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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2020-01-30
 By Aurelian  Florea. Apothecary Chess-Modern. Large board variant obtained through tinkering with known games.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Aurelian Florea wrote on 2017-05-02 UTC

While playing a game against Greg Strong I figured out that a rule is not clear.

No pieces besides the initial ones can enter the bruhaha squares.

That's the new rule. For now I just put it in a comment when sufficient material is obtained I'll edit the article.

Greg Strong wrote on 2017-05-02 UTC

What do you mean by "the inital ones"?  The pieces initally on the brouhaha squares?

In Brouahah, the rule is that you cannot move onto one of the squares except to capture a piece already on it.  I did this, rather than just saying you cannot move onto them ever, because I did not want a piece that never left the brouhaha square to be protected from capture or else it might want to stay there.  They are intended to be "launch" square from which you launch onto the board and then the square is gone.

Is the rule here different?  Your new addition is not clear to me.

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2017-05-02 UTC

I have considered Greg Strong's input so I'm making a new rule (the one Greg proposed actually):

A player cannot move into a Brouhaha Square but may capture a piece already on it. Only the pieces initially placed there have special powers.

The second part is there to highlight that the special powers are given to help in the opening they don't go further to the possible capturer of the pieces initially placed on the brouhaha squares. Also remember that the special powers are just move abilities.

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2017-05-02 UTC

Public thanks to Gregory Strong for helping with the desing of this game and it's twin. I am such a newbie, I don't know how this has escaped me!

Nicolino Will wrote on 2017-09-01 UTC

The champion is pretty strong and should be average.

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2017-09-16 UTC

@Nicolino Will

Hello Nicolino, and thank you for taking time for my variant.

Actually I've made Apothecary chess 1 & Apothecary chess 2 like twins. That is mainly why the champion is still a minor piece so they both games have 4 minor pieces each. I'm aware that's not entirely apropiate but I think it's ok as anyway the difference between champion and rook is still pretty significant!

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-03-01 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

The apothecary games may have a somewhat steep learning curve, but it seems it's well worth the trouble, based on my limited experience.

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2020-01-30 UTC

@The Editors

These days I had tried to finalize the rules of my 2 apothecary games.

This should be the final version of this article pending review.

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2020-02-01 UTC

I hope you guys enjoy the new version of this game. For now, the rules enforcing and move displaying are an ongoing job, for me to do. After that I hope to see you soon!...

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2020-04-02 UTC

Comparing this page to your Game Courier code, I see things in your code that I don't see on this page, such as rules concerning Pawn promotion and the King's first move.

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2020-04-03 UTC

In the paragraf above notes I had written :

"There is no castling in this game, but the king may jump once from the initial position to c1,d1,h1 or i1 for white or c10,d10,d10,h10 for black."

And the pawn description:

"Pawns - orthodox chess pawns on a 10x10 board from the point of view of movement and capture but that may promote starting the 8th rank according to the above mentioned piece categories provided that the reserve holds the piece required. Pawns may promote to any auxiliary piece on the players 8th rank, any auxiliary piece or average piece at the 9th rank, and any piece at rank 10. In the reserve there are initially 1 queen, 1 rook,1 champion and 1 knight and later on enter any of the player's lost pieces. "

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2020-05-06 UTC

The two things than need doing to complete the preset for this game is the finishing rules (as there are different from many chess variants) and all things related to the joker. For the first I will forfeit any more development as this website cannot support the 5 types of results present here. For the second the behavior of the jester is beyond my game code programming abilities and hopefully someone can help sooner or later. Fergus, if you see this, you have said a while ago that you took a look at the problem but I see you are very busy now. Anyway the day will come when this will be done one way or the other. I think I can handle the placing of the joker, I mean the main problem is the movement of the piece.

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2020-05-06 UTC

Because I was asked to and, the rules have been anyway changed I will make some challenges with the non rules enforcing preset.

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2020-05-10 UTC

I have corrected an omision. The king need not be in check in order to perform the special leap.

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2020-05-23 UTC

I have added some clarifications regarding how the joker moves in the beginning and when imitating the enemy joker. They can be found at the end of the rules chapter.

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2020-05-25 UTC

Fergus, we have reached the final hurdle. What I want to do is to insert the joker as part of the move in in the place of the last piece moved as long as the piece is virgin and occupies a spot on a1,b2,c2,d2,e2,f2,g2,i2 or h1 for white. The code for a1 that I tried is below. The if in the first line should have something like and flag a1 but when I do this it never enters the the if block.

if == $origin a1 :
unsetflag a1;
allow commands 2;
allow moves 2;
ask "Do you want to insert your joker now?" "Yes" p2-a1 "No" "skip";
ban allmoves;
ban commands;
allow moves 1 captures 1 promotions 2;


The error it gives is : J p2-a1 and other moves from one space to another are banned here.  This happens when after the ask command I go for yes. This is post move 1 code.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2020-05-25 UTC

This code is in the Post-Move section, which means it is running after the move has been performed. The ask command does not perform a move right then and there. What it does is insert a move into the moves list. To guarantee that a move is allowed before it is made, you should define what is allowed in the Pre-Game section.

Also, the ask command should be used only as an alternative to entering the notation for a move. Once the ask command has been used on the current turn, the move it adds to the move list will be in the move list, and there will no longer be any need to use the ask command each time the same move is repeated. Remember that when you run Game Courier, it repeats all past moves, but when past moves have already been made, there is no longer any need to ask the player which move to make. Moreover, continuing to do so would stop the game from moving forward.

There are three things to check in determining whether to use the ask command. The first is whether the move made possible by the ask command has already been made. If it has been made, there is no need to ask whether to make the move. If it hasn't been made, there are two other things to check. The White_Pawn and Black_Pawn subroutines are designed to allow optional promotion in games with extended promotion zones, such as Grand Chess. Instead of entering a placeholder for an empty move, such as the skip command, these don't do anything special to mark that a Pawn has not promoted. Instead, they both use this condition to tell whether to use askpromote:

if not $answered and == mln $maxmln:

When the ask or askpromote command is used, it sets $answered to true. But this lasts only for the current turn. It will not help when you repeat past moves. So, this line also checks whether it is the latest move with == mln $maxmln. If a promotion move has not been made, and the command has not been answered on the current move, and it is the latest move, it asks what to promote to. Otherwise, it does not.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2020-05-26 UTC

I propose giving the off-board Joker a drop move,which would be handled with the * operator, as in Shogi.

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2020-05-26 UTC

The way I see it, once the user makes the regular move of the virgin piece (the ones allowed to vacate the spot for the joker), the user is then asked if he/she wants the joker to be inserted. I'm thinking that continuemove may be used here.

If a drop is to be used, the joker then starts in the hand I assume, where it is displayed, like in shogi. But there is still the problem of when to insert!

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2020-05-26 UTC

The Joker's entry to the board works similarly to optional Pawn promotion. After moving a previously unmoved piece, it may be placed on the board in the space vacated by the piece just moved. It is not necessary to use continuemove, because there are only two options: moving the Joker to the vacated space or not moving it. The ask command is the appropriate one to use. In using it, here are the things to check. First, check whether the Joker is still off-board. If it isn't off-board, it has already been moved to the board, and there is no need to check whether the player wants to move it to the board. If it's still off-board, check how many turns have passed. If too many turns have passed, you can stop there, perhaps even removing it to indicate that it is no longer available. If there is still time to drop it, check whether the question has been answered and whether it is the latest turn. If it has not been answered, and it is the latest turn, you can use the ask command. But if it has been answered, or it is not the latest turn, this command should not be used.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2020-05-26 UTC

I proposed using a drop move to place the Joker on the board, because in your code, you were adjusting what is allowed before and after moving the Joker. If the Joker's entry to the board is a drop move, you can permanently allow drop moves on the second move, and once the Joker has moved to the board, the player will simply have no more drop moves available. There will be no need to ban drop moves, because the player will have no more legal drop moves after the first and only one that is allowed.

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2020-05-27 UTC


I got stuck at the command that checks if the number of turns is larger than 8. How do I proerly write this?

My code uses:

if mln > 8 :
delete p2;

This is always true for some reason.


Commen t edit.

Moreover I cannot use setsytem starpath as it gives the error  You may not set $starpath(!p2 with setsystem.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2020-05-27 UTC

Operators must precede the operands in GAME Code. So the line " if mln > 8 " should be "if > mln 8" except that mln is not what you want to use here. This is not a measure of turns. It is the line number of a line in the movelist, and it can be affected by the presence of comments. What you want to use instead of mln is turn.

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2020-05-27 UTC

I don't know how to put a J and a j in hand. For now I used a p2 field (far from the rest of the board, but still on board) containing a Joker. Same for black. J*origin gives an error related to that.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2020-05-27 UTC

Use setsystem to set the value of starpath.

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