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Alekhine ChessA Zillions-of-Games file
. Named in honor of Alexander Alekhine, World Chess Champion 1927-1935, 1937-1946.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-01-24 UTC

Does anyone know the castling rules for this game? ZoG is now defunct, and I don't visit Cowplay. All the basic rules must be similar to for Capablanca Chess', but the odd position of the kings in the setup (which also has dark squares in the players' lower right corners) makes it difficult to guess at the castling rules.

[edit: apparently ZoG is not defunct, after all. The Zog link for Alekhine Chess gives the following rules for castling: "When castling, the King moves to the square next to and on the inside of the Rook, then the Rook moves to the square next to and on the inside of the King."

Charles Gilman wrote on 2010-04-18 UTCAverage ★★★
This variant escaped me in the past as it has no rules page. It has merit, if a quick and dramatic game is what players want, and I would normally rate it good. Unfortunately it has twice been rated Excellent by the inventor, which is generally looked down on, so I have used an Average rating to shift the average rating back toward the Good that the single rating, had things been done properly, would have been.

The idea of clipping off the simple-piece files is intersting as doing this and swapping the Marshals and Cardinals round would result in my independently-devised Overkill Chess, which produce the same compound pieces by adding moves to existing pieces rather than extra pieces from scratch.

M Winther wrote on 2010-04-17 UTC
According to the Classified Encyclopedia of Chess Variants Russian Chess is simply when the queen is replaced with an Amazon. But this is not a very good idea because the Amazons tend to be exchanged too easily, so it should be drawish. Gustav III Chess solves this by introducing two Amazons per side.

Anonymous wrote on 2010-04-16 UTC
In Russian chess queen is not replaced with amazon: amazon comes after promotion of king's pawn (other pawns promotes to pieces, wich was adjecent to them in beggining). Amazon in Russian chess is called Helgi (i don't know, what it means). King there is called Magus (or soothsayer, i don't know, wich translation os more proper) and queen is prince (or duke).

M Winther wrote on 2009-05-31 UTC
The Amazon is a fine piece. In Russian chess the queen is
replaced by an Amazon (perhaps that's what you mean by
Amazon Chess). Russian Chess was very popular in Russia. Of
course, such a variant is endgame oriented while the Amazons
are likely to be exchanged. This likelihood is lower
in Gustav III's Chess while there are two Amazons
on each side. This variant works finely. The Amazons partake
modestly in the game from the beginning. They are so
valuable that they aren't that effective in crowded positions.
D'Autremont solved the problem that the Amazons can soon be
exchanged, which too soon removes them from
the board. In Angel Chess, the Angel (Amazon) may not
capture an Angel if the piece is visually guarded. Together
with the fact that the players' bishops move on different
colours, this gives the Amazon a great attacking potential.
It's an aggressive variant. Concerning Alekhine Chess.
Although it probably works, it might seem a little brutal
and vulgar. On the other hand, people like slasher films,

Jeremy Good wrote on 2009-05-31 UTC

I have played many games of Alekhine Chess on Cowplay and enjoyed a lot of them. It's not easy to play because there are so many combinational possibilities.

I like the logical structure of Alekhine Chess.

The question of castling is moot since, in my experience, in games with superpowered pieces, it usually makes the king less safe to castle! You want to keep the king in the center not isolate it into the corner.

Ralph Betza's Tripunch Chess has pieces more powerful than these on an 8 x 8 board and it's really a lot of fun to play, I think. As is Betza's Tutti Frutti Chess which sticks all these same compounds on an 8 x 8 board. There are countless other similar examples. For that matter, simple Amazon Chess is quite fun and was the most popular variant for a long time in parts of Europe. I don't know why people are so prejudiced against Amazons. Maybe because powerful women are intimidating? ;)

Is this game a fitting tribute to Alekhine? Perhaps!

Joe Joyce wrote on 2009-05-31 UTC
Hello, Michael, and welcome back, Greg. I probably shouldn't be getting drawn into this, but the topic is one I find quite interesting. How much power is too much power? Conversely, what is too little power in a game?

Wargamers [you know, those strange people who spend hours playing over 1 battle in some real or imagined military campaign] tend to first prefer to upgun their units when they can build their own battles. All tanks become Panzers and Tigers, all planes become jets, all the infantry has vehicles to carry them fast... and this satisfies most of them. Sometimes, though, one will tire of all the power, and go for more subtlety. Then you get the new battles, the new units, the new tactics and strategy. It's an acquired taste, possibly.

It's obvious that most variant players are chess players first. And since chess is a wargame, it's logical to think they would first be attracted to variants with more power. The logical 'new' pieces are B+N, R+N, and B+R+N. So Michael has made a very logical variant, in that sense. 

The game is a shoot-out, a Gunfight at the AOL Corral, if you like. A lot of people like slick, glossy, fast, bloody; look at all the action movies that do so well. People like fireworks and special effects, and this game provides them. Pure raw power, coming right up the middle at ya! It's the football version of chess.

The baseball version of chess? The shortrange games. [The badminton of chess would be the games with weaker pieces, then.] Much more positional play, with various tactics and strategies manifesting themselves during the game. But longer games, with much more maneuvering and struggling for position and advantage. If anyone doubts this, let them try the following experiment: Play standard FIDE chess, but reduce the range of the rooks and bishops to 4, and the queen to 3. When you see what this does to the game, you'll understand a bit better the effects of the introduction of the 'infinite slider' power pieces - all those with a rook and/or bishop move. It's a different taste.

Michael Nolan wrote on 2009-05-30 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Thanks for your comments on my invention, Greg. I used Alekhine's name in the title of this game simply to honor his chess play.

I realize that the game is power-heavy, yet many people have enjoyed playing it on CowPlay and other sites, so perhaps it's at least partially a matter of taste.

By the way, how can I get a copy of your program ChessV ???

Greg Strong wrote on 2009-05-30 UTCPoor ★
Waaaay to much power on the board.  

Take 'Capablanca' style 10x8 Chess, which has been invented over and over again, starting with Carrera in the 1600s, later Bird's Chess, later Capablanca's Chess and any number of modern variants.  It doesn't catch on because it's not a good game.  There's too much power on the board - resulting in too much tactics and not enough strategy.

This game takes it to another whole level.  I don't care that the board is wide.  The castling rule is such that you have to move out a million pieces before you move your king out of dodge.  And the center 8x8 section of the board has an Amazon, which has already been determined to be too power for any reasonable use on small board, two queens, two chancellors, and two archbishops.  In otherwords, WAY more power in the center 8x8 section of the board than in an entire 10x8 Capablanca game which is already too much.  And then there's normal, weak pieces waaaaaaaay out on the sides ...  In chess, the Rooks (powerful pieces) are in the corners so they develop slower, and the Knights and Bishops develop quickly.  In this game, they start out in no-mans-land.  Might as well not even have the sides of the board.  If those pieces even come into play, it's only because the other player has totally failed to use the power at his disposal.

Secondly, what's with the name?  Any reason to believe that he would like this game?  Is that based on anything at all?  Or are you just taking advantage of the fact that he can't denounce this crap because he's dead?  Even if you admire him and are trying to honor him, it's in serously poor taste.

George Duke wrote on 2005-02-13 UTC
Only about 10 (not so many as 20) of about 400 large CVs in CVPage have the kind of perfect symmetrical ideal Derek Nalls must mean. Over 95% of them do not. That shows it to be a rejected standard.

Michael Nolan wrote on 2005-02-13 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I'm curious about Derek's rating of 'poor,' since the piece setup of Alekhine Chess is at least as symmetrical as that of tradional/standard chess. Is there something about Alekhine Chess that makes Derek feel that it is more asymmetrical than most other variants? Or is it that Derek has invented several chess variants based upon the theme of geometric, perfect symmetry, and therefore feels that any variant that is not perfectly symmetrical must be lacking in quality/interest? I welcome hearing more on this interesting subject. By the way, so far, 100s of games of Alekhine Chess have been played on the CowPlay website, and I haven't heard a single asymmetry complaint.

Derek Nalls wrote on 2005-02-13 UTC
[Comment voluntarily deleted.] wrote on 2004-01-28 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
For your information, a correspondance style version of the Alekhine Chess variant is available to play online for free at ''.

Michael Wortley Nola wrote on 2002-10-13 UTC
If you wish to contact the inventor/author about this game, you may do so at [email protected]

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