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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]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-05-25 UTC

I wonder if there is an option in Game Courier somewhere to have pieces rotate 180 degrees when the board is flipped?

There is no option for rotating piece images.

This is not the $flip variable in the set file, as that swaps the values for lowercase and uppercase keys when the board is flipped

That is not quite what it does. What is actually does is use the piece images in the $flipped array instead of those in the $pieces array. In case any piece labels have not been assigned to piece images in the $flipped array, it completes the $flipped array with this code:

if ($flip == true) {
    foreach ($pieces as $key => $val) {
        if (empty($flipped[$key]))
            $flipped[$key] = $pieces[flipcase($key)];
    }
}

This is useful for Shogi variants, in which the pieces on one side are usually 180° rotated images of the pieces on the other side. Note that some Shogi sets assign specific images to k and K for $flipped, because each side uses a different Kanji character for the piece, and they use the default values for the rest. Here's an example of such code:

$flipped = array (
    "K" => "WKing.gif", "k" => "flip/BKing.gif"
);

JT K wrote on 2021-05-25 UTC

I don't know enough about Game Courier to help you, but I experienced the same concern when putting one of my variant ideas onto tabletopia.com (8-Piece Chess) I eventually just decided to make piece designs that were symmetrical, because that site treats it all like a "camera" view ;)


Adam DeWitt wrote on 2021-05-19 UTC

I wonder if there is an option in Game Courier somewhere to have pieces rotate 180 degrees when the board is flipped? This is not the $flip variable in the set file, as that swaps the values for lowercase and uppercase keys when the board is flipped Such an option could be quite useful for pieces that use mnemonic symbols to show piece moves, since piece moves are flipped when the board. Maybe the board does this automatically and I am just missing it (I know this is the case when I use my phone). However, as far as I know, there is no option in Game Courier that flips that makes pieces images rotate as the board rotates. If there is, it isn't documented in the developer's guide. Either way, I think the idea is at least worth considering.


H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-19 UTC

I noticed that there also are links to various methods of computer play from the Play menu in the main menu bar. Shouldn't we also link to the Jocly overview page and the index page for the interactive diagrams there?


Greg Strong wrote on 2021-05-18 UTC

Your profile says your email is verified.

I sent him an email to confirm identity and then marked it as verified manually.


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-05-18 UTC

I am attempting to verify my email for my account, but it seems that whenever I click on the link in the email, it just sends me to a change email form that doesn't verify the email. How can I fix this?

Your profile says your email is verified.


E. Schierts wrote on 2021-05-17 UTC

I am attempting to verify my email for my account, but it seems that whenever I click on the link in the email, it just sends me to a change email form that doesn't verify the email. How can I fix this?


digital sedition wrote on 2021-05-14 UTC

The other co-author of "A World of Chess", Rick, gave me Colonel Hải Nguyễn Quí's email address upon my inquiry. I've been having an ongoing dialog with the Colonel and another associate of his over the past week and a half. They shared a lot of relevant info with me into the current state of the game and their future plans.

I posted pictures of their new game set on BGG (different username) with their permission as well as an updated English rulebook.


Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2021-05-14 UTC

This game was once considered to be included in the book "A World of Chess". When you say that it has been adopted as the official chess of Vietnam, what source or element do you have to support this statement? I am interested to know.


digital sedition wrote on 2021-05-14 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Greetings, Thanks for doing this website. I don't see Commander Chess or Cờ Tư Lệnh in Vietnamese. This is not to be confused with the Vietnamese Chess listed here for zillions of games. Commander Chess was designed By Colonel Hải Nguyễn Quí and released in 2010. I think it's been adopted as the official Chess of Vietnam.

It's a modern warfare, sort of XianQi variant. Uses tanks, aircraft, a navy. Here's a link to the BGG for it:

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/191203/commander-chess

The Colonel has been trying to share his game with the world and I know for a fact they are about to release a new Commander Chess game set and online/mobile platforms to play online as well.


Dead Account wrote on 2021-05-14 UTC

I am looking to delete my account and potentially create a new account as my current account is cluttered with a large amount of garbage from a couple years ago. Additionally, I created my account without understanding the user ID system, so my user ID is just random nonsense. However, I seem to have a glitched page linked to my account that prevents me from deleting it. Is there any way to resolve this, or should I just abandon the account altogether?


H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-08 UTC

Is it possible to have some custom text float to the right of the diagram?

Well, you have to make the diagram float left. The diagram design wizard already proposes that, by putting a style="float:left; margin: 0 10px 10px 0" with the <div> element used to package the diagram parameters. Any following text will then wrap nicely around it.

BTW, it is possible to have the diagram script generate a the list of pieces (plus squares coordinates) that you like to go there as a 'satellite', by putting a <ul id="xxxList"></ul> where you want the list to appear. The advantage is that the list is clickable, and then brings up the move diagram of the clicked piece. (As in the CwdA diagram, after you select an army.) But I guess that for replacing images in existing articles the lists will already exist.

Also, can we do 3 square colors for games with nightriders

The diagram can already do that (e.g. see the Caissa Britannia diagram I made), but currently it can be switched on only through embedded extra JavaScript (<script>oddShade = "#E04040";</script>). It will be totally trivial to make a 'regular' diagram parameter oddShade for it, though.


Greg Strong wrote on 2021-05-08 UTC

I fully agree that the pages should keep their current character. But in many cases it should be possible to make an Interactive Diagram that looks exactly the same as the static diagrams they have now.

Indeed.  And I see you've added additional features to make this possible.  Thank you!  I think having the "primary diagram" be one of your interactive diagrams is a worthy goal, for multiple reasons.

Of course in cases where the original setup 'image' consists of ascii art, it becomes a bit questionable whether it deserves to be preserved.

Agreed.  I think the ASCII diagrams need to go.  And, for the record, for a long, long time I felt that all pages throughout the Internet should be fully-available to text browsers, and that formatting decisions should come from the client side, etc.  As such, I opposed the direction web development was taking for a long time ... kind of like an old-school Catholic, bitter that mass was no longer recited in Latin.  But slowly I decided this paradigm shift was inevitable, whatever my personal inclinations were.  And now, I think, overall, it is probably for the better.  (Although there are still unfortunate trade-offs, such as handicapped accessibility and support for personal tastes, such as dark-mode.)  Ideally, maybe it's possible to make the ASCII description the "alt text" to the image, but that would be a TON of work that is almost certainly not the best use of my time.  As this website grows, the number of things that should be done grows faster than my time to do them, and I'm not even sure that ASCII diagrams as alt-text serves any real purpose.  (Can blind people get any value out of an ascii diagram?)

Regarding substituting interactive diagrams for main diagrams, I have a couple of questions... Is it possible to have some custom text float to the right of the diagram?  I'd still like to have the location of pieces and initial FEN displayed to the right of the diagram as in this page for example.  Also, can we do 3 square colors for games with nightriders, such as shown here?  (Only one light-square color, but the dark colors alternate per row.)  I'm not saying that either of these things is essential, but, in my mind, if we could do both of these things, replacing the primary images with interactive diagrams would be a "no brainer" (as we say in English - sorry if it doesn't translate well.  It means of course we should do it.)


H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-05 UTC

I don't typically make it the primary diagram because different pages have different presentation styles (colors, etc) and I don't want them to all look the same.

I fully agree that the pages should keep their current character. But in many cases it should be possible to make an Interactive Diagram that looks exactly the same as the static diagrams they have now. These are often also based on piece themes like Alfaerie, Utrecht, etc. These can be used in the diagram too, and the square shades can be arbitrarily configured. This is what I usually do when I post diagrams in the comments. E.g. the three diagrams I posted below for Courier, Shatranj, and Makruk all use Utrecht, and the same piece representations as the original images in those articles, (even though I consider the use of a Queen symbol for the General in Courier rather dubious), and the latter two use an uncheckered, white board, while Courier uses the 'CVP orange' for the dark squares.

Of course in cases where the original setup 'image' consists of ascii art, it becomes a bit questionable whether it deserves to be preserved.

A more important concern is that we want the pages to be presentable (even if not fully functional) for people that have switched JavaScript off. To achieve that for my own articles (e.g. the recently submited Pink Chess), I use the following method: After I created the Interactive Diagram, I take screenshot of it, and upload that as 'membergraphics' for the article. I then include that image in the article within <noscript> tags, so that it would only be shown when JavaScript is off. To prevent the user gets to see the unprocessed definition of the Interactive Diagram, I give the <div> tag that contains this definition a style="display:none". The Diagram script will change this style so the section gets visible for each definition it processes.


Greg Strong wrote on 2021-05-05 UTC

Some other members have included diagrams in their own articles, usually as a secondary diagram. Greg has used his power as an editor to add diagrams to some of the 'founding articles'.

Yes, I've been slowly incorporating them into pages in the notes section, like I did with this page.  I don't typically make it the primary diagram because different pages have different presentation styles (colors, etc) and I don't want them to all look the same.  Updating more pages (both with interactive diagrams and in general) is something I will hopefully get back to soon.  It's pretty tedious work, but we have a lot of pages for good games that could use an update.

Having the diagram in a comment does have an upside, though: when accessed from the index page I made, I always linked to the page you get when using the 'View' link to view the comment in isolation. Which means they immediately get the diagram in view. A link to the main article might have the diagram hidden somewhere at the bottom, after many other diagrams for showing setup and piece moves.

This is a good point.  I could place an anchor tag on the page right before the I.D. so you could link directly to that part of the page.  That's probably worth doing.


H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-04 UTC

First, I generally think that these interactive diagrams should be promoted from comments into the articles themselves, unless they are somewhat experimental and would require frequent editing by someone other than the author or an editor.

Well, I only have access to articles I authored, and there the diagrams are indeed in the articles, as the main diagram for showing the setup. Some other members have included diagrams in their own articles, usually as a secondary diagram. Greg has used his power as an editor to add diagrams to some of the 'founding articles'.

Since I have no access to other people's articles, I always posted diagrams in the comments section for variants that I thought deserved one. I usually tried to stick to the 'theme' of the main diagram in those articles (coloring of the board, piece images). Any editor can copy the diagrams to the main article, as far as I am concerned. (In some cases I accompanied the diagram in the comment with an explanation on the features of the diagram script that I had to add to make it possible to do that variant; I would appreciate it if these comments could stay, or perhaps be moved to the comments on the Interactive diagram itself.)

Having the diagram in a comment does have an upside, though: when accessed from the index page I made, I always linked to the page you get when using the 'View' link to view the comment in isolation. Which means they immediately get the diagram in view. A link to the main article might have the diagram hidden somewhere at the bottom, after many other diagrams for showing setup and piece moves.

I don't think any of the diagrams needs any maintenance. They all link to the same JavaScript file, and most maintenance is done there.

Even if it would be a special index page, someone would have to maintain it, I suppose. I don't see how this could be automated. Any author could at any time decide to add a diagram to an article of his, and how would we know? If the index page formally is an article of mine, at least I can update it myself for diagrams I create. Editors can update it anyway.

BTW, I did some more thinking on the 'computer resources'  section of the home pages. Wouldn't it be better to split the graphics stuff from that, to put it in a separate section?


Ben Reiniger wrote on 2021-05-04 UTC

Thanks for all this!

First, I generally think that these interactive diagrams should be promoted from comments into the articles themselves, unless they are somewhat experimental and would require frequent editing by someone other than the author or an editor.

The list of these can still exist and linked to as "play"ables. But it may work to turn it into an index, rather than you maintaining it. That may work out best with some other structural change though (adding a field to the member submissions e.g.), so I won't push for this in the very near-term.

I'll try to add links to the other resources in appropriate places; thanks for all the thought about where they best fit.


H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-02 UTC

And as long as we are doing requests: I just submitted an article that is an index with internal links to the many interactive diagrams on the CVP that can be used for playing against the AI. Would it be possible to add (a link to) that article in the 'Play' section of the Home Page, just as there is a link to an index page for the Jocly games that are implemented here? We could use this logo:

I also think that a link to the Play-Test Applet article deserves to be in the 'Create column'. I also think the Checkmating Applets should be mentioned, but I am not sure where. My first thought was under 'Explore', but the other items there have a somewhat different character. Perhaps these applets are also 'Play' items? In any case I think they should be mentioned in the 'computer resources' section of the 'topic index' page. The many Jocly games we feature aren't mentioned there either. And the 'diagram editor with scalable graphics' also seems a useful resource worth mentioning.


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2021-04-11 UTC

The name Mad Chess is already in use by another variant, but maybe you could distinguish yours by calling it M.A.D. Chess or Mermaids, Angels and Dragons Chess. You can create a page for your game. You might want to create a link page to your Steam app page, or you might want to create a page describing the game's rules. See How to Design and Post Your Own Game for further details.


Mad Chess wrote on 2021-04-10 UTC

If I have a new Chess variant, called Mad Chess, where Mermaids, Angels & Dragons are added to chess as extra armies with special units and abilities, how can I add this variant to this database?

For more details, you can look at the steam page: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1551190/Mad_Chess/


Greg Strong wrote on 2020-12-20 UTC

I'm not sure, I don't remember precisely. And maybe nothing has changed recently and I am just noticing now because I resized my window or something. I did turn off my ad blocker but that doesn't change the width of the columns.

Anyway, what I now see is the left "gutter" (not sure what to call it) is just a hair below 4 inches, so it is eating up what I would call a very significant chunk of the window. The one on the right, on the other hand, is about 2.5 inches, and that seems reasonable. It seems I'm better making my window narrower until the left gutter disappears (which only happens after the right has disappeared). But if I make my window wider, I'm punished with a lot of wasted space. At what I would consider to be a typical width for my browser window, the main (middle) part of the page is about 11 inches, so the two gutters take up over a third of the space.


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2020-12-20 UTC

Fergus, are you working on the site template now? It seems the left-side column for the ads has gotten a lot wider.

No, I'm not. How much wider does it look to you?


Greg Strong wrote on 2020-12-20 UTC

Fergus, are you working on the site template now? It seems the left-side column for the ads has gotten a lot wider.


Fergus Duniho wrote on 2020-12-15 UTC

I've been unable to view any of our php pages on my phone (Android, with Firefox, Chrome, and DuckDuckGo) the past couple of days. I can switch to "Desktop site" and it works fine, but the mobile version just displays the off-white background of the site and no content.

I just tried Silk on my Kindle Fire, and it had the same problem. So that I could see the source code, I installed an extension for showing the mobile view on my desktop Firefox, and the source stopped very early in the BODY section. It has something to do with showing ads.

In the ads file that got included for mobile, I had recently replaced the AD heredoc identifier with ADZ, but some had used 'AD' instead and so hadn't gotten changed to ADZ. After fixing these, I got it to work in mobile.


Greg Strong wrote on 2020-12-14 UTC

I am having this problem as well. The home page comes up but click what's new and I only get the background. Something's different about the mobile site.


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