BROKEN LINK!. Web page in Bulgarian with an English version of the page. Slow.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Malcolm Webb wrote on 2014-06-14 UTC
The link to this website is broken, and it seems this website no longer exists. However a copy of the English translation was added to the website "Carolus Chess":

Some of the English translation (especially for Abagoren Chess) is nearly incomprehensible without the pictures. The Carolus website links to the pictures of the original website, and therefore the images are not accessible.

Sha'rah. Missing description (13x13, Cells: 169) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Malcolm Webb wrote on 2014-05-24 UTCGood ★★★★
This game is intriguing I have a couple of questions:

A) Which work of fantasy was the inspiration for this game?

B) For the jumping-capture of the Zapper:

- can the Zapper make a sliding move before jumping? In other words, does the piece jumped over have to be adjacent to the Zapper, or can it be any distance away along a straight-line?

- can the Zapper continue sliding after making a jump? If so, can it make multiple captures like the Long-Leaper in Ultima?

- Can the Zapper make a jumping capture and make a sandwich capture in the same move?

- can the Zapper jump over an enemy piece and choose NOT to capture?

Abagoren Macedonian Chess ZIP file. Missing description[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Malcolm Webb wrote on 2014-05-24 UTC
I have uploaded an updated version of the Zillions rules-file. This corrects an error which occurred when the Emperor creates a pawn while on the back rank.
{NB: Play-testing shows it is uncommon to create an Emperor in this game, and even more uncommon to bring the Emperor to the back-rank}.

Ito Shogi. Missing description (1x31, Cells: 21) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Malcolm Webb wrote on 2013-03-18 UTCGood ★★★★
Dear Jonathan,
Let me know when the rules have again reached their final form, and I can update the Zillions rules file. Note that my e-mail address has been changed, and that I am now a member of this site.
Malcolm Webb.

Raumschach. The classical variant of three-dimensional chess: 5 by 5 by 5. (5x5x5, Cells: 125) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Malcolm Webb wrote on 2013-01-30 UTCBelowAverage ★★
I noted an acknowledgement of Mr Pfieffer in pointing out the error. However there is no acknowledgement of David Paulowich for pointing out another error. According to Dickins' book Black pawns promote on A first rank, White pawns promote on E fifth rank.

Malcolm Webb wrote on 2013-01-30 UTCBelowAverage ★★
This page (& the associated Zillions rules file) would be good if the pieces were set up correctly. Mr Pfieffer is right: according to Anthony Dickins "A Guide to Fairy Chess" the positions of the Black pieces on the D-level should be:

Da5-Unicorn, Db5-Bishop, Dc5-Queen, Dd5-Unicorn, De5-Bishop.

That is, each player should see each of their Bishops to the left of each of their Unicorns. Unfortunately the author has not yet corrected this error.

Dickins' book is a secondary source, based on articles by T.R.Dawson in Chess Amateur 1926. The most authoritative source would be Ferdinand Maack's original three books in German; if anyone has access to these books and can show that Dickins was wrong, then I stand corrected. However this page references Dickins' book without correctly implementing it.

There are problems with Raumschach as a game, one being the incomplete coverage of the 3D-board by the Unicorns. However Raumschach has a place in Chess history, and should be correctly presented with all its faults.

Tower Siege: 3D Chess Game. Missing description (8x8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Malcolm Webb wrote on 2013-01-30 UTC
I like the basic idea, and I appreciate the diagram you added to the previous comment illustrating the Bishop move (and presumably the Queen move also).
I like the innovation of the Queen's ability to give check to the King if it is on the same level and unaccompanied. This new ability is necessary to keep the game moving, and makes the Queen much more important than in 2D chess.

I presume the King moves in all 26 directions. That being so, I expect that forcing checkmate would be quite difficult if you had lost your Queen.

Malcolm Webb wrote on 2013-01-30 UTC
I think I have a clearer idea of what you intend. However your page needs to be edited.

The Checkmate position: I see you meant to say that the Black King was in checkmate. I can see that it is attacked by the White Rook at the top level. I can see that the two White Queens above and below prevent it from escaping up or down. I cannot see the White Rook protecting either Queen, nor can I see any movement that the Black King could make to capture either White Queen. Nor do I see any White pieces attacking the eight adjacent squares next to the Black King on the same level. As far as I can see, the Black King could move to any adjacent square on the same level and escape check.

The Queen: People will not always assume that the Queen combines the movement of Bishop & Rook (it is after all a different game) and this should be explicitly stated. 

The Bishop: in 3-dimensional Chess the word "diagonal" has been used with various meanings. There are 26 directions of movement from a cell in cubical 3D chess:
- six orthogonal directions through the faces of the cube, changing only one co-ordinate with each step;
- twelve 2D-diagonal movements through the edges of the cube, changing two co-ordinates with each step;
- eight 3d-diagonal movements (sometimes called "triagonal") through the vertices (or corners) of the cube, changing all three co-ordinates with each step.
In order for the Bishop to not change colour, it would need to make the "triagonal" move when going from one level to the next, but make the 2D-diagonal move when on its own level. If this is so it should be explicitly stated. The Bishop in Raumschach and in many other 3D-chess variants moves differently, always using a 2D-diagonal move even when changing levels.

Your best description of movement is your description of the Knight-move.

Malcolm Webb wrote on 2013-01-29 UTCBelowAverage ★★
I give the below average rating because your description does not give me enough information to play the game. I make the following points:

A) The opening scenario is unnecessary and inappropriate. A force of commandos & terrorists would not bring their King into a battle, nor would the forces be identical. Chess dates from the time when Kings actually rode out to battle. A besieged castle would be a better description.

B) The 3-D board has all the white squares above or below the other white squares in a vertical column; the black squares are similarly arranged. This means that a Rook moving up or down (like a lift in a multi-storey building) would stay in cells of the same colour. Thus if you were looking at the building from the front, you would not see a checkered board; instead you would see four vertical columns of white squares alternating with four vertical columns of black squares. Was this your intention?

C) This being so, I do not understand how the Bishop moves when changing levels. In order to not change colour it would have to move "triagonally" (that is, through the corner of the cells), not diagonally. It would have to follow the same path you illustrate for pawn captures when they are going up or down. An illustration of the Bishop's move would help.

D) From your description, the Queen's move is identical to the Rook's move, namely an orthogonal move in all six directions. The only difference is that the Queen has the additional power to place an enemy King in check if they are both on the same level with no other enemy piece on the same level. Was this your intention?

E) Going from your description the checkmate position you illustrate is not checkmate at all. I presume that the Black Queen is the one under the White  King. The Black Rook does not protect the Black Queen as it is in a diagonal line from the Queen. The White King could move to any of the five squares surrounding it on the same level without being threatened by the Black Queen or by any other piece. It could also move upwards diagonally or  "triagonally" and not be threatened. The only square that it could not move to on the level above it would be the square directly above itself. In total I see eleven cells to which the King could move to escape check.

Perhaps illustration of the moves of the Rook, Bishop & Queen would assist, as I can only go by your verbal description.

The game will take quite a long time to play. This is not necessarily a fault. However it was for this reason that Ferdinand Maack created the original 3D chess as a 5 x 5 x 5 game.

Abagoren Chess ZIP file. Missing description[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Malcolm Webb wrote on 2013-01-26 UTC
I have now managed to upload the Zillions file under my own name.
Could this page be deleted? It seems only Freederick can do this.

Malcolm Webb wrote on 2013-01-23 UTC
I have tried to resubmit using my own name, but cannot select it from the drop-down menu {even though I have registered as a user}. I did discover, however, that I could submit as anyone else {even you Christine} using my own password. This is a flaw which should be rectified by the administrators.

Malcolm Webb wrote on 2013-01-22 UTC
I was the one who submitted this Zillions rule-file, not Freederick. I cannot understand how it came to be attributed to him, as I used my own password. I apologise to Freederick for inadvertently submitting this rules file in his name. Apparently this has happened to him before.

It is the first time I have personally submitted anything other than a comment. {My other Zillions file, Ito Shogi, was submitted on my behalf by Jonathon Rutherford, its inventor}.

Could the administrators please amend this matter and correctly attribute this rules file to me? I also have some diagrams which I could add, but do not want to add anything till the entry is correctly attributed to me.

I welcome any comments.

LAWS OF CHESS[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
MALCOLM wrote on 2002-08-18 UTC

The FIDE Laws Of Chess. The official rules of Chess from the World Chess Federation.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
MALCOLM wrote on 2002-08-18 UTCGood ★★★★

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