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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2001-08-18
 By George William Duke. Falcon Chess. Game on an 8x10 board with a new piece: The Falcon. (10x8, Cells: 80) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
tommy wrote on 2005-03-04 UTCPoor ★

i am one who is particularly offended by chess variant patents. i will tell you why. but firstly, the patent for falcon chess does not worry me as much as other patents because i cannot see that the falcon piece is really any good. to me it looks like somebody wanted to own a patent and then set about achieving it, rather than somebody invented a great game and recognized that it needed legal protection. i may be wrong, but i cannot see how there could be a sufficient demand for this game to warrant any legal protection, and so any patent for falcon chess looks to me like a 'bad business investment'.

i myself have many ideas for chess variants. sometimes my designs will be too flawed to pursue, but sometimes i will think of something good. i currently have one variant which i am very excited about and i would like to tell the world and get it play-tested. but unfortunately, recent months have taught me that there are business-minded vultures in the chess community who seek to exploit chess for anything they can get. this is why i will keep my best variant a secret. i want it to be public domain, because i am not an american capitalist. i just want people to play my game and for a few people to remember i introduced it. but i fear that i now need to cover every base. for example, to stop somebody tweaking my game in a minor way, i need to somehow account for all possible combinations of starting set-ups and rules. this represents millions of possible permutations. the credibility of my game is virtually destroyed by such an action. but the worst thing is that i will need to ensure my game is given wholly into the public domain. i wish this was easy and that i could talk about it openly. if somebody suggests an improvement to my game, i would not mind at all. but if somebody found an improvement and claimed sole inventorship over my game, i would obviously feel somewhat aggrieved. like Carrera would feel if he knew about gothic chess.

why are chess patents allowed? unfortunately they do exist and unfortunatley they weren't bought in order to help promote those respective variants, or chess itself, but to line the pockets of american capitalists. these individuals are choking the future of chess evolution in my opinion. i think the most insulting thing about people who own chess patents is that they all claim to have made something better than chess, and do not recognize previous similar variants. gothic chess for example was undoubtedly influenced by the Carrera family of variants, but nowhere in the patent document could i find the relevant acknowledgements. i thought that the 'background of the invention' would have mentioned something significant, but it doesn't. why is that? i fear it is because the 'inventor' did not wish to tell the patent reviewers how unoriginal his game is. and instead, heavily implied that he invented the archbishop and chancellor pieces.

i know this message won't get posted, but i thought i would try anyway. i have had good correspondence with Fergus in the past and i trust his ability to decide what should be published on his website or not. if Fergus would like me to write a better essay about chess patent immorality, then i would be willing to do so. i understand that this site was not made to discuss patent morality issues, but it is one of the most popular discussions for some variants and i feel it's a subject which needs to be addressed. i may write my own chess variants site one day, and if i do i would not include any patented chess variants, no matter how good they are. i would not wish to promote any variants which were invented for the purposes of raising money for greedy entrepreneurs. people who probably have little genuine interest in any other chess variants.