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Lemurian Shatranj. Missing description (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeremy Good wrote on 2007-07-15 UTC

Lemurian Temple Shatranj The king (substitute) in this game moves to all the squares the knight, wazir or ferz moves to; the rook in this game moves to all the squares the dabbaba, wazir or ferz moves to. Interesting pieces. As with Lemurian Shatranj, the king is fairly powerful and you put one of the weaker pieces on the rook squares. [Added note: Only they are multipath movers, not jumpers.]


Joe Joyce wrote on 2007-07-15 UTC
Thank you for the comments, David and Jeremy. 
David, you are absolutely right in the limitation to the king, being unable to move into/through check. Thank you for making it explicit. Heh, thought you'd get me on the WW, which: 'winds up on exactly the same squares as the war elephant', which it doesn't, exactly. It misses the 4 Alfil squares. It counterbalances those 4 squares with the 4 initial wazir squares. This leads me to suggest that since both pieces hit the same number of squares and have the same range, the more powerful one is the one that attacks more close squares. This would be the double wazir [isn't there a better name for this thing? C'mon, what is it?], which, since it may change color, should be more powerful anyway. Finally, the 'and/or' in the linear H&S descriptions is my way of trying to get off cheap in explaining the exact moves of pieces that may step one, leap 2, or do both, in either order, but only in a straight line. There, I got it all in. ;-)
Jeremy, you are right about the weakness of the corner pieces. They are, in fact, my knight analogs for LemS and LemT. And you well know the Hero pieces are rook analogs that moved in 1 square and took over the knight's position, because they took over the knight's move. That's how the knight pieces got banished to the corners, which is supposed to be a no-no. But is it always? The FAD can get out of the corner easily; on turn 1 it has 2 moves, 1 of which attacks 2 of the 4 center squares. The FAD is a strong piece for a knight analog, even though it is colorbound and stuck in a corner. Is the double-wazir good enough in the corner, or will it languish like the 'woody rook' often does when it starts in a corner?

Joe Joyce wrote on 2007-07-15 UTC
The king is what I called a pony in the Shortrange Project. Thanks for the preset, Jeremy ['Do you want to play a game?']; that's a very basic piece design you've got there, with the virtues of simplicity and instant recognition. Whose move is it? 
You want assassins, don't you? Nobody moves, but a piece next to the ww just happens to drop dead, and poof, it's the next turn! Well, I gotta tell ya, the Atlanteans just might sneak that piece into the game as a change of pace, but the Lemurians wouldn't. They were more conservative in many ways*. The Temple version is supposed to be the original version; the 'new' Lemurian Shatranj with the bent hero and shaman was actually strongly influenced by their colony and rival's Barroom Shatranj, which was the first to introduce the bent pieces. In fact, Temple is also influenced by the new version, as the first Temple version had the hero in the corner. ;-) 
* You didn't bribe the priests. Ya want assassins, ya gotta pay for 'em.
Finally, and seriously, to compare power in the 2 games, you have to look at what is stronger in Temple - the Q analog has greater reach, the king is stronger, and there is only 1 pair of colorbound pieces per side, instead of 2 like LemS. The 50% colorboundness of Lem dilutes its pieces' power compared to the standard 25% of Temple or FIDE. 
Next: Promotions

Jeremy Good wrote on 2007-07-16 UTC
Well, Joe, perhaps a Shatranjian CDA of Lemurian Temple Shatranj vs. Lemurian Shatranj might be in order here.

[Added note (7-16): This was a suggestion, not a point. ;) ]


Joe Joyce wrote on 2007-07-16 UTC
You make a good point. I'm not sure I'd want white in the following preset:
/play/pbm/play.php?game%3DShatranj+with+Different+Armies+1%26settings%3DSwDA%3A+LemS+vs+TempleLems
I lean toward Grand Shatranj with Different Armies here, with longer-range pieces for Temple to balance its weaknesses. The trick is to balance the pieces well, and justify the longer ranges for Temple reasonably well, or re-work the background mythos. But if Lem used the high priestes and minister as exclusive compound pieces, then Temple can use them with extended range. the high priestess adds a ferz move to either of the other 2 parts of ins move, N or A, and the minister adds the wazir to the beginning or end of the N or D move. These 2 pieces would be 'somewhat inclusive' pieces, and would be quite powerful, I think. Might throw the balance the other way, maybe...

George Duke wrote on 2008-06-09 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
We go along with the finding of coherence by others in this one. Joe Joyce recently uses the word ''hubris'' to describe what inventors who fall in love with their invention feel. Presumably, there being 3000-4000 CVs' separate write-ups in CVPage alone, most are certain to outgrow ''hubris'' and eventually try to place their game and philosophy in contexts. Thanks to Joyce for retroactively acknowledging Burroughs, whose work is now almost 100 years old and was inspiration to many -- even before Ultima came along in 1960's. Betza for example tells of reading Murray in some major East Coast Library (Philadephia) way back then; and Burroughs' Martian Chess was one of few additional standards for off-Chess ideas. A third before Dickens' 'Guide To Fairy Chess' (1969) was 'Scientific American' in its Martin Gardner columns, taking up CVs several times annually. Anyone working with Jetan look-alikes should reference Burroughs, as now done here. We should also get around to considering in what respect Bent Hero and Bent Shaman fit into the multi-path panoply. Nice over-all work.

Jeremy Good wrote on 2009-08-16 UTC
What would you estimate to be the value of the Bent Shaman?

Joe Joyce wrote on 2009-08-16 UTC
My estimate is slightly more than a rook in value. The rook on 8x8 hits 14 squares. The shaman hits 20 max, but just 5 when in a corner. However, it jumps and can change direction, and has the step-leap or leap-step ability. I suspect that these inclusive compound pieces are slightly underestimated in value by most people. But then, I could easily be wrong, because I use them more than most, so have a little practice; these pieces can be quite surprising in many situations. Their shock value probably adds a bit to their worth. Anyway, David Paulowich rates the shaman and rook equal in Opulent Lemurian Shatranj. (Do they maintain the same relationship in going from 10x10 to 8x8, or does one get a value boost? - Trick question, no?)

Possibly the best answer is this: if you have both shamans, don't trade 1 for a rook. If you've lost a shaman, trade the remaining one for a rook, unless you can trade your remaining shaman for 1 of your opponent's pair of them, thus busting up that pair. 

By pair, then, I rate the shaman higher than a rook; by itself, one shaman is likely worth no more than a rook, at best.

zodiac wrote on 2009-08-17 UTC
So Bent Shaman goes to all of Omega Chess Wizard squares, and then some more squares too?

Joe Joyce wrote on 2009-08-17 UTC
Yes, the bent shaman does hit all the Omega wizard's squares plus 8 more: the 4 alfil 2,2 leaps, and the four (3,3) diagonal steps out beyond those alfil moves. To make the 3,1 move requires an intermediate empty landing and take-off square, but there is a choice of 2 such squares. 

Hm, that should mean the bent shaman is worth 1.5 - 2.5 pawns more than the wizard, no? What's the value of the wizard? I admit my original inclination was to value the bent shaman at 7, or roughly 6 - 8 points, and the bent hero at 8 - 10, roughly the value of a queen. A bit of consideration brought those numbers right to the bottoms of those ranges, or lower. The shaman is colorbound, and both are shortrange pieces. Still, the choice of steps makes these pieces more flexible than most pieces.

George Duke wrote on 2009-08-17 UTC
I was Zodiac. (3,3) is Tripper for decades not just Gilman, but George Jeliss' ''All the King's Men.'' So opaque Bent Shaman is fourfold-optional-serial-compound of Ferz, Alfil, Camel and Tripper with nuances for required intervening vacancy when going three steps out. I think Gilman mostly stops at tri-compounds. Bent Hero is a 1-2-3 Rook plus Knight for destinations similarly nuanced for slot-vacancy options -- making the Knight and Rook-3 pathways contingent. They both could be characterized as two-path to half of their each four kinds of squares. 4 kinds+4 kinds=8 kinds, and there are only 9 ''types of squares'' in surrounding 7x7 set of squares. That means between them B.S. and B.H. use 8 of the 9, excluding only Zebra. B.S. and B.H. are funny pieces, like from a Betza article in the best (or worst) spirit of upstart CVs having entertainment value. For clarity, Joyce's ''intermediate empty landing square'' and ''take-off square'' immediately below three lines are intending to indicate one and the same functional square, just one square at a time, not two.

George Duke wrote on 2009-08-18 UTC
I like these things for a gag, as rated 9.June.08, a novelty like Schizophrenic, insofar as intimidation is not attempted. A logical complementary pair, one of many, 
O_Z_O_X_O_Z_O  Joyce's Bent Hero and Bent Shaman add complications to 
Z_O_X_X_X_O_Z  natural moves of Knight and short-range Rook and Bishop.
O_X_O_X_O_X_O  The destination diagram for B.H. is represented by all
X_X_X_S_X_X_X  the X's. (1) Rook-3, called Trebouchet (0,3) requires
O_X_O_X_O_X_O  vacancy at either r-2 or r-1. (2) Knight spaces require
Z_O_X_X_X_O_Z  vacancy differently at either an r-2 or r-1 also. R-3 and
O_X_O_X_O_X_O  Knight are two-path, and R-1 and R-2 one-path. To experts, Leman. Shat. is as playable as it is unnatural, though B. S. as a piece is less so and more so respectively. Singly or dually they are decorative art one might see glorified -- as they should be -- on an Aztec stone mural or Navajo blanket for symmetry. Destination diagram for B. Shaman is represented by all the O's. (1) Camel squares require vacancy at either Ferz or Dabbabah. (2) Tripper requires such void at either Ferz or Alfil. Now with comprehension we see that Camel space (B.S.) is available neither by direct leap nor by way of the 3 Falcon pathways. Knight space (B.S.) is available neither by direct leap -- that even your 5-year-old should know inside out -- nor even by any diagonal one-step component at all in the pathway. Fine that's the way it is. Showing absurdity as entertainment, B.H. commands the triangle with sides a4-d7 and d7-d4 and d4-a4, thus excluding only the one square most natural of all, center c5. Let's isolate just the 16 squares, O Shaman, X Hero etc.
X_O_Z_O How many ways can we keep the S starting square and two Zebra
X_X_O_Z exclusions and divide the remaining 13 as being of 8 and of 5?
X_O_X_O 1287 ways. 1287 New World patterns. If each CVPage generation
S_X_X_X is 3 years, and there is one Joe Joyce each generation, in 3861 years we can run through these more or less arbitrary divisions of surrounding 7x7 space.
http://www.chessvariants.org/large.dir/glessndecimal.html

Jeremy Good wrote on 2009-08-19 UTC
Entertaining analysis, George but tiny correction: Camel requires, like tripper, vacancy at either ferz or alfil which is what I think you meant to say. Here is another, similar diagram and comprehensive discussion of the move of Bent Shaman under 'Twisted Broken Heart.'

Joe Joyce wrote on 2009-08-19 UTC
Thank you for the analysis, George; I thoroughly enjoyed it, and got a good laugh at the end. 

When I designed the pieces, I wasn't aware of their footprints. It wasn't until David Paulowich made a movement diagram that I realized just how these 2 pieces, the bent hero and shaman, fit together. They are complementary shortrange area attackers. And all I did was take a couple pairs of leftover junk pieces and stick them together with a flexible join. 

As far as values of pieces, while I am very interested in them, I'm not very good at figuring them out. I've only been playing 5 years, which isn't enough time or experience to give solid estimates. So I could easily be a pawn or three off in my values.

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

Some cool Shatranj style pieces here, on the classic 8x8 board.


Greg Strong wrote on 2021-04-12 UTC

So you've changed the Bent Hero and Bent Shaman to Hero and Shaman, that now move directly to all these squares rather than taking two steps, optionally turning?


Joe Joyce wrote on 2021-04-12 UTC

Hi, Greg. No, I just noticed the piece descriptions for them were missing from the rules page. Then I got 404 errors while trying to see the alfaerie expansion sets 3, 4, and 5. So I grabbed a copy from Opulent Lemurian Shatranj (one of the very best chess variants "period!") Back when the 3 of us were kicking around ideas, David commented that the name "bent hero" might convey a little more than intended. He obviously "softened the name" by putting the "bent" part in parentheses after the piece name. And the move is still either or both of a step and a leap. The hero and shaman are powerful enough already. The necessity of taking 2 steps to go 3 squares is about the only real limitation on the pieces' ability to attack almost half the squares within 3 squares.


Bn Em wrote on 2021-04-12 UTC

Are those now the ‘default’ versions of the Hero and Shaman then? If so what do we call the non‐bent versions in the Chieftan variants: Linear (rejecting ‘straight’ as, like ‘bent’, perhaps overimplying somewhat)?


Greg Strong wrote on 2021-04-12 UTC

A promoted colorbound piece may not be placed on the same color as the promoting player's remaining piece of that specific type.

Can we please remove this rule?  It needlessly complicates the game needlessly IMO.  (Similar to recent discussion on Great Shatranj.)


Joe Joyce wrote on 2021-04-12 UTC

"Are those now the ‘default’ versions of the Hero and Shaman then?" - Bn Em

Actually, the bent versions were the original design for those 2 pieces. They are made as literally half of the pieces I put in Atlantean Barroom Shatranj, but are about three quarters as effective. At that point I hadn't realized the knight was unnecessary in Lemurian because the hero did the knight's job. I'd put the heroes in the rook's positions and still had the knights in their positions, but they were too weak, and I was kinda stuck. Then the Muse granted me an inspiration.

I am more wargamer than chess enthusiast, and old enough to have been there at the beginning of the wargaming hobby. One thing those early games did was compare themselves to chess, and that idea of military chess stuck in my head for decades before I took a side track by considering the limited or linear (good naming choice!) hero and shaman, and Chieftain shatranj popped into my head. Since I still hadn't gotten Lemurian right, I wrote up and posted Chieftain Chess (it sounds better than Chieftain Shatranj) before Lemurian, thus making the linear versions of hero and shaman appear to have been designed first.

So, yes, courtesy of better naming and actual precedence, the "bent" versions are the default, and the linear versions are the "derived" pieces.


Joe Joyce wrote on 2021-04-12 UTC

Greg Strong wrote on 2021-04-12 EDT

A promoted colorbound piece may not be placed on the same color as the promoting player's remaining piece of that specific type.

Can we please remove this rule? It needlessly complicates the game needlessly IMO. (Similar to recent discussion on Great Shatranj.)

No problem. While I was looking over the rules yesterday, I saw that and considered removing it, but got called away from the keyboard and never did it.


Greg Strong wrote on 2021-04-12 UTC

Thanks, Joe!

The next release of ChessV will have "Bent" removed from the names and the updated promotion rule.


Joe Joyce wrote on 2021-04-12 UTC

Thank you, Greg!


H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-07 UTC
satellite=lemurian files=8 ranks=8 graphicsDir=http://www.chessvariants.com/graphics.dir/alfaeriePNG35/ promoZone=1 squareSize=35 graphicsType=png lightShade=#FFFFFF darkShade=#CCBBFF rimColor=#141194 coordColor=#EFEF1F borders=0 firstRank=1 useMarkers=1 promoChoice=G*H*S*W holdingsype=1 stalemate=win baring=0 pawn::fmWfcF::a2-h2 war elephant::FAD:elephantferzwarmachine:a1,h1 bent shaman:S:AFmpafaFampafF:bentshaman:c1,f1 bent hero:H:WDmpafaWampafW:benthero:b1,g1 sliding general:G:KaK:slidinggeneral:d1 king::K::e1

Lemurian Shatranj


    Joe Joyce wrote on 2021-10-31 UTC

    Belated thanks, HG, for the playable interactive diagram. I appreciate it and it may actually get a few more games of Lemurian played. I still greatly prefer David Paulowich's Opulent Lemurian. When I started designing new shatranj pieces I decided to stick very closely to standard chess formats because the pieces were so very different I felt I couldn't get fancy with the set-ups or the games would never get played. That the FIDE (Modern Shatranj) and Carrera/Capablanca (Great Shatranj) variants actually do get played seems to indicate I was at least partially right. And I would be remiss if I did not thank Christine Bagley-Jones here, because she designed several games right along with me, did her own designs, and put them in Zillions of Games, which got more played. And it was a blast collaborating with her! Collaborations are rare in any sort of artistic design and that collaboration was seamless!


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