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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 1999-12-18
 By Kevin  Scanlon. Grander Chess. A variant of Christian Freeling's Grand Chess. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Joe Joyce wrote on 2006-02-28 UTC
Okay, Gary, I was trying to be nice and let him down easy. A. O. Myers does a discussion of Grander Chess (first item under See Also) in which he disagrees with K. Scanlon's elimination of en passant and treatment of stalemate, but agrees with the new piece placement. Now, I also think en passant should stay. And if there is a problem with stalemate, then give the stalemater 2/3 of a point and the stalematee 1/3. That satisfies my sense of what feels right. I'd even take a little issue with piece placement, as the knights are, in both variants, pushed farther away from the middle, thus weakening them somewhat, but I don't see an alternative that's better or even as good as the current knight placement. (Obviously I use the same setup in GS.) Finally, I don't believe the name is justified. Fergus makes excellent points and sense in his comments. Mr. Scanlon tried, but the group consensus is that he obviously did not succeed. What he did, at most, was create a modest variant of Grand Chess with a most immodest name. Of course, that puts many of us, perhaps me especially, at risk for our games' names.

Gary Gifford wrote on 2006-02-28 UTC
Joe wrote, in part, 'But, reading the rules, I see Mr. Scanlon is paying homage to Grand Chess in his own way.' GKG response: But I see that Mr. Scanlon wrote: 'Despite its admittedly minor aesthetic and functional flaws...[refering to Grand Chess] then adds 'Grand Chess is easily the best and most playable reinvention of Chess I have ever seen.' So, he is stating that it has minor aesthetic and functional flaws; and is elswhere stating that he has taken this game and improved it.... has taken the Grand Chess and made it Grander Chess, aye, there's the rub.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2006-02-27 UTCPoor ★
I've never really paid attention to this game before. The name and the description both suggest that this game is supposed to be an improvement over Grand Chess. But, in Humpty Dumpty's sense of the word, there is no glory on this page. None of Kevin Scanlon's arguments for his changes to Grand Chess are convincing. (1) Making stalemate a win does not maximize the logical consistency of the game. This claim is empty sophistry, using important sounding words to describe something of no significance. The only way in which making stalemate a win maximizes consistency is by making the winning condition consistent with the alternate winning condition of capturing the King. (2) Likewise, how is the elimination of en passant supposed to make the game more consistent? If we follow Scanlon's logic to its conclusion, every piece will move the same in a fully consistent game, and we may as well play Checkers. En passant exists in Chess to keep Pawns from bypassing each other. Other pieces don't need the power, because they will have other opportunities to capture Pawns that pass by on a double move. (3) The new array leaves a Pawn unprotected. This is not good for a game with powerful compound pieces. In conclusion, I remain unconvinced that this game is grander than Grand Chess.

Joe Joyce wrote on 2006-02-27 UTC
Once again, I'll put my foot in my mouth up to my shoulder. David, I think I see what you're doing. Here I am. This name is a little tacky. But, reading the rules, I see Mr. Scanlon is paying homage to Grand Chess in his own way. Gary and I have agreed, in an exchange of private emails, that people might take me too seriously. I mention this partly for completeness, but mostly because I wish to copy 1 sentence from my email to Gary for Christine - 'As far as Christine, without talking to her, I'd bet she has no such animal as a GS game to come out, it's most likely her sense of humor coming out.' Hah! Got you on the first try! :) Roberto, you have the best line about the rules of this game. Thank you. Terms like maximum logical consistancy always worry me. I'm glad others are bothered, too. To finish seriously, there may be no legal problem with names like More Granderer Chess II, I'm not up on copyright law. But as a community, this group can exert social pressure, fairly or unfairly. What are the community standards, and what is fair?

Roberto Lavieri wrote on 2006-02-27 UTC
As David, I´m also mathematician, and I also prefer avoid claims of 'maximal logical consistency', by various reasons, but, fundamentally, because I don´t understand what exactly it means.

Christine Bagley-Jones wrote on 2006-02-26 UTC
what are you talking about, i would hardly say 'people' are making a 'big fuss' about this game :)

Sam Trenholme wrote on 2006-02-26 UTC
I find it ironic that, seven years after this variant was proposed, people finally make a big fuss over its name. This is not the only Grand Chess variant, and won't be the last Grand Chess variant. Unlike 'Grand Chess 2', which implies the variant was invented by the same person who invented the original game, 'Grander Chess' is more clearly seen to be something invented (or fine-tuned) by someone else.

The whole 'protect all of the pawns' business comes from two things:

  1. When playing rook odds in FIDE chess, the rook pawn is often times advanced one square before the start of the game in order to not have an undefended pawn.
  2. There were some serious problems with a well-known opening setup which stemmed from having undefended pawns in the opening array.
Unlike Shantraj, in 'mad queen' chess the pieces have more mobility; one can far more quickly attack the opponent's undefended pawn. This often results in the opening becoming one where white attacks the undefended pawn and black has to handle the business of defending that pawn instead of engaging in normal development. Of course, there are setups where the undefneded pawn is probably not a serious liability. For example, the undefended pawn in Aberg's variant can be defended with a normal Nd3 developing move (but this also makes it easier to pin this knight and threaten a pawn on f4).

- Sam


Christine Bagley-Jones wrote on 2006-02-26 UTC
i've deleted my comment, i'm sure it will be taken the wrong way, i don't want to upset anyone, it will be taken out of context for sure :) we were all just talking about the 'name' debate, (grand chess 2), so ... ahh yep that's it lol

David Paulowich wrote on 2006-02-26 UTCPoor ★
Could we please move the debate on naming chess variants from the Grand Chess 2 page to this location? I admit to feeling a slight twinge of guilt over appropriating the name 'TenCubed Chess' for my entry in the recent Contest. There were several other worthy entries that had 10 piece types on a 10x10 board. At least I resisted the temptation to name it 'Grand Omega Chess'.

As a mathematician, I prefer to avoid making claims of 'maximal logical consistency' for my own chess variants. All things considered, I would rather not comment on pages containing such claims, especially when the author has a plan for reducing the number of draws.

As for the 'business of unprotected Pawns', which was raised in previous comments here, that has been a problem in chess variant design ever since the Mad Queen was invented centuries ago. It is NOT a problem in Shatranj, where the Elephants on the first rank can NEVER attack the unprotected Pawns on the seventh rank. And I for one refuse to worry about the threat of a Knight taking four moves to cross the board and capture an undefended Pawn.


George Duke wrote on 2005-02-26 UTCPoor ★
'GHI,LargeCV': 'Grand Chess completes the revolution in the game's rules that was started over 500 years ago,' says Kevin Scanlon. Then Grander Chess supposedly improves upon Grand Chess by three features. First, stalemate becomes a win. Second, en passant is dropped in favour of return to passar battaglia. Third, Queen is centralized, shuffling slightly just three pieces in array. Such minor revision is best left in Comment, which unfortunately Carrera's Chess imitators on 8x10 neglect, preferring to write up each version as if it were some new game.

George Duke wrote on 2004-08-04 UTC
The business of unprotected Pawns comes up about once a year. Chaturanga and Shatranj have unprotected pawns in starting array. It is easy to extend the list to hundreds. What is most frequent standard FIDE opening? e4, an undefended Pawn in the center of the board.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2004-08-03 UTC
Well Black can reply to Mh4 with Ph7, or by moving something to the back row to protect the Pawn, but I can see the merits of an all-protected array Pawn rank. How about having the same array as suggested here, but with the Cardinal and Marshal on the back rank between the Rooks. If a further name is required for such a variant I tentatively suggest Grandee Chess, as the set-back Cardinal and Marshal can fairly be described as grandees.

Sam Trenholme wrote on 2004-07-20 UTC
The proposed opening setup is defective because it leaves the pawn in front of the right bishop (the 'h' pawn) undefended. This causes the game to have the same problem that Capablanca's chess has: It causes white to have an overwhelming advantage (Can you say 1.Mh4)

Charles Gilman wrote on 2003-07-19 UTCGood ★★★★
You are right that it makes more sense to have the King and Queen in the centre. You could add that file letters are merely a notational convention that has no bearing on play. Your note about if pieces could capture en passant has a bearing on my idea of a 'tout en passant' game in which anything can capture anything else (except a King) en passant. However I am sure that conventions could be devised to get round the problems highlighted.

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