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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Two dimensional, Large board
It was last modified on: 2010-01-10
 By Joe  Joyce. Great Shatranj. Great Shatranj. (10x8, Cells: 80) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Joe Joyce wrote on 2021-05-10 UTC

HG, Christine, Greg, Fergus, I can't thank you enough. You all have made me and a lot of other people look good. It's a privilege to be associated with you.

I'm seeing the sort of activity this site needs. There are new people playing, and there is new software for playing that even dinosaurs like me can not only appreciate but use. This site needs both. There are a lot of people making variants online. One place is the ChessCraft Discord, where Stuart, the programmer, has created a very active design space for people who like creating chess variants. I found the site by accident, searching for shatranj variants. A member there credited a shatranj design of mine for inspiration, so I joined that discord to see what was there. It's an active site, and there have to be others around. If anyone knows about any such sites, I'd like to hear about them, although they should get their own comment thread, maybe just "Other Chess Variant SItes". It might be worthwhile to poll our members about other sites, and if not partner with some, at least we should share each others information.


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

Great Shatranj R

satellite=greatr files=10 ranks=8 graphicsDir=http://www.chessvariants.com/graphics.dir/alfaeriePNG35/ promoZone=1 maxPromote=1 squareSize=35 graphicsType=png lightShade=#DDDDAA startShade=#AA6600 rimColor=#BB8822 coordColor=#FFFFFF borders=0 firstRank=1 useMarkers=1 promoChoice=G*N*H*M*E*D holdingsType=1 baring=0 pawn::fmWfcF::a2-j2 knight:N:::b1,i1 high priestess::FAN:highpriestess:g1 minister::WND:knightwazirdabbabah:f1 elephant::AF:elephantferz:c1,h1 rook::R::a1,j1 general::K:guard:d1 king::K::e1

Great Shatranj


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

Great Shatranj D

satellite=greatx files=10 ranks=8 graphicsDir=http://www.chessvariants.com/graphics.dir/alfaeriePNG35/ promoZone=1 maxPromote=1 squareSize=35 graphicsType=png lightShade=#DDDDAA startShade=#AA6600 rimColor=#BB8822 coordColor=#FFFFFF borders=0 firstRank=1 useMarkers=1 promoChoice=G*N*H*M*E*D holdingsType=1 baring=0 pawn::fmWfcF::a2-j2 knight:N:::b1,i1 high priestess::FAN:highpriestess:g1 minister::WND:knightwazirdabbabah:f1 elephant::AF:elephantferz:c1,h1 dabbaba::WD:warmachinewazir:a1,j1 general::K:guard:d1 king::K::e1

Great Shatranj


    Joe Joyce wrote on 2021-02-23 UTC

    Hey, Christine. The original piece set had the "+" on the wazir, but not the "x" on the high priestess. You did the H.P. icon with the "x", and I believe I at one time substituted that into the piece set, but if so, it fell out again. I have no idea whatsoever how the wazir lost its "+". All I can figure is someone went into the GtS piece set and changed that piece. I did not!


    Greg Strong wrote on 2021-02-23 UTC

    @H.G., does the 'great' variant in the CECP spec refer to the "D" variant of Great Shatranj?


    Christine Bagley-Jones wrote on 2021-02-23 UTC

    Hi Kevin, yes, I'm having a fun game of Sky with Carlos at the moment. I see your playing Joe at Great Shatranj, good luck there, hope you win lol. I'm joking, hope you both draw hehe. I see it's a close game.

    I do notice though, the HightPriestess (alfil knight fers) could have a more precise graphic, the one like you using now but has the fers symbol on it. Also, the Warmachine (dabbaba wazir) or Wazaba piece could have a more precise piece graphic too, the one with wazir symbol on it. But it's all ok if you know what is happening.


    Kevin Pacey wrote on 2021-02-23 UTC

    Hi Christine

    Yes, I'm an (aging) master (by national title, no longer by [Canadian] rating). In spite of that it's not always easy for me to play good moves in chess variants, especially ones that are not much like chess. Carlos is about as strong as me at anything like chess, I'd guess.


    Christine Bagley-Jones wrote on 2021-02-21 UTC

    Yes thanks Joe, I might also throw in a Pasha promotion variant too, seeing you suggested it. But yes, thanks very much, your a true hero!!


    Greg Strong wrote on 2021-02-21 UTC

    Thanks, Joe!


    Christine Bagley-Jones wrote on 2021-02-21 UTC

    So, after all that talk, we can do what we want, haha, amazing, trolled by a master. Well, I think I might do two versions, one where promotion is to General only, and the other promotion only to a lost piece.


    Joe Joyce wrote on 2021-02-21 UTC

    Actually I like all the suggestions: my pita original one, only generals, only pashas, any lost piece + generals. The vote is split with a plurality to any lost pieces plus unlimited generals. (And what if the first general could be a pasha and each subsequent general a mann?)

    So I guess we go with any lost piece + "unlimited" generals. But I wouldn't mind if anyone managed to add one or more of the others as options, despite knowing simplicity is the best rule (in most cases.)


    Kevin Pacey wrote on 2021-02-19 UTC

    Thanks Greg.


    Greg Strong wrote on 2021-02-19 UTC

    so I might need to re-register on this CVP website somehow later on, if that's necessary.

    It's not - you can update your email address.  Log in, select "Personal Information" from the "Kevin Pacey" menu, and click "Change Email".


    Kevin Pacey wrote on 2021-02-19 UTC

    Hi Joe

    Haven't heard from you in a while.

    I can imagine some unusual circumstances where it might pay to underpromote to an elephant that runs on the same diagonals as one the player already has on the board, such as in cases where a promotion to such an elephant results in an elephant fork, say involving the opponent's king and another valuable piece.

    In general, I personally prefer the allowance of [under]promotion to any piece type in the setup of a given CV, as it often/always seems rare/unusual cases can be imagined where any sort of [under]promotion can be justified tactically. However, there is also a certain elegance to restricted promotion, like in Courier Chess or your Modern Shatranj CV, where only one piece type can be promoted to, in those two cases. I think an inventor should feel free to make promotion rules to be as he or she chooses.

    On a personal note, in our home we're having issues with our phone+internet company, and we may have to switch to a different company at some point if we cannot solve things, so I might need to re-register on this CVP website somehow later on, if that's necessary.


    Joe Joyce wrote on 2021-02-19 UTC

    Any more comments or suggestions?


    Greg Strong wrote on 2021-02-19 UTC

    Say, speaking of Winboard, I notice the CECP specifies 'great' for Great Shatranj as an internal variant, but it doesn't specify if it is the 'D' or 'R' variant (although the brief description implies it is Great Shatranj D so I'm assuming this is the default.)


    H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-02-19 UTC

    But preferably without any additional restriction about having two elephants on the same color.

    Indeed. This is a pretty useless restriction anyway, as no one should want to do that in the first place. Same-colored Elephants are almost useless.


    Christine Bagley-Jones wrote on 2021-02-19 UTC

    Yes Greg, i'll check out your program.

    And, I do like the General, it's a nice piece.


    Greg Strong wrote on 2021-02-19 UTC

    So: Pawns may promote to General or to any captured piece?

    That's also fine with me. But preferably without any additional restriction about having two elephants on the same color.


    H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-02-19 UTC

    The WinBoard implementation is really tailored to 'promotion to captured pieces, or Generals'. It shows the possible choices in the 'holdings' left and right of the board, where captured pieces go (without color flip). Initially it is filled with 10 Generals. So I would appreciate it if this stays the same, or at least when it remains forbidden to promote to something that was not captured first. Otherwise the user would not be able to select his choice in WinBoard. (Engines can always refuse a choice that they think is not appropriate.)


    Greg Strong wrote on 2021-02-19 UTC

    Are you doing this game for your program Chess V

    ChessV has played Great Shatranj since the early days.  The original versions (0.x) supported it fully.  But about eight years ago, I abandoned that code and rewrote from scratch (versions 2.x).  These also supported GS but the other day I noticed - to my horror! - that the promotion rule wasn't fully implemented.  I think I meant to talk with Joe about simpilifying it first and then forgot about it.  So the current version doesn't allow pawn promotion at all!  Obviously that needs to be fixed.

    I notice on your 'person info' page, the link to Chess V .... doesn't seem to work.

    Wow, yes, that link was very old indeed.  Thank you for pointing this out.  The new home is http://www.chessv.org/ You should check it out if you haven't seen it since the rewrite.  It's a huge improvement.

    Regarding a new promotion rule, the options discussed are fine with me.  Should promotion be to General or Jumping General?  I guess it depends how decisive we want promotion to be.  A possible shortcoming to allowing promotion to only Jumping General would be the (admittendly very rare) situation where promoting to that piece would trigger a stalemate.  My personal suggestion would be either (A) pawns always promote to Generals, or (B) pawns may promote to a choice of Minister, High Priestess, or Jumping General.  But I'm not really picky.  My main objection to the current rule is that you cannot tell what promotion options are available by looking at the board - you have to know the game history.


    Christine Bagley-Jones wrote on 2021-02-19 UTC

    I'm fine with the General (Wazir/Fers) too, it's a less power piece than the Pasha, but either one, I don't want to influence Joe at all (lol).


    H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-02-19 UTC

    It seems I always have misinterpreted this rule. The WinBoard inplementation of Great Shatranj allows promotion to any piece that was captured before. Fairy-Max doesn't support 'under-promotion', and always promotes to the same piece. So I had to pick the General for that.

    It seems to me that the rule is needlessly complex. (And therefore a bad rule.) Dababba, Elephant or Knight would be very rare choices, so that you would want to pick any of those twice is a bit inconceivable. General would (in general ;-) ) be a better choice, and there is no limit on those. Minister and High Priestess are of course very strong, and the obvious choice when it can survive. The first promotion that does that, will very likely be decisive. Which makes it irrelevant whether you could do it a second time or not.


    Christine Bagley-Jones wrote on 2021-02-19 UTC

    Sorry whaaaatt, whose trying to make you change the promotion rules .. oh, Greg, shame on you!!! How could you!!

    Alright, with that said, Joe, interesting idea with the Pasha, pretty powerful piece, Alfil Dabbaba Wazir Fers. Interesting because it isn't in the starting line up. I like it :)


    Joe Joyce wrote on 2021-02-19 UTC

    My original idea was to restrict promotions to only 1 piece total of each pair, or to 'generals', non-royal kings. However, I've always considered a game a collaboration between the designer and the players. ... Okay, when a bunch of designers says 'change your promotion rules!' I'm amenable. Grin, anything to get a game played!

    If I were to suggest one different rule, I'd say promotion to the pasha (jumping general) might make the original version better. It has the virtue of being a powerful piece not in the original game. However, if you're playing with HG's variant which uses the pasha instead of the man, you might want to expand the possibilities.

    Now, what would you all like to see?


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