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Game Reviews by Jörg Knappen

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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2017-02-26
 By Stephane  Burkhart. SquireKnight. Squire Knight combines Knight and Forward/Backward Pawn like moves. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jörg Knappen wrote on 2017-03-01 UTCGood ★★★★

Another close (but not exact) match is the Eohippos (German Urpferdchen) from 10 directional chess (see http://www.chessvariants.com/contests/10/10_directional.html ). It moves and captures the same way, not in a pawnish style.

The Knight-Fers compound (NF) is also often seen under many different names, my favourite name is Dullahan (a male counterpart to a Banshee, featured under this name in the "Fearful Fairies" http://www.chessvariants.com/invention/fearful-fairies – other names include "prince" (problemist usage) or "Priest" (Scirocco, http://www.chessvariants.com/invention/scirocco )).

The Squire Knight is a definitely a Rook-class piece with 4 new capturing moves and 2 new non-capturing moves. Experience shows that additional capturing moves are worth more than additional non-capturing moves. The Squire Knight has 12 targets to aim at ... quite impressive.

I am pretty sure that Squire Knight makes an enjoyable and easy-to-learn chess variant.

 


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2016-05-03
 Author: Fergus  Duniho. Chaturanga. The first known variant of chess. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jörg Knappen wrote on 2016-05-04 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
An excellent for the great rewrite.

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2015-07-03
 By כהן  דותן. Meirav. Pieces are buried before they are captured, buried pieces may capture other buried pieces. (8x8x2, Cells: 128) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jörg Knappen wrote on 2015-07-06 UTCGood ★★★★
Nice game with the obvious traces of play-testing. It is not explicitly stated in the description: I assume, the game ends when the King is checkmated on the top board, i.e., a King cannot be "buried"?

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2014-01-12
 By Azlan  Iqbal. Switch-Side Chain-Chess. Optionally swap sides with your opponent upon completing a "chain". (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jörg Knappen wrote on 2015-04-14 UTCPoor ★
This poor goes to the "game" described as a two person game. It isn't. The player who starts with white has the full control of the game and the player who starts with black is a poor bystander bound to be declared the loser by his opponent. Why? White is in control of creating the first chain. He can deliberately wait until black is also ready to create a chain. Now the following goes on: White creates a chain, switches, black creates a chain, switches, white creates or modifies a chain, switches, and so on, until a checkmate is reached. You can save the good ideas in this game by reformulating it as a puzzle or solitaire game (The solitaire player solves the puzzle, when he can reach checkmate with an unbroken chain of chains; otherwise he fails). To make the puzzle more interesting; vary the initial position (Fischer Random, Random pawn, both). Reaching checkmate by a chain of chains may also be a nice fairy chess problem condition.

Jörg Knappen wrote on 2015-04-14 UTCPoor ★
This poor goes to the author who talks a lot about ethics, but always rates his own creation "excellent".

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2015-03-09
 By H. G.  Muller. Macadamia Shogi. Pieces promote on capture to multi-capturing monsters. (13x13, Cells: 169) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jörg Knappen wrote on 2015-03-27 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Great game! There is a minor glitch in the first diagram: It has two back Leopards (artefacts from an earlier version that was discarded?) in e/i 12.

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2014-10-15
 By H. G.  Muller. Team-Mate Chess. Missing description (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jörg Knappen wrote on 2014-10-20 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I like the idea of the many interesting new endgames. I just hope that the endgames 3 vs. 2 are decisive (at least when one of the 3 is an adjutant and the left over piece from the 2 is a minor one); otherwise the game will be very drawish.

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2010-01-13
 By Charles  Gilman. I'm a Wazir, Get Me Out of Here. A variant in which pieces disappear if left too long in the wrong place. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jörg Knappen wrote on 2012-03-06 UTCGood ★★★★
This is a good game: It is fun to play. I even like the name showing some humour. Since Charles suggested elsewhere to drop or change this game: please let it stand here as it is. It even inspired another game (I'm a Ferz, get me into there). All in all, this game has well thought 'game mechanics' and is worth keeping.

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2012-03-03
 By   Este. Goodchess. Missing description (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jörg Knappen wrote on 2012-03-04 UTCPoor ★
The poor goes out for bad piece naming practice: Gold, Silver, and Copper are well established pieces from Shogi and its variants. They have specific moves different from Gold, Silver, and Copper here. The pieces starring in this game are known under the namens Commoner (or Man), Ferz, and Wazir (look them up in the piecoclopedia, they are all there).

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2012-01-17
 Author: Hans L. Bodlaender. Official Football Chess. Variant from the 1960's with pieces replaced by football players. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jörg Knappen wrote on 2012-01-19 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
This is a double excellent for this game. The first excellent goes to Hans for digging this game out and posting it here. The second goes to the game design: The inventor has really thought hard of the initial position, and it makes a fine game. There is a lot of tactical tension in the setup, but there are no obvious exploits. Great game!

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2012-01-01
 Author: Hans L. Bodlaender. Inventor: Andrew  Looney. Martian Chess. Two or four player strategic game with chess elements played with Looney piramids. (4x8, Cells: 32) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jörg Knappen wrote on 2012-01-03 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
This is a fine leightweight strategical game for fun.

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2016-03-31
 By Charles  Gilman. Flight and Ferry. The gold dragon of Wessex fights the red one of Wales across the Bristol Channel. (8x10, Cells: 80) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jörg Knappen wrote on 2011-07-30 UTCBelowAverage ★★
Analysing the game deeper, it appears to me that it is too drawish to be worth playing. The issues are mating material and crossing the channel. Because the King is confined to his own half of the board, he cannot assist his pieces in giving checkmate. Therefore, at least two pieces (one major and one minor one) are needed for checkmate. There are at least three rule changes lifting this severe condition: a) [most elegant] import the rule from chinese chess, that the Kings may not face each other. With this rule, King+Rook win against a lone King b) Declare bare King a win as in Shatranj c) Declare Stalemate a win (and not a draw). The rules with the ferries are incomplete; I interpolate the following additional rules: * Pieces on the ferry are vulnerable to capture * The ferry loaded with a piece can capture another piece * An empty ferry sent to an occupied square does not capture, instead it is mounted by the piece there * An empty ferry cannot be sent to a square occupied by a dragon I cannot interpolate whether a rook or dragon may 'fly' over an empty ferry or not. The major issue is, that after crossing the channel, the piece on the ferry is essentially unprotected. It can be protected only by a rook or queen - it does not help against double attack. Therefore crossing the channel is hard. Wessex has a severe handicap here, because it lacks rooks and owns only one queen. Wales can try to monopolise the control of the ferries by bringing them both to its side: Only the Wessex' queen can than occupy the ferry and send it back. But, I'm afraid, this is also only a drawing strategy.

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2016-06-07
 By Charles  Gilman. Knavish Chess. Variant using square-board analogues to 6-way hex-board Dabbabas. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jörg Knappen wrote on 2011-07-05 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I am updating the rating to excellent, because seeing the elegance of the knave and debtor pieces is obviously a non-trivial task. In fact, Abdul-Rahman Sibahi and Joe Joyce discussed the pieces (without naming them) here briefly http://www.chessvariants.org/index/listcomments.php?itemid=MPcomplementarit but they didn't see that they are exceptional. Perhaps it needs some hexagonal thinking to see it.

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2011-06-02
 Author: Christine  Bagley-Jones and Eduard  Werner. Dai Dai Shogi Western. Missing description (17x17, Cells: 289) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jörg Knappen wrote on 2011-06-07 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
The nice graphics make this very large game readable and maybe even playable (if you find enough time and a partner). On my wish list: Could you also show the graphics for the promoted pieces, e.g., as a board with two ranks with the original piece above the promoted one?

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2016-06-07
 By Charles  Gilman. Knavish Chess. Variant using square-board analogues to 6-way hex-board Dabbabas. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jörg Knappen wrote on 2011-06-06 UTCGood ★★★★
First, an excellent to the 2 new pieces, the knave and debtor. The two are nice findings and worth the consideration of other chess variant authors as well. It is not an excellent for the whole game, because I think board design, piece mix and rule setup don't work as well as they could. For most pieces, 10x10 is already a too large board making them slow. The standard chess bishop and queen aren't good counterparts to knave and debtor. The standard chess rules on stalemate also don't accomodate knaves and debtors well: How many of them do you need to force the checkmate of a lone king? Knave and debtor have a strong 'shatranjian' feel; probably a very good variant is taking standard shatranj and replacing the knights with knaves and the alfils with debtors. Note that the original shatranj has only 2 alfils (where 8 are needed to cover the whole board); in the same manner shatranj with knaves and debtors has only two of each species. In shatranj, stalemate and lone king are wins, which reduces the number of draws.

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2010-11-05
 By Steven  Streetman. Spartan Chess. http://spartanchessonline.com/. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jörg Knappen wrote on 2010-11-18 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
An excellent to this game! Maybe the author has not read the comment below, otherwise he would have been frightened by the task he has underdone. On the other hand: Can a Spartan be frightened? http://www.chessvariants.org/piececlopedia.dir/chess-different-pawns.html --JKn

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2010-09-17
 By Francois  Tremblay. Catalonia. Cooperative variant where the players are trying to form chains while the board is getting bombarded. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jörg Knappen wrote on 2010-09-23 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
A great idea and a great story together with the traces of playtesting. This makes an excellent new chessvariant. Of course, a cooperative game can be regarded as a puzzle for one player only (fighting againts the dice), but my experience (from playing Rengo) shows that reading the partner's ideas adds another twist to a game.

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2010-08-16
 By Daniil  Frolov. Ghast knights. Missing description (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jörg Knappen wrote on 2010-08-25 UTCPoor ★
First of all, the write-up of the rules is a bit too sketchy and a lot of interpretation is needed in order to bring this game to play. Second, it is a straight and boring win for white under the following interpretation of the rules: If a piece is watched by a knight (friend or foe) it must move and this zugzwang cannot be lifted by capturing the knight unless the capturing move is also also executed by a piece forced by a knight. The sample game starts as follows: 1. e3 e6 2. d3 d6 The first two moves are forced. Taking double step 3. Na3 Nh6 Other black responses won't help either 4. c3 f6 5. Nb5 Now black must move the pawns on a7, c7, and d6 while white has three free moves. Afterwards, the knight moves to c7 pressuring Ra8, Ke8, e6. White has free moves again. Eventually white blocks a pawn and the game is over. Alternatively, white can bring out its queen to checkmate the black King.

This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2016-11-13
 By Fergus  Duniho. Gross Chess. A big variant with a small learning curve. (12x12, Cells: 144) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jörg Knappen wrote on 2010-02-04 UTCGood ★★★★
This game should be judged by its design criteria: Given a set of pieces (in hardware), create a solid and playable chess variant for them. It think it fits this purpose well, allthough I think keeping the original movements of the Omega chess pieces makes this a rather slow game, because the pieces are short-range on a 12x12 board. On the Omega wizard: A pair of wizards and a king cannot mate a lone king (on any conventional rightangular board). The reason is that they must switch between odd and even ranks and files all the time. On the big board the wizard is clearly weaker than the bishop; on 8x8 it may be equal or slightly stronger because of its higher mobility and forking power.

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