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It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2010-11-05
 By Steven  Streetman. Spartan Chess. http://spartanchessonline.com/. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jianying Ji wrote on 2010-11-06 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I have followed the development of spartan chess in the comments, and I must say I am deeply impressed, especially by the collaboration of H.G.Muller and Steven Streetman. The use of applied computational variantology (to coin a phrase) is a tour-de-force. This is how computers should be used in this field that we are in. I see a bright future in this approach. I also look forward to a bright future for spartan chess!

Calvin Daniels wrote on 2010-11-08 UTC
Comment I must say I am intrigued by what appears a very workable, easily grasped variant with differing forces. One of better ideas in some time that I have seen. The idea of differing forces is a natural given the war-background of chess, the key will be in the balance achieved.

Steven Streetman wrote on 2010-11-09 UTC
All things Spartan Chess
You can follow the lively discussion of Spartan Chess at: Spartan Chess Discussion. Here play balance, development and methodology, piece values and even Spartan poetry are discussed.

George Duke wrote on 2010-11-09 UTC
About to re-summarize history of Chess Different Armiesl in follow-up, here are two other comments CDA one by myself, one by Muller: http://www.chessvariants.org/index/displaycomment.php?commentid=24856, http://www.chessvariants.org/index/displaycomment.php?commentid=24874.

David Cannon wrote on 2010-11-10 UTCGood ★★★★
On the whole I like this game, but please refrain from making claims that cannot be substantiated. 'No opening book' and 'No end game strategies' are, in my judgement, subjective claims. FIDE chess - officially - has no opening book either. No does it have any official end game strategy. Just look up the rules of FIDE chess - you won't find anything about openings or end games. The popular openings (Ruy Lopez, Sicilian, etc.) are simply choices that have become popular because players have found them workable. Your game, Steven, isn't well known yet. But you can bet your life on it that if and when it does become well-known, people will be analyzing opening and closing strategies to find optimal advantages for each player.

Steven Streetman wrote on 2010-11-10 UTC
Concerning Mr. David Cannon’s comment about claims that cannont be substatiated…

I see your point and have removed these claims. Just so any future readers will not wonder just what claims were remove here they are:
  • No opening book
  • No end game studies

I keeping with the spirit of this point I offer the following.

What is the quickest checkmate possible in Spartan Chess?
I believe this is it.

   
Persian Fools Mate
 No.    Persian     Spartan  
1. g2-g4 Wg8-f6
2. f2-f3 Wh4 #

This was prepared by H.G. Muller to clarify Spartan Chess rules concerning check and duple-check.

Black to play.
   



Black has two possible moves: Kg1-f1 and
g2-f1. Since either move will expose both Spartan Kings to attack they are illegal. Therefore the situation is a draw due to stalemate.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2010-11-10 UTC

Actually, I see now that I was wrong on the stalemate: Kxf2 would be legal, because it captures the Knight that was checking Kh1. Initially I hd that Knight on g3, but then it was not possible to pin the Hoplite on f2, so I moved it. An old-style General (R+N) on g3 would have done both the check and pin, but with G=B+K that does not work anymore. I guess a position that does what I intended is:

8 . . . . . R . .
7 . . . . . . . .
6 . . . . . . . .
5 . . . . . . . .
4 . . . . . . . .
3 . . . . . . . N
2 . . . K . h h h
1 . . . . . k k g
  a b c d e f g h

The fastest Spartan mate I could come up with, btw, it:
1. e4 Hfe6 2. Qf3 Cd6 3. Qxf8 Cb6 4. Qxe8# {White mates} 1-0

l g k . Q . w l
h h h h h . h h
. c . . h . . .
. . . . . . . .
. . . . P . . .
. . . . . . . .
P P P P . P P P
R N B . K B N R

The fastest duple mate:
1. e4 Wh6 2. Qh5 Kg8 3. Qh4 Cd6 4. Qxe7 Cb6 5. Qxe8# {White mates} 1-0

l g k . Q . k l
h h h h . h h h
. c . . . . . w
. . . . . . . .
. . . . P . . .
. . . . . . . .
P P P P . P P P
R N B . K B N R

Steven Streetman wrote on 2010-11-10 UTC
Haaa! :) The first end game study, made to clarify rules concerning check and duple-check, contained a flaw! Well, it did serve it purpose and it did clarify the point. This reminds me of the play testing we did. Because we placed “testing the game” as more important than “ruthlessly beating our opponent” we allowed liberal amounts of take-back-zies. It was not infrequent that we would make a move and then moments later say “Whoops, your piece can move like that, my move was dumb” and we would take the move back. Sometimes we would backtrack 3 or 4 moves because the error someone made was so glaring. We could easily do this recording the game in reversible long algebraic notation. Wow! Duple-check and mate and 5 moves. We have yet to have a duple-check and mate in an actual game.

George Duke wrote on 2010-11-10 UTC
Spartan Chess is different armies, of which there are examples only 1% or 2% of 4000 CVPage CVs. What about matching Spartan with instead of common F.i.d.e. army, the great Betza line-ups, Nutty Knights, Colourbound Clobberers, Remarkable Rookies? Muller nominated it provisionally #30 for Track I Next Chess evaluation. It will surely surpass last-ranked Seirawan Chess, which is just a drop-mechanism Mutator. Supporting material here and in the Spartan Chess separate thread compares to Trenholme's Schoolbook Chess(#10), the ''Carrera'' chosen to represent that cluster at the three-year-old NextChess project. Article, http://www.chessvariants.org/index/displaycomment.php?commentid=24553, shows of 25 NextChesses ranked, 26-30 being provisional, Trenholme cares enough to develop opening ideas.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2010-11-10 UTC
> Wow! Duple-check and mate and 5 moves. We have yet to have a
> duple-check and mate in an actual game.

Actually I did witness two. By now I had Fairy-Max play many thousands of games, but of course I have been watching only a tiny fraction of that. Perhaps a hundred or so. Both duple-mates occurred in the end-game, though. Typical way for the Persians to finish off a defenseless opponent is to promote two Pawns to Queens, and checkmate with those. If the opponent at that point still has two Kings, duple-mate is sometimes the fastest way.

Two Kings can succesfully defend against a single Queen, btw: KQKK is draw when the Kings protect each other. In this respect the spare King is better than the Rook: in FIDE Chess KQKR is always won.

> Spartan Chess is different armies, of which there are examples only
> 1% or 2% of 4000 CVPage CVs. What about matching Spartan with instead
> of common F.i.d.e. army, the great Betza line-ups, Nutty Knights,
> Colourbound Clobberers, Remarkable Rookies?

This would be interesting, as testing all of the CDA armies would be interesting. With the latest release of WinBoard, I had promoted CDA (in particlar FIDE vs. Clobberers) to the standard choice in the variant that WinBoard knows as 'fairy', and implemented Fairy-Max to play it. (I had to extend Fary-Max' castling code for this, because of the non-standard castling done by the Clobberers, and Adapt WinBoard to allow castling with any corner piece, not just Rooks). Next release of Fairy-Max can switch the variant presented as 'fairy' at run time, and will use this to add some more cases of CDA. (All combinations of Nutty Knights, Color-bound Clobberers and FIDE.)

The Clobberers raise some interesting fundamental questions in the area of piece values, about pair bonuses. The Nutty Knights are not particularly interesting, and to my taste a quite irregular and awkward bunch (too much forwardness, to little retreating capacity). The Remarkable Rookies cannot yet be implemented in Fairy-Max, as it does not support the concept of restricted sliders like the Short Rook. I never looked at the other armies you mention.

IMO Spartan Chess is much more than just another CDA army. The dual Kings give it a very nice twst, and equiping both sides with different Pawn types gives the game a quite different and refreshing 'feel'. Furthermore, the high regularity of its pieces appeals to my sense for symmetry.


Steven Streetman wrote on 2010-11-10 UTC
This is the first of four parts on Spartan Chess: 1. Spartan Chess – The Dream 2. What makes Spartan Chess Different? - Waiting for the other Shoe to Drop 3. Spartan Chess – The Process 4. Spartan Chess - The Business -------------------------------------------------------------- SPARTAN CHESS – THE DREAM Some people count sheep to get to sleep... Having played tournament chess when I was in college, back when Bobby Fisher was winning a World Championship, a few years ago I started thinking about creating a chess variant. The variant needed to have two completely different sides with different strategies while still being fun and balanced. Must already have been done I thought as I poked around the internet and “Zounds!” found the Chess Variants web site. Yahoo! There was the very fine Chess with Different Armies and others but not too terribly many such variants. And I found none at all that featured the pawns on one side moving differently from the pawns on the other. My conclusions were that making a play-balanced chess variant with different armies was difficult and that putting different types of pawns on both sides was perhaps impossible. Otherwise someone would have already done it. What to do, what to do? I would go to bed, think of chess, and would soon be asleep dreaming of chess pieces and chess variants. I dreamt of pieces called legionnaires, bodyguards, berserkers and the pawns, always different types of pawns, what to do about the pawns? The sleep was good but progress was slow. After having watched the highly entertaining although grossly ahistorical movie “300” and the Military Channel’s “Thermopylae, the Real Story of 300” I awoke one morning. A voice whispered to me “Two Kings. The Spartans had two Kings!' 'Would that even work; chess with two Kings on one side?” I asked myself. Well it would certainly be unusual, maybe even unique. Chess with different pieces, different pawns, two Kings on one side? After at least five years of dreaming it suddenly had become just too appealing to me. I had to try it. After some design, some research, several rules reworks and a lick of play testing a version of Spartan Chess was created that was playable. The dream was over and the period of rational analysis was well underway. Spartan Chess has been the stuff of dreams, a small labor of love, and it’s been fun. Hope its fun for you too. I am retired now and have the time for this sort of thing and I’m still not counting sheep to get to sleep.

Steven Streetman wrote on 2010-11-11 UTC
This is the second of four parts on Spartan Chess: 1. Spartan Chess – The Dream 2. What makes Spartan Chess Different? - Waiting for the other Shoe to Drop 3. Spartan Chess – The Process 4. Spartan Chess - The Business -------------------------------------------------------------- WHAT MAKES SPARTAN CHESS DIFFERENT? - Waiting for the other Shoe to Drop There are several unusual features of Spartan Chess and a couple that are (maybe) unique. 1. Unusual – Different Armies Spartan chess pits two completely different chess armies against each other. With the exception of their Kings, every Spartan piece differently than that of the Persians (FIDA). While this is by no means unique, only a percentage point or two of chess variants vary the chess pieces between sides. 2. Unusual – Historical Rationale There is a historical rationale for the opposing sides; Spartans vs. Persians. While the origin of Chess is debated (did it originate in India or Persia?) I naturally accepted the FIDA army as the Persians. While designing the Spartans I tried to capture the flavor of a more slowly moving, solid, mainly foot-soldier army. Of the chess variants with different armies only a fraction of those try to represent historical armies. A historical rationale is an unusual feature, not a unique one. 3. Unique – Spartan Hoplites or Spartan pawns Spartan Chess features pawns on the two sides with different capabilities. The Persian uses traditional pawns of course. The Spartan uses hoplites in place of pawns and move differently than pawns. The use of different types of pawns on opposing sides is, it seems, unique. 4. Unique – Two Kings In Spartan Chess the Spartans field a chess army with two Kings. This is a part of the historical rationale owing to the fact that the Spartans did, in fact, have two Kings. Placing two fully royal Kings on one side along with rules to make that work, including situational check immunity and duple-check, is a unique feature of Spartan Chess. Waiting for the other Shoe to Drop Everything around chess has already been done before, hasn’t it? Over the years, as I thought about chess pieces and game variants, I would come up with an idea. I would then visit the various wikis and the CV website and find that it had already been done (*sigh*). Not so with different pawns on different sides. “Why?” I thought, “Was it just too hard?” I stuck with this idea until I came up with the additional idea of the Spartan army and two Kings and then developed this chess variant. There is still, a part of me that is waiting for someone to step forward and say something like “Well, this has all been done before. See my web link to Mr. T. H. Chesserman’s game Lacemedonian (i.e. Spartan) Chess invented in 1884”. So I sit, “Waiting for the other shoe to drop”.

Steven Streetman wrote on 2010-11-12 UTC
This is the third of four parts on Spartan Chess: 1. Spartan Chess – The Dream 2. What makes Spartan Chess Different? - Waiting for the other Shoe to Drop 3. Spartan Chess – The Process 4. Spartan Chess - The Business -------------------------------------------------------------- SPARTAN CHESS – THE PROCESS I thought about a chess variant for some time and there were a number of considerations I had in mind. These included: 1) historical rationale, 2) asymmetry, 3) different pieces on both sides, 4) different pawns on both sides, 5) play balance, and 6) fun. When I arrived at the overall idea for Spartan Chess I added one additional consideration and that was 7) two Kings one side. 1) Historical Rationale Spartans vs. Persians is really all that needs to be said about the historical rationale. 2) Asymmetry In orthodox chess you can make a lot of equal trades. You can trade a Knight for a Knight or a Rook for a Rook for example. By design, every time you make a trade in Spartan Chess you have to consider how you are shifting the balance of power since there are no “equal trades”. From the start the “power hierarchy” of the pieces was created to enforce asymmetry. These piece values are still being worked on but rough values for the pieces in Spartan Chess are: Queen 9 Warlord 8 General 7 Rook 5 King 5- (the extra Spartan King) Bishop 3+ (plus 1/2 point pair bonus) Lieutenant 3+ Knight 3 Colonel 3+- Just after winning a game as the Persians one play tester commented something like, “This is irritating. I never knew where I stood, what trades to make. Things just aren’t equal. I think this is a problem.” I said “Yeah, that is a good point” while thinking to myself “He just won a hard fought game and is grumbling about the asymmetry. Mission accomplished!” 3) Different pieces on both sides First there was the consideration of what army to use for the Persians? It’s already done, the FIDA army is the Persians. The Persians had highly mobile fast moving army with such pieces as their chariots and elephants (rooks and bishops) and is quite regular and beautiful. I suppose that you might expect this after more than 500 years of development and play test :) For the Spartans I thought about achieving two goals; asymmetry and what I call “Spartaness”. In my early designs I used the Chancellor and Archbishop from Capablanca chess on the Spartan side as the Warlord and General. Thus the Persians had the most powerful piece, the Queen. The next two most powerful pieces were the Warlord and General. The next 2 most powerful pieces were the Rooks. Asymmetry was well underway. Next the Captain and Lieutenant were created as pieces to fight very well with their hoplites. They were slow moving, supportive and capable. So with two Spartan Kings, hoplites in place of pawns, and the minor pieces the Captain and Lieutenant I felt I had a good degree of Spartaness on the black side. 4) Different pawns on both sides The Spartan have hoplites in place of pawns. Hoplites are a form of berolina pawns that differ in that they can jump, not just slide, two squares on their first move. Six different configurations for pawns were tried before settling on the modified berolina pawn. The first was a hoplite that moved like a pawn and captured like a checker. That was quickly discarded. Getting the hoplite “right” took the most work. 7) Two Kings one side The Spartans have two Kings and their second King, based on testing, is nearly as valuable as a Rook. What makes the two Kings work is their situational check immunity, duple-check and duple-mate. These rules just naturally evolved as we realized that the rules being play tested just were not good enough. We tried total check immunity when the Spartans had 2 kings and we tried no check immunity at all. The first was somewhat OK and the second a complete disaster for the Spartans. The first game where we tried duple-check (if both Spartan Kings are under attack one must escape attack on the next move) there was very entertaining and dynamic game. The Spartans had 2 Kings, some hoplites and their two Captains marching across the center of the board. With no duple-check rule there was nothing to stop them on their slow path to promoting their hoplites. With duple-check the Persians were able to zip around both flanks and rear of the Spartans delivering duple-check after duple check eventually out maneuvering the Spartans and winning a still close fought the game. Further play tests proved the duple-check rules good ones. And this game seemed to underscore the historical point that if the Spartans let the Persian outmaneuver them then the Spartans should loose. 5) Play Balance We kept tweaking the rules play test after play test until we achieved at what we felt was play balance. The rules we arrived at were exactly the same as we final version except that the General moved like a Chancellor rather than a Crowned Rook. Fortunately Mr. H.G. Muller entered the picture and modified his Fairy-Max to be able to play Spartan Chess. We soon discovered from running hundreds of computer vs. computer matches that Spartan Chess favored the Spartans 2:1. Both Mr. Muller and I altered the major Spartan pieces, the General and Warlord in attempts to achieve balance. He tried them both as crowned and I tried making one or the other a Bishop + Dababa or a Rook + Afil and so on. Coincidentally we both tried the General as a Crowned Rook and the Warlord as an Archbishop and as if by magic equality was achieved. The last 100 games I ran with this configuration yielded this result: 39 Persian wins/40 Spartan wins/ 21 Draws. Mr. Muller had similar results. I shed a few tears over electing to make the General a crowned Rook rather than a Chancellor but play balance is THE BOSS. I bowed to him. 6) Fun I have had fun creating and the play testers have had fun playing Spartan Chess. I hope you have some fun too. **Interesting factoid from my research** Did you know that the commander of the Kings 300 man bodyguard was given a rank that indicated he commanded a cavalry unit?

Joe Joyce wrote on 2010-11-13 UTC
'Waiting for the other shoe to drop' - sometimes that can take a while, but if nothing has popped up by now, whatever might be lurking is not obvious. Jeremy Good expressed the wish for totally different armies, including pawns, in our conversations on shatranj-style armies, where he wanted for a long time to dump the knight from the shatranj CwDA. And someone has tried Chess with Different Pawns, but I cannot remember where. A number of games have multiple royal pieces, but there are very few with different numbers on different sides in the same game. And I don't believe any of those are pure chess variants. Steven, if nothing shows in the next few days, you get to sit and wait for months or years before anything may show up. And even then... but for now, you're probably good. ;-) You'd be surprised at both how many times people design the same game, or effectively the same game, and also at how many great, obvious after the fact, games there are constantly being posted. A number of people have expressed amazement that no one has done their game before. And others have been amazed that someone else did 'their' game, sometimes long before. Heh, Larry Smith floored me with a comment on VR Parton's Sphinx Chess when I posted my first variant, Hyperchess. Gary Gifford posted effectively the same game right after Jeremy Good posted a very slightly different version. And these things will happen more as the world gets more interconnected - it's the price of progress. The internet giveth, and the internet taketh away.

David Cannon wrote on 2010-11-13 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Upgrading my rating to 'excellent', having seen all the additional explanations added. Well done, Seven.

Steven Streetman wrote on 2010-11-14 UTC
This is the fourth of four parts on Spartan Chess: 1. Spartan Chess – The Dream 2. Spartan Chess - The Difference (Waiting for the other Shoe to Drop) 3. Spartan Chess – The Process 4. Spartan Chess - The Business -------------------------------------------------------------- SPARTAN CHESS – THE BUSINESS My Business Background I have been around business a bit. You my read about my background in my profile should you wish: http://www.chessvariants.org/index/displayperson.php?personid=streetmansd When I introduced version 1.08 of Spartan Chess to my circle of gaming friends we played a few very fun games. I was soon asked the question, “Do you plan on marketing this invention?” I answered something like this: I have seen they type of thing done before. Some chess variants I know have been marketed. Omega Chess looks like a modest success. Gothic Chess, which I followed for years, appears to have fared poorly. The large tournaments that were conceived of did not materialize. Their web site contains many broken links and their Blog page peeked in activity a couple of years ago; both usually a bad sign. And the game King’s Battlefield appears to have been a complete disaster. There were marketing tag lines, testimonials, mouse pads, coffee cups, and bumper stickers; a full promotional effort that just needed a market. The market for chess variants is small, maybe a few hundred people. Americans don’t play much chess and far fewer play chess variants. So, my marketing analysis is this: I could invest between $20,000 and $40,000 into a serious business effort and make, based on my observations and analysis, upwards of $300. So no, I do not plan on marketing Spartan Chess. I have done this, like most chess variant inventors, just for fun. Synopsis… Marketing a product to such a small potential customer base is at least tough business if not a suicidal business proposition. I would like to hear about any marketing experiences, both those contradicting and those confirming, this terse business analysis.

Glenn Nicholls wrote on 2010-11-16 UTC
With regard to the business side of variant chess. Yes, the actual market for chess variants is currently very small, but no, the potential market is very large. Hundreds of millions of people play chess and are very enthusiastic about the game and I am sure a good percentage of these players would find preferred games amongst variant chess; unfortunately most (virtually all?) are not aware of alternative variant games and this, I think, is what is holding back progress. How to solve this problem I do not know, but I think it is necessary to gain the attention of large numbers of players - If, for example, the next edition of the largest selling chess software, Chessmaster, were to include a few good variants properly programmed then this might start some momentum. There are other possibilities but they would require the interest of the right person(s) and this is very difficult to bring about. G. Nicholls

H. G. Muller wrote on 2010-11-16 UTC
Well, XBoard is sort of standard Chess interface for Linux, and (like WinBoard on Windows) is still the most popular interface for playing on-line Chess on servers like FICS or ICC. And everyone who installs it will automatically see a host of variants in the New Variant menu (if they ever open it...). And if they install the default engine Fairy-Max with it, they can actually play Xiangqi, Shatranj, Makruk, Knightmate, Capablanca, , Cylinder, Berolina, Great Shatranj, Courier, Superchess, CDA. And in the next release also more CDA flavors, Seirawan and Spartan Chess! And for WinBoard, Fairy-Max is always included in the binary install, and optionally the Pulsar engine, which plays Suicide, Losers, Atomic, Crazyhouse, Chess960. But this is all free software, so people would probably prefer to use Chessmaster or Fritz.

Glenn Nicholls wrote on 2010-11-16 UTC
To H.G. Muller - Do you know roughly how many people have installed XBoard, WinBoard or Fairy-Max? G. Nicholls

H. G. Muller wrote on 2010-11-17 UTC
> Do you know roughly how many people have installed XBoard, WinBoard or Fairy-Max?

Not really. I have set up a thread in the WinBoard Forum for distributing the WinBoard binary, and we can see how many views that thread has. Since version 4.4.0 came out, that thread has had 43,795 views. But of course not everyone that views the thread comes there to actually download. And there have been several version releases (we are now at 4.4.4 there), so people that do get there to download,might have been there several times, once for each version.

For Linux I know even less, because we don't do the distribution ourselves there.I know that Debian keeps track of how many downloads there are from their repositories, for each package, on a week by week basis. But I am not sure if this includes Ubuntu downloads, as Ubuntu has its own repositories. And I have no idea which version people download; version 4.2.7, which had almost no variant support, is still widely used.

Of course there are many other Linux distros than Debian/Ubuntu.


Jörg Knappen wrote on 2010-11-18 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
An excellent to this game! Maybe the author has not read the comment below, otherwise he would have been frightened by the task he has underdone. On the other hand: Can a Spartan be frightened? http://www.chessvariants.org/piececlopedia.dir/chess-different-pawns.html --JKn

Joe Joyce wrote on 2010-11-18 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I'd say Steven hit a home run, even if he didn't hit this one clear out of the park. Let me quote the last 2 lines of the Betza article Jorg refers to, Different Pawns. 'If you can find alternate Pawns, I will be in awe, taking my hat off to you. And, to keep you from feeling complacent, I'll ask you to try chess with different Kings. I now fade away, leaving nothing behind but an evil grin.' Spartan chess, with its pair of kings, is halfway between FIDE and Gary Gifford's Three Elephant Chess. http://www.chessvariants.org/index/msdisplay.php?itemid=MSthreeelephantc You may argue the kings aren't quite different enough to fulfill Ralph's requirements. Still, Steven nailed the different pawns and also managed to put 3 kings on the board in the same 2-player game. That's a nice, high benchmark for the rest of us to go after.

Jörg Knappen wrote on 2010-11-19 UTC
Joe Joyce wrote in this thread: > Jeremy Good expressed the wish for totally different armies, including > pawns, in our conversations on shatranj-style armies, where he wanted > for a long time to dump the knight from the shatranj CwDA. And someone > has tried Chess with Different Pawns, but I cannot remember where. In fact, there is an old experimental army for Chess with different armies, namely Ralph Betza's Jovian army, see http://www.chessvariants.org/d.betza/chessvar/cvda/wow-jup.html This army may be an interesting opponent to the Spartans.

Steven Streetman wrote on 2010-11-20 UTC
Thanks Jorge for pointing me to the page with the discussion of chess with different pawns. This article has gotten me to thinking about the play balance dynamics of Spartan Chess. Spartan Chess uses a slightly modified version of a berolina pawn for the hoplites which do get stronger as the game goes on and as the board clears; just what the article points out. Spartan Chess stays balanced because as the hoplites get stronger the Persian pieces also get stronger than the Spartan pieces, on average. Their bishops and rooks are definitely stronger as the board clears and they can exercise their full power on long clear diagonals and files. I would share the complex calculus and ground-breaking mathematical calculations that went into balancing the game given these two off-setting dynamics but I cannot since there is none. But seriously, having read the article and having time to reflect on the asymmetric play-balance dynamics of Spartan Chess I am delightfully surprised that it has worked out.

Calvin Daniels wrote on 2010-12-04 UTC
I have made an actual set based off graphics Steven Streetman created. Each army has different graphics. The Spartans are round the Persians square, a suggestion I made to the game creator to further create the idea of different armies, I believe Steven plans to upload some photos I sent him. Wish other creators had graphics which could be printed in a descent size. The pieces I made are wood, about 1 1/4 inches round/square. The pawns/hoplites are 1/2 inch thick, the other pieces 3/4 inches.

Steven Streetman wrote on 2010-12-12 UTC
Spartan Chess Set

For those who have asked about a traditional chess set to play Spartan Chess the Spartan pieces are in development and I am estimating the pieces will be available in a couple of months. I am planning on making the pieces available through a outfit like http://www.shapeways.com/.

Here are some sketches:



Steven Streetman wrote on 2010-12-12 UTC
From my studies I have posted an article on Spartan government on the Spartan Chess web site. Here is a portion of the article. You may view the complete article here: Spartan Government.

Spartan Government

A man argued that Sparta should set up a democracy.
--Begin with your own family.
----Lykurgus, King of Sparta

Spartan government is the strangest I've studied. It had elements of monarchy, aristocracy, oligarchy, democracy, a republic and the 1950s TV game show 'Queen for a Day'. It has, nevertheless been among the most stable and long lived governments the world has ever known.

MONARCHY - The Spartan Kings
---Hereditary rule by Kings

Sparta had two Kings, a 'dynarchy' for you linguists. The point of having two Kings was stability. Two Kings prevented problems that so often arose in monarchies when 'the only' King died, anarchy ensued and a civil war was held to determine the next King.

Spartan Kings ascended to the thrown from two Royal families, the Agid and Eurypantid. These families were not allowed to intermarry and could have been the stuff of a Spartan Romeo and Juliet story if there had been romance and literature in Sparta.

The Kings held military, political, and religious power. They led and trained the army (sort of) held seats on the Council (an otherwise elected and legislative body) and performed various religious and ceremonial duties. I imagine the ceremonial duties were ones akin to presiding over a contemporary 'arbor day ceremony,' but one where some poor small animal was slaughtered and its entrails examined.

Despite having a Monarchy, Spartan politics was, as you will see, dominated by bureaucracy. When things became just too deliberative, too mired in political red tape, about the only thing a King could to do unilaterally and by decree was assemble his 300 man bodyguard and march off to places like Thermopylae and then, very gloriously, die.

Spartan Kings were not very powerful, sort of like today's Queen of England.

View the rest of the article here: Spartan Government.



H. G. Muller wrote on 2010-12-21 UTC
I have bought two (cheap) identical wooden chess sets, with the intension to convert it to a Spartan Chess set. What I had in mind looks a bit like what you propose here, with a few small differences.

Steven Streetman wrote on 2010-12-22 UTC
H.G. I am very interested in seeing what you come up with in the way of a Spartan Chess set.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2010-12-23 UTC

The similarity with your design is that I also use a ridge on the helmet of some of the Spartan pieces. The design philosophy is based on universality of pieces amongst variants, however. So the King, being a orthodox FIDE King, is represented by an ordinary Staunton King. Similaly, the Warlord, having the same moves as the Archbishop of Capablanca Chess, uses the Staunton representation for this piece that has become more or less standard.

Arcbishops and Kings crowned with a cross might not fit very well with the context of Sparta, but neither do Bishops or crosses fit with the Persians. And I certainly did not want to make new representations for familiar pieces. So I decided to ignore such historic friction. Naming the pieces different is OK, but i want them tolook as famliar as possible.

For this reason I represented the General as a Rook with a King's cross, as it is, after all, a 'Crowned Rook'. The Lieutenants move Bishop-like (mostly diagonally), and the Captains Rook-like (orthogonally), so I have given them representations in which the Rook and Bishop are still recognozable. The rook has acquired a roof (for which I used the top of a Staunton Bishop) to distingush Captain from orthodox Rook, and the clipped bishop was 'Spartanized' by putting a ridge on its head, like was done to convert Pawns to Hoplites.

A photograph of the set (which has king height 64 mm):

(not yet finshed; I stil have to paint some of the pieces, and not all Pawns are converted toHoplites yet.)


Steven Streetman wrote on 2010-12-30 UTC
HG ... Your set looks great. The crests on the four finished hoplites on the left make me smile. This crafting is something I am not cut out for or I might have made my own set. Nice work! I have departed from the universal pieces approach to designing the Spartan pieces due to some practical experience I have had. There is a lot to be said for this approach and it's certainly what I am now using when playing face-to-face. I use pieces from a Capablanca set for the Spartans and thus use the Archbishop for the Warlord and either the Queen or Chancellor for the General depending on the preferences of who is playing. We play most weeks on Saturday night at a Game store here in San Diego. The game is set up at the front counter so there are quite a few folks that walk by and look. These people assume its orthodox chess and with a few of the right pieces removed there would be no way to tell that we were playing something different. There is quite a bit of confusion and for many this confusion is a turn-off. When they have looked at the game for several minutes and asked a question like, for example, Why is the black King still in check? The first thing I must explain is that we are not playing orthodox chess. That takes some doing and often starts the whole conversation off on the wrong foot. It seems to me they feel betrayed or ignorant but I am not sure. What I do know is that the reaction is not positive. So for the masses that would not know an Archbishop or a Chancellor if they saw them, one of my design goals is at-a-glance clarity and the clarity I am want is this: I want anyone who walks up and glances at the board to realize its not orthodox chess no matter how many pieces there are on the board. Hence I have departed from universality and there is a downside to this but it is, for me, a trade off. I suppose it's of a marketing decision of a sort rather than a chess decision. So, are you planning on playing against someone with your new Spartan Chess set?

H. G. Muller wrote on 2010-12-30 UTC

I understand your aim, but I wonder if the Spartan piece design you presented here can achieve it. It will be very hard to break people's preconception that you are playing normal Chess. They will always try to map whatever pieces you have on orthodox pieces, no matter how strange they are. If you have many of them they will assume they are normal Pawns, even if they were as different from Staunton Pawns as draughts chips.

I would have expected them to perceive it as unusual that there are two black Kings, though. If not, when they ask why you leave your King in check, the answer 'because even if he takes it I still have another one' (pointing out the other one) should satisfactorily explain it! :-)))

I would expect it to work better when you would put a sign explaining the Spartan pieces next to the board (with pictures of them,and how they move), below the text 'Spartan Pieces' in large lettering. (There is no need to fully explain the rules; the only purpose is tomake it clear at a glance that pieces are involved that move differently.) Then they will realize it is a variant before they actually look at the board position, as the sign attracts more attention. I think that should prevent them from feeling tricked. Of course the majority of Chess players will still pull down a curtain in front of their face as soon as they are realizing they are looking at a variant, so they might never take a look at the board at all. But it is pointless to target this group anyway.

I hardly ever play Chess myself. (Why would I, if I can delegate it to my computer?)The past 25 years I have done maybe 3 games of normal Chess, 2 games of the unspeakable 10x8 variant on a server that crashed before the game ended, and some 20 games of Superchess in the Dutch championship for that. (Because I worked together with the organizer / inventor of that in making Fairy-Max play it, I felt that I could not refuse to participate.) And 2 games of Shogi against a computer at moron level in the plane backfrom Japan. So I made the pieces mainly for display. But who knows...? Too bad San Diego is a long way from Amsterdam. (Although I did visit it once, attending a physics conference.)


H. G. Muller wrote on 2011-01-04 UTC
I am broadcasting live Spartan Chess comp-comp games now at http://80.100.28.169/spartan/spartan.html Currently ChessV is playing blitz games against Fairy-Max there. Some other engines are in the making. The idea is to have a tournament once they are finished and tested.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2011-01-05 UTC
I did some 4-men tablebase calculations to confirm what I already suspected: K+W or K+G each beat both K+B and K+N. K+R vs K+C is usually draw. K+K can draw K+Q, if the two Kings can connect before the Queen can fork them. I will do some 5-men later.

Steven Streetman wrote on 2011-01-06 UTC
RE: Broadcasting live Spartan Chess comp-comp games Very nice! The crowned rook is an improved, I think, chess-generalized representation for the General. The banner artwork, 'Thermopilae Marathon' is very appropriate depicting the spear-equipped Spartans, bathed in arrows, facing the Persian infantry. From your description: 'The Spartans start with two Kings, and lose when they leave all their Kings in check.' What a succinct and accurate way to say this. Wish I had thought of it. I am going to have to incorporate this into the next version of the rules :) If I understand what is going on Fairy-Max is playing Spartan and ChessV is playing Persian and Fairy-Max is winning, vary roughly, 2 games to 1. If this understanding is correct I imagine that you will be reversing sides at some point, having Fairy-Max playing the Spartans?

H. G. Muller wrote on 2011-01-06 UTC
The matches are played with alternating colors. I have not analyzed yet how the Persians are doing relative to the Spartans. Now I switched to Playing ChessV against Catalyst, the first version of an engine made by Richard Albert. (He still has to implement a hash table, and work on the evaluation.) I hope to have more engines soon. There are two people working on one (not counting myself).

H. G. Muller wrote on 2011-02-07 UTC
I have now started the 'official' tournament. Seven engines are participating:

1. Catalyst       (Richard Albert)
2. ChessV         (Gregory strong)
3. Fairy-Max 4.8R (H.G.Muller)
4. Nebiyu 1.1     (Daniel Shawul)
5. Oberon 0.04    (Pawel Koziol)
6. Sjaak 92       (Evert Glebbeek)
7. Spartacus 0.23 (H.G.Muller)

The games are broadcasted live at http://80.100.28.169/spartan/spartan.html 

The first qualifier cycle has completed. Spartacus and Nebiyu faced 6-fold
time-odds in this cycle. This is needed to make their games with the others more
interesting and relevant. The results were:


Cross table, sorted by score percentage, Buchholz, SB

                              Sp Ne Ob Fa Ch Sj Ca
 1. Spartacus 0.23 / 6        ## =1 10 =1 11 01 11   75%   9.0 ( 66.0,  47.0)
 2. Nebiyu 1.1 / 6            =0 ## 11 11 0= 11 11   75%   9.0 ( 66.0,  44.3)
 3. Oberon                    01 00 ## 01 10 01 11   50%   6.0 ( 72.0,  28.0)
 4. Fairy-Max  4.8R           =0 00 10 ## 11 0= 11   50%   6.0 ( 72.0,  26.3)
 5. ChessV (Spartan)          00 1= 01 00 ## 11 10   46%   5.5 ( 73.0,  31.5)
 6. Sjaak 92                  10 00 10 1= 00 ## 11   46%   5.5 ( 73.0,  26.0)
 7. Catalyst 3                00 00 00 00 01 00 ##    8%   1.0 ( 82.0,   5.5)

After the second (last) qualifier cycle:

Cross table, sorted by score percentage, Buchholz, SB

                       Spar Nebi Sjaa Fair Ober Ches Cata
 1. Spartacus 0.23 / 6 #### =101 0111 =110 10=1 1111 1110   73%  17.5 (266.0, 187.0)
 2. Nebiyu 1.1 / 6     =010 #### 11=0 1111 1110 0=10 1111   69%  16.5 (270.0, 176.5)
 3. Sjaak 92           1000 00=1 #### 1=10 1011 0011 1101   54%  13.0 (284.0, 139.8)
 4. Fairy-Max  4.8R    =001 0000 0=01 #### 10=1 11=1 1110   50%  12.0 (288.0, 118.8)
 5. Oberon             01=0 0001 0100 01=0 #### 10=1 1111   48%  11.5 (290.0, 116.5)
 6. ChessV (Spartan)   0000 1=01 1100 00=0 01=0 #### 1000   31%   7.5 (306.0,  96.5)
 7. Catalyst 3         0001 0000 0010 0001 0000 0111 ####   25%   6.0 (312.0,  65.0)

Spartacus, Nebiyu, Sjaak and Fairy-Max went to the play-offs, which was run
without time odds. The final result (keeping the results of the qualifier) was:

Cross table, sorted by score percentage, Buchholz, SB

                              Spa Neb Sja Fai Obe Che Cat
 1. Spartacus 0.23            ### =10 011 =11 10= 111 111
                              ### 111 111 010 1   1   0     75%  22.5 (391.0, 289.8)

 2. Nebiyu 1.1                =01 ### 11= 111 111 0=1 111
                              000 ### 0=1 111 0   0   1     67%  20.0 (406.0, 243.5)

 3. Sjaak 92                  100 00= ### 1=1 101 001 110
                              000 1=0 ### 011 1   1   1     52%  15.5 (433.0, 188.5)

 4. Fairy-Max  4.8R           =00 000 0=0 ### 10= 11= 111
                              101 000 100 ### 1   1   0     43%  13.0 (448.0, 152.5)

 5. Oberon                    01= 000 010 01= ### 10= 111
                              0   1   0   0   ### 1   1     48%  11.5 (338.0, 131.5)

 6. ChessV (Spartan)          000 1=0 110 00= 01= ### 100
                              0   1   0   0   0   ### 0     31%   7.5 (354.0, 110.8)

 7. Catalyst 3                000 000 001 000 000 011 ###
                              1   0   0   1   0   1   ###   25%   6.0 (360.0,  73.5)

So Spartacus is the Spartan-Chess computer champion of 2011!
A PGN file with all games can be downloaded from
http://home.hccnet.nl/h.g.muller/TM11.zip .

H. G. Muller wrote on 2011-02-12 UTC
I did run some 5-men Spartan end-games with my tablebase generator, and can confirm that the following endgames are all 'generally won' to white: moves to conversion: max typ K+Q+B vs K+W 44 10 K+Q+N vs K+W 45 10 K+Q+B vs K+G 33 18 K+Q+N vs K+G 39 18 'Generally won' means that with white to move it is virtually always won, except for the ~1% of cases where the initial position happens to be a fork or skewer against your K+Q. With black to move these are only won in about 35% of the cases, because in the remaining 65% the powerful black defender (W or G) will be able to capture either King or Queen in the initial position. The first two end-games can already be found on this site (calculate by McCooey, where Warlord is called Pegasus), those with the General are new.

Steven Streetman wrote on 2011-02-15 UTC
Here is the record of the shortest Spartan Chess game played face-to-face (that I know of).

1. c4 ... Hac5
2. b3 ... Hxc4
3. bxc4 ... Hc5
4. d3 ... Lf6
5. Na3 ... Le5
6. Nf3 ... Lc3#

Final Position:



By the way...
I consider c4, the first move played by the Persian in this losing game,
to be the strongest first move and consider e4, the most common in
orthodox chess, to be among the weakest. Some analysis to follow.


H. G. Muller wrote on 2011-02-15 UTC
Very nice. It shows the power of a jump. A diagonal slider can seldomly do this (except in fool's mate), but here it does not matter that d2 is defended several times. Blocking the check is not possible. I guess tactical motifs like this are what makes a pair of Lieutenants about equivalent to a Bishop pair. Something that much surprised me. Apparently the single non-blockable 2-square jump has nearly the same value as all distant moves of a slider, which can be blocked.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2011-02-18 UTC
There are some characters on this page that don't look right in either UTF-8 or Latin-1. In UTF-8, they show up as diamonds with question marks, and in Latin-1, they don't make sense. When you can, please update these characters to whatever they should be in UTF-8.

Steven Streetman wrote on 2011-02-18 UTC
Gah! I see what you mean. They were not like this at one point, now they are. Thanks for pointing it out. I will get right on it. Hmmm, sort of odd. I resubmitted the first section and all the offending characters were gone. When I resubmitted the second section, The Setup, the offending characters were back. It seems that what is not liked is '& nbsp;' (no space between & and nbsp;) which is used in HTML for padding spaces. I will figure a way to scrub this out of the submission. Scrubbing done. Still seems sort of odd. Is there a character or string of characters we use on this site for a non-breaking space?

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2011-02-18 UTC
It looks better now. It is strange that   should be causing any trouble.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2011-02-18 UTC
But look, it is. In my last message, I entered & amp;nbsp; without any space after the ampersand. It looked right in the preview, but it got transformed into an unknown character in the final version. This is something for David Howe to look into. [I'll look into it. -DH]

M Winther wrote on 2011-02-19 UTC
I have used & nbsp (with no space between & and n) as non-breaking space several times on this site. One can also use & #151 which is long dash (with no space between & and n), etc. Then it looks like this:   and this: — /Mats

Steven Streetman wrote on 2011-07-09 UTC
A few Spartan chess puzzles for your amusement and critique.
Shortly I will post their solutions or the refutation as it is easy to err on such puzzles.

Spartan pieces are labeled and move as follows:
h = Hoplite - moves 1 square diagonally and captures 1 forward
L = Lieutenant - leaps 1 or 2 squares diagonally, moves (no capture) 1 square horizontally
C = Captain - leaps 1 or 2 squares orthogonally
G = General - moves like a rook or King
W = Warlord - moves like a Knight or a Bishop
K = Spartan King - move exactly like an orthodox King

Puzzle #1
Black (Spartan) to move and mate in 3



Puzzle #2
Black (Spartan) to move and mate in 4



Puzzle #3
White (Persian) to move and mate in 2



Post your solution, comment or critique.

If you create a Spartan chess puzzle please post it and I will be glad to
post it to the official Spartan Chess website crediting you as its author.

Anonymous wrote on 2011-07-09 UTC
puzzle 1 f3-e3+ c1-b1 b5-b3+ b1-a1 e5-c3 mate

Anonymous wrote on 2011-07-09 UTC
puzzle 2 a5-a3+ a2-a3 b2-b1+ promotes if promote to RN, then a1-a2 b1-c3+ a2-a1 c3-a3 mate if promote to RK [aka: General], then mate.

Steven Streetman wrote on 2011-07-09 UTC
Mr. Anonymous ---------------------- puzzle 2 a5-a3+ a2-a3 b2-b1+ promotes if promote to RN, then a1-a2 b1-c3+ a2-a1 c3-a3 mate if promote to RK [aka: General], then mate. ---------------------- b2-b1 is not a correct Spartan Chess move. The hoplite, or Spartan pawn, moves diagonally and captures straight ahead. Since there is no enemy piece on b1 the hoplite cannot get to that square. Also there is no RN. There is the General=RK and the Warlord=BN. The solution is a bit trickier.

Steven Streetman wrote on 2011-07-14 UTC
Two more Spartan Chess puzzles.
The solutions will be posted separately in a day or so.

Spartan pieces are labeled and move as follows:
h = Hoplite - moves 1 square diagonally and captures 1 forward
L = Lieutenant - leaps 1 or 2 squares diagonally, moves (no capture) 1 square horizontally
C = Captain - leaps 1 or 2 squares orthogonally
G = General - moves like a rook or King
W = Warlord - moves like a Knight or a Bishop
K = Spartan King - move exactly like an orthodox King

Puzzle #4
Black (Spartan) to move and mate in 3



Puzzle #5
Black (Spartan) to move and mate in 2




Steven Streetman wrote on 2011-07-19 UTC
Spartan Chess Puzzles - Solutions Puzzle #1 Black (Spartan) to move and mate in 3 1. ... Lf3-e3+ 2. Kb1 Cb5-b3+ 3. Ka1 L35-c3# ---------------------------------------------- Puzzle #2 Black (Spartan) to move and mate in 4 1. ... Hb2-c1 = K 2. Qa2xKc2 Kc1xQc2 3. Ka1-a2 Ca5-a4+ 4. Ka2-a1 Ca4-a3# Only by promotion the hoplite to a King can the Spartan win. Persian moves other than 2. Qa2xKc2 result in a quicker Spartan victory. 2. Qa2-b3 Ca5-a3+ 3. Qb3xCa3 Kc1-b1# 2. (any other) Kc1-b1# ---------------------------------------------- Puzzle #3 White (Persian) to move and mate in 2 1. Nd8-b7+ Ld5xNb7 2. b2-b4# ---------------------------------------------- Puzzle #4 Black (Spartan) to move and mate in 3 1. ... Lf5-c3+ 2. Bb2xLc3 La5xBc3+ 3. Rf3xLc3 Wb4xRc3# ---------------------------------------------- Puzzle #5 Black (Spartan) to move and mate in 2 1. ... Wc5xb3+ 2. Kc1-b2 Hd2-c1=W#

Mr. Anonymous wrote on 2011-07-19 UTC
Ah, nice solution to puzzle 2. I'm not looking at the other answers, as I may have a chance to work them out myself, although I may look at #3 to see if I properly understand everything.

Steven Streetman wrote on 2011-10-01 UTC
Have you ever seen chess warriors so menacing?

A Spartan chess set is now designed and prototyped.
The prototypes set is available for sale on Shapeways: Spartan Set   




Jörg Knappen wrote on 2013-06-18 UTC
I'd suggest changing the "punchline" to something more descriptive than "http://www.spartanchessonline.com". Suggestion: "The spartan army with 2 Kings and novel pieces fights against the persians (standard chess army)" The punchline occurs in several listings on this site, including the favourite games listing.

Julian wrote on 2015-06-03 UTC
An approximate setup using the alfaerie pieces: /play/pbm/play.php?game=Anti-King%2520Chess%2520II&set=alfaerie-many&flip=1&movelist=1.%2520k%2520e8-f8%2520%250A1...%2520k-c8%2520%250A2.%2520.rf-b8%2520%250A2...%2520x-h7%253B%2520x-g7%253B%2520x-f7%253B%2520x-e7%253B%2520x-d7%253B%2520x-c7%253B%2520x-b7%253B%2520x-a7%2520%250A3.%2520.dw-d8%253B%2520.dw-e8%2520%250A3...%2520.ef-a8%2520%250A4.%2520.ef-h8&movenum=7&seed=1957544903&game=Anti-King%2520Chess%2520II&turn=4&moves=a-g8&submit=Move&_render=table&_shape=square&_scale=100&_set=alfaerie-many&selectcolors=&_colors=339933+CCCC11+22BB22&_bcolor=111199

H. G. Muller wrote on 2015-06-04 UTC
Nice, but it still says 'Anti-King Chess'.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2016-10-20 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
holdingsType=1 promoZone=1 maxPromote=2 promoChoice=*N*B*R*Q*C*L*G*W*K graphicsDir=http://www.chessvariants.com/membergraphics/MSelven-chess/ whitePrefix=w blackPrefix=b graphicsType=png startShade=#FFCC00 symmetry=none pawn::fmWfcFifmnD::a2-h2,, hoplit::fmFfcWifmA:lance:,,a7-h7 knight:N:::b1,g1,,:8,0 bishop:B:B::c1,f1,,:8,0 rook::::a1,h1,,:8,0 queen::::d1,,:8,0 captain::WD:tower:,,d8,e8:0,8 lieutenant::FAsmW:elephant:,,a8,h8:0,8 general::RF:crownedrook:,,b8:0,8 warlord::BN:archbishop:,,g8:0,8 king (spartan)::K:king:,,c8,f8 king (persian)::KisO2:king:e1,,

Color coding of moves:

  • move or capture (sliding)
  • move or capture (jump)
  • non-capture only
  • initial non-capture (for virgin pieces only)
  • capture only
  • moving into or passing through check

Spartan Chess

This game is one of the top favorites of this site. As it also does feature a fair number of unorthodox pieces that makes it deservant of an interactive diagram. Especially since almost all comments on it have been totally garbled by messing up their layout.

    Because of the asymmetry of this variant it required some special attention to make sure the diagram would only allow each side to promote to its own pieces. What I did was define the promotion choice with an asterisk before each piece, meaning it can only come from the holdings. Then I stuffed the holdings initially with eight of each eligible piece type (enough to promote all Pawns to it).

    Except for the Spartan King, which would only be a valid promotion choice if one of the Kings was captured. So I defined the holdings type such that it would accumulate captured pieces of the original owner. By starting without Kings in hand the Spartans then can only promote to King when one of their Kings is captured.

    Castling

    Only the Persians can castle, and this forced the Persian and Spartan Kings to be defined as different piece types. (If castling is specified with the aid of an O atom, the diagram assumes it is with a Rook or a corner piece of any type. And we do'nt want the Spartan Kings to castle with their Lieutenants!) This has the dubious effect of the Spartan Kings not being considered royal (as the diagram only considers one piece royal, by default the last one defined). So moves of Spartan Kings into check are not 'grayed out', like they are for the Persian King. But of course this is justifiable, as the Spartan King can actually expose itself to capture (if there still is a second one). So such moves can be legal. The diagram does not understand extinction royalty.


    Nick Wolff wrote on 2017-03-30 UTC

    I see a lot of work has been put into this game and it has been favorited by several people.  However, I don't see a Game Courier preset.  Is there one of these currently and if not, would it be violating any copyright policies to impliment one?  Seems odd to have one of the top favorited games on the site without a preset.


    Greg Strong wrote on 2017-03-31 UTC

    I think people have always felt free to implement presets that had not yet been created.  It is unlikely there would be an objection.

    In the case of Spartan Chess, I know the inventor wanted a GC preset and had created some new piece graphics to be added to the Alfaerie set for that purpose.  This was probably about 6 years ago, but they should be in my email. I will dig them up and get them uploaded and get a Piece Set created so that the pieces can be identified by proper notation.


    Nick Wolff wrote on 2017-04-01 UTC

    Heck yeah!

    Then let's play!  It looks like a CWA theme game.  


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