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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2016-11-17
 By Dmitry  Eskin. Asymmetric Chess. Chess with alternative units but classical types and mechanics. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Dmitry Eskin wrote on 2016-11-29 UTC

H. G. Muller

What do you mean by "game analysis indicates"? The result of the game is an objective measure, but any reported score merely reflects what you put in, in terms of piece values.

An objective measure if the openings are right. Game analysis means that value indicated by game engine if switch to analysis mode. Maybe it's a problem of fast timing control but at the 10 minutes to 40 turns engine plays closed and passive openings too.

All pieces values summary are equals, scores differ because of the position advantage, activity or abilities to get material advantage, which are maximum for elves and minimum for orcs at the openings.

As I had read, the first 3 turns are "random" but this random can't be objective because players play openings to get an advantage and to use the strong abilities of their pieces. Openings like 1.c3, 2.d3 are not that openings which is actual.

There will be not important if all 3 races have equal opening's abilities, but they haven't.

Originally, I had think that such passive style means a bad design of new units, but when I had launch Human-Human mirror (or Orthodox chess), I saw the same style.

About saving results into the file - thanks, I will try it.

There is an example of auto game Human-Human at 10 minutes:

1.Nf3 d5 2.c3 c6 3.d3 Be6 4.Nd4 Bd7 5.Bf4 Qb6 6.Qb3 f6 7.Nf3 Na6.

Can white realize their tempo advantage playing this style? No. And elves and humans can't also (versus orcs).

I think that elves have advantage at openings, orcs - at midgames, and humans - at endgames. Both elves and humans can't get enough advantage from openings, but orcs get full advantage at midgame, because the engine is much stronger at midgame.

Maybe, adding openings base will fix this situtation, but it's not objective. I think the program shows that the maximum advantage of the Orcs is about 0.5 pawn (if all openings are passive), and only multiplayer statistics can get more detailed estimatings, including full value of the openings.


Dmitry Eskin wrote on 2016-11-29 UTC

For example how quickly elves may evolve an initiative, the game vs Humans:

1.ec4 d5 (with favorable exchange: Footman is weaker than Fairy)
2.cd Qxd5
3.ce4 Qg5 (blocking Ne2 due to Qxg2)
4.Be3 Qg6
5.Qf3 Nd7
6.d5 Qd6
7.Ra4 b6
8.Be4 Rb8
9.Bc6+ Kd8
10.Rxa7 Ngf6
11.Ra8+ Rxa8
12.Bxa8 Bb7
13.c6 Bxa8
14.b7 Bb7
15.Qxb7+ Ke8
16.Qxd6 ed
17.Ne2 with a significant advantage

Or another variant:
10....Bb7
11.Rxb7 Rxb7
12.Ba4 Nc5
13.c6 Ra7
14.Bxc5 Qxc5
15.Ne2 Rxa4
16.b7 Nf6
17.Nd4 Qxc1+
18.Ke2 Qc4+
19.Kd1 Qd5
20.Nc6+ Ke8
21.Qxd5 Nxd5
22.c8Q Nf6
23.Nb5.

I don't check all variants, its a simple illustration of elvish style how it can be at the openings. You may see these variants:
first demo
second demo


H. G. Muller wrote on 2016-11-29 UTC

What do you mean by "game analysis indicates"? The result of the game is an objective measure, but any reported score merely reflects what you put in, in terms of piece values.

Note that WinBoard reports the score per player, and that in a match the players alternate color. So you cannot associate the reported number of wins with a particular color. There are two ways to get what you want: one is make sure the games of a particular test are automatically saved in a separate file, not containing anything else, and then opening that game file with WinBoard (Load Game). In the header of the game list WinBoard then reports the statistics of the game sets, wins, losses and draws for white. (As in general multi-game files can have many players.) The second method would be to start WinBoard with the 'Additional option' -sameColorGames 100 (or any other number of games you desire). This suppresses the color alteration, so that you can associate the scoreof the first player with white. (It also overrules the games per pairing).


Dmitry Eskin wrote on 2016-11-29 UTC

About Fairy-Max:

I have tested 200 games for each non-mirror match-up (100 white + 100 black) and have got this statistics:
Elf < Human 46,25%
Elf < Orc 40,25%
Human < Orc 38,25%
It seems to be: Orc > Human > Elf, but the game analysis indicates that Elf > Human > Orc at the openings. And it is logically, because Elves have more active Pawns and the Orcs have less. That's why the Elves and Humans must be initiative but they don't, prefer to passive openings. They don't get any advantages in space, and Orcs, after the opening without any problems, punish them for their passivity. The Orcs have equal statistics playing white and black, it only confirms their weakness in the openings (potential but not real in auto games).

And this is a problem (and the feature) of asymmetry, different sides mean different opening's speed. If we will skip openings playing passive style and our side have an advantage at openings, then we will lose this advantage.

Without strong openings I can't get an answer to the question: are the Orcs imba, or not?

I have tested games at the time control of 1 sec per turn because each game need to be manually shown and I have no time to watch a lot of games in a long time. The WinBoard have a serious bug to incorrectly counting the wins and loses in the match of the same engines. It may show 20-20-10, but really there was 30-10-10 (if manually watching the games).

For example of opening's advantages:
- Elves have active Bishops from the very beginning, such moves are available and not bad (vs Human): 1.e4 - Bf4!
- Elves have active Rooks from the very beginning, move like 1.Ra4 is available (vs Human), the Orcish Wyverns may also leaping there, but only the Pegasus' move is good (because creates a real threats of Rxa7 or Ra5 - Rxa8)
- Elvish Knights (Unicorns) are centralized and can quickly enter the game through the squares of e2 and d2 (although not quickly as Human Knights), but Orcish Knights need to free squares f1 and c1 first (need to starts with their Bishops).
- Elves don't need to activate their Bishops, they are already active! Elves even don't need to move them for castling, because even simple Kf1 and then, if necessary, Re1 (leaping over the King and the Bishop) do the same, but faster.
- Orcs have problems with their short Bishops, because Be3 or Bd3 may block central Pawns (much more important than f и с after Human Knights moves Nf3 or Nc3).
- Elvish Pawns have many variants to enter the game, but Orcish Pawns lose all their defensive bonus when moving. Elves can checkmate Orcs at the first move: 1.g3?? Bxg3#


H. G. Muller wrote on 2016-11-25 UTC

OK, done. Except for human-human, which seems just orthodox Chess.

As for the Fairy-Max game definitions: it is better to leave out the Betza move definition of the Human pawn (the line strating with "# P" or "# p") where the Humans play the Elves. These lines are only for sending to WinBoard to reconfigure its move generator, and it is better to rely on the built-in generator for FIDE Pawns, because this makes proper destinction between capture and non-capture moves when deciding if it should e.p. capture. (Against Human or Orc Pawns this does not matter, because the FIDE Pawn's only non-capture move could never reach the skipped square. But against Elvish Pawns it can.)


Dmitry Eskin wrote on 2016-11-25 UTC

To H. G. Muller:

http://hgm.nubati.net/variants/orc-elf/

Can you put all 9 match-ups for this variant into your online service?

There is all match-ups for Fairy-Max:

// Asymmetric Chess (Orc-Orc)
Game: fairy/Orc-Orc # P..R........NB..Q....Kp..r........nb..q....k
8x8
6 4 5 7 3 5 4 6
8 10 11 9 3 11 10 8
p:125 -16,24 -16,7 -1,5 1,5
p:125 16,24 16,7 -1,5 1,5
k:-1 1,34 -1,34 1,7 16,7 15,7 17,7 -1,7 -16,7 -15,7 -17,7
n:420 1,043,-15 1,070,17 16,043,17 16,070,15 -1,043,15 -1,070,-17 -16,043,-17 -16,070,-15
b:275 17,7 15,7 -17,7 -15,7 34,7 30,7 -34,7 -30,7
R:450 2,3,1 32,3,16 -2,3,-1 -32,3,-16
Q:840 1,3 16,3 -1,3 -16,3 14,7 31,7 33,7 18,7 -14,7 -31,7 -33,7 -18,7
R:450 2,3,1 32,3,16 -2,3,-1 -32,3,-16
Q:840 1,3 16,3 -1,3 -16,3 14,7 31,7 33,7 18,7 -14,7 -31,7 -33,7 -18,7
n:420 1,043,-15 1,070,17 16,043,17 16,070,15 -1,043,15 -1,070,-17 -16,043,-17 -16,070,-15
b:275 17,7 15,7 -17,7 -15,7 34,7 30,7 -34,7 -30,7
# P fWscWifmnD
# p fWscWifmnD
# N WafsW
# n WafsW
# B FA
# b FA
# R yafWgafW
# r yafWgafW
# Q RN
# q RN

// Asymmetric Chess (Human-Human)
Game: fairy/Human-Human # PNBRQ.........Kpnbrq.........k
8x8
6 4 5 7 3 5 4 6
8 10 11 9 3 11 10 8
p:100 -16,24 -16,6 -15,5 -17,5
p:100 16,24 16,6 15,5 17,5
k:-1 1,34 -1,34 1,7 16,7 15,7 17,7 -1,7 -16,7 -15,7 -17,7
n:325 14,7 31,7 33,7 18,7 -14,7 -31,7 -33,7 -18,7
b:360 15,3 17,3 -15,3 -17,3
R:500 16,3 -16,3 -1,3 1,3
Q:960 1,3 16,3 15,3 17,3 -1,3 -16,3 -15,3 -17,3
R:500 16,3 -16,3 -1,3 1,3
Q:960 1,3 16,3 15,3 17,3 -1,3 -16,3 -15,3 -17,3
n:325 14,7 31,7 33,7 18,7 -14,7 -31,7 -33,7 -18,7
b:360 15,3 17,3 -15,3 -17,3
# P fmWfcFifmnD
# p fmWfcFifmnD
# N N
# n N
# B B
# b B
# R R
# r R
# Q RB
# q RB

// Asymmetric Chess (Elf-Elf)
Game: fairy/Elf-Elf # ..B....Q......R...P.NK..b....q......r...p.nk
8x8
6 5 4 7 3 4 5 6
8 11 10 9 3 10 11 8
p:120 -15,24 -17,24 -15,7 -17,7
p:120 15,24 17,24 15,7 17,7
k:-1 1,34 -1,34 1,7 16,7 15,7 17,7 -1,7 -16,7 -15,7 -17,7
n:425 17,043,1 17,070,16 15,043,16 15,070,-1 -17,043,-1 -17,070,-16 -15,043,-16 -15,070,1
b:280 34,3,17 30,3,15 -34,3,-17 -30,3,-15
R:475 1,7 16,7 -1,7 -16,7 2,7 32,7 -2,7 -32,7 3,7 48,7 -3,7 -48,7
Q:810 15,3 17,3 -15,3 -17,3 14,7 31,7 33,7 18,7 -14,7 -31,7 -33,7 -18,7
R:475 1,7 16,7 -1,7 -16,7 2,7 32,7 -2,7 -32,7 3,7 48,7 -3,7 -48,7
Q:810 15,3 17,3 -15,3 -17,3 14,7 31,7 33,7 18,7 -14,7 -31,7 -33,7 -18,7
n:425 17,043,1 17,070,16 15,043,16 15,070,-1 -17,043,-1 -17,070,-16 -15,043,-16 -15,070,1
b:280 34,3,17 30,3,15 -34,3,-17 -30,3,-15
# P fFifmnA
# p fFifmnA
# N FafsF
# n FafsF
# B yafFgafF
# b yafFgafF
# R WDH
# r WDH
# Q BN
# q BN

// Asymmetric Chess (Elf-Human)
Game: fairy/Elf-Human # ..B....Q......R...P.NKpnbrq................k
8x8
6 5 4 7 3 4 5 6
8 10 11 9 3 11 10 8
p:120 -15,24 -17,24 -15,7 -17,7
p:100 16,24 16,6 15,5 17,5
k:-1 1,34 -1,34 1,7 16,7 15,7 17,7 -1,7 -16,7 -15,7 -17,7
n:425 17,043,1 17,070,16 15,043,16 15,070,-1 -17,043,-1 -17,070,-16 -15,043,-16 -15,070,1
b:280 34,3,17 30,3,15 -34,3,-17 -30,3,-15
R:475 1,7 16,7 -1,7 -16,7 2,7 32,7 -2,7 -32,7 3,7 48,7 -3,7 -48,7
Q:810 15,3 17,3 -15,3 -17,3 14,7 31,7 33,7 18,7 -14,7 -31,7 -33,7 -18,7
R:500 16,3 -16,3 -1,3 1,3
Q:960 1,3 16,3 15,3 17,3 -1,3 -16,3 -15,3 -17,3
n:325 14,7 31,7 33,7 18,7 -14,7 -31,7 -33,7 -18,7
b:360 15,3 17,3 -15,3 -17,3
# P fFifmnA
# p fmWfcFifmnD
# N FafsF
# n N
# B yafFgafF
# b B
# R WDH
# r R
# Q BN
# q RB

// Asymmetric Chess (Human-Elf)
Game: fairy/Human-Elf # PNBRQ................K..b....q......r...p.nk
8x8
6 4 5 7 3 5 4 6
8 11 10 9 3 10 11 8
p:100 -16,24 -16,6 -15,5 -17,5
p:120 15,24 17,24 15,7 17,7
k:-1 1,34 -1,34 1,7 16,7 15,7 17,7 -1,7 -16,7 -15,7 -17,7
n:325 14,7 31,7 33,7 18,7 -14,7 -31,7 -33,7 -18,7
b:360 15,3 17,3 -15,3 -17,3
R:500 16,3 -16,3 -1,3 1,3
Q:960 1,3 16,3 15,3 17,3 -1,3 -16,3 -15,3 -17,3
R:475 1,7 16,7 -1,7 -16,7 2,7 32,7 -2,7 -32,7 3,7 48,7 -3,7 -48,7
Q:810 15,3 17,3 -15,3 -17,3 14,7 31,7 33,7 18,7 -14,7 -31,7 -33,7 -18,7
n:425 17,043,1 17,070,16 15,043,16 15,070,-1 -17,043,-1 -17,070,-16 -15,043,-16 -15,070,1
b:280 34,3,17 30,3,15 -34,3,-17 -30,3,-15
# P fmWfcFifmnD
# p fFifmnA
# N N
# n FafsF
# B B
# b yafFgafF
# R R
# r WDH
# Q RB
# q BN

// Asymmetric Chess (Human-Orc)
Game: fairy/Human-Orc # PNBRQ................Kp..r........nb..q....k
8x8
6 4 5 7 3 5 4 6
8 10 11 9 3 11 10 8
p:100 -16,24 -16,6 -15,5 -17,5
p:125 16,24 16,7 -1,5 1,5
k:-1 1,34 -1,34 1,7 16,7 15,7 17,7 -1,7 -16,7 -15,7 -17,7
n:325 14,7 31,7 33,7 18,7 -14,7 -31,7 -33,7 -18,7
b:360 15,3 17,3 -15,3 -17,3
R:500 16,3 -16,3 -1,3 1,3
Q:960 1,3 16,3 15,3 17,3 -1,3 -16,3 -15,3 -17,3
R:450 2,3,1 32,3,16 -2,3,-1 -32,3,-16
Q:840 1,3 16,3 -1,3 -16,3 14,7 31,7 33,7 18,7 -14,7 -31,7 -33,7 -18,7
n:420 1,043,-15 1,070,17 16,043,17 16,070,15 -1,043,15 -1,070,-17 -16,043,-17 -16,070,-15
b:275 17,7 15,7 -17,7 -15,7 34,7 30,7 -34,7 -30,7
# P fmWfcFifmnD
# p fWscWifmnD
# N N
# n WafsW
# B B
# b FA
# R R
# r yafWgafW
# Q RB
# q RN

// Asymmetric Chess (Orc-Human)
Game: fairy/Orc-Human # P..R........NB..Q....Kpnbrq................k
8x8
6 4 5 7 3 5 4 6
8 10 11 9 3 11 10 8
p:125 -16,24 -16,7 -1,5 1,5
p:100 16,24 16,6 15,5 17,5
k:-1 1,34 -1,34 1,7 16,7 15,7 17,7 -1,7 -16,7 -15,7 -17,7
n:420 1,043,-15 1,070,17 16,043,17 16,070,15 -1,043,15 -1,070,-17 -16,043,-17 -16,070,-15
b:275 17,7 15,7 -17,7 -15,7 34,7 30,7 -34,7 -30,7
R:450 2,3,1 32,3,16 -2,3,-1 -32,3,-16
Q:840 1,3 16,3 -1,3 -16,3 14,7 31,7 33,7 18,7 -14,7 -31,7 -33,7 -18,7
R:500 16,3 -16,3 -1,3 1,3
Q:960 1,3 16,3 15,3 17,3 -1,3 -16,3 -15,3 -17,3
n:325 14,7 31,7 33,7 18,7 -14,7 -31,7 -33,7 -18,7
b:360 15,3 17,3 -15,3 -17,3
# P fWscWifmnD
# p fmWfcFifmnD
# N WafsW
# n N
# B FA
# b B
# R yafWgafW
# r R
# Q RN
# q RB

// Asymmetric Chess (Elf-Orc)
Game: fairy/Elf-Orc # ..B....Q......R...P.NKp..r........nb..q....k
8x8
6 5 4 7 3 4 5 6
8 10 11 9 3 11 10 8
p:120 -15,24 -17,24 -15,7 -17,7
p:125 16,24 16,7 -1,5 1,5
k:-1 1,34 -1,34 1,7 16,7 15,7 17,7 -1,7 -16,7 -15,7 -17,7
n:425 17,043,1 17,070,16 15,043,16 15,070,-1 -17,043,-1 -17,070,-16 -15,043,-16 -15,070,1
b:280 34,3,17 30,3,15 -34,3,-17 -30,3,-15
R:475 1,7 16,7 -1,7 -16,7 2,7 32,7 -2,7 -32,7 3,7 48,7 -3,7 -48,7
Q:810 15,3 17,3 -15,3 -17,3 14,7 31,7 33,7 18,7 -14,7 -31,7 -33,7 -18,7
R:450 2,3,1 32,3,16 -2,3,-1 -32,3,-16
Q:840 1,3 16,3 -1,3 -16,3 14,7 31,7 33,7 18,7 -14,7 -31,7 -33,7 -18,7
n:420 1,043,-15 1,070,17 16,043,17 16,070,15 -1,043,15 -1,070,-17 -16,043,-17 -16,070,-15
b:275 17,7 15,7 -17,7 -15,7 34,7 30,7 -34,7 -30,7
# P fFifmnA
# p fWscWifmnD
# N FafsF
# n WafsW
# B yafFgafF
# b FA
# R WDH
# r yafWgafW
# Q BN
# q RN

// Asymmetric Chess (Orc-Elf)
Game: fairy/Orc-Elf # P..R........NB..Q....K..b....q......r...p.nk
8x8
6 4 5 7 3 5 4 6
8 11 10 9 3 10 11 8
p:125 -16,24 -16,7 -1,5 1,5
p:120 15,24 17,24 15,7 17,7
k:-1 1,34 -1,34 1,7 16,7 15,7 17,7 -1,7 -16,7 -15,7 -17,7
n:420 1,043,-15 1,070,17 16,043,17 16,070,15 -1,043,15 -1,070,-17 -16,043,-17 -16,070,-15
b:275 17,7 15,7 -17,7 -15,7 34,7 30,7 -34,7 -30,7
R:450 2,3,1 32,3,16 -2,3,-1 -32,3,-16
Q:840 1,3 16,3 -1,3 -16,3 14,7 31,7 33,7 18,7 -14,7 -31,7 -33,7 -18,7
R:475 1,7 16,7 -1,7 -16,7 2,7 32,7 -2,7 -32,7 3,7 48,7 -3,7 -48,7
Q:810 15,3 17,3 -15,3 -17,3 14,7 31,7 33,7 18,7 -14,7 -31,7 -33,7 -18,7
n:425 17,043,1 17,070,16 15,043,16 15,070,-1 -17,043,-1 -17,070,-16 -15,043,-16 -15,070,1
b:280 34,3,17 30,3,15 -34,3,-17 -30,3,-15
# P fWscWifmnD
# p fFifmnA
# N WafsW
# n FafsF
# B FA
# b yafFgafF
# R yafWgafW
# r WDH
# Q RN
# q BN
 


H. G. Muller wrote on 2016-11-24 UTC

I think the on-line engine used at Lichess is Stockfish (or more accurately, a Stockfish derivative). And I am not interested in working on Stockfish. In the first place it is written in a programming language I do not master (C++). But I also think it would be pretty hard to convert it to support more piece types, and in particular piece types used in Asymmetric Chess, such as the Wolf and Unicorn.


Dmitry Eskin wrote on 2016-11-24 UTC

The only problem is that e.p. rights will not always be properly taken into account when comparing positions for the purpose of determining 3-fold-repetition draws.

It's not important for the most players, if this is no online-tournament engine.

Thank you for supporting new chess variants. Are you interested in programming the online-engine of lichess for this variant? I don't know how difficult is it.


H. G. Muller wrote on 2016-11-24 UTC

I think I have a satisfactory solution implemented in WinBoard, now. I improved the standard move generation and execution for Pawns to always remember the square skipped by a Pawn or Lance that moves more than 1 step forward, as well as where that Pawn ended up. And I now always allow a diagonal Pawn move to the same file as such a square, and then always remove the Pawn moved on the preceding move. Pawns (or Lances) with redefined moves, however, will consider every move to the skipped square an attempt to e.p. capture, also if that move in the move definition did not have e.p. capture rights (but some other move did), or indeed any capture rights at all.

This fails for Berolina Pawns, which can move through their diagonal non-capture to the square skipped by an anti-diagonal double-push. But there would hardly ever be any need to define Pawns as Berolina Pawns, as Berolina Chess is a standard variant, which has these Pawns and their e.p. habits hard-coded, and other variants could inherit that by defining 'berolina' as parent variant.

The Elvish and Orkish Pawns  do not have this problem:  all their moves can capture, and thus presumably also e.p. capture when they go to a square skipped by a double-push. Only FIDE Pawns have a problem against Elvish Pawns, in that their straight-forward non-capture can reach a skipped square. But this can then be solved by not redefining the Human Pawn, so that the built-in default move generation is used for that. And this does know that only diagonal moves can e.p. capture.

The only problem is that e.p. rights will not always be properly taken into account when comparing positions for the purpose of determining 3-fold-repetition draws. WinBoard might mistakenly think that no e.p. rights exists after a double-push because there are no Pawns next to the double-pushed Pawn that could e.p. capture it. While in fact the Pawns that can e.p. capture it are further away (e.g. after e2-e4 an Orkish Pawn on d3, or after e2-g4 an Elvish Pawn on e4). I suppose we can live with that; Fairy-Max assumes any repetition of a previous position will be a draw anyway.

The fixed WinBoard executable can be dowloaded from http://hgm.nubati.net/winboard.zip .


Dmitry Eskin wrote on 2016-11-24 UTC

To H. G. Muller

If we prefer the Pegasus as Elvish Queen then it will be clear inconsistency with the Angel and the Dragon and they also will be removed (but they are very strong fantasy figures). But the Phoenix by many sources is equal to that figures or sometimes even higher.

I think that we can save all the old names because this is not important for 99% players. For example, there is possible to be embarrassed that an elephant/bishop playfully runs along the diagonals through all the board, but because of this, very few people stopped playing classical chess.

About images, my opinion:

Dragon = Chancellor = Knight-Rook chimera (standard, don't change).
Phoenix = Archbishop = Pair of the swords (modern standard, don't change).
Hunter, Centaur = Bishop-types.
Pegasus, Wyvern = Rook-types.
Unicorn, Werewolf, Fairy, Guard = good like now, don't change.

About e.p. capturing, I think that there are 2 main criteria:
1) orthodox pawn could be correct
2) diagonal pawn could be correct (the current problem)
Everything else is unimportant because is extremally rare (and you may slow the engine for nonexistent pawns).


H. G. Muller wrote on 2016-11-24 UTC

Well, the naming is not a big deal. I agree with the idea that it is much more important to make the piece images reflect the way the piece moves than reflect the name. I also try to follow this policy in WinBoard. But players of some of the more popular variants, such as Seirawan Chess, in general get very unhappy when you depict the pieces not exactly as they are used to (i.e.when you use something else than Hawk and Elephant for BN and RN).

But using a piece image that suggests a certain move would be very confusing if it clearly depicts something that matches the name of another piece. E.g. if a variant uses pieces that move like a Camel and a Modern Elephant, but calls the Camel-mover an Elephant, this pretty much rules out that I can use the Elephant glyph for this Modern Elephant.

So I agree that it is a lot of merit in the idea that all pieces with Knight moves should look 'knightish'. But I only have a limited number or knightish images available amongst the XBoard built-in pieces, (and even fewer in WinBoard). These are Knight, masked horse (Nightrider), Unicorn, Knight-Rook chimera (Chancellor), Zebra and winged horse. And the Zebra does not seem very suitable. So that leaves the winged horse (unfortunately not available in WinBoard) for the Elvish Queen. But in mythology Pegasus is a winged horse, so having another piece named Pegasus rules this out. And the winged-horse glyph cannot be used for that other piece either, because it would subvert the idea that knightish glyphs should alert people to the fact the piece can move as a Knight. So the original naming really interfered badly with the possibility to choose suitable images. This is why I suggested the name change.

I am not very familiar with the mythology of the Phoenix, but I don't associate it with a very powerful creature, like a dragon). I imagine it as a pieceful, innocent creature, no match for an eagle. I doubt anyway whether the logic of assiging similar functions (such as archers, spell-casters) to corresponding units of the different armies will be very helpful to prospective players (or would even be noticed by them). It just makes it difficult to find names that they would easily remember.

BTW, I started looking into the WinBoard e.p.-capture problem, and it is pretty tough. One unforseen problem is that assignment of e.p. capture rights reflects on detection of 3-fold repetitions. Presence o frights would not make it a repetition, but then the rights should only be granted when there actually is a Pawn that can make the e.p. capture. This means I cannot assign e.p. rights for every double push. But whether there is a Pawn that can make the capture depends on how enemy Pawns move. I guess we don't care much whether WinBoard will fail to detect some repetitions in variants with non-standard Pawns, but I should be careful not to break anything for orthodox Chess.


Dmitry Eskin wrote on 2016-11-23 UTC

I'm thinking about changing names of the units:

Centaur -> Shaman (Bishop-2 leaping); he is a "spellcaster" like a Monk - classic Bishop
Phoenix -> Pegasus (Knight + Bishop)
Pegasus -> Phoenix (Rook-3 leaping)


What about this variant?

But in my opinion, the Phoenix is associated with much power than the Pegasus; and the Centaur (archer) is more warlike than the Shaman.

The logic of the old names was:
- The Pegasus (jR3) is leaper like the Knight, but is flyer/orthogonal like the Griffin/Rook
- The Centaur (jB2) is leaper like the Knight, but is archer/diagonal like the Hunter
- The Phoenix (Elvish Queen = BN) is simply a supreme, divine creature for the elves, like the Angel for Humans or the Dragon for Orcs

Are Guard, Pegasus, and Wyvern unique as claimed? Pegasus. Let's find out in follow-up.

Oh, I remember that:


Guard = Dog in the Space Chess (by Alex Erohno), but this piece is not famous in the Wiki.
The Dog can promote only to light units and can e.p. capture only other Dogs (because of equality with the classic pawn). But the Guard has standard promotion and standard e.p. capturing, because the asymmetry is not equality one to one.

I had updated my estimatings in the main post, with better accuracy, and added the "Unit's comparrison" article.

King: Hero = 2.7

HUMANS
Pawn: Footman = 1.0
Knight: Knight = 3.25
Bishop: Monk = 3.6
Rook: Griffin = 5.0
Queen: Angel = 9.6

ELVES
Pawn: Fairy = 1.2
Knight: Unicorn = 4.25 (heavy)
Bishop: Hunter = 2.8
Rook: Pegasus = 4.75
Queen: Phoenix = 8.1

ORCS
Pawn: Guard = 1.25
Knight: Werewolf = 4.2
Bishop: Centaur = 2.75
Rook: Wyvern = 4.5
Queen: Dragon = 8.4


George Duke wrote on 2016-11-23 UTC

Are Guard, Pegasus, and Wyvern unique as claimed? Pegasus. Let's find out in follow-up.


Dmitry Eskin wrote on 2016-11-23 UTC

George Duke:

These are other units, if you look closely. And when I sayed "unique", I add "within system", i.e. within these 3 races, with no repeating. For example, the Centaur is not unique outside the system, because is identical to the modern Elephant.

http://hgm.nubati.net/variants/orc-elf/ - you may see all these units how they work.
For example, the Wyvern is a rook always skipping and leaping over the adjacent square. It can't leap over the other squares, only over the adjacent square, then moves as linear. 100% leaping rook is the Pegasus but he is limited to range of 3.

One question, are the point values equal to 31 as they need to be? That leads to the Pawns.

All armies are equals each other, if you summarize (equals to 41 with pawns and without kings). 31 is the only estimated number of which depends on the accuracy of the estimate.

These estimatings are mine, and I can mistake at some of them. But totally, the engine shows that all armies are equal very much (in long series of games).

 


George Duke wrote on 2016-11-23 UTC

[Added after Dmitry Eskin's following comment the same 23.11.16: this looks very good but I have to study it -- and the already comments of Muller. I assumed (0,x) wrong for Rook but it's more sophisticated, so I will wait on design analysis of Asymmetrical and how its Pawns work and similarities to other CVs, rather than more now off the cuff.]

Buddha. Ramayana has all-range leaping Bishop in Rakshasa and all-range leaping Rook in Buddha. Orcs and Elves of Asymmetrical use the classical orthogonals and diagonals the way Ramayana does on its very strange board, but Asymmetrical splits them into two. One question, are the point values equal to 31 as they need to be? That leads to the Pawns.


Dmitry Eskin wrote on 2016-11-23 UTC

Yes, but the Elves is only name, as fantasy theme is only image.
The main difference of this variant from the Chess with Different Armies is in 3 points:
1) all classic mechanics and types without any exotic moves
2) different pawns
3) new units/races are only for the asymmetrical balance, not for the new units/races (that's why it could never be 4+ races/armies if 3 is enough)

There is 100% guarantee that all non-king units are unique within this system, and all units in their types are not dominating each other (like extended knights with extra moves dominating classical knights at all aspects). There are simple rules limiting only classic mechanics. And these are very strong requirements or limitations for development, that's why the Asymmetric's Orcs and Elves armies can be included to Chess with Different Armies, but not vice versa.

In other words, this variant is detached subsystem of Chess with Different Armies, with strong limitations for classic rules and types.


George Duke wrote on 2016-11-23 UTC

Another one with Elven Army by name that is also a Chess Different Army is Fantasy Grand, Elven from year 2000.


Dmitry Eskin wrote on 2016-11-23 UTC

To H. G. Muller:

My opinions of the images are less important than the convenience of the players in any way. So if you sure maybe it's right.
About the Elephant, in my country the Bishop has name of the Elephant, but this is a word, not the image.

"The names you assigned to the pieces does not fit their moves very well. In mythology Pegasus is a winged horse, and you use it on a piece that has no Knight moves. Similarly, a Centaur is both horse-like and human-like, and you made it fight for the Orcs without Knight moves. Perhaps you should consider renaming Phoenix to Pegasus, Pegasus to Eagle and Centaur to Troll (and Guard to Goblin, as Trolls and Goblins are known accomplishes of Orcs.)"

In my opinions:
-Pawn-type is infantry
-Knight-type is cavalry
-Bishop-type is archers (but in fantasy subjects it's also casters)
-Rook-type is sieged (but in fantasy subjects it's a flyers)

So I had gave names with those types + race's themes. As for me, it is not a question of principle, if the most players agree with you, than change it. About the Guard, he was originally a Goblin, but the Goblin doesn't match to his defensive style, he is more Dwarf than Goblin (yes, this is a strange alliance).

The current Centaur and Pegasus are good associated with the classical knights not by moving types but by 100% leaping and limited range (originally they had the same range up to 2 squares - mid-range, but then the Pegasus was buffed to 3). That's why I had choose these names.



In terms of classic images, I like new images for the Hunter and the Wyvern, because (as for me) it's good associated with the blind zones that units have. But I like the Pegasus image too and so agree that it's very good for the Archbishop piece (it has a horse and the wings show that unit is mobile). This is the strong argue for renaming Phoenix to the Pegasus and I need to think about it.


H. G. Muller wrote on 2016-11-23 UTC

WinBoard is open source, and I am currently the most active developer. So, yes, I can and should change it. I had already started addressing the e.p. implementation in the latest release, to allow e.p. capturing on both skipped squares of a triple push (so that Omega Chess would work).

I uderstand that it would be very inconvenient to adapt the rules of your variant to work around problems of the interface.


"About pieces' images yes, I understand. But many other players do not know what is the elephant and why it is associated with a diagonal movement. And that's why I'm not sure which variant is better."

So one could argue it is high time for them to learn it. Originally Bishops were Elephants, moving two steps diagonally. In several languages they are still called such, and the slit in the head a modern Staunton Bishop is supposed to indicate their tusks. It never hurts to educate people.;-)

If I would use the 'featureless images' of Bishop and Rook (which were originally created for depicting pieces that move as normal Bishop and Rook, but promote differently, in Chu Shogi), I would be inclined to use them for Hunter / Pegasus, as the moves of these pieces are really very close to ordinary R and B.


"About the archbishop, if a piece has knightish moves but has not knightish image, it would deal "terrible damage", stunning any new players, because knightish moves are the most dangerous in the game and a player must be warned about this by the face of the horse :)"

Well, the Archbishop is a Bishop just as much as it is a Knight. It also seems confusing if too many pieces look like a Knight. Most players of variants in which the Archbishop participates do not seem to share your opinion. Seirawan Chess uses a Hawk for this piece, Gothic Chess uses the flattened Mitre I now used for Hunter. The popular SMIRF program for 10x8 Chess uses the crossed swords. I do have an image of a winged knight available, btw. People are likely to think it is a Pegasus, however. The names you assigned to the pieces does not fit their moves very well. In mythology Pegasus is a winged horse, and you use it on a piece that has no Knight moves. Similarly, a Centaur is both horse-like and human-like, and you made it fight for the Orcs without Knight moves. Perhaps you should consider renaming Phoenix to Pegasus, Pegasus to Eagle and Centaur to Troll (and Guard to Goblin, as Trolls and Goblins are known accomplishes of Orcs.)


"I had add the next rule about en passant capturing:

"For Elvish and Orcish Pawns en passant capturing has the first prioity, there is no possible to ignore en passant capturing with a simple moving to the square without capturing of this square​"

And how I see this is how the engine works now
."

Indeed, this is how Fairy-Max works. But WinBoard is supposed to be a general interface, and it is conceivable that other variants would have other rules. If at all possible I would therefore prefer a solution that works for all cases. WinBoard already has a general mechanism for writing moves with unexpected side effects, by writing them as two separate moves separated by a comma. So in principle a non-standard e.p. capture asin yout example could be written d4f4,f4e3 . There is no notation mechanism, however, to suppress implied side effects. So if e.p. capture is assumed by default, variants where one could choose would be in trouble.

I guess a good first step would be to design a mechanism through which the engine could inform the GUI whether e.p. capture has priority over non-capture, or whether it should be aplayer choice. One way to do this would be to adopt the rule that only when non-capture and e.p. capture in the Betza notation are enabled on the same atom, it is a user choice (so that e.p. capture would need the double-move notation). The Elvish Pawn should then be defined as fmcFfeFifmnA , while in the case of user choice one would have written fmceFifmnA. In the latter case the GUI should highlight e3 in yellow when you grab d4, and f4 in cyan. When you then click e3 it would leave f4 on the board, when you click f4 it would highlight e3 so you can finish the e.p. capture.

 


Dmitry Eskin wrote on 2016-11-23 UTC

Correct me if I'm wrong:

Fairy = Stone General + pawn's basic mechanics (double move, e.p. capture, promotion)
Guard is unique

Unicorn = Ferz Knight without leaping
Werewolf = Wazir Knight without leaping

Hunter = Vanguard + leaping over adjacent squares
Centaur = Elephant (modern)

old Pegasus = Wazaba
Pegasus is unique
Wyvern is unique

Phoenix = Archbishop
Dragon = Chancellor


Dmitry Eskin wrote on 2016-11-22 UTC

H. G. Muller
Can you fix this problem with e.p. or it's very difficult (if WinBoard is your program)? In principle, it is not so terrible for automatic testing, simply replay some games. However, this interferes with the analysis and manual games.

On my part, I can simply:
- Make fairy leaping/laming the first move, but it is a buff (and an extra rule)
- Remove from the fairy possibility of double move, but it is a nerf and killing of game dynamics

The problem is that the elves are very equal balanced now. And it seems, now I understand why Spartan pawns have leaping first move :)

About pieces' images yes, I understand. But many other players do not know what is the elephant and why it is associated with a diagonal movement. And that's why I'm not sure which variant is better.

About the archbishop, if a piece has knightish moves but has not knightish image, it would deal "terrible damage", stunning any new players, because knightish moves are the most dangerous in the game and a player must be warned about this by the face of the horse :)

I had add the next rule about en passant capturing:

"For Elvish and Orcish Pawns en passant capturing has the first prioity, there is no possible to ignore en passant capturing with a simple moving to the square without capturing of this square​"

And how I see this is how the engine works now.


H. G. Muller wrote on 2016-11-22 UTC

OK, I see. This is not an engine bug, but a GUI bug. That is, WinBoard was never really changed to handle this complicated form of e.p. capture. It has always performed e.p.captures by the heuristic that a Pawn moving to an empty square not in the same file would as a side effect remove the piece just behind its destination square. Later I coded exceptions for this in variants xiangqi and berolina,and limited this behavior to cases where either legality testing was on, or the Pawn moved to the e.p. file. But in the case of a diagonally capturing Pawn e.p. capturing a diagonally double-pushed Pawn, this heuristic deletes the the wrong victim (e4 instead of f5). The engine knows nothing about that.

I any case WinBoard should not assume anything on pieces with redefined moves, even when legality testing is on. It should only assume e.p. capture when the move redefinition explicitly specifies the piece can e.p. capture, and the given move matches the defined move that does this.

Using the Lance symbol for Pawns would avoid application of the heuristic, but then true e.p. captures would never get their victim removed. The whole issue of e.p. capture is problematic, because the standard move notation always assumed that that the capture is an implied side effect of the move. But the black Pawn in the position you show is Elvish, this is no longer true. There is no general heuristic that would predict whether de6 in this position should remove f4 or not. It depends on the game rules, and it could even be that these allow both, so that the move can no longer be specified by just the start and destination squares.

As to the piece images used in the web page: I have only a limited set of images available, namely the XBoard piece glyphs. The crossed swords are WinBoard's standard representation of the Archbishop. I have only two bishop-like glyphs, one for the orthodox Bishop, the other now used for Hunter. (Well, that is not entirely true. I also have a Bishop without the inscribed cross. But it differs very little from the normal Bishop.Would it be better to use that for the Hunter, and the one now used for Hunter for the Centaur?) The point is that the piece that you call Centaur would be called Elephant in almost any variant it occurs. And it is a quite popular fairy piece. So Chess-variant players associate the Elephant very strongly with exactly the move you use for Hunter. So using a Bishop-like symbol for this piece would be rather confusing.


Dmitry Eskin wrote on 2016-11-22 UTC

H. G. Muller

This is the illustration of how e.p. capture is broken (engine's bug):
1. d2-f4+ de3 (engine's move) but f4 pawn is still on the board and 2.f4:g5 is not legal because it is out of the sync.
If there is a black knight on the e4, it will disappear after that e.p. capture.

The white is the Elf and the black is the Elf or the Human on this diagram.

http://hgm.nubati.net/variants/orc-elf/
I like all of the new pieces' images except the phoenix (archbishop) and the centaurs. I think that archbishop may be like classical archbishop (but mirrored as chancellor) and the centaurs must be associated with bishops' classical images (as new hunters now). Because the centaur is a bishop variation, not an exotic piece with unique movement. And maybe the pegasus will be better as a "winged" rook, not sure. I think that the best idea is the nearest associations with classic pieces (werewolves/unicorns, fairies/guards, hunters, dragon are very nice).


Dmitry Eskin wrote on 2016-11-22 UTC

And I want to make decision (when a blink was removed), where is the best starting place for elvish bishops (Hunters), on b/g or on c/f files?

If the Hunters stay on c/f (as classical) then:
1) there is the g7-vulnerability and in EvE matchup 1.Qc3 forces a reaction of gf6/ef6
2) the Hunters are less aggresive but more maneurable (for example, Bh3 or Bb5+ moves)
3) Bb5-type moves counter 1....d4/d5 openings in EvH because after Bb5+ there is only one way to protect the king - moving a bishop or a knight to d7 with unfavorable exchange; and also that moves counter df4/df5 openings in EvE

If the Hunters stay on b/g files then:
1) EvE, EvH matchup: 1.Ra4 (or h4) immdediately attacks a7 and forces a reaction; this is an ability to cancel own castling for an early agression (and I think that for Elves with mobile pawns the castling is not important as for other armies)
2) the Hunter are more aggresive but less maneurable
3) EvH matchup: Ra4/h4 openings are still relevant because of the threating to a5-a8 capturing a rook (Griffin). And a possible reaction is b6 or a5 (these moves save a7 pawn also)

This is important for the elvish knights (Unicorns) too.

If the Unicorns stay on b/g (as classical) then:
1) their activation is possible through с2/f2 squares only, or as an alternative through a2/h2 but passive like Na3

If the Unicorns stay on c/f lines then:
1) their activation is possible through b2/g2 and d2/e2, more active variants


H. G. Muller wrote on 2016-11-22 UTC

Ah, I misunderstood your new Pegasus. This explains why the Elves were crushed so badly by the Orcs in my tests with Fairy-Max. (They scored only about 10%). I fixed that now on the web page.

The Wyvern and Hunter were already as you say, however. They cannot be blocked on the square adjacent to them.

What is unclear in your main article is how en-passant capture works with Orkish and Elvish Pawns. You write that all rules arethe same as in orthodox Chess, so that suggests there must also be en-passant capture. But if a Human or Orkish Pawn moves e2e4 while there is an Elvish Pawn on d4, can this Elvish Pawn then capture e4 by moving to e3? Can it move to e3 without capturing e4? Fairy-Max should never e.p.-capture other pieces than Pawns (i.e. the first piece defined for each color). Do you have an example game where this happens? Fairy-Max assumes that a move with capture rights to the e.p. square (i.e. a square where the preceding initial double-push could have been blocked) is an e.p. capture of that last-moved piece. You can define an initial double-push in an alternative way, either as a jump or as a lame move that does not create e.p. rights.


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