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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2010-01-10
 By Joe  Joyce. Great Shatranj. Great Shatranj. (10x8, Cells: 80) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
zcherryz wrote on 2007-12-10 UTC
lol, good answer joe :)
is a great game, is just people's nature to be jealous and put down

Joe Joyce wrote on 2007-12-09 UTC
George, thank you for taking the time to look over and comment on this pair of shatranj variants. I especially thank you for the reference to Ralph Betza's Augmented Knights article of 1994. I truly appreciate the historical references; to someone like me, who has just passed 3 years not merely as a member of CV but only being aware this site and the world of chess variants existed, the information is invaluable. 

The 'D' [for 'dababbah'] variant here is my 4th CV design, created in early-mid 2005 under the working name of 'Shatranj Capablanca'. Its evolution is documented in 'Two Large Shatranj Variants'. This rules page is an abstract from that series of games, posted so any players would have a clear, concise set of rules with no ambiguities, as 2Large is a game system rather than a game, and gives a number of options, though not coming close to your '91.5 Trillion...' series of articles. The 'R' [for 'rook'] version was added later at the suggestion of David Paulowich [as noted in the text], with whom I have had a number of private email discussions on the advisability of using rooks in variant designs. [A bit of trivia: Michael Nelson, in a private email, opposed changing to a rook; he, too, felt the DW piece was a better design fit for this game. I, hoping to see the game played, went both ways. Personally, I prefer the D version, and will play that unless my opponent wishes to use rooks.] Thus, the 2 pictures, which are both initial setups and clickable buttons for presets.

As far as names, I have often agreed that I am not good at them. The name 'general' was taken directly from the CVPages rules for historical shatranj; 'elephant' is the English translation of 'al fil', I believe; and the deliberately misspelled 'dababbah' is meant to indicate the piece has an additional wazir move - warmachine seems to be an acceptible substitute.

As for prior use of pieces, Joshua Morris posted 'Kozune' 2 months before I posted 2Large, in which he explicitly uses the NAF and NDW pieces. If not for a David Paulowich comment, I would have been unaware of this, because I overlooked Mr. Morris excellent game, thinking it was an Eastern variation with drops. I generally avoid drop variations, as I've only been playing [again, after high school in the 60's] for just over 3 years, and have enough troubles with Western variations. In reading Mr. Betza's work, I find these 2 pieces implied, but not demonstrated, as he adds only one augmentation to the knight in each case. But these are logical and obvious pieces, and I'm sure their original creators are lost in history, just as the AF and DW piece creators are.

There is a unifying theme ['slightly' broken by the use of rooks] to this game, that of very short range pieces that are all 2-square leapers. This changes some aspects of the game: there can be no pins, nor can a piece interpose to block a check [in the rookless original variant], as is also noted by Mr. Morris in Kozune. No piece can ever be blocked from moving to any square within its given range of movement, except by a friendly piece occupying the square; all threats are immediate. 

With your comments here including references to Ralph Betza's work, and that of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Jetan in your recent Chieftain Chess comments, I feel you are praising me with faint damns. As a fledgling CVer, I never anticipated being put in any such lofty company. I look forward to any comments you might make on my Grand, Atlantean Barroom, and Lemurian shatranj variants.

George Duke wrote on 2007-12-08 UTC
Consisting of one(1) possible new combination(out of ten millions) of known elements(out of millions), the eight piece-types of stock compounds are all used often enough. Or two(2) since we are now permitted to substitute Rook for the poor cornered 'Dabbabah' here, that being why there are two pictures. Four of Great Shatranj's pieces, King and Knight and General and Pawn, as early OrthoChess Pawn without two-step, are unchanged from their longstanding counterparts. For new readers, General here is nothing but 800-year-old Courier Chess 'Man' appearing frequently under differing names. That leaves four(4) remaining piece-types to place, as there are no novelties in the Rules section. Prior uses of 'Minister', 'High Priestess', 'Dababba' and 'Elephant' abound before this 2006 design. Its 'Dababbah'(spelled thus differently) is, after two cases, Betza's Chess Different Armies'(1980's) Woody Rook and Lavieri's Altair's (2003) Lion Man. Its 'Elephant' is adaptation of Weijden's (1937) Novo Chess' Bicycle Unit, and the method of movement(FA) occasionally appears identically in small Chesses. Its Minister(NDW) and its High Priestess(NAF) are triple compounds that can be found in Ralph Betza's now 13-year-old Augmented Different Knights from year 1994. So, is the whole greater than sum of its parts? Not likely, instead another approximately average mishmash of pre-existing quantities, slightly further to be discounted for recency of year-2006 effort, by which time anyone should begin to know better.

Christine Bagley-Jones wrote on 2006-07-12 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
great 'shatranj like' pieces .. concerning rook or dabbaba, both variants would be ok, but i do feel the dabbaba is a cool piece, fits in well with the others, and should not be too weak combined with the other 'strong' pieces.

Joe Joyce wrote on 2006-06-09 UTC
Hey, Greg. The pieces used are all part of a 26 piece set I submitted to go
along with the 5 presets I've posted [so far] for 'Two Large Shatranj
Variants', 'Grand Shatranj Alfaerie'. The FIDE pieces are there,
represented by their customary letters, and some of the ancient chess
pieces, like the Ferz and Wazir, are in the set, represented by their
customary letters. The 'D' piece actually is a Dabbabah, but I don't
use it; instead the piece used is a D+W, which makes it a lot more
flexible. Anyway, all the other letters got used up by other pieces, and
the last piece and the last letter were the D+W and 'Y'. [As it's the
slowest and least 'forward' of all the pieces and I think of it as
looking like a sort of large robot lawnmower trundling along,  privately I
call it the 'Yardboy'. ;-) ] The 'extra' pieces are there to allow
people to easily change the preset so they can try out different pieces.
The series of games from Modern Shatranj through Atlantean Barroom were
put together to look at the effects of changing piece powers, and to be
able to do it in a systematic way.
Hope that helps. [Hope that makes sense.] Joe

Greg Strong wrote on 2006-06-09 UTC
This game looks very good, but I will hold off on rating it until I get a chance to play it. I do have a question, though. It says the Dabbabah is letter 'Y' because you ran out of letters, but it doesn't look like 'D' is used...

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