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Rook-Level Chess[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Peter Aronson wrote on 2002-04-10 UTC
The discussion of piece values and the purpose of the variant for <a href='../diffsetup.dir/chigorin.html'>Chigorin Chess</a> reminded me of a conceptually-related idea I had a while ago I called Rook-Level Chess. <p> <h4>Rook-Level Chess</h4> <p> The idea I wanted to explore in Rook-Level Chess is: how would the play of Chess be affected if the Rook, the Knight and the Bishop all had approximately the same value? It seemed to me that threats would be harder at the very least. Anyway, drawing on Ralph Betza's work on the value of Chess pieces I selected stronger Knights and Bishops that retained some of the character of the existing pieces: for Knights I used NW (Knight + Wazir or Marquis), for Bishops I used BD (Bishop + Dabbabah or Bede). These pieces retain the color behavior of the pieces they replace: the Marquis is color-changing, and the Bede is colorbound. <p> I sent this to David Paulowich, and asked him how he thought this would affect exchanges. He replied that we would still prefer a Rook to a Marquis and a Marquis to a Bede, as you could mate with a Rook + King vs King, but not with Marquis + King vs King or Bede + King vs King, and he still though color-switching pieces more valuable than colorbound ones, other things being equal. <h4>Rook-Level Chess II</h4> <p> Given the above comment, I wondered if the powered up Knight and Bishop could retain <i>different</i> characteristics of the base piece? So, for Rook-Level Chess II I replaced the Knight with ND (Knight + Dabbabah or Vicount) and the Bishop with BW (Bishop + Ferz or Dragon-Horse). In this case I retained that the Knight was a strictly leaping piece not attacking adjacent pieces, and I retained that the Bishop was a non-jumping piece. Are these pieces of equal value? And could you mate with Vicount + King vs King? (Dragon-Horse + King vs King is a win.) <h4>Discussion</h4> <p> I've played around with Rook-Level Chess a bit with Zillions for what it is worth, but I strongly suspect it loses somethings that Chess has. If nothing else, weak pieces can be fun since they can harass stronger pieces. <p> Other versions are of course possible. Given that Ralph has settled down to rating the Crooked Bishop (zFF) as equal to a Rook (there being a brief point where he was rating it at 1.5 Rooks), a Crooked Bishop might replace the Bishop nicely. <p> I should eventually add these as modest variants.

David Howe wrote on 2002-04-11 UTC
It's an interesting idea, but would make for a more positional game with more trading off of material. I would recommend these Rook-level pieces perhaps for larger variants which would still include the usual knights and bishops.

Peter Aronson wrote on 2002-04-11 UTC
Of course, there is the issue that on a larger board, since leapers are weakened, most of these pieces are probably not quite Rook-level anymore. One piece I do want to try in a larger variant someday is the NH (Knight + (3,0) leaper), since the H portion of the move would allow it to move around a 10x10 board slightly faster than a Knight moves around an 8x8 board.

gnohman wrote on 2002-04-11 UTC
Rook-Level Chess is a very nice idea. Of course, the Queen isn't R-level... As for K+ND versus K, confining the K is tricky but it can be done. Example: BKb8 WKc6, White ND e4, Black's move 1...Kc8 2. Nd6+ Kb8 3. Kb6 Ka8 4. NDc8+ Kb8 5. NDc6+ and 6. ND a6 mate.

Peter Aronson wrote on 2002-04-11 UTC
Thanks for the end-game! I deliberately left the Queen out of the leveling so as not to make thinks <strong>too</strong> uniform. <p> I wonder if the the <b>Rook-Level Chess I</b> army vs the <b>Rook-Level Chess II</b> army would be a balanced form of Chess with Different Armies? I would think so, but the <b>RLC II</b> army does have a significant 'can mate' advantage. Does it matter?

H. G. Muller wrote on 2015-04-30 UTC
Interesting discussion. All mentioned pieces are indeed Rook class. Mating potential is in general worth only very little. I guess I can do more accurate testing of the BD value now that I have a derivative of Fairy-Max that takes account of pair bonuses and mating potential. The BW is worth about 0.25 Pawn more than Rook in tests that directly compare them, and based on the observation that pairs of color-bound pieces do not seem to suffer from their color binding, I always assumed that a pair of BD would be worth the same as a pair of BW.

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