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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]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2010-11-26 UTC
I have play-tested some combinations using Fairy-Max, and it seems that both the Nutty Knights and the Colorbound Clobberers have a sizable advantage over the FIDE army.

For the Nutty Knights this advantage seems to be slightly over a full Pawn. It seems fully due to the Charging Knights. In a direct comparison all other Nutters perform slightly worse or equal to their FIDE counterparts. But replacing a pair of Bishops by a pair of Charging Knights provides a spectacular advantage. With the standard values 325 for a lone Bishop and 375 for a paired one, the Charging Knight might be 400 or even 425.

This seems unreasonably strong for a piece with only 9 moves, the extra move compared to Knight even being backwards. I guess this is one of the rare move combinations that noys a large bonus over the additive value of the individual moves, like the Archbishop (BN) or the divergent piece that moves as Knight but captures as King. In fact the Charging Knight is also a combination of Knight and King moves. Such pieces combine the speed of the Knight with the manoeuvrability and concentrated attack power of the King/Commoner. The latter endows them with mating potential, and makes them very effective supporters or attackers of FIDE Pawns, as they can protect/attack a Pawn, and at the same time the square in front of it.

The Clobberers are also significantly stronger than FIDE (advantage slightly under 1 Pawn),althogh not as much as you would expect from their individual piece values. A pair of Bedes tests better than a Rook (525 against 500 centiPawn), a pair of FADs as slightly worse (450-475), and thus provides an advantage of more than 2 Pawns over the Bishop pair. This is not dequately compensated by substituting the Queen for an Archbishop, which differs by less than a Pawn from it. (The WA is almost equal in value to the Knight.)

The names used here for the pieces are awful, of course. In the WinBoard / Fairy-Max implementation I use different names. (Or at least different letters to indicate the pieces in FEN and SAN; WinBoard never uses full names of pieces.)

FIDE      Nutters     Clobberers
N Knight  H Horse     E Elephant
B Bishop  U Unicorn   D Deputy
R Rook    T Turret    L Lama
Q Queen   C Colonel   A Archbishop

'Unicorn'seems an applicable name for Knight-King chimera, and WinBoard happens to have a bilt-in bitmap for it. For the Horse I use the WinBoard Nightrider symbol, and for the Colonel the Knight-on-Rook symbol that is popularas a representation of the Cancellor in some 10x8 variants, so that the Nutters army indeed looks quite Knight-like. For the 'Lama' I use the Promoted Bishop symbol, which in WinBoard generically stands for a Bishopwith some extra moves, (in this case the (2,0) teleports), and the WA is an Elephant variation because of the Alfil move.