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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2001-01-04
 Author: Hans L. Bodlaender. Grande Acedrex. A large variant from 13th century Europe. (12x12, Cells: 144) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
George Duke wrote on 2016-01-04 UTC
There are 8 piece-types, and H.G. finds five to be the same from Bodlaender's rendering of Murray and Cazaux's examination of the original text. They are King, Pawn, Crocodile, Rook, and Gryphon. <p> The other three are Giraffe, Lion and Unicorn. It certainly makes Lion a better leaper if allowing (3,1) camel added to (3,0). And Giraffe is about the same value whether leaper of (2,3) zebra instead of (1,4). Some confusion comes about in mediaeval texts regarding whether the starting square counts in move descriptions. Murray points that out himself, and here that's how we may get 2,3 instead of 1,4 under further scrutiny. <p> Something remarkable comes about from Muller's speculation that probably Gryphon is meant to be permitted the Ferz stop. It does make sense as the basic mode of movement of Gryphon because otherwise it could be blocked there. In other words, Gryphon can either capture or be blocked at Ferz spot, and capturing is the better and simpler mode, or then too being allowed to stop there in one-step when the square is vacant -- if no old writing contradicts it. <p> Then towards the remarkable re-interpretation, there is the Unicorn/Rhino as making Knight leap not on first move but in first leg of any move! By the same logic as Gryphon stopping at Ferz square, this Unicron/Rhino can stop at Knight square. So in fact in Grande Acedrez we have Rook, Knight and Bishop! Bishop is Crocodile, Unicorn is Knight (+ optional one-directional diagonal continuation), and perennial Rook orthogonally, giving the 3 themselves RNB 200 years before the now primitive OrthoChess 64 is born. And it fits the Stanley Random, of all things, reduction of Chess from larger ancient form.