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BishopsA game information page
. Commercial four-player game.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
JT K wrote on 2017-09-08 UTC

Edwin, I haven't had a chance to play this yet and can't give a rating right now, but after reading the rules from the external website, I think it would be worth a try.  The idea of only checkmating the player to the left makes a lot of sense, so that's a good idea.  The restriction on pawn captures in the first round is practical too.

I was a bit curious about some of the other rules like this: "Kings may enter their own coloured corner square and become immune from check or checkmate, provided that both of their Bishops are not captured. When a King enters his corner square, both of his Bishops become Queens instantly."

Were those rules added to bring some more unique flavor to the game (hence the game title), or is it something you feel is necessary to avoid problems that would occur from more orthodox rules in a 4-person chess game? 


Edwin Wilhelm wrote on 2014-03-11 UTC
https://twitter.com/Edwin_1952

Edwin Wilhelm wrote on 2014-03-10 UTC
Well I dont have a design for meeting times but it should be not too hard 
to figure one out.
For example the first player to join a game could set a start time maybe 3 days 
into the future at 8 pm MST his/her local time. This would give enough time for 3 
challengers to join the game at their own specific times. For example one player 
may be in China and his/her local time would be 10 am. 

http://www.timeanddate.com/time/map/ 

This site gives a good over view of time zones and there are others.

The program ( game) could include an automatic time insert for each open game 
that has been started or invited.

I have a "Bishops notation" system invented too but I cannot read it on the small
pink board image here (and I dont remember it) and I wont be at my house until mid-

May to review my files. The notation uses the same Chess notation and also adds 

more similar for the extra 64 squares and 4 corner squares.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2014-03-10 UTC
Well getting 4 players together at the same time will definitely be the major problem to solve. On the 81Doju Chu-Shogi server (AFAIK the only one in the world where you can play live Chu Shogi, a game that has tens of thousands of players) there are typically zero people to be found.

Do you already have a design in mind for how people could negociate a time to play a game, when they would never be present on the server at the same time spontaneously?

Edwin Wilhelm wrote on 2014-03-10 UTC
It seems it would require a pretty invasive change, though, because such GUIs are of course based on the idea there are two players.

>>>>>yes it would be the 164 squares and the 4 corner squares only.

It also seems you don't just want a GUI for local play, but really an internet client that connects to a remote site (e.g. embedded in an internet browser), so that people could play against each other over the internet. This begs the question whether you would want to support 'live' (i.e. real-time with running Chess clocks) or turn-based games (i.e. like correspondence Chess).

>>>>>yes "live" and in real time. People would have to know that other opponents would be ready to play for example at 8 pm their local time. or world-wide would have to arrange specific times etc etc.  Unless enough interest and then when 4 players join the game begins automatic , live 24 hours a day. Also to start, a site that has no "bots" or ability to have "bots" as I would prefer more "humans" playing and some "humans" may like it that there is no "bots", only "humans'.

About your statement that the game ends as Chess: what if the two surviving parties were neighbors? I suppose their Pawns would move at right angles then. That doesn't seem much like a normal Chess game to me...

>>>>>The rules state when a player is checkmated, whatever player that colour is then removed. Play continues with three players until another colour is removed. Then for example if Black and Pink remain,,,Pink must move to the seat at its left. If Black and Grey remain,,,Grey moves to its right. (This part of the rules may be re-written someday to more properly explain it.) If White and Black remain they remain in their respective seats.

It is basically a GUI I want and the ability to allow the legal moves of Chess pieces while playing Bishops and then allow legal moves of Chess when all the remaining pieces of the 2 final players reach the 64 square chess playing board. (Also one problem scenario would be if one of the final 2 players had 2 Bishops on one colour of the diagonal squares , which could theoretically happen, then one Bishop would need to enter the Chess area on a different colour square. ) (Also other problem scenarios may occur with pawn movement but precise writing of the rules would fix these scenarios)

One thing I do not know, since not enough actual Bishops Games have been played out to completion, and would like to know is how the average piece count would fair when the game continues "as Chess". If the 2 remaining players skill level at Bishops is more or less evenly matched , then the remaining pieces should be of similar strength. The ability to "survive" until the game becomes "Chess" is an added feature that "Chess" itself does not have. In Chess you either win or lose or draw. With Bishops you must first "survive" to reach the final stage which is then played as "Chess". Position and strength of the 2 remaining players will most likely not be similar to an "average" Chess game. With Bishops, if a player cannot learn how to "survive" then he will never be able to finish the game "as Chess". This feature and others is why I think Bishops, The Game could be someday.....viable.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2014-03-09 UTC
OK, I see. You had me confused by the terminology you use: normally a Chess Engine means a program that thinks up Chess moves, without any graphical capabilities. It just prints as text what it wants to play, like 'e2e4'. It seems that what you want is not an engine at all, but a Graphical User Interface. So one should not modify a Chess engine, but a GUI like WinBoard or XBoard. It seems it would require a pretty invasive change, though, because such GUIs are of course based on the idea there are two players.

It also seems you don't just want a GUI for local play, but really an internet client that connects to a remote site (e.g. embedded in an internet browser), so that people could play against each other over the internet. This begs the question whether you would want to support 'live' (i.e. real-time with running Chess clocks) or turn-based games (i.e. like correspondence Chess).

About your statement that the game ends as Chess: what if the two surviving parties were neighbors? I suppose their Pawns would move at right angles then. That doesn't seem much like a normal Chess game to me...

BTW, there do exist plenty of two-player Chess variants that end in perfectly normal Chess. For instance Seirawan Chess. Most variants that contain just a limited number of unorthodox pieces on an 8x8 board would turn into normal Chess when these pieces get traded out of the game.

Edwin Wilhelm wrote on 2014-03-09 UTC
Correction, adding an option to have a random backline is not a rule change , only an option that any game can use. Including Chess itself as I think proposed once by Bobby Fisher. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess960

Edwin Wilhelm wrote on 2014-03-09 UTC
Thanks for the comments.
Bishops is a four player game yes, but it ends as "Chess".

Since I am not a programmer I might ask silly questions at times.

What I am looking for is just a good visual game and only "smart" to the point
that legal moves are recognised.

To develop a "smart" bot to play Bishops would not be needed at this time.

As Bishops has to be played offensively to the left and defensively to the right, it adds
a more challenging effect. Skill and possibly a factor of luck is needed. Still luck
cannot be used in order to win consistently.

When the final 2 players are reached and are on the Chess playing area, then it is a Chess game to determine the winner. What pieces they have remaining depends on their overall Bishops playing ability.

The game was invented to allow four players to play a "Chess like" game. Which I think it does.

I do have a Java online version at another location and may have it online in May-June hopefully. However it will need bug fixes.

Looking for  programmers who may be able to get another version up and running
for play on Google Chrome etc etc...

Yes losing a Knight for a Rook would affect only 2 players, but there is how many combinations of 2 players ?......uh....WG..GB...BP...PW...plus WB...WP ...uh....16 combinations I think.....

Also as an upgrade to the rules will be the "option" to have the "Backline" placed at random starting points. Therefore a King could be placed beside its "safe" corner,,,then immediately the Bishops obtain the power of a Queen.

Any Chess variant is not meant to replace Chess and never will. Some variants can be fun to play and viable if given a chance and Bishops is one maybe. As it ends "as Chess" , not many other variants I have seen do this.....??

H. G. Muller wrote on 2014-03-09 UTC
Starting from an existing Chess engine is probably not a good idea, as these are too specifially tailored for playing Chess. Your 'Bishops' seems to be a 4-player game, and that alone makes it so radically different from Chess that all Chess knowledge will be totally invalid. E.g. in Chess it would be good to capture a Rook at the expense of a Knight. In Bishops that seems a losing move, as it leaves the other two players unscathed. So that the average strength of you your opponents goes down 1/3 of a Rook (i.e. 5/3 = 1.66, while you lose a Knight (i.e. 3) yourself.

Personally I have always doubted the viability of multi-player Chess-like games because of this 'king-maker effect'.

Multi-player games are totally different from zero-sum two-player games, even when they do have perfect information. They require different search strategies, and opponent modeling becomes very important.

Edwin Wilhelm wrote on 2014-03-09 UTC
Not too much worried about developing robots or computer play.

Could Bishops, The Game be added to an existing chess engine with the extra 64 squares plus the four (4) corner squares?

Legal move detection is needed for a basic game.

Looking for programmers.

Edwin Wilhelm wrote on 2014-03-03 UTC
Information for crowdfunding of "Bishops, The Game" can be viewed here....

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/bishops-the-game/x/6547888

Edwin Wilhelm wrote on 2014-02-04 UTC
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1311054565/278324172?token=b09d2cac If anyone interested can direct traffic or comments to this preview link it would be appreciated.

Edwin Wilhelm wrote on 2014-02-03 UTC
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1311054565/278324172?token=b09d2cac If anyone wants to add comments at this project site please do. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1311054565/278324172?token=b09d2cac

Edwin Wilhelm wrote on 2014-01-24 UTC
OK thanks that is a good point.

Another question:

Does anyone know of a site or "Chess site" whereby the "Chessmen" actually "fight" as in a video game type scenario? (using hand held controller compatible with computer website game)

This would be a variant obviously of Chess, but I am considering such a game scenario using "Bishops". This format would continue until the game was played "as Chess" , 2 players, as Chess is Chess.

Please reply with info or comments.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2014-01-22 UTC
My experience on the 81Dojo Chu-Shogi server is that it makes a huge difference for a lowly populated server if there is an automated opponent. I have operated a bot there for some time, and at days where I put it on-line there were usually 4-5 people on the server, one playing the bot, others watching that, and still others playing each other.

When I did not put the bot on, but just logged on myself in a mode where I could not be challenged for a game, the server was practically empty. I tried this many times, just to get an impression about what happened, and during the day many dozens of people logged on, saw that there was no opponent, and immediately left again.

Edwin Wilhelm wrote on 2014-01-22 UTC
Hello,
This is the inventor of Bishops, The Game.

I would like to ask a question to the audience and get some opinions:

Question:
If and when an "online version" of Bishops. The Game is introduced someday in the future , should it allow "robots" or computer players ? ie the program would also supply a robot if requested. 

Or would it be better to only allow "REAL people" who are logged in to play?

Please add comments and say "Yes" to have computers and robot play or "No" to only have REAL people log in and play.

As the Inventor/Owner I am leaning toward "No" myself, but am undecided as yet.

A future online site may be resdy and "live" sometime in July-August 2014.

Ben Reiniger wrote on 2014-01-10 UTC
Ed, I have sent you an email concerning registration.

Edwin Wilhelm wrote on 2014-01-10 UTC
Hello
I cannot seem to login here or join.
Could someone in admin help me out ?
My email contact is .....
[email protected] 

My game here is Bishops, The Game

I would like to update all my info.....

Thanks

Edwin Wilhelm

Edwin Wilhelm wrote on 2006-03-23 UTC
Yes, that was a prototype too. I paid for 40 pieces from China , received
20. Some got lost on the boat I guess. The design work and build was free
though. To order, it would need to be 10,000 pieces minimum. ...lots of
moolah needed. :)

I could resurrect it at some future date. It should not say 'Chess' on
the cover and notice the white and black pieces were backwards in the
cover pic.

minor problems tho...

These guys gave a good review in their May/June 1999 magazine,

http://www.chessvariants.com/nost.html 

page 8

Mr John J McCallion ( NOST ) likes the game concept and rules.


No, the website will be at Netfirms......its free.


later

Ed

Gary Gifford wrote on 2006-03-23 UTC
The packaging for the game looks quite good.  The green box looks nice, the
black and white board is a pleasant change from the hot pink.  I imagaine
the board folds in 1/4 sections to fit in the box.  I visited the web-site
listed in the picture and saw this message:

This domain name expired on 02/19/2006 and is pending renewal or
deletion.

Will the bishopthegame.com site come back under your control?  
Do you have another site?

Edwin Wilhelm wrote on 2006-03-22 UTC
here is some pics of small game board

http://www.yellowmall.ca/Bishops/FRONT.jpg 

http://www.yellowmall.ca/Bishops/BACK.jpg 


thx

Ed

$10 US plus shipping

Edwin Wilhelm wrote on 2006-03-22 UTC
There are several small travel versions available for $10 US plus
shipping.

I will see if I can get a picture posted.


Ed

Edwin Wilhelm wrote on 2006-03-21 UTC
''Kings may enter their own coloured corner square and become immune from
check or checkmate, provided that both of their Bishops are not captured.
When a King enters his corner square, both of his Bishops obtain the power
of a Queen instantly. If both Bishops are captured, the King must on his
next move return to an unoccupied space around the corner square, but may
not move into check. If the King cannot re-enter then he must wait (miss a
turn) until a square is available. ''

......I had to re-read the rules, it does say only the power of a queen. I
had thought of a computer version making it a queen image,, but the Bishops
will stay as they appear and just gain the POWER of a queen. No werries now
about transwatever. 

Bishops rules on certain webpages have not been updated.....it is ANY
corner square....the King may enter ANY corner square. This allows a quick
castle to the King side and into the opponents corner square.

each side has a heraldic emblem,, each emblem contains colours of all the
opponents. Hence the ongoing mideaval battle ...wars generally involve 2
sides , right vs wrong so to speak,, but often there are many opponents
not just 2. Who is right and who is wrong. Hence a game for 4.

White is the Helmet.
Grey is the Shield.
Black is the Sword.
Pink is the Torch.

I pledge my head to clearer thinking,
My heart to greater loyalty,
My hands to larger service,
My health to better living;

A spinoff of the 4H motto.

Any 4H clubs out there are welcome to start a Bishops Club or add it to
your roster. The 4 corner squares emblems and mottos of the sides are
molded after the 4H motto.

In order for any side to win, they cannot ignore their 2 neighbours on
their right. For if they do they will also lose. Therefore helping one or
two of your enemies is sometimes needed. A trait not found in many games,
while still playing offensive to the left.

Any Chess Variant must also withstand the unswerving wrath of Chess
purists. In fact and I agree, all Chess Variants will fail this challenge.
However when I invented Bishops, I did not intend it to replace Chess, as
nothing could ever. However with the ending played 'as Chess' it may
calm some purists and lull them into buying a game of Bishops from me. Or
2 or 3 or 1,000,000 or .....geepers.....pinch me, Im dreaming I think.


later

GreyBishop99


PS ...There is one false rule which must remain until the right time.

Gary Gifford wrote on 2006-03-21 UTC
Bishops gaining the power of a Queen sounds fine, and should resolve the transgender interpretation, plus allow you to keep the game as you now intend it to be played. Oh what wild times we live in... though I suppose medieval folks would have also frowned upon the idea of Bishops becoming Queens. Yes, gaining the power of a Queen sounds politically correct.

Edwin Wilhelm wrote on 2006-03-21 UTC
Actually....its Knights...originally in 1991 I thought to give the Bishops
the power of Knights!! From a speed playing view point and power , I think
Knights hold lots of power. The idea of having the King in sanctuary was to
speed the game up ,, with more power on the board. I think if the Bishops
are given power of Knights it might work? Thus no controversial issues
regarding the S word. 

later

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