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This item is a miscellaneous item
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2015-12-11
 Author: Fergus  Duniho. Home page of The Chess Variant Pages. Missing description[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Javier wrote on 2003-01-04 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Terrific web-site! When it comes to chess variants, this site is the best on the internet! Look no further! Thanks for the excellent work!

Douglas wrote on 2003-01-15 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I am new to the game and trying very hard. But sometimes when I am playing someone, another person jumps in with an Instant Message and tells me the guy/gal I am playing is using a computer program to win. How do I know the person I am playing is using a program or not? Thanks.

Glenn Overby II wrote on 2003-01-15 UTC
Douglas, that's a problem that can't be solved easily. The best answer I can give is simply to enjoy each game for what you get from it, and know that those who rely on a computer to win are cheating themselves. Also, playing variants helps (yes, I know that you're still new to regular chess), because many of the programs available are a lot weaker. Next, don't always trust everything you hear over IM--I've seen my share of false accusations in my time. Finally, over time you can find opponents you can trust. Good luck to you! Glenn Overby CVP Competitions Editor

Anonymous wrote on 2003-03-26 UTC
Hi, We found your website on Google and really liked it. Would it be possible to have a link from your site to ours? If you wanted we could reciprocate (just send us details you require) We have a shop and a website on which we are publishing articles in the hope of getting response and ideas on how to change the UK games industry. So if you can, our details are as follows: Bored Stupid is an independent games retailer providing the finest games from around the world. For everything from poker chips to games for the serious enthusiast pay a visit to Bored Stupid at Bored Stupid, 4 burlington Arcade, Bournemouth BH1 2HZ 01202 296699 Regards Nigel Phillips

Malbase wrote on 2003-04-27 UTC
This is for Douglas. How to tell when a computer is being used: Average, weak, or new players to the game should not be making great moves. I have seen it also. Several Yahoo! and POGO players, probably mostly kids admitted they were using a computer against me. I know of two games I lost to computers. I also know of several others where I beat the computers. It is against USCF Postal or email rules to use a computer during a game. It is also against FICS. EWCCF,and CCLA rules to use a computer. To play a game when neither player can use any help go to FICS. A free site. EWCCF: I do not know how the games work but I think it is similar to FICS. (I am a tournament director for EWCCF). But I do not play with EWCCF. USCF and CCLA use email to play games. It is not against USCF rules to use a book for a postal, email game. Normally a book is for the opening moves. has an online Opening book also. Or rather games. I do know of players using a database program for Opening help also. I do also. But Midgame and endgame I depend solely on my learning and training. Remember that most of these games mean nothing. I did not play chess in nearly 30 years and wanted to get back into 'shape.' Playing with a computer would have set me back. The reason, the computer would have been doing the thinking for me. All those players using a computer to play their games are cheating themselves. They will never learn how to play good chess.

Kenichi J. Seino wrote on 2003-06-09 UTCGood ★★★★
I have been imagining possible original Chess, programmes of which are listed in the home page: Please, visit the home page.

Anonymous wrote on 2003-06-15 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

L. Lynn Smith wrote on 2003-06-19 UTC
A good way to assure e-mail games are played without the aid of a computer is for each player to create a text file where they will put down the reasoning behind each move. Each turn this file is placed in a password-protected/encrypted ZIP file and sent with the move. (The name of the ZIP file can actually be the move.) At the end of the game, the player sends the passwords to open these ZIP files. This is also helpful with creating commentary for the recorded game.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2003-06-19 UTC
After using a computer to make a move, a dishonest player could then analyze the computer's move and explain, as though he were explaining his own move, why it's a good move. So I don't think this will prevent dishonesty much better than the honor system.

John Lawson wrote on 2003-06-19 UTC
That would be good for the final round of an important tournament, where a prize might be at stake. Usually, though, I don't play in such an orderly way, and would find it onerous. I rarely spend more than a minute deciding a move, and the analysis process is decidedly non-verbal.

Roberto Lavieri wrote on 2003-06-20 UTC
If the rules previously stablished prohibits the use of computer, there is no way of being sure the player is not using that. The object of a game by e-mail is usually to have some fun, someone that uses a computer for analysis perhaps can do that if there is not exprese prohibition, because the object of the game should be to produce a good game for make posterior comments on positions and moves, etc.But if it is prohibited, it is only a Honour thing the use or not, any artificious control may be ineffective, but if there are not at least some thousands of Dollars in prize, at first, it should be stupid to broke the honour code violating the rule, at second, It really matters that it is the case that someone is suspicious of dishonest playing chess by e-mail?

Peter David Boddy wrote on 2003-06-21 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I don't believe it would work, even if the player on the other side isn't using a computer, what's to say he/she isn't getting advice from other people? If they were doing that, it would be easy to put commentary in on how and why a move is a good one. I wouldn't agree to such a game, for the reasons that John Lawson and Michael Howe wrote below. A game is just that, a game. It's meant to be fun, not to be a chore. And would anyone really want to give their opponent an opportunity to view the thinking behind each move? You cannot be 100% certain that your encrypted ZIP file is unbreakable. If you're concerned that your opponent is using a computer, would you not also worry they could crack your password/encryption?

Mark Thompson wrote on 2003-06-21 UTC
Encryption is plenty strong enough to keep the move-explanation secure -- after all, we even use it to send credit card numbers over the internet, and there are more people willing to spend more time to get credit card numbers than there are people who want to find out why you made a certain move in a game. The objection you and other players have to recording their reasoning is more potent. Personally I'd be glad to write explanations of my moves, even for the sake of making sure I remember why I made them when I return to an e-mail game, sometimes several days later; and I often wish the great players in tournaments would make such notes and share them after the game is finished. But it still wouldn't prevent cheating: I've seen programs that will provide reasoning behind the moves they make. It would be very good for new and exotic games to have some system that would prevent this kind of cheating, because it would make it possible to hold a 'high-stakes' tournament with a cash prize (maybe $100) and attract larger numbers of serious players, and so getting more games that worthy of serious study. But tournaments with prizes would also encourage cheaters to Zillionize the game in hope of winning through brute-force computation rather than by gaining a real understanding of how the game should be played. So I applaud the effort to find such a cheat-proof e-play system, but I don't see much hope for it myself.

Peter Hatch wrote on 2003-06-24 UTC
'Encryption is plenty strong enough to keep the move-explanation secure -- after all, we even use it to send credit card numbers over the internet' Actually, the encryption for .zip files is terrible and can be broken. You'd have to use a better program to encrypt and then zip the result, or some such.

Mark Thompson wrote on 2003-06-24 UTC
Right, I'm not talking about simply ZIPping the files and sending them, which I wouldn't call encryption at all. I mean using the kind of tools they have on secure servers, which I believe use RSA encryption. I've never needed to get software to do this on my own, but I've heard there's a tool called PGP (for Pretty Good Privacy) that does RSA for you. RSA is the algorithm based on Fermat's Little Theorem, and on the difficulty of factoring huge numbers that are products of two huge primes. It was written up in a Scientific American column in the 1970's, and the Dept. of Defense got all bothered and tried to suppress it on the grounds that it described for a mass audience an encryption technique that would be impossible for their biggest brains to crack. If RSA were not secure, there would be profound implications to the security of online purchasing. If any mathematician found a way to break it, he would make a name for himself by publishing it. No one has.

Anonymous wrote on 2003-07-05 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Moussambani wrote on 2003-08-10 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
OK, These pages are great. I want to ask a question. Some time ago I read a variant on these pages. It had pieces that were geometrical figures, and the board was a sort of interweaving stripes and there was a prison, or something like that. I don't remember it too well. The fact is that I wanted to look at that variant again, but since I don't remember its name I can't find it anymore. Does anyone remember what I'm talking about?

George Duke wrote on 2003-08-10 UTC
Game with 'interweaving stripes' about a year ago is Weave and Dungeon. GW Duke

Moussambani wrote on 2003-08-10 UTC
Yes, that's it! Thanks a lot!

Anonymous wrote on 2003-08-27 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
neat page, i rate it 9/10

Anonymous wrote on 2003-10-04 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
this is awsome

faty paty wrote on 2003-10-04 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
this is awsome it graet ilove chessnw there are diffrent games I can play

Roger wrote on 2003-10-22 UTC
Hi. In Robert Jordan's 'Wheel of Time' series, there is mention of a chess-like game called 'Sha'rah.' A cursory web search reveals no attempt at devising rules for the game. The info I have is from the series' ninth book 'Path of Daggers,' in which a villain contemplates a Sha'rah board and pieces as an allegory for the world situation. The scene gives us the following game details: 1) The board is 13x13 2) 33 red, 33 green and 1 black-and-white shared piece - the 'Fisher'. 3) The game is complex. 4) The board is checkered black and white, but a green and red checkered 'goal row' surrounds the playing area. 5) Only the black-and-white 'Fisher' piece can move onto the goal row. 6) The 'Fisher' starts on the central square of the board. 7) Any piece can threaten the goal row, however. 8) Players attempt to capture the Fisher. 9) Capture of the Fisher makes it 'yours' to move until it is captured by the enemy. 10) Three ways to win: 1) Move the Fisher onto a square of your color on your opponent's end of the board. 2) Force your opponent to move the Fisher onto any 'goal row' square of your color. 3) (of the third object) '...victory coming only with complete annihilation of your enemy.' 11) Several pieces have 'varying moves.' 12) The Fisher's attributes alter according to the color square it stands on: 1) On a white square, 'weak in attack yet agile and far-ranging in escape.' 2) On a black square, 'strong in attack yet slow and vulnerable.' 13) The Fisher is always rendered as a 'man, a bandage blinding his eyes and one hand pressed to his side, a few drops of blood dripping through his fingers.' That's all the information I can glean from the book's prologue. Perhaps there is more rule-revealing info later in the book or in subsequent books...I haven't gotten there yet. But from the rules already presented, it seems like it could make for a fascinating game. -Roger

Moisés Solé wrote on 2003-10-22 UTC
That game looks interesting. Rules question I can get: Can red (resp green) move a fisher onto a red (resp green) square anywhere else than in the opponent's home row? What would the fisher's abilities be there? I hope you find more info!

Mark Thompson wrote on 2003-10-23 UTC
You say there are 33 pieces on a board of 169 (13x13), and many of them have varying powers, and the Fisher in particular has powers that vary according to the color of square it occupies. This leads me to speculate that the pieces begin all on the dark (or all on the light) squares of the first 5 ranks of each side of the board, including the corner squares, and that the ones whose powers vary, ALL vary (like the Fisher) based on the color square they occupy. At the start of the game, moving your pieces onto the other color of square 'develops' them, giving them powers that will make them more useful in the middle game. If this is really how the initial arrays are set up, gaining extended diagonal movement would be handy.

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