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Game Reviews by Jeremy Good

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Cetran Chess 2. Missing description (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeremy Good wrote on 2015-03-20 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Cameron, I'm glad to play the game out for our own purposes, just as Joe Joyce and I hope to play out our games too, but without any bearings on Cameron's well-earned victory in this tournament. Thank you, Cameron, for exhibiting such tremendously great sportsmanship.

Your lavish praise of me earlier is much appreciated and made me feel already like a real winner long before our two games concluded. Thank you for that!

It really was part of my strategy to use as much time as I was allowed but I don't say it was a particularly good or ethical strategy. It may have created an aura of self-consciousness that wouldn't have been there otherwise and this may have detracted from the quality of some of the games, I'm not sure. But regardless, I, for one, learned a lot from playing in this tournament.

Thank you, Carlos, for organizing the tournament. I richly enjoyed it and look forward to the next one. I hope there will be another one in 2015 (I hope to talk with you about this, Carlos as I have some ideas about it; you mentioned wanting to organize other tournaments as well; let's discuss). I enjoyed the lucky games I played against you quite a bit too.

I would also like to come back and annotate each of the games played in this tournament. Perhaps a few of us can collaborate on that.

The tournament helped lure me back to the site and created a really positive turning point in focus, perhaps not just for me. I'm tremendously grateful that I was invited and allowed to play in it.

I tried very hard to win this tournament but I hope to re-double my efforts in the next one. There were points at which I wish I'd played much better (despite taking much time, overlooking some perhaps obvious moves) and/or taken more time to examine my moves (I see these time management issues as an essential part of my learning curve though) and obviously many points at which I benefited from others' blunders. I have a deep and increasing personal, vested interest in improving as a chess/variants-player. For one thing, I enjoy the athletic and aesthetic aspects of competitive chess.

The game Cetran Chess 2, like Tutti Frutti but more so, should help people appreciate that games with all different pieces are certainly as sophisticated as games with twin pieces. Cetran Chess 2 encompasses a nice range of value, with maybe four, five or six levels.

1) Knight (in its own beloved category).

2) Rook and Dragon Horse,

3) In its own category: Cardinal/Archbishop (which in some ways was the star of this tournament with its great mobility and forking ability),

4) Marshall/Chancellor

5) Queen

6) Sissa.

One could also lump the latter three in the same category as it frequently makes sense to allow exchanges among them. The exchangeability of pieces in categories 2 and 4 - 6 is part of what makes Cetran Chess 2 so fascinating. I think you really hit it out of the park with this one, Carlos.

Although the Sissa has a much more limited range than I thought initially (until the endgame it is very hard for it to go more than three or four spaces orthogonally), its tremendous forking abilities give it an edge, in my opinion, over all the other pieces, one that grows as pieces are removed from the board. If you can, I suggest to hang on to your Sissa! Too bad I had to exchange it in my last game.

As with all fairy pieces, I'm still trying to get used to it and even overlooked completely two of its moves in my last game (the ones prior to my opponent enjoying a sizeable material advantage).

The more I play with the Sissa, the more I appreciate it as a piece. It provides a wonderful and vital way of re-envisioning orthogonal and hippogonal distances on the chessboard.

Playing in this tournament gave me a renewed appreciation for both the piece and the game. Thanks again to you and everyone who played with me, including Sagi (don't be discouraged; thank you for conceiving of the idea of this tournament) and Joe (who is always a great player, designer and friend).

As a designer, I am inspired by Cetran Chess 2 to think about creating more games filled with diverse pieces and multi-tiered values. The randomizing keeps it fresh, but I encourage people to play both sides of each new random setup to make things fair.

Chess with Different Armies. Betza's classic variant where white and black play with different sets of pieces. (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeremy Good wrote on 2014-12-29 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
If I haven't done so before, I wish to add my voice to the rousing chorus of praise for this *classic* inspiration (by "The Philosopher" of chess himself, Ralph Betza) which begins to bridge the gap to cv and start the necessary transition from increasingly obsolete (but not dead yet) Eurocentric chess currently undergoing brutal, dark ages under the corrupt auspices of FIDE organization and its kooky real life tyrant of Kalmykia (really casting a very dark and unseemly shadow over the contemporary scene of professional chess and it's really quite a shame that Kasparov didn't manage to succeed Ilyumzhinov but I'm grateful to Garry Kimovich *to whom I wish to give a "shout out" of FULL respect* for trying).

I think it's a fun exercise for chess variant inventors to develop their own CDAs, kind of like a poet to develop his/her own haiku or sonnet. Obviously, it's not essential for poets to adopt "accepted" (but also merely arbitrary and conventional) forms. I encourage cv inventors with time, energy and inclination to do what Aronson, Lawson, Joyce and several others have done and try to come up with their own unique blend of pieces to compete against the ortho-Eurocentric one, e.g., what CDA might employ a GW Duke Falcon? I would LOVE to see such a thing developed and I'm sure some very nice ones could be.

A fun variant design contest would be for CDAs.

I hope to see CDA developed for other variants besides the ortho-eurocentric one such as the Shatranj for Different Armies alluded to by such as Knappen and Joyce and Tripunch for Different Armies as Betza has alluded to (I have recently myself discovered a Tripunch CDA currently in Beta Testing). One hopes to see more classic, exotic, fancier CDAs developed such as those by Knappen, Maxson, Makov, I myself, others and older ones fine-tuned with the guidance of computers such as H.G. Muller has been delving into...

Universal Chess. Missing description (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeremy Good wrote on 2014-12-29 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I can't disagree more strongly with such people as those who take the ultraconservative Book of Ecclesiastes approach to variants and life, that "there is nothing new under the sun" and that "all is vanity and vexation of the spirit." There is so much yet to be discovered, looming just before us. Just look at the advance of science, technology, math, even art, music, literature, cinema. There is no shortage of inspiration. We do not criticize science or math for proliferation of new discoveries, new inventions, new understandings and neither should we criticize variants qua variants or professional chessplayers who specialize in particular variants. There are, of course, almost innumerable amazing chess moves, variants and pieces yet to be discovered...almost (cvts maybe suggests otherwise!? Is infinity real?!). In elaborating this philosophy, I call myself a pupil of no school but rather a student of every serious academy of variants play.

*The* case in point, this variant of Carlos's:

I am truly astonished at all the work Carlos has put into developing this chess variant, which attempts to be an homage to all chess variant pieces and tribute to chess variants / "variants chess" / chess qua chess.

Fantastic work!

I would really encourage all chess variant inventors who have the time and energy to play as much Universal Chess as possible and not only that, but to work on developing Universal Chess variants. I myself have big plans for this realm. The energy you put into it will reward you richly - at least, I have found it so. Universal Chess has provided me with phenomenal growth in understanding and appreciation of variants and pieces.

Even some of the pieces I invented for some untried "prolific" variants (upon my most recent return to this world, I am attempting a more measured approach to publication, preferring to update in some cases) only really came to life for me once I started to play Universal Chess and this, in turn, inspired discovery of more astounding pieces and designs.

The inventor sees this game as a parade of pieces and chance for the pieces to be put on display on the grand venue of 8 x 8. He uses the metaphor "shadowboxing". I want to see and help develop this concept grow beyond that.

In my own personal experience, I've found work on this variant most beneficial if regarded as a serious arena for chess combat. That may just speak to my own general philosophy, perhaps like that of the great Em. Lasker (whose philosophical works about chess as struggle I would like to read one day - I don't think they've been translated into English).

I award this variant 6 out of 5 stars or 11 out of 10 stars. You broke the mold with this one, Carlos. Thank you, with sincerest gratitude, for developing this universal chess "chess utopian" work. BRAVO, BRAVO, BRAVO, BRAVO, BRAVO, BRAVO, bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo!!!!

Chigorin Chess. White has knights instead of bishops and a chancellor for his queen; black has bishops instead of knights. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeremy Good wrote on 2014-12-20 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
For my own purposes, I am going to dub the side with the knights the Chigorin Chess CDA (Chess with Different Armies). The side with the two bishop pairs, I'm going to call the Kaufman CDA Army, after FIDE Grandmaster, great chess computer programmer and Shogi expert Larry Kaufman, in honor of his work on Bishop Pairs.

Nachtmahr. Game with seven different kinds of Nightriders. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeremy Good wrote on 2014-09-18 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Jörg, I very much enjoy the game and exploring these pieces. You are a very good variant designer and thinker about chess variant fairy pieces.

I also like Quinquereme and I'm very excited one day to try experimenting with your CwDA army, Sai Squad (as well as your other CwDA armies). 

I am trying to get an idea for an estimate of the strength of these Nachtmahr pieces - I believe the Rose is strongest, maybe followed (in order of strength) by straight wide crooked nightrider, quintessence, regular nightrider, diagonal wide crooked nightrider and diagonal narrow crooked nightrider. Any thoughts? Maybe after more experience, I will have a better theory - these are just vague guesses.

How might the Nachtmahr army fare against FIDE? It's commonly thought that a normal nightrider is worth as much as a rook on an 8 x 8 board. I suppose the Nachtmahr army would handily defeat the FIDE army...


If you please, what are the names for pieces other than rose, nightrider (qua nightrider) and quintessence? In your notes, you mention a French and German name but you don't say which piece specifically these names apply to...

Also, Carlos and I are having a bit of discussion about the Quinquereme - he created a nice diagram which you can see here:

I have ideas about some other nightriders one might develop for fun and a sort of game design for a Nachtmahr 2 (which I might call something more akin to "a dream") introducing some of these other nightriders.

Please email me if you're interested in discussing or as a courtesy, I shall email you when I've come up with an actual variant. It too will be a "study game" but maybe playable as well...certainly I am having fun playing Nachtmahr right now and it's, at the very least, helping me to become more familiar with how these pieces move.

10 Minute Melee. Score as many points during 10 minutes of time with regular chessset. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeremy Good wrote on 2009-10-22 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Well, ideal for OTB play would be an electronic board that is connected to the clock and can tell exactly when one moves and tally how long it takes. Such technology will be commonplace soon. Do Fischer clocks have a control to tally time expended on each move? This aspect [of 10 Minute Melee] must be tested before evaluating. The mandate to move quickly each turn makes the variant even more sporting than the mandate to make all the moves within ten minutes. I rate this variant as excellent because I consider it groundbreaking in the area of temporal variant work.

Fugue. Based on Ultima and Rococo this game has pieces that capture in unusual ways. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeremy Good wrote on 2009-10-20 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
There is a misunderstanding in our current game regarding the nature of spotting for archers. Quoting from your rules:

'FOR LONGER SHOTS, some other friendly piece must spot the target by being ADJACENT to it or TWO squares away in an unobstructed STRAIGHT LINE.'

By 'some other friendly piece' do you mean friendly to the target or the archer?

Rose Chess. Grand Chess, with Roses instead of Knights. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeremy Good wrote on 2009-09-13 UTCGood ★★★★
I think the basic opening setup [for Grand Chess version] needs some tweaking. White can play on his first move, b2-e5 and thus force the Black King to move back. One suggestion is to move all the pieces on the 2nd rank on to the first rank, so that, as with Nachtmahr, all the pawns are a knight's length away from the pieces.

The rose pieces and rose compound pieces designed by Abdul-Rahman Sibahi are beautiful.

[I see in the rules, it says this: 'Or you can put all your pieces on the first rank.' I will change the official preset to reflect this second alternative for reasons above.]

Maorider Chess. Maorider and king with unusual recruiting abilities. (8x9, Cells: 72) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeremy Good wrote on 2009-08-22 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

How many variants can one describe as achingly beautiful? Maorider Chess is delightfully rich, an instant classic, a charming gem, a variant masterpiece. The openings have the feeling of formal ritual, like a Japanese tea ceremony. By the time one gets to the middle game, each move feels like a profound thought, worthy of intense concentration. Short range pieces require long range calculations.

The dynamic of the extraordinary recruiting king interacting with the rest of the simpler pieces lends the game a rewardingly edgy, chess-like feeling. Why? Because one is always in this game thinking seriously about the usually conflicting needs for king safety and aggressive offense play, as one does in the sort of risky, double-edged chess games that the most successful professional chess players have often played (such as Semi-Slav, Najdorf Sicilian, Ruy Lopez, King's Indian). One thinks also of the first World Champion Wilhelm Steinitz's Steinitz Gambit (from the Vienna Gambit) in this context. Not to mention the centuries long romantic tradition exemplified by the King's Gambit's domination in chess! Never has a royal piece felt so alive (as in Maorider Chess)! it 'once...twice...once again' - this one is great.

Anyone who wants to play it with me, I have some invites up... email me if you need help accepting an invite.

Updated to describe a little more why the king in this game gives it an 'edgy, chess-like' feel. It may have seemed like me using the word 'chess-like' was redundant, but in fact, many variants have a decidedly un-chess-like flavor for those of us whose grounding in chess is traditional.

Nachtmahr. Game with seven different kinds of Nightriders. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeremy Good wrote on 2009-07-27 UTCGood ★★★★
In the opening set up I believe the piece on c is en prise from the piece on g, no? To remedy this: I suggest inserting two regular knights - on d2/d7 and e2/e7 - into this game. A simpler and perhaps more elegant solution would be to move the pawns on f one step forward. Unless I'm wrong and / or there are objections, I shall do that for the preset (one or the other or both).

Not a chess variant. Rules of a chess variant on a board with 41 squares. (7x7, Cells: 41) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeremy Good wrote on 2009-06-11 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
For originality of wire rider and windmill rider pieces.

Jacks and Witches 84. Variant on 84 squares with special pieces and special squares. (12x8, Cells: 84) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeremy Good wrote on 2007-08-22 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Easily one of the most creative, original and enjoyable chess variants so far invented, well done!

Delta88 Chess. Chess on a Trigonal Board. (11x8, Cells: 88) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeremy Good wrote on 2007-08-22 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
This game makes me excited to begin playing with triangles for the first time.

Can someone with the technical knowhow please add this type of triangle as one of the building blocks for Game Courier?

Who can help with this? Tony?

I'm very excited to play Graeme's game and also design a trigonal game with different types of tiling riders.

In a private note, I am critical of Graeme for choosing to call the queen spire + bishop since a queen is traditionally bishop + rook.

On a second read, I can see how that happened.

The rook already goes to all the squares the bishop goes to, but to retain its defining feature of colorboundness, the bishop can not behave like a spire. So the nomenclature is a bit odd at first, but ultimately it makes sense.

Kudos, Graeme, BRILLIANT job!

Chess on a Longer Board with a few Pieces Added. On a 10 row by 8 column board, with three new pieces. (8x10, Cells: 80) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeremy Good wrote on 2007-08-18 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I like David Cary's suggestion about pulling back a couple of pawns as an ingenious way of allowing the knights to develop immediately.

One might add the following consistent changes to go along with it if one were to try to implement that variant of Chess on a Longer Board with a Few Pieces Added:

1. Specify that those two pawns that start on the second rank can make an initial two or three step move (with the usual e.p. rules applied to the extended initial move).

2. Switch Withdrawers with Changelings and have them start out as Halfling rooks rather than Halfling Bishops. This to prevent any piece from audaciously striking out before pawns.

[Scratch what I said here initially as it doesn't address the issue at hand which is how to construct a variant with immediate development of knights. David Howe's kind reader's original idea of allowing knights an initial camel move is quite excellent too.]

[This game is very nice btw, quite excellent.]

Cataclysm. Large board game with short-range pieces designed to be dramatic without being overly complicated or dragging on too long. (12x16, Cells: 192) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeremy Good wrote on 2007-08-17 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Mats, I think you may be suffering from what Gary Gifford calls the 'green eggs and ham' syndrome. You haven't tried playing this game. I urge you to try playing a game or two of this and then I think you will see that it is in fact, very playable and it may even inspire you to create variants with boards of more diverse types than the ones you tend to favor. I realize that the format may seem overwhelming at first, the 12 x 16 board, but I really don't think that you can criticize something like this before trying it. The fact that larger shogi variants have achieved great success in past centuries gives us a clue as to what may be do-able in the universe of chess variants.

This is a very enjoyable variant, very cutting edge. It features a number of pieces whose relative value is very hard to determine on this long board so, as Greg Strong remarked to me, it turns into a Chess with Different Armies competition where you get to pick your own army depending on the type of exchanges your opponent is willing to allow. I've become very fond of this variant, though I think it may be helpful to use an alternate piece set at least until one is acclimated to seeing the one Greg Strong chose in the way he wishes them to be seen. I'd like to get this alternate piece set added at some point to the original preset so that players can choose which set of pieces they want to use (not sure how to do that right now).

Multimove Chess. Players spend points to make multiple moves. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeremy Good wrote on 2007-07-23 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Very nicely done. In Multimove FIDE Chess, white should probably start with four points for sake of balance.

Falcon Chess. Game on an 8x10 board with a new piece: The Falcon. (10x8, Cells: 80) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeremy Good wrote on 2007-07-17 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Fergus Duniho comments below that 'grandmasters who had extensive knowledge of opening theory' were interested in adding marshall and cardinal to 8 x 10. Fergus is right that they were likely trying to escape their narrow professional circuit into new frontiers, but the marshall and cardinal had been around for hundreds of years and different size boards, such as Turkish / Indian Great Chess were created to explore these possibilities. We are still exploring them today.

On an 8 x 10 capablanca random board, a number of new asymmetries emerge, distancing it from FIDE Chess. The bishop becomes more powerful and the power of the marshall over the archbishop is great.

What is the Falcon piece? Simply put: One of the greatest innovations to come along in hundreds of years for a board with a length of 8 squares in particular. The Falcon family of pieces perfectly complements the linear sliders as you can tell from this wonderful diagram George Duke created to illustrate their range:

Q  D  D  D  D  Q  D  D  D  D  Q
D  Q  S  S  S  Q  S  S  S  Q  D
D  S  Q  F  F  Q  F  F  Q  S  D
D  S  F  Q  N  Q  N  Q  F  S  D
D  S  F  N  Q  Q  Q  N  F  S  D
Q  Q  Q  Q  Q  X  Q  Q  Q  Q  Q
D  S  F  N  Q  Q  Q  N  F  S  D
D  S  F  Q  N  Q  N  Q  F  S  D
D  S  Q  F  F  Q  F  F  Q  S  D
D  Q  S  S  S  Q  S  S  S  Q  D
Q  D  D  D  D  Q  D  D  D  D  Q

One of the great charms of FIDE Chess is the competition between the bishop and the knight, which are roughly of equal value on that board. Or maybe precisely. In fact, IM Larry Kaufman assigns them the exact same value (3 1/4 compared to 5 for rook, 9 3/4 for queen) and argues this: 'In other words, an unpaired bishop and knight are of equal value (within 1/50 of a pawn, statistically meaningless), so positional considerations (such as open or closed position, good or bad bishop, etc.) will decide which piece is better.'

This is charming because the bishop and the knight are two such disparate pieces and that there should be an underlying symmetry behind this polarity is surprising. There may not exist a single piece in Falcon Chess with equivalent value to the falcon, but when playing with the Falcon piece, one feels a similar pleasing feeling of polarity, of playing with a unique piece that can be competitive among disparate pieces. So it amounts to a great contribution.

The Falcon multi-path piece is one elegant solution to a problem implicit in one of Betza's observations: 'The second rule is that a forward leap which is half or more the height of the board is too dangerous. For example, a piece combining the (0,3) and (0,4) leaps would win heavy material in just a few moves from the opening position.'

Fergus Duniho does not note this but I think George Duke has a leg up on the great Jose Raul Capablanca and eccentric Henry Edward Bird when it comes to designing chess variants. The latter two gentlemen are rightly credited as great classical chess players, but unlike George Duke, they were not chess variant experts and they contributed very little original to the development of chess variants, except mainly to lend their prestige to a lazily constructed 8 x 10 variant that was hundreds of years old. [Added note: This may have been unfair. H. E. Bird probably was something of a chess variant expert. He was certainly a historian of chess development. ]

Usually, unprotected pawns are seen as a liability. In Falcon Chess, they serve to permit the dynamic Falcon piece to play a more interesting part in the opening.

I rate this game excellent and applaud George Duke's initiative in bringing the Falcon piece forward. It has enriched our chess variants world considerably. It is one of the few variants I consider enjoyable enough to be well worthy of serious study. It marks George Duke as one of the greatest contemporary chess variant inventors.

Dave's Silly Example Game. This is Dave Howe's example of a user-posted game. (2x2, Cells: 4) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeremy Good wrote on 2007-06-23 UTCPoor ★
Pieces are too cramped and Queens on a 2 x 2 board make for an overpowered game. Kings have no opportunity for creating luft, nor can they move out of checkmate. Rules are overly restrictive: Prohibition against captures makes for a boring game and absence of legal moves makes games too short and deciding the victor too confusing. Also size of game blurs difference in powers of pieces, making for too much monotony. Game might benefit from more squares and pieces, less restrictive rules.

Moderate Progressive Chess. A player may make one more move than his opponent just made. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeremy Good wrote on 2007-04-05 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I consider this to be the most brilliant and thoughtful of all progressive variants, a creation of true chess genius.

I wonder whether a 'Conservative Moderate Progressive' variant would work, where the rules for checks also applied to captures, so that captures were limited to one per move, as with Leandro's Chess. [Correction: In Leandro's Chess, if one wishes to check or capture, that is the only move one is able to make.]

Time Travel Chess. Pieces can travel into the Future. Kings can also return to the Past! (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeremy Good wrote on 2007-04-04 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

A brilliant game, one of my favorites.

Time Travel Chess can be very sharp.

I suspect time travel must be entered into only extremely sparingly and at very decisive moments. Time Travel can be very fatal or debilitating.

There are three rules you must constantly, constantly bear in mind (like guarding against nightrider forks, they require constant vigilance).

(1) One is that pieces are lost in time if compelled by check to play a different move. One problem with this is that if you time travel with a major piece, your opponent might be able to frivolously check you with a minor piece right before the major piece is destined to arrive, causing you to lose at least an exchange.

(2) A piece can not be lost in time if there is a possible move. That allows your opponent to snatch pieces and / or pawns right before your time traveling piece is destined to arrive. With no recourse.

(3) When time traveling into the past, you must remember that your entire game will become twice as vulnerable if you have two times as many royal pieces that can be checkmated. I think I may have discovered a possible loophole to this, but if so, that will be saved for a later comment. So time traveling into the past may save you from a losing position, but it's usually a desperate measure.

I think the rule of thumb when time traveling into the future is this: Try to make sure that what you are threatening with the returning piece is likely to be greater than what is going to be threatened right before your piece returns.

Quinquereme Chess. Large variant with a new piece, the Quinquereme. (12x12, Cells: 144) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeremy Good wrote on 2007-01-21 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Knappen is one of the best variant designers, and his work is a huge
inspiration to me. Kudos for an ingenious game with an intriguing type of
nightrider that moves as a camel every other move.

Here is a curiousity I discovered in a game I just started: 

If White moves the f pawn on the first move, black's unprotected pawn at
j10 is threatened by the Pentere, also threatening a nasty double check,
which would force the king to flee. j10 is an unprotected pawn. 

The problem with unprotected pawns in opening positions is not that they
make a more inferior game than otherwise for the second player. That's a
common misconception. It is simply that variations can be forced, giving
the game an immediate tactical edge sometimes not allowing for the
flexibility many prefer to have in their opening choices. For a large
variant, I don't that's a bad thing. 

Please note: The forced moves will only happen if one of the players
decides it would be of advantage to force them, just as it is optional
whether to create the sort of pawn structure which leads to an open or
closed game.

Pocket Mutation Chess. Take one of your pieces off the board, maybe change it, keep it in reserve, and drop it on the board later. (8x8, Cells: 64) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeremy Good wrote on 2007-01-15 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

One of the best variants, certainly and Michael Nelson, I think, is also one of the best variant designers.

I would like to see an expanded (more complete) list of pieces added to the classes.

Also, maybe an extension for some of the more powerful pieces, as with tripunch pieces and cylindrical / toroidal pieces? Would be fun to have classes 9 and even 10.

Abdul, can you please tell me what you mean by superknight and supernightrider?

Just want to know.

Atlantean Barroom Shatranj. Atlantean Barroom Shatranj Rules. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeremy Good wrote on 2007-01-12 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
This is by far my favorite of all the diverse Shatranj games Joe Joyce has invented. Though I'd say they are all good, this one is excellent. If chess had evolved differently, with the scheme of short range movers becoming more powerful, Atlantean Barroom Shatranj would surely represent the apex.

Fighting Kings. The King has switched places with the King Pawn - The King is now a fighting piece. And the pawn must be protected. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeremy Good wrote on 2006-10-20 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Gary, your game, with its castling rule, is a worthwhile improvement on Royal Pawn Chess which is more of a gimmick game. Though similar, I very much welcome it.

Taikyoku Shogi. Taikyoku Shogi. Extremely large shogi variant. (36x36, Cells: 1296) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeremy Good wrote on 2006-09-26 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Oh, boy, you are going to make a lot of people happy with this. Thanks so much for sharing. Just what I've been looking for! Awesome!

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