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Mêlée. Variant on 9 by 9 board with 9 different pieces and castle square that must be occupied. (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
George Duke wrote on 2008-04-10 UTCGood ★★★★
Another 9x9 with No Comment. Very good chiefly for win conditions. It appears that later CVs took some ideas here without attribution. Notice the piece to be captured to win moves Queenlike. Ironically, Fergus Duniho, the writer of the very article urging developers to be aware that RN and BN compounds already exist, himself uses Queen-moving royalty in British Chess(?) -- after Melee. Oh well, Duniho was a rather great borrower, as for example, Cavalier Chess copying somewhat considerably 1920's Cavalry. Besides, here the second win condition, occupying the opponent's Castle, is to be taken as inspiration for well-documenting Lavieri's Maxima later, and Maxima certainly sufficently differentiates the mechanisms. It is matter of respect and equal treatment. If anyone of us has been prolificist, we can justly expect others so to follow suit, the Rules-sets never ending, as too increasingly the evaluations barely keeping pace.

George Duke wrote on 2008-09-15 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Melee's checkmate-capture would be rare, and instead the alternate win condition of occupying opponent's castle will determine outcome. When Boerce says Melee ''accentuates the pawns' role,'' he means the Pawn-like pieces roles, as there are no promoting Pawns at all in another interesting '9x9'. Duniho's British, renamed Caissa Britannia, takes the idea without attribution of Queen as the royal piece from Melee, as Melee's one other Comment all ten years of Melee's existence points out. Duniho always carefully waited or obscured enough before borrowing. Boerce made three games by 2002 and never a Comment. So, Melee's features became fair game for re-use. In fact, the only other Comment in ten years is my Comment too 10.April.2008, citing the irony. Duniho influences in detailed Piececlopedia article (under Chancellor) chess artists to be aware in general that Champion(RN) and Centaur(BN) already exist, when including them in new artwork. Preoccupied by Baseball Chess for 20 Comments, we still want to study why so many 9x9 CVs look so presentable for display. Melee needs to be included with the dozen others, enumerated for ChessboardMath3 from fall 2007, all to be moved soon to ChessboardMath5. Fine Melee got lost in the shuffle because of being seen six months later. Indeed it would be melee of Shogi-strength diverse Pawn-types, weaker pieces trying to checkmate King(Prince) moving as Queen.

John Smith wrote on 2008-12-28 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Actually, the Pawns are, excluding the General, the strongest pieces in the game. The Prince is royal, the Bishop cannot access the Castle, and the Horses, Camels, and Elephants are more awkward than them. One suggestion to this game would be to lessen the General's power, somehow, to fit with the rest of the pieces, and to have the Bows on the right of the Swords, making more of them able to access the Castle.

George Boeree wrote on 2014-07-08 UTC
Although it has been years since I last visited "Chess Variants", it is good to see it still lives! I agree with John Smith's comments regarding the weakness of the horse, camel, and elephant. I would suggest that they be given both the double space move and the corresponding single space move. Perhaps restricting the double space moves to jumps would be a good idea as well. Cheers!

Samson Marriner wrote on 2014-07-14 UTC
1 Bishop per side is usually a bad thing in my opinion, unless the game is intended for slowness or at least to be less agressive than FIDE. Same goes for all 1-way colourbound pieces (Camels, Omega Chess Wizards, Root 50s, etc, but not Dabbabahs or similar.) Shogi's drop rule helps though.

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