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Comments by Steven Streetman

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CVs_At_ChessBase[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Steven Streetman wrote on 2015-03-02 UTC
Really enjoyed the link to the explination of science using chess.

Which one of those chess teams is better?[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Steven Streetman wrote on 2015-02-14 UTC
Just to be sure before I comment.... What variant of chess are you talking
about. Spartan Chess?

Thoughts on Chess with Different Pawns. The difficulties of composing Chess with Different Pawns.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Steven Streetman wrote on 2015-02-10 UTC
Concerning chess with different pawns on one side...

In Spartan Chess the White side, the Persians, are a conventional FIDA army. For the black side, the Spartans, everything is different.

The pawns (a variation of Berolina pawns) and the pieces, are all different. In addition, the Spartans have two kings, not one (historical). Despite all of the differences (pawns, pieces, Kings) the game has proven in thousands of computer vs. computer games to be more balanced than FIDA chess. In FIDA chess white has a winning percentage advantage of 54% and a draw rate of 33%. Spartan Chess has proven to have a winning percentage of 50.5% for the Spartans (Black) and a draw rate of 25%.

Hence, Spartan Chess is more balanced and less drawish than FIDA chess. I have pondered why this is true and I really do not know why.

Spartan Chess Web Site
Spartan Chess on Chess Variants

Spartan Chess. A game with unequal armies. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Steven Streetman wrote on 2011-10-01 UTC
Have you ever seen chess warriors so menacing?

A Spartan chess set is now designed and prototyped.
The prototypes set is available for sale on Shapeways: Spartan Set   

Steven Streetman wrote on 2011-07-19 UTC
Spartan Chess Puzzles - Solutions

Puzzle #1
Black (Spartan) to move and mate in 3

1.  ...	Lf3-e3+
2.  Kb1	Cb5-b3+
3.  Ka1	L35-c3#
Puzzle #2 
Black (Spartan) to move and mate in 4

1.  ...		Hb2-c1 = K
2.  Qa2xKc2	Kc1xQc2
3.  Ka1-a2	Ca5-a4+
4.  Ka2-a1	Ca4-a3#

Only by promotion the hoplite to a King can the Spartan win.
Persian moves other than 2. Qa2xKc2 result in a quicker Spartan victory.

2. Qa2-b3	Ca5-a3+
3. Qb3xCa3	Kc1-b1#

2. (any other)	Kc1-b1#
Puzzle #3 
White (Persian) to move and mate in 2

1.  Nd8-b7+	Ld5xNb7
2.  b2-b4#

Puzzle #4 
Black (Spartan) to move and mate in 3

1.  ...		Lf5-c3+
2.  Bb2xLc3	La5xBc3+
3.  Rf3xLc3	Wb4xRc3#

Puzzle #5 
Black (Spartan) to move and mate in 2

1.  ...		Wc5xb3+
2.  Kc1-b2	Hd2-c1=W#

Steven Streetman wrote on 2011-07-14 UTC
Two more Spartan Chess puzzles.
The solutions will be posted separately in a day or so.

Spartan pieces are labeled and move as follows:
h = Hoplite - moves 1 square diagonally and captures 1 forward
L = Lieutenant - leaps 1 or 2 squares diagonally, moves (no capture) 1 square horizontally
C = Captain - leaps 1 or 2 squares orthogonally
G = General - moves like a rook or King
W = Warlord - moves like a Knight or a Bishop
K = Spartan King - move exactly like an orthodox King

Puzzle #4
Black (Spartan) to move and mate in 3

Puzzle #5
Black (Spartan) to move and mate in 2

Steven Streetman wrote on 2011-07-09 UTC
Mr. Anonymous
puzzle 2 a5-a3+ a2-a3
         b2-b1+ promotes
if promote to RN, then a1-a2
         b1-c3+ a2-a1
         c3-a3 mate
if promote to RK [aka: General], then mate.
b2-b1 is not a correct Spartan Chess move. The hoplite, or Spartan pawn, moves diagonally and captures straight ahead. Since there is no enemy piece on b1 the hoplite cannot get to that square. Also there is no RN. There is the General=RK and the Warlord=BN.

The solution is a bit trickier.

Steven Streetman wrote on 2011-07-09 UTC
A few Spartan chess puzzles for your amusement and critique.
Shortly I will post their solutions or the refutation as it is easy to err on such puzzles.

Spartan pieces are labeled and move as follows:
h = Hoplite - moves 1 square diagonally and captures 1 forward
L = Lieutenant - leaps 1 or 2 squares diagonally, moves (no capture) 1 square horizontally
C = Captain - leaps 1 or 2 squares orthogonally
G = General - moves like a rook or King
W = Warlord - moves like a Knight or a Bishop
K = Spartan King - move exactly like an orthodox King

Puzzle #1
Black (Spartan) to move and mate in 3

Puzzle #2
Black (Spartan) to move and mate in 4

Puzzle #3
White (Persian) to move and mate in 2

Post your solution, comment or critique.

If you create a Spartan chess puzzle please post it and I will be glad to
post it to the official Spartan Chess website crediting you as its author.

[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Steven Streetman wrote on 2011-02-19 UTC
These little blemishes, �, are appearing all over the place now that I
look. They have been purged from the Spartan Chess submission but I see
them in comments, instructions for presets, and even the 'List of All

Just thought I would report this in case it had not been noticed.

[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Steven Streetman wrote on 2011-02-19 UTC
Sorry about the lengthy nature of the next post on submitting a Chess

Some of you, who I have emailed these instructions to, have already found them useful. If you are not about to post a chess variant you will probably just find the post cluttering up your screen. If I could have posted this and just had one line appear on the comments page I would have done that. Sorry once again.

[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Steven Streetman wrote on 2011-02-19 UTC
How to Post Your Chess Variant
Making a Chess Variants (CV) Submission

This work describes the preferred way to make a chess variant submission, i.e. through the Chess Variants’ on-line forms. This method is preferred because you end up with a consistent presentation that you the inventor/author can easily edit and update.

If you would like a printable copy of these instructions send an email to:
SpartanChessOnline at

This document has 4 sections:
I. Big Picture – An outline of the complete process.
II. Details – Details on each step in the process.
III. Submission Illustration – An example of a chess variant submission
IV. Submission Results – The result of the example variant submission

I. Big Picture
Making a chess variant submission through the Chess Variants (CV) on-line forms is a 4 step process. Each of these steps in described in section II Details.

The steps are:
A. User Registration
B. Request contributor ID
C. Document your variant
D. Make your submission

II. Details
Here are details on each step.

A. - User Registration
Register as a user and get a voice on CV forums. To register visit this page:
You may, if you like, do this step before you document your chess variant or even if you never plan to submit a variant.

B. - Request contributor ID
Request a contributor ID by sending an email to either David Howe at david_cvp at or Joe Joyce at mjjoyce3 at Be sure to remember your Contributor ID and password.

C. - Document your variant
CV provides a format for chess documentation that has been used for hundreds of chess variants. You will need to have this format in mind when documenting your chess variant.

There are 5 sections in the CV format:

Introduction – A description of your variant. What is historical, new or distinct about it?
Set Up –Board layout and piece set up.
Pieces –Movement of pieces.
Rules – Variant’s rules.
Notes – Document anything else you need or want to say about your variant.

HTML or Text
You can make a submission to CV as text. Alternatively you may make a HTML submission. An HTML submission requires more knowledge.

Later on we will illustrate a simple chess variant text submission utilizing a fictitious chess variant called Plutonian Chess.

D. - Submit your variant
These are the steps involved in submitting a chess variant to CV. You may jump directly to the submission page here:

You may wish to wish to read the CV submission related materials on route to the submission page by following these pages:

> From the CV main page select the How you can help link.

> From the 'How you can help!' page select the follow the technical guidelines for the html-code link.

> From the 'Preferred html-form of contributions' page select the Post your own game link.

1. Step 1 - Complete Form: Edit the name and classification information by checking the appropriate boxes and so on. You will note that you must select your contributor ID from a list box. Since it cannot be entered manually step C must have already been completed.

SEND - When you are done filling out this form press the SEND button at the bottom of the form. You will be taken to the Step 2 form.

2. Step 2 – Describe Your Submission: You will be called upon to describe your submission in the format outlined above in “A - Document Your Variant”. It is easiest if you have already written your submission and you are simply cutting and pasting it from a program like Word, Notepad or Aptana Studio.

SEND – When you are ready to view what you have entered hit the SEND button at the bottom of the form and you are directed to view your submission.

RE-SENDING - You can enter a portion of your complete submission and SEND it as many times as you like. Feel free to enter your submission in small portions if that suites you.

BOOKMARK URL – After you hit the step 2 SEND button and are viewing your CV submission we suggest you bookmark or write down the URL. This way, if your submission process is interrupted for a day or even a month, you can easily come back to this page and resume the process. And from this page, near the bottom are links w get you back to the Step 1 and Step 2 forms.

3. Upload Images: If you are making an HTML submission you can upload images. When you SEND your Step 2 form you will be directed to a view of your variant submission. Near the bottom of this view is a link titled “upload files”. Click this link and you are directed to the Upload File form. BROWSE and find the file you wish to upload on your computer and enter your password.

UPLOAD FILE – After you select the file you desire, press the UPLOAD FILE button to upload your file from your computer to CV.

'IMG TAG' - You will be given the exact format and content of the HTML 'img tag' that you need for your image. You may wish to copy this tag and go back to your Step 2 form and paste it in.

4. I lost my submission, and can’t find it!: If this happens send an email to Joe Joyce at mjjoyce3 at and he will do what he can to find it and send you the URL.


III. Submission Illustration
What follows is the documentation created for fictitious chess variation called Plutonian Chess. This submission illustration is for a text format submission. The text between the dotted lines was cut and pasted into the Step 2: form.

You may view the Step 2 form with the following submission text here:

--------BEGIN INTRODUCTION--------------------

Plutonian Chess is a completely fictitious chess variant created for the purposes of illustrating a CV submission. It has never been played.

You may, however, think of Plutonian Chess as the preferred form of chess played by Venusian star freighter captains docking at Pluto on their way to Alpha Centuri in the 23rd century.

--------END INTRODUCTION--------------------
--------BEGIN SETUP--------------------
Plutonian is played on a standard 8x8 chessboard.

White King e1; Queen d1; Rooks a1, h1; Knights b1, c1; Changelings f1, g1; Pawns a2, b2, c2, d2, e2, f2, g2, h2.

King d8; Queen e8; Rooks a8, h8; Knights f8, g8; Changelings b8, c8; Pawns a7, b7, c7, d7, e7, f7, g7, h7.

Setup Illustration:
8 r c c q k n n r
7 p p p p p p p p
6 . . . . . . . .
5 . . . . . . . .
4 . . . . . . . .
3 . . . . . . . .
2 P P P P P P P P
1 R N N Q K C C R
a b c d e f g h
--------END SETUP--------------------
--------BEGIN PIECES--------------------

All pieces are the same as in orthodox chess except as described here.

The changeling takes the place of the bishop and both are deployed on the right flank. The movement of the changing depends on the color of the square it sits on:
On a white square: B+N - Bishop or Knight
On a black square: R+N - Rook or Knight

A dominator enters the game when a pawn is promoted. A dominator moves:
B+N+K – Bishop or Knight or King
--------END PIECES--------------------

--------BEGIN RULES--------------------
All rules are the same as for orthodox except as modified here.

Pawn Promotion
When a pawn reaches the 8th rank it always promotes to a dominator.
--------END RULES--------------------
--------BEGIN NOTES--------------------
Plutonian Chess may be played with a standard chess set and a few tokens such as pieces from a checkers set.

Use the Bishop to represent the Changeling.

Place a token such as a checker under the promoted pawn to indicate it is a Dominator.
--------END NOTES--------------------

IV. Submission Result
You may view the result of this submission here:


If you would like a printable copy of these instructions send an email to:
SpartanChessOnline at

Spartan Chess. A game with unequal armies. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Steven Streetman wrote on 2011-02-18 UTC

I see what you mean. They were not like this at one point, now they are. Thanks for pointing it out. I will get right on it.

Hmmm, sort of odd. I resubmitted the first section and all the offending characters were gone. When I resubmitted the second section, The Setup, the offending characters were back.

It seems that what is not liked is '& nbsp;' (no space between & and nbsp;) which is used in HTML for padding spaces. I will figure a way to scrub this out of the submission.

Scrubbing done. Still seems sort of odd. Is there a character or string of characters we use on this site for a non-breaking space?

[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Steven Streetman wrote on 2011-02-18 UTC
Spartan Chess Preset Request 
long  version

I have just begun reading about how to create a preset and intend to create
robust one for Spartan Chess. Joe Joyce has already developed a
non-rules-enforcing preset for Spartan Chess and we are new playing a

So I have the following steps in mind.

Step 1:  Have Joe Joyce walk me through what he has already done for
Spartan Chess (which he has agreed to do).

Step 2:  Create one or more new graphics including that for the

Step 3: Upload the Graphics and create or extend and existing piece set.

Step 4: Enter rules so that the game of Spartan Chess plays properly.

I think I pretty much have to do it all; create a custom piece or two,
create or extend piece set and write a set of rules for the game of Spartan
Chess. I imagine that for #4 the place to start would be with the Set of
rules for Western set and then modify them to enforce Spartan rules for the
Black side.

I imagine that it will be a good deal of work with a steep learning curve
for me. 

Is there anyone out there who as some experience with creating a preset who
might be able to give me some assistance?

Steven Streetman wrote on 2011-02-18 UTC
Spartan Chess Preset Request 
short version

Is there anyone out there who can help me create a preset for Spartan

Spartan Chess. A game with unequal armies. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Steven Streetman wrote on 2011-02-15 UTC
Here is the record of the shortest Spartan Chess game played face-to-face (that I know of).

1. c4 ... Hac5
2. b3 ... Hxc4
3. bxc4 ... Hc5
4. d3 ... Lf6
5. Na3 ... Le5
6. Nf3 ... Lc3#

Final Position:

By the way...
I consider c4, the first move played by the Persian in this losing game,
to be the strongest first move and consider e4, the most common in
orthodox chess, to be among the weakest. Some analysis to follow.

On Designing Good Chess Variants. Design goals and design principles for creating Chess variants.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Steven Streetman wrote on 2011-01-31 UTC
Concerning Spartan Chess
From the Author / Inventor

A computer was used. Over 1300 games were played on the version 1.09 and changes to the pieces were made between 1.08 and 1.09 to balance the game. H.G. Muller's modified his fairy chess engine to play Spartan Chess which has unusual rules with perhaps the most unusual the Spartan's having 2 Kings.

You might check his and other comments on the Spartan page and the Spartan thread in the general comments section concerning testing and balance.

We play it every week here in San Diego. If you can proved it not balanced please do. So I have a barrel of manure waiting :)

Spartan Chess. A game with unequal armies. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Steven Streetman wrote on 2011-01-06 UTC
RE: Broadcasting live Spartan Chess comp-comp games

Very nice! 

The crowned rook is an improved, I think, chess-generalized representation for the General. 

The banner artwork, 'Thermopilae Marathon' is very appropriate depicting the spear-equipped Spartans, bathed in arrows, facing the Persian infantry.

From your description: 'The Spartans start with two Kings, and lose when they leave all their Kings in check.' What a succinct and accurate way to say this. Wish I had thought of it. I am going to have to incorporate this into the next version of the rules :)

If I understand what is going on Fairy-Max is playing Spartan and ChessV is playing Persian and Fairy-Max is winning, vary roughly, 2 games to 1.

If this understanding is correct I imagine that you will be reversing sides at some point, having Fairy-Max playing the Spartans?

Steven Streetman wrote on 2010-12-30 UTC
HG ...

Your set looks great. The crests on the four finished  hoplites on the left make me smile. This crafting is something I am not cut out for or I might have made my own set. Nice work!

I have departed from the universal pieces approach to designing the Spartan pieces due to some practical experience I have had. There is a lot to be said for this approach and it's certainly what I am now using when playing face-to-face. I use pieces from a Capablanca set for the Spartans and thus use the Archbishop for the Warlord and either the Queen or Chancellor for the General depending on the preferences of who is playing.

We play most weeks on Saturday night at a Game store here in San Diego. The game is set up at the front counter so there are quite a few folks that walk by and look. These people assume its orthodox chess and with a few of the right pieces removed there would be no way to tell that we were playing something different. 

There is quite a bit of confusion and for many this confusion is a turn-off. When they have looked at the game for several minutes and asked a question like, for example, Why is the black King still in check? The first thing I must explain is that we are not playing orthodox chess. That takes some doing and often starts the whole conversation off on the wrong foot. It seems to me they feel betrayed or ignorant but I am not sure. What I do know is that the reaction is not positive.

So for the masses that would not know an Archbishop or a Chancellor if they saw them, one of my design goals is at-a-glance clarity and the clarity I am want is this: I want anyone who walks up and glances at the board to realize its not orthodox chess no matter how many pieces there are on the board. Hence I have departed from universality and there is a downside to this but it is, for me, a trade off. I suppose it's of a marketing decision of a sort rather than a chess decision.

So, are you planning on playing against someone with your new Spartan Chess set?

Steven Streetman wrote on 2010-12-22 UTC

I am very interested in seeing what you come up with in the way of a Spartan Chess set.

Steven Streetman wrote on 2010-12-12 UTC
From my studies I have posted an article on Spartan government on the Spartan Chess web site. Here is a portion of the article. You may view the complete article here: Spartan Government.

Spartan Government

A man argued that Sparta should set up a democracy.
--Begin with your own family.
----Lykurgus, King of Sparta

Spartan government is the strangest I've studied. It had elements of monarchy, aristocracy, oligarchy, democracy, a republic and the 1950s TV game show 'Queen for a Day'. It has, nevertheless been among the most stable and long lived governments the world has ever known.

MONARCHY - The Spartan Kings
---Hereditary rule by Kings

Sparta had two Kings, a 'dynarchy' for you linguists. The point of having two Kings was stability. Two Kings prevented problems that so often arose in monarchies when 'the only' King died, anarchy ensued and a civil war was held to determine the next King.

Spartan Kings ascended to the thrown from two Royal families, the Agid and Eurypantid. These families were not allowed to intermarry and could have been the stuff of a Spartan Romeo and Juliet story if there had been romance and literature in Sparta.

The Kings held military, political, and religious power. They led and trained the army (sort of) held seats on the Council (an otherwise elected and legislative body) and performed various religious and ceremonial duties. I imagine the ceremonial duties were ones akin to presiding over a contemporary 'arbor day ceremony,' but one where some poor small animal was slaughtered and its entrails examined.

Despite having a Monarchy, Spartan politics was, as you will see, dominated by bureaucracy. When things became just too deliberative, too mired in political red tape, about the only thing a King could to do unilaterally and by decree was assemble his 300 man bodyguard and march off to places like Thermopylae and then, very gloriously, die.

Spartan Kings were not very powerful, sort of like today's Queen of England.

View the rest of the article here: Spartan Government.

Steven Streetman wrote on 2010-12-12 UTC
Spartan Chess Set

For those who have asked about a traditional chess set to play Spartan Chess the Spartan pieces are in development and I am estimating the pieces will be available in a couple of months. I am planning on making the pieces available through a outfit like

Here are some sketches:

[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Steven Streetman wrote on 2010-12-08 UTC

You might give Spartan Chess a try.

Find the CV post here:

Find the web site here:

[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Steven Streetman wrote on 2010-12-07 UTC
Want to make a unique 3D chess set and you only need a few copies? Here is
where it can be done at what I consider a reasonable price for quantities
as low as one set:

Shapeways takes your 3D computer models and uses a 3D printer to make
physical 3D pieces for you. There is a “Welsh” chess set someone has
already submitted a design for and you can order the entire set for

Having been referred to this site by a friend I now have sketches for a set
of Spartan pieces that I will soon be turning into 3D computer models. I am
planning on a King size of 3.5 inches for 87 mm and will only need to
design black pieces, the Spartans.

For prototyping work or for extremely low production runs this is a viable
way to go! The trick, is of course, to create the 3D computer model.

[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Steven Streetman wrote on 2010-12-07 UTC

Send a copy to the email address in my profile and I will take a look at
your rules.

Chess Variant Pages Membership. Missing description[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Steven Streetman wrote on 2010-12-05 UTC
Shi Ji

Send me an email and I will send you the details on how to submit a variant. I just went through the process recently and wrote a submission summary. 

Send to [email protected]

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