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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2017-02-17
 By V.  Reinhart. Chess on an Infinite Plane (hidden). Chess game with no boundaries (infinite board), and Guard, Chancellor, and Hawk.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2020-04-22 UTC

I am not familiar with any other chess graphics that are similar to Fergus's set, so I think his creation entered new ground as an artistic creation in the realm of board games.

It took inspiration from one of the sets available in a Chess program I had on my Amiga. That set was probably inspired by some of the physical sets I have pinned pictures of in my Chess Sets board on Pinterest. What makes mine different is that it is 2D instead of 3D. In that respect, it is probably more squarish than cubist.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2020-04-22 UTC

Then I'll just delete it. We don't need different versions of a rules page that differ only in the graphics used.

Ben Reiniger wrote on 2020-04-22 UTC

@fergus, this page is just a copy of with different graphics.  (Although now I see that that page has some issues with characters as well.)

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2020-04-22 UTC

This page is currently hidden. The character set used by the text appears to be something other than UTF-8, and it needs to be re-entered as UTF-8 text.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2018-01-26 UTC

Indeed, for afficionados of cubism this is a very nice design. Personally I would not want to use it for playing, however. And the piece shapes are somewhat reminiscent of the move, in some cases.

The mnemonic piece set designed for the large Shogi variants is based on a similar idea. There the problem is more easily handled, however, because Shogi pieces tend to move in more restricted ways than pieces in western variants; virtually all pieces only have Queen moves, and it is just the range in every direction that varies. So al the piece shapes have to do is encode 8 ranges. (Ad only ranges 0, 1, 2, 3, 5 and infinite occur.)

I don't consider the representation as an intrinsic part of the game, however. Players should just use the representation that feels best for them.

V. Reinhart wrote on 2018-01-25 UTC

I would tend to agree that this particular game may not be the perfect showcase for this image set. Among other reasons, the game and the graphical set represent different periods in the development of variant chess games. The graphics were released in 1999, and this game was released last year (about a 19 year difference).

But there is a lot that can be said as far as aesthtics are concerned in linking a game to a particular image set. First, I think that Fergus Duniho's set of abstract chess graphics (see link below) is a very innovative and awesome design. The graphics are minimalistic, and the icons often give some indication of how a piece moves. It is somewhat "cubist" which pays homage to some of civilization's great art and artists, Pablo Picasso included. I am not familiar with any other chess graphics that are similar to Fergus's set, so I think his creation entered new ground as an artistic creation in the realm of board games.

Another comment is that to my knowledge, this set of graphics have not been used for any new games for several years (other than this game). The last comment on the page for these graphics was in the year 2011, about seven years ago. A new application of this set can be viewed as a "revival" or "allusion" to a style that has been absent in recent years.

Lastly, there can be some discussion about the "playability" of using this set of graphics. Although quite simple in appearance, it differs significantly from chess's classical piece design. The king and queen for example don't look anything like what most people are used to. I really like the designs a lot, but some can argue that they make playing a game more difficult. If not familiar with the design, recognizing the different pieces can have some affect on calculating chess moves. With this in mind, why would anyone use it? Well, just as in classical chess, many, many, shapes and designs have been created over the years - some beautiful, some ugly, some simple, and others garish.  But some people just love to explore the different aesthetic elements of the game!

Link to Abstract Chess Pieces by Fergus Duniho:

Abstract Chess Pieces by Fergus Duniho

H. G. Muller wrote on 2018-01-25 UTC

Indeed, some people are interested in it for mathematical reasons. But I don't expect anyone to be interested in it as the perfect showcase for the aesthetics of piece-image sets. That was my point.

V. Reinhart wrote on 2018-01-25 UTC

Some websites and forums use links to connect readers from one web page to another - not everything is discovered by a prime search alone. As for the topic of infinite chess there is interest in it - both as a mathematical model for game theory and also for game-playing. You can find links to both here:

Chess on an Infinite Plane

YouTube - infinite chess

H. G. Muller wrote on 2018-01-25 UTC

It seems to me that aestethics of a certain set of piece images would be best addressed on pages about that particular image set. No one would think "Hey, I wonder how these pieces would look on a large board. So let me go the the article on Chess on an Infinite Plane, because it will surely be shown there!". More likely they would not even know what Chess on an Infinite Plane is, and remain blissfully unaware of it for the rest of their life...

V. Reinhart wrote on 2018-01-25 UTC

It has to do with the aesthetics of the game. To some people (but not all) the aesthetics of a game is an important element. For me, I enjoy games from both a mathematical context, but I also think style and appearance are important too.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2018-01-24 UTC

Why do you think it would be of any interest to 'show that abstract piece graphics can be used for large-format games'? Wouldn't even an idiot understand that any piece graphics can be used for any game?

V. Reinhart wrote on 2018-01-24 UTC

Ok, thanks Greg. Let me think about it for a few days before it's deleted. I spent a lot of time learning about Fergus's abstract piece set, and was happy with the result. (The concept of "infinity" is somewhat abstract, and I felt that abstract graphics suited it perfectly).

What I might do, if it fits somewhere, is see if I can show this as an example of how the abstract piece graphics can be used for large-format games. But I have to get familiar with those threads again to see where it would best be placed. Either in the comments for the game's primary page, or the comments for the abstract piece set.

In the meantime thanks for your reply.

Greg Strong wrote on 2018-01-24 UTC

There is already a page for this game.  We don't have multiple pages for the same game, that would be chaos.

If you like these graphics, you could add them to the existing page, although it would look more cluttered. I can archive or delete this page if you like.

V. Reinhart wrote on 2018-01-24 UTC

Do entries such as this stay hidden forever, or is there some mechanism to either place them in archive, or to release them? The championship game for this variant is currently in progress (see link below) although the competitors are using classical chess icons rather than Fergus's icons.

I think Fergus's icons are rather cool and would love to see this version made publicly available.

Chess on an Infinite Plane - Championship game

V. Reinhart wrote on 2017-03-14 UTC
Hi Fergus, thanks for your comments at the thread for "Trappist-1" (which is still hidden until an editor releases it). I'll comment here about the idea of someone moving a chess piece "50-million squares away".
That is actually not a problem in the game (although the strategy of doing so would be questionable at best). If someone wants to make a move such as this, the piece simply is not shown in the chess diagram. There is only a supplemental note added to the game status such as "white rook is in square (50,000,000, 2)". (file and rank of the piece). But in actual play, I don't believe there is ever any reason to move a piece this far away because there is nothing of interest so far out. The piece would be less effective at attacking because it could not create forks.
In all the games I've seen or played, the farthest span of pieces is 36 ranks I believe. Eventually the distant pieces moved back in (or the game is won by one side at this point).
Anyway, thanks so much for your comments. I really appreciate them. There's currently several games in progress. I hope you'll be able to release the game instructions soon. Other people may have good comments too, and it will let everyone be able to share in the insights that I am learning from the game, and possibly other players also.
Thanks again!

V. Reinhart wrote on 2017-03-08 UTC

Thanks Fergus. I replied on the page for Trappist-1. Will you release that page so it can be viewed publicly? If anyone else is interested it will let them see about the development of Chess on an Infinite Plane (if there's any revisions), and also Trappist-1. Both games are already being played.

Thanks so much! :)

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2017-03-08 UTC

I made some comments on your Trappist-1 page that also apply to this game.

V. Reinhart wrote on 2017-03-08 UTC

Thank Fergus,

I changed the title and now it looks better and more simple. The game introduction still mentions that it uses your piece shapes. I like the abstract icons a lot, and for this game where it's necessary to display a large board area, it's easy to identify the pieces even when you "zoom out".

I also have another game which is played on an infinite board called "Trappist-1". It also uses your piece icons, including one of the shapes for the huygens (a piece which jumps prime numbers of squares).

The game is pending review, and I hope it's posted on this site soon.

Regards :)

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2017-03-07 UTC

It's fine to use my graphic images, but there is no need to mention the piece set used in the title. This is not an essential part of the game, and the title only needs to include the game's name.

Ben Reiniger wrote on 2017-03-04 UTC

That video is part of a math series, so she's not so interested in the gameplay. In particular, the specific new rules to force a finite drawless game aren't important. After all, there's little hope to determine who has the winning strategy from the usual starting position.

V. Reinhart wrote on 2017-03-03 UTC
Thanks Aurelian,
That was just posted yesterday? I watched it and read some of the comments. I'll have to read everything again to understand it better. The video makes the assumption that chess is never a draw but they didn't explain how the rules are changed to enforce this. One comment someone added says for example if it is your turn and you have no legal moves, you lose. This is normally a stalemate including in "Chess on an Infinite Plane".
I think this video and all the comments make infinite chess seem more complicated than it really is. It's really not too different than normal chess. Good play means both players will try to control the center of the chessboard, so there's a tendency for pieces to move inward (not drift away). However attacks from behind are possible, and you need a few more pieces to create a checkmate. So pieces may temporarily move outward, but there's no reason to ever go extremelly far.
However, in the version with the huygens, it is mathematically possible for things to get a little more complicated I think. Anyway, thanks so much for sharing the link. I will definitely view it again and read the comments to make sure I understand it. :)

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2017-03-03 UTC

The above link is also about infinite chess, not yours, vickalan but anyway!

V. Reinhart wrote on 2017-02-28 UTC
Hi Aurelian,
The hawks and pawns in the rearward flanks are called "jäger units". They probably will not be useful in the opening or early mid-game, because these pieces do not move quickly. But the added material can be helpful later to help force a checkmate, or as added material to help break a game that is otherwise tending towards a draw. (Like a baseball game going into extra innings). As an illustration:
If we label the main frontal formation as "M", and the jäger units as "J1" and "J2", a SHORT game might go like this:
white "M" plays against black "M". Black wins (for example).
But if a game is near tied in the mid-game, it might finish like this:
white "M" plays against black "M". Neither side achieves an advantage, so:
white "J1" plays against black "J1". White wins with a checkmate by chancellor, rook, and hawk (for example).
But if a game is STILL tending towards a draw even after long play, a game might finish like this:
white "M" plays against black "M". Neither side creates an advantage, so:
white "J1" plays against black "J1". Neither side still has an advantage, so:
white "J2" plays against black "J2". Black wins with checkmate by a hawk and two promoted pawns (for example).
In actual play, a game will never play with such distinct delineation. A real game may go more like this:
white "M, J1, J2" play against black "M, J1, J2", and all the pieces are in a big complex mess. One side finds a checkmate and wins (for example).
In actual games, I have no idea how often experienced players will draw. The game is complicated enough that I think the draw rate will probably be about the same as normal chess (and just as in normal chess, the result of perfect play is unknown).
I'm currently not in any games with the huygens, but would like to play it once I finish one of my current games. I would also like to try ChessV (and watch some Apothecary games) as soon as I finish at least one game I'm currently in.
Thanks for your comments. :)

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2017-02-28 UTCGood ★★★★

Hello, vickalan,

I'm glad you brought this topic (infinite boards) on this website again. Infinity is something I fancy and there is reason to include it one way or the other in my own games. Anyway this is a difficult  concept to work with. I haven't properly understood the game but it seems to me that 2 experienced players will still do a a lot of draws. Also, why do the hawks start so much behind? Is there some justification related to the bishop move?  The game doesn't propose any innovative ideas besides of the infinite board, as the fairy pieces here are fairly well-known. There is an exception to that I do like a lot - the idea of the huygens. This piece is interesting lifting my first rating I post on this website to good.

Good luck, vickalan

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