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Mono-dimensional Chess. Small, one dimensional variant with unorthodox pieces. (1x10, Cells: 10) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jonathan Rutherford wrote on 2007-08-03 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I myself have givena stab at a 1 dimensional chess game. I called it Rutherford's 1 dimensional Shogi. Independently, I thought of the idea of Shogi pieces, and created what I feel was a very good game. Here is the link:

Sadly, it is apparent that my game has not gotten the attention I'd hoped, since I actually find it to fill the niche of 1-dimensional chess games quite well. As far as I can tell, playing with Zillions and going solo with my own board and pieces, it is a very enjoyable and surprisingly complex game. So why hasn't it grabbed attention like mono-dimensional chess or other small shogi and chess variants? I suppose it is because of my self aggrandizement. I wanted to be sure I always had the credit for my magnificent invention, so I named it after myself. I also didn't present the rules in a very interesting fashion. But give me some credit, that was several years ago, and I've aged some since then.

But at the heart, is it the fact that my little game is still too complicated? Is simpler better? I've never played LCC's game, but I commend his answer to simplicity without too much predictability. Perhaps a solution will one day be found, and a public-gripping one dimensional chess variant will finally take its deserved place.

Anonymous wrote on 2007-02-01 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Why don't we let E promote? L cannot get to the last square without taking the king.

Ludamad wrote on 2005-11-22 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I like the simplicity, it does beat tic-tac-toe. But as with other simple games, two good players will always tie. But, as you said, a perfect chess game would be no different. Just maybe make things more complex, checkmate happens rarely.

Nasmichael Farris wrote on 2004-12-07 UTC
IN the texts of Vernon Rylands Parton, he also mentions a linear chess--it is available onsite; check out 'Curiouser and Curiouser' by Parton, who also invented Alice Chess and Medusa (Demigorgon) Chess. Fun games all.

Anonymous wrote on 2004-12-06 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
KEWL. Was I the only one who noticed that?

LCC wrote on 2003-02-09 UTC
Thank you for your comments. As has been mentioned before, this game
suffers from predictable results. This can be easily explained by the very
limited 'play tree', that is, the way different games branch out with
different plays. Since there are only 4 pieces to each side, each with an
average of 2 or less possible moves per play, it becomes easy for a human
or computer mind to analyse all results of a move and play for draw. 

Normal chess is the same, but the number of pieces and average possible
moves make it impossible for a human mind and any contemporary computer.

But I have indeed been giving thought to this variant. It has occurred to
me that Shogi-style dropping of captured pieces could offer enhanced play
branching possibilities, for example. And randomness could reduce the
ability to do the most favorable play. For example, when capturing, the
capturing player rolls a die. With a result of 4 to 6, the capture occurs
normally. 2-3, the capture does not happen and the turn is lost. On a 1,
the capturing player loses his piece. While this classic idea is too
boring for a 'normal chess' variant, it's a surprising twist for 1-D
chess. Or another where you throw a die at the start of your turn with the
die result dictating which piece you can move (e.g. 1=K 2=E 3=W 4=L 5=any

I know this variant won't likely become as complex as FIDE chess, for
example, but I have found other uses for it, such as using it to train
blindfolded play. It really helped my memory of piece positions and
threatened areas, allowing me to start playing blindfolded 2D chess
regularly. And I'm sure children could be amused by it, although I suppose
it would be better for them to be taught FIDE chess directly.

It sure beats tic-tac-toe, though :)

Anonymous wrote on 2003-02-09 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I like this game very much. I think LCC underestimates its own game,
considering it 'simple'. Despite having so few pieces and being played on
only ten squares (!) the game is much fun and at the initial position all
four pieces of each side can make a move.

This proves that the way to find new exciting chess variants isn't always
to search for larger boards with lots of pieces of many different types,
to make complex games or to switch to the 3rd and 4th dimension. Maybe we
should 'look inwards' because the small have their say, too. (Remember
David and Goliath, hehe).

The explanations about piece movements do not state clearly whether the
Executor's one-step movement is a non-capturing movement or not - only the
sample game makes this thing clear (for example move 6.ExW)

Tomas Forsman wrote on 2002-08-03 UTCGood ★★★★
I like this game =) It's a fun game to play.
Is there some way to force some forwardness into the game to avoid
situations where the only option is to give up or draw by 3 time


Matt Burke wrote on 2002-08-02 UTC
LCC mentioned using dots rather than squares to make the game more 'one-dimensional'. But let's go even further: use different colored line segments to represent the pieces and the empty squares. <p>And for representing a game you could use a layout like the standard for showing the evolution of a one-dimensional cellular automaton: write (draw) each successive board position under the previous one. <p>Not only do you have fun playing one-dimensional games, but you might just make interesting abstract art!

Glenn Overby II wrote on 2002-08-01 UTC
The ZRF is now available. Enjoy!

Alfred Pfeiffer wrote on 2002-07-30 UTC
Of course this variant is new, but there are already some examples 
with chess for one-dimensional boards:

1) The 'One Ring Chess' by L. L. Smith 2001, where 32 fields are
   arranged to build a closed circle, published at the Zillions page

2) I have a bilingual book (German and English) 

  Dr. Karl Fabel, C. E. Kemp: 'Schach ohne Grenzen - Chess unlimited'
  Walter Rau Verlag, Duesseldorf und Kempten, 1969

with the following short section about the subject (I quote from the
english part, FCR = Fairy Chess Review, TDR = Thomas Rayner Dawson):


  We now move off the 8x8 board, it is sometime necessary!
  In 1944, as a wartime diversion, FCR had a tourney for problems
  of any kind on an one-dimensional board, that is a single line
  of squares of any lenght.  N. M. Gibbins who proposed and judged
  the tourney, expected the entry to be small.  In fact there were
  85 problems.  TDR won 1st. and 2nd. prizes with two sets of
  problems.  The themes of the first set, of 8, were 'self-
  interference, line-closing, grab, crosscheck, chain interference,
  mutual obstruction, and triangular Grimshaw interference'!  How
  did he get all this on a single line?  By using composite pieces.

  No. 1 is one of this set.  We will refer to squares simply by the
  the numbers 1, 2, ... 15, 16, starting from the bottom.  The rider
  (R for short) at 16 can be play along 16, 13, 10, 7, 4, 1, as a 
  3-rider, and along 16, 11, 6, 1, as a 5-rider.  The problem is 
  built on the fact that 16 and 1 are in both sets.  The solution is  
  1. K9 P5, 2. P12#;  1.... P12, 2. P5#.  Not 1. P5 threat 2. Rx13# 
  as black is stalemate, P13 is now pinned.  And not 1. P12 threat 
  2. Rx6#, also stalemate as P6 is now pinned.  

  These are two highly thematic tries.  The mates are discovered
  mates, there is a double battery from the rider at 16.  Two-line
  chess on a one-line board!

The position which the referred diagram No. 1 to is following;

White: K8, R16, P4, P10 (R = combined 3-rider and 5-rider, 4 pieces)
Black: K1, P2, P6, P12 (4 pieces);  Board 1 x 16, 
Mate in 2,  FCR 1944.

Alfred Pfeiffer

Joseph DiMuro wrote on 2002-07-30 UTC
You could give Rutherford's 1-dimensional Shogi a try. It looks playable to me (then again, I haven't tried it yet :-D)

Doug Chatham wrote on 2002-07-30 UTC
Glenn, <p>Would you submit your ZRF for publication? Perhaps someone can use it to compose an interesting (helpmate, perhaps?) problem.

LCC wrote on 2002-07-30 UTC
Well, of course, this hadn't been tested. Still, it's the first of a kind
and perhaps someone can think of a better version. Larger, maybe.

Besides, mathematics teaches that complexity increases exponentially with
dimension. The fact that this game can be easily and fully explored
(possibly in all combinations of moves) can't be exactly an argument
against it, because in theory, bidimensional chess can be emptied in the
same sense (of course, no computer able to do so already exists).

Too many draws in chess. Isn't this why we're in the chess variant
'bussiness'? :)

Glenn Overby II wrote on 2002-07-30 UTCPoor ★
It's a draw by repetitive boredom, unless someone blunders. I programmed a Zillions file for it this afternoon, and the computer cannot win without help. But neither will it lose. Nice theory; I'd like to see a playable linear chess (yes, it's been attempted before). But we're not there yet.

William Overington wrote on 2002-07-28 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
This is fascinating.  After just two moves for each side there are an
amazing number of possible positions for the game!

An interesting game, perhaps ideal for email games.  Also, by being a
simplified game, perhaps an attempt to have a computer play it will be an
interesting exercise.

I hope that it is successful and gathers its own literature of games.

William Overington

28 July 2002

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