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Game Reviews by Malcolm Webb

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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.


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).


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?

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 2013-01-29 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.

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 ★★★★
MY TEACHER (NOW DECEASED) I CONSIDERED TO BE BOTH EXCELLENT IN PLAY AND KNOWLEDGEABLE IN THE GAME, AND HE TAUGHT ME ONCE A PAWN HAS REACHED THE 8TH RANK, IT MAY BE PROMOTED TO ANY PIECE THE PLAYER DECLARES, INCLUDING A QUEEN, EVEN IF HE ALL READY HAS ONE.

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