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Game Reviews by Jianying Ji

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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2020-04-06
 By Steven  Streetman. Spartan Chess. A game with unequal armies. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jianying Ji wrote on 2010-11-06 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I have followed the development of spartan chess in the comments, and I must say I am deeply impressed, especially by the collaboration of H.G.Muller and Steven Streetman. The use of applied computational variantology (to coin a phrase) is a tour-de-force. This is how computers should be used in this field that we are in. I see a bright future in this approach.

I also look forward to a bright future for spartan chess!

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2010-05-18
 By Yu  Ren Dong. Locusts. Simple chess variant with only two set of pieces on each army. (12x12, Cells: 144) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jianying Ji wrote on 2010-05-22 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Simply brilliant!

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2008-06-12
 By Graeme C Neatham. King's Guard Chess. Pawns move like kings and only Pawns may capture. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jianying Ji wrote on 2008-06-12 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Horray for the unique mechanism! (well some joe joyce's large variants has enabling pieces that allow other pieces to move or capture, but still that is very different from this variant) As for computer play, it does alter drastically the evaluation function, and depending on the subtlety and complexity of the function, the play will differ widely in quality. It certainly would spread it out some.

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2008-05-07
 By John Kipling Lewis. Simplified Chess. Missing description (8x7, Cells: 56) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jianying Ji wrote on 2008-05-08 UTCGood ★★★★
very sensible.  I like the odd rows between pawns, this has the effect of reducing first player advantage, since if first player presses its advantage the second player gets one tempo more to answer, where as with even rows between pawns the parity is such that first player gets the tempo.

The no draws rule needs more clarification, since there are many position in chess that a resolution is either impossible or too far in the future. Then there's stalemate. Each of these three cases has to be addressed to have the game become drawless.

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2008-01-19
 By Michael  Nelson. Where Eagles Fly. Missing description (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jianying Ji wrote on 2008-01-20 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
The 'Y' piece! Finally a game that makes it the theme! I was thinking about it a long time, but got distracted, so I'm very glad some one put it in play as a central theme.

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2016-03-24
 By Charles  Gilman. Diamond Ring Chess. Courier-style pieces to diamond-shaped camps on a toroidal wraparound board. (12x12, Cells: 144) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jianying Ji wrote on 2007-01-28 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Best toidal variant I seen!

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2006-07-23
 By Gary K. Gifford. Remote Sensing. 2 remote sensor pieces per side can mimic pieces on their current square color. (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jianying Ji wrote on 2006-07-25 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
For question 5, couldn't the answer be that the white rook just moved from a dark square to a light square, say from d3 to c3? The result would be the same, the checking of the black king.

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2006-07-17
 By Gary K. Gifford. 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]
Jianying Ji wrote on 2006-07-18 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Gary, you have an amazing approach to designing chess variants. Having gone back and looked at some of your past variants that I missed, I see they all have a quite coherent approach. That approach is take stadard chess, add a single new mechanics and redeign all aspect around that mechanics so its brilliance shines. All your game seems very polished, and any of them is better than what is commercially available.

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2006-06-11
 By Gary K. Gifford. Dimension X. Chess on two planes - one with the usual chess pieces, the other with spooky trans-dimensional pieces with strange interactions. (8x8x2, Cells: 128) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jianying Ji wrote on 2006-06-18 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
A really cool game with a good and innovative mechanics.

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2006-06-11
 By Lex  Parker. Dragon Chess (tm)This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2006-06-11
 By Lex  Parker.. Commercial board game played on a large board with a new piece -- the Dragon.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jianying Ji wrote on 2006-06-12 UTCBelowAverage ★★
The lack of innovation of this commercial game suprises, one would have
thought that they do their due diligence and seek out something more
innovative, as very much on displayed here. Most of the games on these
pages easily out flanks games such as this.

Here's the challenge: What is the most minimal change of the rules that
one can propose that would make this game much more innovative?
Suggestions?

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2005-12-01
 By (zzo38) A.  Black. Color Square Shogi. Shogi with color squares you place at beginning of game. (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jianying Ji wrote on 2005-12-05 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
A great game with a very fresh idea!

I have a small point:

Having the second player mirror the first player's piece layout while
allowing both to layout thie terrain (the black squares) separately give
the first player a unequal advantage. Since the first player can always
layout the pieces to make it difficult for the opponent. The opponent
would be forced to start off at a disadvantage. 

The simple solution is to allow the players to lay out pieces, the way
terrain is laid out, separately. No need to enforce symmetry.

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2005-07-01
 By Greg  Strong. Angels and Devils. Chess game where white has two Angels and black has two Devils. (10x8, Cells: 80) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jianying Ji wrote on 2005-07-02 UTCGood ★★★★
Very interesting game, and fairly modest too, which I like. I have  a few
quick observations:

I.  a-file and 8th rank is safe from the angels neither angel can jump
over them due to the edge on the left side.

II. By switching the demon and angel on the h-file with the knight on the
i-file their coverage is expanded so only the 8th rank becomes safe from
angel-fire, and the demons cover the whole board. Aethetically, you gain a
more symmetric setup. Moreover, with the white side holding the marginally
weaker angels, the first player advantage is probably canceled.

III. to make both side even more equal, you might consider making it 7 or
9 ranks (9 being my preference, a hint of dante) instead of 8, this way
there will be no safe zone from angel-fire

IV. to make a greater hommage to your inspiration you might make the game
byzantine by joining the left and right sides of the board.

hopefully you find my comment interesting and perhaps useful...

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2005-06-06
 Author: Onno  Garms. Troja. Commercially sold game where pieces can be stacked. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jianying Ji wrote on 2005-06-12 UTCGood ★★★★
Sounds like a very playable stacking variant. I especially like the moving as the topmost piece.

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2005-03-25
 Author: Alex  . Inventor: Panos  Louridas. Bario. Pieces are undefined until they move. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jianying Ji wrote on 2005-03-26 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
similar to potential chess but with the addition of cycling. As to castling it probably goes something like: castling with an undefined piece reduces it to rook, if there is already two rooks, then castling cannot be done.

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2004-06-30
 By Karl  Fischer. Torus Chess on a Standard Board. Torus Chess on a standard board with a unique setup. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jianying Ji wrote on 2005-03-13 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
amazing! just saw this, seems an elegant solution fora variant on a torus. Gilman's comment is also out standing, and I wonder if there is more info on that variant as well.

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2004-11-06
OverKnight Chess (old). Missing description[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jianying Ji wrote on 2004-11-07 UTCGood ★★★★
How about OverKnight Chess as a reference to the over abundance of knights.

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2003-05-23
 By Ralph  Betza. Twinkie Danger Chess. Game on two initially unliked boards where each turn you add or drop a link. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jianying Ji wrote on 2003-05-23 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Cool!

one thing I find a bit aethetically off is that linking is not compulsary
in that player could ignoire linking completely and play normal chess. So
to satisfy my twisted aesthetics I would recommend following changes as a
sub-variant:

0. Twinkie Danger Chess rule apply unless contradicted below.
1. White start on board 0 and black start on board 1
2. King remain on the board they started

In this sub-variant no progress can be made without linking, so linking
becomes crucial way to mobilize your forces.

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2001-01-04
 Author: Roger  Cooper. Odds Chess. Ways of giving a weaker opponent better odds. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jianying Ji wrote on 2003-03-03 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
This list is quite comprehensive, and quite impressive. Which makes it 
doubly strange that the odds chess has not persisted in any serious way 
in chess clubs today, especially organizations such as FIDE to determine
the rating, handicap correspondence.

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2000-02-02
 By Köksal  Karakus. Perfect Chess. On 8 by 8 board with combination pieces.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jianying Ji wrote on 2003-01-04 UTCGood ★★★★
interesting variant, I wonder if giving king a knight's move would make
the king too hard to capture. With all those combo pieces, it seems only
fair to give the king a bit more movements too.

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2003-01-01
 By Fergus  Duniho. Voidrider Chess. A 43 square variant with movable spaces. (7x9, Cells: 43) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jianying Ji wrote on 2003-01-02 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I was thinking along these lines sometimes ago, but my ideas never geled
into a playable game. So it very nice to see some incarnation of it. 
Absolutely cool!

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2002-11-28
 By Danny  Purvis. Time Traveler's ChessThis item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2002-11-28
 By Danny  Purvis.. Chess pieces may travel backwards in time.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jianying Ji wrote on 2002-11-28 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
very interesting and provocative. Though a more extended write up is welcome

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2002-11-26
 By Peter  Aronson. Lilliputian Monochromatic Alice Chess. All pieces are colorbound, and switch boards rather than switching color. (6x7x2, Cells: 84) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jianying Ji wrote on 2002-11-27 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
excellent game,

one of the illustration has the wrong coloring for the squares. The 
second set in the middle of the page, board2 should have the opposing
coloring

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2017-04-01
 By Glenn  Overby II. Abecedarian Big Chess (ABChess). Buy-your-own-army variant on a big board; 26 piece types. (11x11, Cells: 121) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jianying Ji wrote on 2002-11-10 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Really well designed and explained large variant without the clutter that
often afflict them

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2002-10-14
 Author: Zoltan  Blazsik and Hans L. Bodlaender. Inventor: Zoltan  Blazsik. No-Chess. Forbid one move to your opponent each turn. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jianying Ji wrote on 2002-10-14 UTCGood ★★★★
Since white has slight opening advantage, it would be more equitable
if the game start with black refusing one move from white and then 
white move and refuse black then game continues as described ...

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2002-10-01
 By Samuel H. Bell. Influence Chess. Pieces on the top or bottom layer influence which chess pieces may move on the middle layer. (4x7x3, Cells: 84) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jianying Ji wrote on 2002-10-01 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
This been an idea I been thinking of for a while. It pleases me to no end
that someone has made a variant along these lines. It would be great to
see more variants using 'influencing' as an element in them.

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