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Diplomat Chess. Round-board variant with a Diplomat to suborn opponents. (Cells: 43) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Anthony Viens wrote on 2018-11-11 UTCGood ★★★★

So, a couple months ago, I wondered about a circular board that uses the center.

I figured someone must have invented it, and looked through CV.
Apparently my google skills are weak, because I didn't find this or any other.   :-(
So I began working on it.
It took some thinking, but I more or less hammered out the rules on paper.

Today I stumble across this!  It has identical movement rules to what I have come up with!  Brilliant!
Also, this looks to be a nice little variant.

If only I had found Diplomat Chess before I spent that time reinventing the round rules......

Viktor Söderqvist wrote on 2013-06-23 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Nine years(!) later I came back to this page. I still play this exellent game occationally, mostly because it's quick and because I happen to have the nice wooken board lying around that I made (on the backside of a Tree-player chess board which I also made at the time). I must say this is one of my all time favorite games and *the* favorite chess variant.

I decided to do something to promote this game, so I created a Wikipedia article for this game today, where you can also see a photo of my homemade plywood board.

Many thanks for this game Carlos!

[Edit] I also found an error in the initial position of the pieces: The outer circle is line 1 (a1-n1), not line 3 (a3-n3).

Gary Gifford wrote on 2007-12-08 UTC
Thanks for the link... you are correct - that is a very nice looking board and piece set. Great to see it!

M Winther wrote on 2007-12-08 UTC
Have you seen that it's possible to purchase a round board with Lewis pieces on the following link. It's remarkably beautiful.

Jonathan wrote on 2007-12-08 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I continue to find that my brilliant ideas have already been brilliantly used. I feel that most circular chess games don't take advantage of a truly circular board, but you succeed at this by incorporating the inner cell. I actually found this by researching what others have done, while designing a similar game myself--one that incorporates the inner cell in a similar manner. Kudos to you for doing it first. I suppose I'll continue with my plans without too much deterance. I just thought I had the idea first. So for sharing my brilliance ;) well done!

Robert Potter wrote on 2005-11-28 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
It's a great game! Most circular boards are really just rectangular with a wraparound thing, but yours is truly circular!

Carlos Martín-F. wrote on 2005-06-07 UTC
Oh! It's now a long time since I last visited these pages. But it's
always gratifying to learn that some people still play my game and have
fun with it. I appreciate very much your comments.

-Mr Söderqvist's remark about the K.O. Rule is highly interesting!! It
could inspire another variant for this game. I only detect one wrong
if, as you say, it is white's turn, and this player moves a pawn or
another piece into the center, then the following turn it is the black
suborns for the first time. Later, it will be the white player who would
have to avoid suborning. Thus, in this scenario (as you pointed, quite
frequent) it would probably result in the center remaining empty,
'guarded' by both players, who dare not enter it (until the situation

In most chess-like games it is important to place one's pieces in the
center squares, but in this case it is even more. The center square
(called '4') is terribly powerful. But that has never been a problem in
any of the games I have played!! because it's also a risky position, and
it probably remains empty throughout the whole game. It's always so
threatened that neither player dares enter it. (Actually, one could say
that the real objective of the game is to create such favourable
conditions that allow you to be the first to safely enter the centre

Anyway, as I said above, the proposal is very interesting. I shall try
game with the K.O. Rule variation, I find it's an appropiate

-And as for the Horses being too powerful... well, in the games I have
played the Horses never got to be a decisive piece. And they only control
28 cells... if they are placed in the centre cell (to read what I think
about the centre being so important, have a look at the previous
paragraph, hehe).

-Now I want to propose another variation to your keen intellects. I think
you could have some fun with it. And it's quite simple:

'Each player starts the game with 5 coins in his/her hand. Any time a
Diplomat suborns an enemy piece, that player pays a coin (the coin is
removed from the game). If one player runs out of funds the corresponding
Diplomat(s) will no longer be able to suborn any piece. Players may
as many consecutive times as they wish, as long they have enough money to
do so.'

I can think of some subvariants:
-Change the number of coins per player
-Any time you suborn, you pay a coin to the other player (instead of
removing it from the game)
-Some pieces are more expensive (Pawn = 1 coin, Horse = Bishop = 2,
Diplomat = Rook = 3)
-You can earn coins somehow (for example capturing enemy pieces... or
losing one's pieces!!)

And that is all for the moment!! Thank you for trying my game, I really
hope you have fun with it.

Anonymous wrote on 2005-02-27 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
This game is truly great! Yes, I know I have not played this game yet, but I love it anyway! I find it very embarassing to point this out now, but I must, the Horses are too powerful as they can control up to 28 cells, which is more than 2/3 of a 43-cell board, but this problem can be solved easily, all you have to do is enlarge the board and the problem vanishes.

Viktor Söderqvist wrote on 2004-06-06 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Great game! I have played it a lot with my brother on a home made board. We usually play it with the following rule: A diplomat is not allowed to take back a piece immediately after it has been overtaken by the opponent's diplomat. (I call it the 'ko' rule, since it is similar to the ko rule in Go). I find this rule better than the '3 times repitition rule' since it favors the defender while the latter favors the attacker. <p>Consider the following scenario (a quite frequent one): <p>Both players keep their diplomats on a square next to the center, 'guarding' it. Let's say it is white's turn. If playing with the '3 times repitition' rule, white can walk through the center with a pawn or put another piece in the center with great advantage, since the 3rd time black can not overtake it. If playing with the 'ko' rule, the center is blocked and the focus of the game moves away from the center. <p>This is good because the importance of the center sometimes feels too dominating. If you don't agree, at least this rule makes an important difference in strategy.

Carlos Martín-Fuert wrote on 2003-06-30 UTC
<font size='2'><p> You see I forgot to give my name too :) <br><br> Just one last thing: I wrote that I had 'never seen anything like my diplomat piece (...) anywhere', well, now I must admit I have found something that (very faintly) resembles it: the 'Cleopatra' in Cleopatra Chess (I think I remember it could somehow make opponent pieces pass to her side, and the game called it 'seducing' enemy pieces, which sounds much more poetic than 'suborning'). Anyway I still believe my dear Diplomat is something original that works much differently. </p></font>

Anonymous wrote on 2003-06-30 UTC
<font size='2'> <p> First of all, I must apologize for 'abandoning' my own game (and, actually not entering any of the Chess Variant Pages) for months, due to some reasons I shall not explain here, that made me forget everything about this contest. I also must admit that I hadn't played my game for all this time, actually. <br><br> Fortunately, I'm back here again to have a look at the other entries and vote them. Then, I have some other things to explain, I'll try to keep an order: <br><br> 1.- I would like to tell Mr. Kuschinski that I by no means find his comments harsh, and that I shall always welcome sincere comments. I give my permission to you (and to anyone, actually) to review my game, even negatively, if it's your sincere opinion. Nevertheless, I think that not all entrants seem to be as ready as I am to read comments about their games, maybe you should be careful when you state your opinion about other people's games; some of them might feel a bit offended. <br><br> 2.- When I took the '3-Times Repetition Rule' for my game, I was thinking of it in order to avoid two Diplomats alternately suborn the same piece. The first to suborn has a little advantage, since the third time the opponent must make another movement to avoid draw. <br><br> 3.- You say 'it seems that the first player to safely place a piece in the center is certainly the winner', but if you had read my text before, you would have found: 'If you can place any piece in the centre so that your enemy cannot capture it (which is far more difficult than it sounds) you have almost won, since pieces in the centre have increased powers' or 'In this game, all pieces have increased powers when in the centre, although that is a risky position where they are exposed to more attacks'. I admit that it is quite easy to place a piece in the centre, but not so easy to keep it :) <br><br> If you mean that white can place a pawn in the centre before black does, then I absolutely agree with you. <br><br> 4.- Finally, as for the powerful pieces being able to move so soon, I remember intending it so. I even got to count the movement possibilities at the opening, and used to be proud that they were so much higher than in FIDE Chess. <br><br> Thank you for spending your time with my game :) </p> </font>

Charles Gilman wrote on 2003-04-27 UTCGood ★★★★
Small variants are supposed to be quick, and the centre square does overcome the problem of having only one of an otherwise colourbound piece. Mind you, the diplomat also does that in an entirekly different way. Perhaps that could inspire two new variants, one with the Diplomat but no centre square (in which case Pawns must move circularly) and one vice versa.

Nicholas Kuschinski wrote on 2003-04-08 UTC
Forgot to give my name again. I'm the person to swear at if you find the comments of the previous speaker too harsh. I found this out when I came back, realizing that I probably should have read through your sample game (even with funny notation that will make things hard to keep track of) just to make sure that the way you played the game didn't refute all of my comments by showing you were already well aware of, and had compensated for, all of them. From the looks of it, I can proclaim my honour to be safe, since I don't see any situations like the ones I described popping up, and there is at present no evidence to suggest that I'm not just tooting my horn unnecessarily.

Anonymous wrote on 2003-04-08 UTC
I can think of a couple of problems right off the bat, even though it seems that there are certainly reasons why I might be wrong about a couple of them and it probably requires some deeper analysis(there are certain move combinations which could occur that might throw this all in my face). It seems that a player that manages to get his diplomat next to his opponents rook can inevitably win or draw, because a rook is obviously the most powerful piece on the board (besides the diplomat itself) and the only way to protect a piece from the attack of a diplomat is to put another diplomat next to it. If the second player wants to avoid losing the game, the game would turn into a draw by three move repetition, as both diplomats suborn the rook. The second problem is that the central cell seems almost *too* important, as any bishop or rook that goes there can move to any cell on the board (but even pawns become too powerful to cope with) and it seems that the first player to safely place a piece in the center is certainly the winner (example: a bishop or rook in the center will automatically place the king in check, unless he has some sort of shield. On many occasions, it will not only be check, but checkmate). It seems rather distasteful that such an advantage can be gained so easily, and it also seems easier for white to place a piece in the center before black does, giving white a distinct advantage. The opening array seems a bit too free to me as well, as major pieces can move incredibly soon, again giving an advantage to white [It is possible to move the rook into a powerful position on the second move, after moving the diplomat, another extremely powerful piece onb the first move, also into a powerful position. For white, for example, diplomat to g2, can immediately be followed by a capture of the night, unless defensive action is taken (response by also taking the night continues to give white the one-move advantage, which will probably eventually turn into a greater advantage as soon as white can place black in check), and in such a case, the rook should be able to set up an attack on the central cell immediately]. Again, I have not fully analysed oppening possibilities, nor all of the options for the secon player in the first case, but it looks like the game is unbalanced, and any game which seems this suspicious before kickoff is, in general, a bad idea. Still, some of what is going one here is pretty cool, and it doesn't make my head hurt just to think about it (which is a good sign). It's going in the right direction, but it looks like it needs a bit more work.

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