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This item is a contest or tournament
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2002-12-19
 Author: Hans L. Bodlaender. 84 Spaces Contest. Information/proposal on judgement of the contest.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Peter Aronson wrote on 2003-03-16 UTC
Mike, the missing image files should be there now.

Michael Nelson wrote on 2003-03-16 UTC
I have the Excelsior files I need. Thank you to Antoine Fourierre and Dan Troyka for your prompt responses.

Michael Nelson wrote on 2003-03-16 UTC
Does anyone have image files for the Excelsior ZRF? They are missing from the zip on the Excelsior page. I have ZRF's for evwery other game in Group A and it might put the game at an unfair disadvantage in the judging, since I have used Zillions for playtesting all the other games.

David Short wrote on 2003-01-29 UTC
The question about which criteria to use for judging the contest has been raised by myself in the past, with no response given to my queries. While I am not a judge in this contest, I would like to give my two cents worth about criteria. Everyone is welcome to agree or disagree with my suggestions as they see fit. <p>What I am not going to do is suggest which of the following criteria that I feel should be used to evaluate games in this contest should be more or less influencial than others. That is for each person to decide for themselves. Nor am I going to try to suggest that some kind of elaborate point scoring scale be devised that can create some kind of scientific ranking of games. That is not to say that such scales can't be helpful, but if such scales are going to be used, each judge should be free to decide for himself how much weight certain criteria be given and how to award points for games for themselves without outside influence. Come up with your own system that you think is fair and stick with it. <p>I hope that others will give their input about criteria they think should be used in judging this contest. <p> <p>Originality and creativity should of course be rewarded. But exactly what one means by that can be interpretted broadly. It can mean the inclusion of new board shapes and the use of new pieces, but this isn't meant to say that games with new boards and new pieces should always be weighed more favorably with traditional square and rectangular boards and conventional pieces. Interesting rules should also be a plus. New ways to win, new ways to capture, new ways to move should be viewed as positive. <p>Here's one that some of you may disagree with. I would tend to favor games which have the traditional 'feel' of chess. What exactly do I mean by this? If one is quite adept and familiar with playing good old fashioned orthodox chess, then one already has a good feel for positional play (controlling space, controlling files, creating good pawn formations, etc) and tactics. There are some chess variants which have the 'feel' of regular chess, where once you start playing you find yourself again thinking about positional play and tactics. Can this be said of any game? Not necessarily. Games which use pieces with traditional pieces (kings, queens, rooks, bishops, knights and pawns) or pieces which only slighly augment the powers of these pieces (look at the use of squires, viceroys, crowned knights and crabs in some of my variants) will usually have that immediate 'feel' of regular chess that games with mostly new pieces will not. This is going to be a matter of personal taste among judges. Some will prefer more traditional chess-like games and some will be inspired by brand new types of CVs. <p>Certainly one criteria which should be used is the ability to understand the rules and strategy of the game more easily. More complicated games which are confusing or hard to learn would in my opinion be downgraded. I just don't have the patience to sit down and try to understand complicated games, or at least not ones that don't use traditional chess pieces. <p>There are some other minor concerns to be addressed, such as piece imbalance. Are there pieces in the game which seem overly weak or overly strong compared to the dimensions of the board? And also as a matter of personal taste some judges may want to downgrade games which seem so complicated, or the spaces between the opposing armies at the start of the game so far apart that it takes longer to complete a single game than other CVs in the contest. However if one finds that they are enjoying the challenge of the game in a long middle-game sequence then such criticism can be overlooked. <p>Finally, while I don't mean to suggest that this should be a major factor in determining grades and scores for games, in the event that a judge feels that two or more games in his group are tied and he is finding it difficult deciding how to break the tie, I would suggest to reward games whose creators made themselves accessable to play-testing than those who did not, for these creators have the best interest of the contest at heart. <p>

LCC wrote on 2003-01-15 UTC
I'm having fun judging in Group (B). I playtested each one once, and there
were other more technical scores (creativity, concept etc). Right now, 5
have passed to a form of 'second phase'. I've prepared (somewhat crude)
boards and sets and am playing matches to select the best (very hard). I
hope that by the time the judges have to deliver their votes I've had time
and ways to pick winners, but right now all five have been equally

So I ask the organizers, do you want the judges to use any specific
criteria? How many will be picked for the next phase? The judges will give
notes to all or just vote a number of choices? Thanks.

John Lawson wrote on 2003-01-15 UTC
Regarding chess sets for variants, there are also styles other than
Staunton that could be combined with a Staunton set, if you don't mind
some stylistic inconsistency.  Possibilities include Bauhaus and Art Deco
styles, illustrated here:

Echoing Ben, Henk van Haeringen's wooden Exchess sets are also nice, go
nicely with medium quality boxwood and ebonized boxwood Staunton sets, and
the prices are fair for the quality.  The shipping cost from the
Netherlands, however...

Ben Good wrote on 2003-01-15 UTC
i made all my pieces out of paper and matboard, and they are functional and somewhat durable, but they're all flat and not particularly attractive. i think in the past prizes have mostly been whatever people have been willing to donate, i don't think the editors go out and buy stuff, altho i did get a chess variants t-shirt when i was the winner of the 38square contest. i also received the book meta-chess, which was donated by the author. i believe most of the commercial games given as prizes were donated by the inventors. <P> once you start talking about unusual chess pieces that match standard sets, the options are extremely limited. the omegachess set is a good place to start, but only provides 2 new pieces styles. gothicchess adds 2 more, and they are sharp-looking, but they're also in a different style from the standard staunton pieces. if you're talking about wood instead of plastic, the chavet pieces look good (i've ordered some but haven't received them), there's 6 different pieces, you can get more info if you link from the editors page to the homepage of editor jean-louis cazaux. the best option is the superchess pieces ( there's 16 different models available (besides the standard 6 chess pieces) and they all look great. but since they are handmade from wood (and if you live in america they must be shipped from the europe), they are not inexpensive. since haerington seems to be doing superchess more as a hobby than a business, i would expect that donating pieces to the contest would not be practical for him.

David Short wrote on 2003-01-15 UTC
Nothing has been added to this page for a few weeks now. Has it been formally decided that the contest will indeed be broken up into these three groups of eleven games each? And how many people have volunteered to be judges? Like I said before I do not have the free time to volunteer to play-test 11 different games, but I will play test my own submissions (ULTRA SLANTED ESCALATOR CHESS and SCHIZOPHRENIC CHESS) for the contest, challengers can contact me at [email protected] to set up games by email with me. <p>By the way, may I make a suggestion for the prizes for this contest? How about a box of Staunton-style unique chess pieces? I mean, I must confess that I don't know if such things even exist but if they do it would be nice to have a box of chess pieces of all sorts of unusual sizes and shapes made of the same material that most chess pieces used in tournament chess are made out of, that one could use to represent anything they like for their own chess variants which they have invented. Perhaps Benjamin Good could comment on this for me as I know he likes to make his own chess sets.

William Overington wrote on 2002-12-21 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
As a lot of games are to be played with a lot of entries, I wonder whether
these games are to be documented.  Certainly, for my own two entries I
would like a record of the games played to become published if that is
possible please, so that the games acquire a literature of their own;
maybe other authors perhaps feel the same about their entries as well.

An interesting aspect is as to whether games should be published as soon
as they are played or whether publication should be left until after the
judging is completed, so that a game played by two players does not
influence the approach to play by another two players.  If the latter,
which is what I would somewhat prefer, then it might then be interesting
to observe the different approaches to play by various players from a
standing start with no prior published games to influence them.

New chess variants have the interesting feature that there is no published
history of games with that particular configuration of pieces, so not only
are there no standard openings and standard defences but also there is
scope for the possibility that some may arise!

David Short wrote on 2002-12-21 UTC
I would like to remind all judges that you can challenge me to play-test my entries with me by email, contact me at [email protected] <p>Also I want to make a suggestion. After each group has advanced four games into the next round, all judges should submit votes on all of the remaining games (regardless of whether it was in their group or not) to distinguish the three best games that they think deserve consideration in the finals, even though they may not have been among the best four in their own group. Which games deserve the most honorable mention? Nominate three games, from most deserving on down. Nominate one game to receive three points, another to receive two points and one game to receive one point. After all emails from judges are collected, whichever one single game which did not previously advance to the finals receives the most points, will receive one 'wild-card' entry into the finals, thus creating 13 games in the finals. It is to be understood, of course, that the games that are being nominated for a wild-card spot may not have been play tested by the judges that are nominating them, but instead they are simply going by their impressions of them by reading their rules descriptions. This will help ensure that if there seems to be some glaring oversight and a lot of judges from other groups say to themselves 'How did that game not make it into the finals?' they will have a chance to nominate it by this points scoring system and if it receives more points than any of the other runner-up games it will indeed make the finals as one last 'wild-card' entry. What do you all think of the idea? (Obviously, the only restriction being that a judge cannot nominate his own game.)

Glenn Overby II wrote on 2002-12-21 UTC
The TamerSpiel ZRF has now been uploaded.

Peter Aronson wrote on 2002-12-20 UTC
The <b>Ryu Shogi</b> ZRF should be done soon. I have a <b>Jacks and Witches 84</b> ZRF by the author that he's asked me to fix a bug in, and that (hopefully) should be ready to post soon, too. That leaves without ZRFs: <p> <ul> <li><b>Chessma 84</b>, and <li><b>Unconvensional Warfare Chess</b>. </ul> <p> Both of these are apt to be be difficult. I will look at both, but no promises on either.

Glenn Overby II wrote on 2002-12-20 UTC
My ability to take up additional games right now is very limited. But in the interest of seeing Orwell Chess (a three-player design) get evaluation games I am willing to play by email, using Zillions for recording, against pairs of judges who want to play. (I can play Beastmaster, too, but the three-player game which is harder to fill gets priority.)

Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2002-12-20 UTC
I don't think I can judge either, based on Hans' criteria, but I would be willing to play test by e-mail. Contact me at my name link! I think the system is very sensible.

Glenn Overby II wrote on 2002-12-19 UTC
I have designs in Groups B and C, and am a credited playtester on a game in
Group A.  A simple playtest credit would not ordinarily keep me from
judging, but given my multiple status as a new editor of the CVP and an
entrant as well I am being extra-cautious.  I have notified Hans that I
cannot judge.

But the system seems reasonable to me.

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