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Arabian Chess. Large modern variant of historic Shatranj, with more pieces and flying carpets. (11x9, Cells: 84) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Charles Gilman wrote on 2003-04-21 UTC
Having seen the comments relating this game to Shogi (click on 'all comments' for these), I am surprised that there has been no mention of Xiang Qi or Timur/Tamerlane Chess. The basic game, without the setup phase, must open with some affinity with those games as colourbound pieces of the same kind (particularly Elephants) are bound to the same colour squares.

Paul E. Newton wrote on 2003-03-12 UTC
I just wanted to comment on the Elephants being able to use the Majic Carpets or be blocked by the center void. You may have missed the fact that I mentioned right toward the beginning of the rules that an enjoyable variation is to have a set-up phase in the beginning of the game. If you use this option (which I highly recommend!) you can choose to set up your pieces in such a way as to allow the Elephants to use the Majic Carpets... One of my favorite optional opening set-ups is to have one Elephant and one Dabbabah on each color. Thanks for trying our game!

LCC wrote on 2003-01-15 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
As a nitpicking observation, the elephant's movement can't be hampered by
the central square anyway, nor can it ever use the magic carpets. That
information (that the central square can't be jumped) is only important
for the dabbabah's movement.

I like this variant a lot, still. I personally enjoy variants with little
power on the board.

Paul E. Newton wrote on 2002-11-13 UTC
In answer to your movement questions:  

1) Think of the center square as an impassable barrier to all pieces, even
the leaping pieces (Elephant, Dabbabah).  The Knight (and Grand Vizier)
can move to any position they can occupy using two possible paths, so I do
not see the center 'dead' square as a problem for their movement. 

2) The pieces can only move on the playable squares.  A piece cannot
travel over the empty areas between the Flying Carpet squares in columns A
and K.  If, however, two or more Flying Carpet squares are adjacent to
each other (i.e. two Capret are at A3 and A4, or all four Carpets end up
in K3, K4, K5 and K6 during play) then a piece can move from one Carpet to
another according to the rules governing it's movement, just like it can
on any other squares on the board.  If a piece moves from one Carpet to
another Carpet on it's turn, all of the options for movement of the Carpet
it landed on are in effect.  

3) I do not inted to limit the Knight (or the Grand Vizier's Knight move)
by the 'dead spaces' in the center of the board or columns A and K.  The
Knight (and Grand Vizier) can be vizualized as moving two squares and then
one square at right angles or one square and then two squares at right
angles.  Therefore I cannot forsee a board position that would limit the
Knight (or Grand Vizier) other than the normal edge of the board limit
that you run into with any regular chess board.  The only exception being
that no piece may occupy the center 'dead' square...

Peter Aronson wrote on 2002-11-13 UTC
A couple of questions on movement: <p> (1) The rules that no piece may move over the center square -- does this apply to the jumping pieces (Elephant, Dabbabah and Knight)? <p> (2) Can you move over the non-squares surrounding magic carpet squares? For example, if Magic Carpets are at a3 and a5 but not a4, could a Dabbabah on a3 leap to a5? <p> (3) Does the Knight have a standard path it follows when it moves, such as one square orthogonally followed by one square diagonally, or two squares orthogonally and one square at right angles? (FIDE Chess Knights, for the record, have no path, they just move to a square two squares away that a Queen could not move to.) The reason why it might matter is the effect of the missing center and edge squares -- if they can't be leapt over, then the path of the Knight needs to be determined. <p> I assume that if two Magic Carpet squares are currently adjacent, they may be moved between normally?

Peter Aronson wrote on 2002-11-12 UTC
Also in that direction is Fergus Duniho's game of <a href='../difftaking.dir/shatranji.html'>Shatranji</a>, which is a sort of cross between Shogi and Shatranj, combining the Shatranj board and pieces with Shogi-style captures and drops.

Paul E. Newton wrote on 2002-11-12 UTC
It's funny that you should mention Shogi! I considered taking the unique element of captured pieces becoming part of your reserve army to be dropped on the board (using the basic restrictions from Shogi as to where they can be dropped) from Shogi for this game, but I decided to keep it more true to Shatranj. I am play testing the 'Arabian Shogi' idea on a traditional Shogi size (9 x 9) board with a slightly different configuration of the 'Arabian' pieces see how it plays...

Peter Aronson wrote on 2002-11-12 UTC
'<i>I do not know how you would show this with a graphic, maybe turn the General on his head to show it is a promoted Pawn?</i>' <p> I'd be more inclined toward something like the promoted Shogi pieces in the <a href='../graphics.dir/alfaerie/index.html'>Alfaerie 1 Set</a>.

Paul E. Newton wrote on 2002-11-12 UTC
I considered allowing 'sequential promotion' but thought that with the Magic Flying Carpet feature of the game it could lead to too many Grand Viziers, and I do not generally like variants that become too dependent on one type of piece... In our home version the problem of the non-promoting General is easy because we have the General (G) that is on the 'flip-side' of the Pawn piece circled and the normal General is not in a circle. I am not a Zillions programmer, so I do not know how you would show this with a graphic, maybe turn the General on his head to show it is a promoted Pawn?

Peter Aronson wrote on 2002-11-12 UTC
Oops -- missed that about the magic carpet squares. Hmm, if Pawns promoted to Generals can't promote again, it's necessary to distinguish them from Generals that can promote. They should have a different letter for notation purposes, and possibly a different name, and of course a different piece in face-to-face play.

Paul E. Newton wrote on 2002-11-12 UTC
Each piece can only promote once. The Magic Flying Carpet squares can only move to spaces in rows 3-7 (and only in columns A or K), therefore if a Pawn or General rides a Flying Carpet square as far as it can take them they will still be at least one move (for a General)or two moves (for a Pawn) away from promoting.

Peter Aronson wrote on 2002-11-12 UTCGood ★★★★
This looks interesting! A question about promotion: once a Pawn promotes to a General, can the resulting General then exit the camp and reenter, promoting to Grand Vizier? Also, if a Pawn or General rides a magic carpet square to the opponent's back two ranks, does that result in promotion?

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