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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. Patented game on an 8x10 board with a new piece: The Falcon. (10x8, Cells: 80) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Pete Leyva wrote on 2004-01-02 UTCGood ★★★★
I believe Falcon Chess is a wonderful addition to chess world. It provides change that is well needed in the chess world. Great job George W. Duke.

Michael Nelson wrote on 2004-04-12 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
For the game. Falcon Chess is quite playable and the Falcon piece has a charming move that makes for interesting tactics.

Michael Nelson wrote on 2004-04-12 UTCPoor ★

For:

1. The inventor's mistaken belief that this is the best chess variant ever invented.

2. Patenting a game whose distinguishing difference from Chess is a lame Bison with an improved movement--an innovation, to be sure, but a small one.

3. His desire to prevent anyone else from using the Falcon in any game (no matter how unlike Falcon Chess).


George Duke wrote on 2005-01-21 UTC
Described in third from last paragraph above, 'Generic-Advanced-Pawns' 10x10, with G = Generic piece: rank c xxxppppxxx, rank b pppGGGGppp, rank a RNBFQKFBNR. A second recommended array 'Falcon-Back': rank c pppppppppp, rank b RNBGKQGBNR, rank a xxFxxxxFxx, centering Falcon behind Bishop. I declare both are substantially like claims of USP#5690334 by the legal doctrine of equivalents. I recently requested Quintanilla to make pre-sets for some Falcon games for anyone to play, but with the string of 'F's for it since year 2000, I don't know what the issue is or that I seek attention for FC. Who saw this week's PBS Jack Johnson story? Methods Patents are not some latter-day Mann Act. Play Falcon Chess on your Gothic Chess board all you want, in order to condemn it.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2005-01-22 UTC
Tony Quintanilla had another child and is no longer as active as an editor here.

tommy wrote on 2005-02-02 UTC

i can concur with Michael Nelson's second message (dated 12/04/04). in particular i am in agreement with his third point. i believe it is immoral to choke the natural evolution of chess (and variants thereof) by monopolising new aspects of it. i myself have ideas for chess variants and chess rule modifications but would prefer it if other people were allowed to modify and improve my ideas.

the falcon may indeed be original and the basis of the patent, but is it morally fair that nobody else is allowed to attempt to improve falcon chess or other chess variants by employing the falcon piece?

i would like to know how profitable falcon chess is as an enterprise. i would also like to know why the designer bought the patent. is it so that nobody else may attempt to improve falcon chess (or other chess variants by employing the falcon piece)? is the name 'falcon' protected? for example, may i invent another different piece and call it a falcon? or, am i allowed to alter the name and/or appearance of the current falcon piece found in falcon chess? are any monopolies moral?

if falcon chess is a profitable enterprise then it might be worth considering how it could be made more popular if other people were allowed to promote it. if it were made more popular, would it not then increase the value of the falcon chess enterprise? having a monopoly on the falcon piece and falcon chess in general does introduce a choking aspect with regards to the popularity and future of the game. it is this then that leads me to believe that chess (variant) patents are bought for personal financial reasons only. and it is this that most people consider to be immoral and/or abhorent.


Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2005-03-01 UTCPoor ★

Why it takes so long to describe all this? Too much redundancy in this page, sorry.

This game is nothing but original. The so-called Falcon is just Camel+Zebra from fairy chess. I used a similar Buffalo (Camel+Zebra+Knight) in my CVs and many inventors did in these pages on this website.

Also good to know is that a certain Karl Schulz from Austria invented a Falcon-Hunter Chess in 1943 where the Falcon is moving fw like a Bishop and bw like a Rook. This variant is reported in many CV books like Parton's, Boyer's or closer to us, DB Pritchard's. Basically, I think that patenting a CV is a very bad idea because you just encourage players to go away. What is the goal of the inventor, what does he want to protect really ? And if the patent is unavoidable it should be preceded by a serious anteriority research. This patent has no serious claim, it's flawed.


George Duke wrote on 2005-03-01 UTC
Cazaux's Comment is inept because even the Falcon article referenced dates from year 2000. It is a simple article tailored for beginners, non-players, and designer-dilettantes. The other more-detailed article on this game, 'Falcon Chess patent text' was written in 1995 and 1996 well before the single use that comment mentions, Cazaux's own (Buffalo=C+Z+N) in 2001 Gigachess. In any event, I submit that a non-jumping Falcon is the correct(mathematical) complement to Rook, Knight and Bishop, and far from obvious at first; whereas any (Camel + Zebra) is extremely over-powerful and moreover totally frivolous addition to Chess never used in any game until Charles Gilman's Great Herd in 2004. Falcon patent is not intended as a CV, but as a replacement for FIDE-type chess, just as FRC and Carrera-Capablanca forms are so held up. FRC is not promulgated as a CV by its adherents but a solution to contemporary problem of computers and memorized opening theory. Hostility to FC is not new, as the number of 'Poor's attest. After all, Chess Variant Page, readers, and members alike have own agenda not overly concerned with state of FIDE Chess. Yet it is peculiar that three of the last four or so games (over almost two years now) by one CVP Editor have featured a Falcon as the main attraction; Falcon thus appears to hold some undisclosed merit. The reference is to Aronson's and my Complete Permutation Chess, Aronson's Horus with the patented Falcon on quite interesting small board, and Prisoner's Escape with Falcon-Hunter. The name Falcon is somewhat inconsequential. I considered 'Phoenix', Horus and a few other terms; and the US Trademark previously approved by USPTO for 'Falcon Chess' is deliberately in abeyance by ourselves at the present time. As to 'anteriority', there is lot more researched material on file at USPTO from disclosure process than happens to appear in the two CVP articles. Most likely I have been aware of Karl Schulz's Falcon-Hunter Chess longer than any other commenter here(now without Betza). That Falcon and Hunter are nothing like the basic chess piece, Falcon. Commensurate in importance with Knight, Rook, and Bishop(actually preeminent to those three, because they would derive from F, not vice versa) is heretofore-undiscovered Falcon, as patented now until November 2017, after which date copyrights and trademarks will effect comparable coverage for many, many years.

Robert Fischer wrote on 2005-03-01 UTCPoor ★
Just wishing to amend my oversight by appropriately placing a 'poor' rating here as well. Please check-out related comments of interest: http://www.chessvariants.org/index/listcomments.php?itemid=FalconChess100

Roberto Lavieri wrote on 2005-03-02 UTCGood ★★★★
Be honest, this game is at least good (in my opinion, it is very good). I don´t rate it 'excellent' because there is a little detail that is not so easy to solve, and it is a relative weakness in the setup in the c-Pawn and in the h-Pawn. It is also a bit incomodious the first moves of the Bishops, because the player must take some care on the own Rooks and a possible attack by the opposite Bishops. The possible solution I thought, augmenting the power of Bishops allowing the one-step orthogonal movement for Bishops, may alter the good balance and harmony you can see in the game play, powered Bishops are much more valious than a Knight, and the game play itself may change significatively, although I don´t know, I have not tested it. On other hand, Falcon movement is nice and it seems well adapted to this game. My impression is that this is not a 'random' game, but a well thought and tested game, and possible improvements are not obvious.

George Duke wrote on 2005-03-02 UTC
Immersed in CVs as a player, personally I like to play other games more than Falcon Chess 8x10. Examples are Rococo, Switching Chess, Altair, and 3D Positional Chess. However, Falcon Chess is the 'correct' expansion of FIDE-type Chess, more so than Fischer Random and Carrera-Capablanca, in their same spirit of an evolving ideal form of chess. Most CV designers have a different philosophy about creating games preferring a multiplicity of versions. Yet imagine going into say a high school chess club and propounding dozens or hundreds of sets of rules one as recommended as another. The hostile environment of CVP to the other method, evidenced in FC, FRC, Capablanca-Gothic, is why Falcon Chess is never to be developed within Zillions of Games. I have told them to remove the Complete Permutation file later this year.

George Duke wrote on 2005-03-02 UTC
As far as Roberto's analysis, he is going to lose his first Falcon Chess in Game Courier because he cannot castle. The first ten moves in that game have been the ugliest ever(out of hundreds of games since 1992)when he unexpectedly advanced four central Pawns(for which I do need to think of a better defense in future). It has been a formless opening with no piece development. What Black is doing is good enough to win because some nasty forks are brewing. So 'weakness' of Bishops' long diagonal comes about because of the bizarre, imprecise opening moves that should backfire. Sorry this comment belongs in Kibbitz.

Roberto Lavieri wrote on 2005-03-02 UTC
George, you may be right in that my impressions about some possible weaknesses are due, fundamentally, to some things I have seen in the ongoing game in base to the opening moves, and it is also very possible it is a bizarre opening in the Falcon Chess parameters, but, remember, this is my first contact with the game, and I´m playing by instinct and not by any previous knowledge of the game. To be sincere, I believe I have not played so bad the unconventional opening. If I´m going to lose to win is not very important for me, I think this is the spirit of every normal player in every place of the world, I enjoy the game play I see in a game, independently of the results, and a victory can add a bit more happiness sometimes and depending on the circumstances, but not much more, never much more than losing an interesting good game, and you know this is the truth. I´m enjoying this game and much more because this is my first time I play it, and I must admit I have had great curiosity by this game in the past. Is my 'opening' so bad?. I´m not sure, I feel that your position is more incomodious than mine for the moment, although my King is much more vulnerable. In every case, let me be happy playing this, my first Falcon game, as it is for now, perhaps I could make more dynamic initial moves, but you are going to see strong action very soon. In other opportunity I´ll try to make more conventional first moves to see what happens.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2005-03-02 UTC
<P>George Duke wrote:</P> <BLOCKQUOTE> However, Falcon Chess is the 'correct' expansion of FIDE-type Chess, more so than Fischer Random and Carrera-Capablanca, in their same spirit of an evolving ideal form of chess. </BLOCKQUOTE> <P>The two games you mention were created by grandmasters who had extensive knowledge of opening theory, and I think one of the main reasons behind the creation of both games was the need for new frontiers to conquer after they had conquered Chess, and not so much the desire to replace Chess with the next step in its evolution, which seems to be your agenda. So I don't think the creation of your game is in the same spirit as the creation of these two games.</P> <P>As for whether your game is truly the 'correct' expansion of FIDE-type Chess, I have serious doubts about that. Even assuming that one expansion of FIDE-type Chess would be more valid than any other, I doubt that Falcon Chess truly is more valid than any other. Although I don't propound it as such, I think my own Eurasian Chess may fit the bill better, because if Chess is lacking anything, it may well be hoppers, and Eurasian Chess adds two hoppers that parallel the Rook and Bishop, namely the Cannon and Arrow.</P> <BLOCKQUOTE> Most CV designers have a different philosophy about creating games preferring a multiplicity of versions. Yet imagine going into say a high school chess club and propounding dozens or hundreds of sets of rules one as recommended as another. </BLOCKQUOTE> <P>This argument attacks a straw man. In other words, it misrepresents the opposing side in a way that appears laughable. But it is just a mischaracterization. I am of the opposing side, and if I went to a high school chess club to promote variants, I would limit the variants I introduce to a select few, and I would do little more than mention where they can learn of other variants they might be interested in. Moreover, I am not of the opinion that any variant is as good as another, and I would not propound dozens, much less hundreds, of rules as being just as recommended as the next.</P> <BLOCKQUOTE> The hostile environment of CVP to the other method, evidenced in FC, FRC, Capablanca-Gothic, is why Falcon Chess is never to be developed within Zillions of Games. </BLOCKQUOTE> <P>You are aware, aren't you, that the CVP and Zillions of Games are two separate entities. So what does 'the hostile environment of CVP to the other method' have to do with Zillions of Games? Wouldn't it be a better reason against developing Falcon Chess on Game Courier? After all, Game Courier is hosted on the CVP, and it's the creation of one of its editors, namely myself. But Zillions of Games is a commercial program by people who are not even members of this website.</P> <P>As for my own attitude toward your method, it is not so much hostility as it is the belief that your method is quixotic. I think the bulk of the hostility you get is from people who take a strong moral stance against patenting Chess variants, and, without naming names, I think some of this arises from what they take to be the misuse of patents by others. Some people get very angry about this, and they find you a convenient target.</P>

Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2005-03-02 UTCGood ★★★★
I have not yet played Falcon Chess, although I would like to. The idea of the Falcon, by itself, is good. It's a piece with interesting capabilities. The setup seems reasonable and, I am sure, has been well thought through and play tested. I can't agree with the 'poor' ratings, regardless of one's opinion of the pros- or cons- of patenting a chess: that's a different matter altogether, one which, unfortunately, has dominated these comment pages a bit too much -- in my opinion. In any case, its a good game and that is why I offered George the Game Courier preset -- to encourage play of this interesting chess.

Greg Strong wrote on 2005-03-04 UTCGood ★★★★
I have not played Falcon Chess yet, but the Falcon is a very clever piece, and I look forward to seeing how it plays. Unfortunately, with GC Tournament #2 starting soon, I need to focus on those games for now, but I will definitely try FC sometime reasonably soon. I am glad it has a GC preset! I am (personally) ambivalent about ZoG support, but I'm not sure I see what can be gained by not providing a ZRF.

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.


Cavallero wrote on 2005-03-09 UTCPoor ★
Very full of himself, the author is. And by patenting the game (unjustified greed? - sorry but I can only speculate, and the 'until 2017'-comment below seemed to justify this), he made sure it will not be played very much. Too bad, since the falcon as such is an interesting and relatively original piece - not less, but also not much more.

AMXRE wrote on 2006-09-07 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Great game!The FALCON is POOOWERfUL but the use of fide armies balances its power.This gameRRRRRRRRRRRRRRReally deseves its patent.(and the falcon deserves a patent too!

Abdul-Rahman Sibahi wrote on 2007-04-11 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
an interesting thought, I wonder how the game would play out allowing some mutators? like Suicide, Atomic, Extinction, Alice, Magnetic .. etc .. I issued an invitation for Suicide Falcon Chess .. just to try it out. I really wonder if there are any lost openings to begin with.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2007-05-02 UTC
I am interested in posting a variant using your Falcon piece and, knowing your feelings on some of your reactions to other uses of it, have decided to seek your approval. The variant will be the first in a series of 3d variants themed on battles between various ancient mythologies. The piece would appear in one army as part of a group of animals with whose heads Egyptian deities are depicted, also including my Ibis and Jackal. All armies throughout the series will have the standard King, Rooks, Knights, and Pawns. I look forward to reading your comments either way. I will check the page for this variant before posting, but if you have any comments to make on another variant of mine in the interim please feel free to give or deny permission there.

charlesfort wrote on 2007-05-02 UTC
Charles, let's see, you're not playing in Game Courier, so not having my ema, and vice versa. I have described '91.5 Trillion FC Variants' here August 2006, each one extensively different in tactics from all the other 91,499,999,999,999. Another one is 8x8 Bifocal Chess by Antoine F. I made Comments 2003 now expunged (je ne sais quoi)from Chess Variant Page on free use of Falcon in 8x8, having deliberately excluded, in the very beginning, small boards or standard one from USPatent 5690334 documented 1992 on, precisely for today's eventuality of whimsical(or diabolical) experimentation by computer facility. Appreciating your interest, if you would please discuss it more perhaps by getting my ema from friend Jeremy Good or other. Then it could be decided whether courtesy-citations suffice or collaboration necessary for approval. charlesfort/gwd

Abdul-Rahman Sibahi wrote on 2007-05-02 UTC
[[ comment deleted .. oops ]]

Charles Gilman wrote on 2007-06-11 UTC
Any chance of re-rating AOF 1 now that I have removed what you ere complaining about? The description of the Falcon's move there now reads: 'The FALCON (F) moves to the same destinations as the Bison, but cannot leap. It makes three steps in a mixture of one orthogonal and one diagonal direction, making either one or two 45° turns but no turns of any other angle. It has three alternative routes to each destination, but is blocked from reaching that destination if there is an intervening piece on every route, of any army or mixture thereof. It was invented in two dimensions by G. W. Duke for Falcon Chess. It has more directions to move in on this board, though not as many as it would on a board with more levels.'

George Duke wrote on 2007-06-11 UTC
Editor Charles, Why don't you re-Rate Falcon Chess from 'None', its having half a dozen Poors and nothing else from your most active readership, surely really a compliment. Or why do you bother to solicit a favourable rating from me more or less outsider with one Poor-Average game under byline? Is it a taunt on your part? (Technically I realize you cannot rerate because of not using your CVP-identification, the same as Ralph Betza used to do with 'gnohmon')I can tell you that you have a Poor game to play in Armies of Faith, and I will give you the courtesy of analyzing why in a long paragraph later, the way I Commented systematically on 400 Large Chesses in 2004 and 2005, whereupon my privilege for unscreened Comments was revoked by your people.

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