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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 1996-01-01
 By Ralph  Betza. Chess on a Really Big Board. Chess on multiple chess boards. (16x16, Cells: 256) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-03-01 UTCGood ★★★★

You've just got to love a variant that's really big, even if you don't want to play it much. Now that there's a rules-enforcing preset courtesy of Nick, the chance of playing game(s) of it went up for me.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2017-10-05 UTC
graphicsDir=/membergraphics/MSelven-chess/ whitePrefix=w blackPrefix=b graphicsType=png squareSize=35 startShade=#8090FF ranks=16 files=16 promoZone=3 promoChoice=QCJOWDABN symmetry=mirror satellite=four royal=6 pawn::fmW*fceF::a2-p2 knight:N:::b1,o1 bishop::::e1,l1 rook::::a1,p1 queen::::h1 king::KisO6::i1 dog::FD:wolf:c1,n1 war elephant:W:KA:elephant:d1,m1 rose:O:qN::f1 jolly jumper:J:NCZ:gnu:k1 chancellor::::j1 archbishop::::g1

Four Board Chess

This variant contains a number of unusual pieces, amongst which the Rose, which can only reach its full move potential on very large boards such as this. I invented the names of the other unorthodox pieces myself, to correspond with the 'random letters' that Betza originally assigned to them.

V. Reinhart wrote on 2017-02-07 UTC

In the section "One Set, Four Boards" the author wrote "Seems like a silly idea, but the small number of pieces means that the game won't take so many moves, and the position of the Kings means that they will never be safe -- and so there will be many short games with exciting attacks.".

The king will never be safe? The king is next to some strong pieces that can defend him. He's next to a queen, and other pieces can easily move into positions to defend from all directions.
If the opponent tries to attack from the flanks or the rear, it seems to me that the king can be defended faster than the opponent can send new attackers. With good play I don't see how games will be shorter than normal chess.  And at the endgame, putting the king in checkmate would take longer because pushing him to a corner will take more moves.
So I don't think games will be shorter with exciting attacks. Well-played games will be slower with fewer and less-interesting attacks. Please let me know if I'm missing something. And has anyone played this?

George Duke wrote on 2009-12-10 UTC
Betza has only a couple other CVs not on 64 squares. Chess on a Really Big Board is half for the satire. Still surprisingly for so creative an inventor, Betza's mindset did not break out of 64-square mold, as this one too is just 64 times 4.

George Duke wrote on 2008-09-10 UTC
Betza's big boards only go to 512.

David Paulowich wrote on 2007-05-26 UTCGood ★★★★

To (partially) answer Trae Moore's question, John Williams suggested a 'limited infinite chess' rule HERE in 1997.

M Winther wrote on 2007-04-22 UTC
Better, perhaps, would be to let the piece, except the knight, stop at the edge, before moving in or out of the territory. Then one needn't bother about move length. /Mats

Trae Moore wrote on 2007-04-21 UTCGood ★★★★

I'm suprised that no one else seems to have thought of a variant using an oversized board (say, 16x16, for example), with the normal 16 pieces per side, but limiting the mobility to that of a normal 8x8 board. The initial setup would be like regular chess, in the centermost 64 squares of the large board, leaving the sides and rear of each players pieces exposed, and the same distance apart as in normal chess. However, despite the extra space, each piece would be able to go no farther in any one move that 7 squares in any one direction (or, 8 squares if you count the one it starts on).

The idea is to give the feeling of meeting on an open field of battle. Some other special rules involving pawns may include allowing them to move laterally, or even backwards, etc..., and promotion would take place upon reaching the starting rank of the opposite king. Of course, this concept could easily be extrapolated to include any fairy pieces (which I don't particuarly care for, although some are interesting), and the actual board could be any size. I think maybe a 24x24 board may be a little better than 16x16, but sill with the 'normal' complement of pieces arranged traditionally in the 64 centermost squares.

Thus, with this set up, rooks could open by moving to their open side, or even backwards; or the King could take a step backwards, either straight or diagonally, etc.... The 7 square restriction would allow for a threatened opposite piece to simply move 'out-of-range', even if it is still in the path of an attacking piece. For example, a rook on c2 could check a king on c9, but the king could move out of check by simply moving to c10, and would be safe because the rook could go no farther than c9 in it's next move.

There may be other issues to work out, but I think the concept is not so far-fetched as some other variants on large boards. Enjoy! If anyone actually tries to play this game, send me some feedback please at [email protected]

jeremiah wrote on 2005-06-30 UTCGood ★★★★
Just thought I would mention that there are othere varients that become available when playing on such a large board. My favorite being the addition of two players to the already duel chess game. Four player, 'chinese checkers style' make for an interesting and far deeper and more sintilating game of Great-Chess, or chess on a really big board as you call it here.

Jared McComb wrote on 2005-03-27 UTC
I didn't say your interpretation was wrong. I was trying to imply that the n in funny notation does not really make sense when we apply it to hippogonal pieces (such as the knight, camel, zebra, etc.) since it does not intrinsically imply the unblocked path a piece must take. By 'move' in my previous comment, I meant 'the device by which a single piece may end the turn on a square different from the one it started on.'

JCRuhf wrote on 2005-03-27 UTC
Jared, what does the word 'move' mean in the context of your comment? Why do say my interpretation of the modifier 'n' in the example 'n[LJ]=Falcon' is wrong if define how it makes the non-leaping move in your comment?

Jared McComb wrote on 2005-03-26 UTC
The falcon is similar to a non-leaping Camel + Zebra, except that each move has one of three paths it must follow. In order to say that something is a non-leaping, you must define its movement pattern. Just saying 'non-leaping knight' does not imply that you are using a Mao, or a Moa, or a piece that moves two orthogonally and one orthogonally outward, or even a piece that moves three orthogonally and one diagonally back! All of them have the same end result, but none of them get there the same way.

JCRuhf wrote on 2005-03-26 UTC
Ralph, I find your idea for the use of brackets in funny notation interesting, but I have an idea of my own idea for that, why not use them to distribute modifiers? For example, n[LJ] would be a piece that moves as Camel or Zebra, but does not leap. George William Duke has called this piece the Falcon.

George Duke wrote on 2005-01-23 UTCGood ★★★★
Continuing alphabetically thru the 'Large CVs', informally and retrospectively, 'Chess on a Really Big Board' is more like Ralph Betza's changed style by 2001-2004. Gradually Betza becomes equally interested in being entertaining as CV analysis. Making his game rules, or piece-value methods, clear was more of a priority in 1970's and 1980's. Never fatuous, Betza's sarcasm always has a point and this makes another 'fun' Betza 'read'. However, sorting out the CVs proposed from the irony becomes problematic. Is Betza serious or not about a 256-square board? Here he is both serious, and he is not, about 576 squares in a Chess embodiment. Somewhat prolix bombast and in-your-face leave-taking come to mark Betza's last 20-30 CVP pieces(and Comments).

Charles Gilman wrote on 2003-04-18 UTC
Your 'Circular King' is not exactly analogous to the 'Circular Knight' that the Rose is, because of the necessity to choose (root 2 being irrational) between an equilateral and an equiangular octagon. The Rose move is composed of up to eight moves of the Knight, an uncombined piece, and is therefore equilateral and not equiangular. Your 'Circular King' alternates between Wazir and Fers moves, and is therefore equiangular and not equilateral. The equilateral pattern of Wazir moves would be e.g. e1-e2-e3-d3-c3-c2-c1-d1 and that of Fers moves e.g. e1-f2-g3-f4-e5-d4-c3-d2. The repeated moves in the same direction are because, for example, the 'two most forward' Wazir moves are the same move. An equiangular version of the Rose would alternate Knight and Camel moves - a 'Circular Gnu' in your terminology.

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