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Gess. A Chess variant played on a Go board where pieces are collections of go stones. (18x18, Cells: 324) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
hemme wrote on 2018-11-11 UTC

You can also play Gess against other players or the AI on PlayGess website.

Gess gameplay

Alexandr Oleshko wrote on 2017-10-22 UTC

Gess for zilions games!


FineArt wrote on 2011-11-30 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I want to play with someone! :) 

George Duke wrote on 2017-03-13 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Player must keep a Ring of 3x3 made from the stones, and to win is to destroy opponent last Ring.  Stones move in 3x3s. This appeared first in Spektrum der Wissenschaft.

George Duke wrote on 2010-07-27 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
''Meta-chess,'' which Yu Ren Dong today describes Gess as fullfilling, I used recently for Betza's Buypoint, What is the difference between a Cluster and a Meta-chess? In the degree of actualization. CVs could have stayed meta-chesses mostly back in the 1990s onwards. They instead diverged into the ones by ones by ones comprising Clusters, one or another totalling 20 or 25, we have today.  Classifications categorizing them all, the CVs, will bring them down to earth, the way classification of finite simple groups is accomplished. Gess as unique is Meta-chess and will probably stay that way and not get clustered by copycats and near-works.  Instead the original Gess may get a variant or two, or slight rules modification, and still be considered Archimedeans Mathematics Society's Gess; that makes it easier on everyone. Since my other comment five years ago I played Gess for the rating. Is it really Chess having only one piece-type that has to emerge fluctuating from play? Mind games like Gess, in their own spaces un-chess-like but strategic, the category ''Track Two Chess'' accomodates however far removed the standard 64-square f.i.d.e.

Yu Ren Dong wrote on 2010-07-24 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
One of the best meta chess variants.

thomas wrote on 2009-07-16 UTC
Game Courier Preset with automation and rule-enforcement:


Thomas wrote on 2008-12-19 UTC
1. The description doesn't make it clear that the center of a piece can be
on one of the side rows (a, t, 1, 20). This means that Black may start the
game with the move a3-b3. See

2. I don't know if it is allowed to move the center of a piece onto a
side row. Is black allowed to start a game with r3-t3, capturing four of
his stones? Or can a piece move only so far as to move the direction stone
onto a side row?

Larry Smith wrote on 2008-04-19 UTC
The new improved implementation is now available at the Zillions site.

In addition to the 'classic' form of movement for the 3x3 patterns, I've added a few 'engrams' to help Zillions' AI to play a more effective game.

The first was the condition of a win if there are no opponent pieces on the field. This encourages the computer player to make more captures of opponent Stones than friendly ones. Thus reducing the 'suicidal' tendency of earlier versions.

The second was a loss condition for repetition of position. I am unaware of this particular condition being mentioned in the rules, but it reduces the repetitive behaviour in the lower setting of Strength.

I highly recommend that players set the Strength to at least 8, or allow three minutes for a move. This should offer a very nice game. Patient players may opt for higher settings.

Larry Smith wrote on 2008-04-13 UTC
I recently did a re-write of the Zillions implementation, taking advantage of some of the features which have been developed since the first coding of this game. It is currently posted at the Zillions site. But this is not the best.

This first one got me to thinking, so I went back to the drawing board and did a radical re-write. I instituted the 'classic' form of movement of the 3x3 pattern; selecting the center then moving the pattern.

This has greatly improved the performance of the implementation. Whereas, before, the engine would declare 'too many moves generated' after about two hundred thousand examined moves, I've run this new re-write over twenty-one million and haven't received this notice.

I sent off this current update to Zillions and it should be available by the end of the week.

And all this tinkering got me to thinking about a GESS variant. What if the player was not allowed to move a 3x3 pattern onto friendly Stones? Only enemy Stones would be eligible for capture, all other moves would be to vacant cells.

Is there an advantage to being able to capture friendly Stones? Is there a disadvantage to only capturing enemy Stones?

Larry Wheeler wrote on 2007-02-15 UTC
The rules as stated here don't make it clear that you can't use part of
your last ring to capture your opponent's last ring, or moreover break
your last ring at all. The Archimedeans'
( are much more

[begin quote]
The object of the game is to capture (or disable) your opponent’s ring or
rings; if at the end of a move either player has no ring then he loses:
the player who has just moved being considered first, so you cannot use
part of your ring to take your opponent’s ring or rings. It is possible to
have more than one ring at a time—indeed this may be considered
desirable—and you may destroy one or more of your own rings provided that
you still have at least one at the end of your move.
[end quote]

This distinction is important in a game I have going on now!

Gary Gifford wrote on 2006-10-24 UTC
Hi Jeremy: I think the board is good as is. As an opption to changing stone color, if the white pieces had a black outline I think the visual clarity would be greatly enhanced. As you pointed out, certain monitors might provide better images. I noticed that the java applet version uses white and black stones and somewhat of a spinach-green board. The white stones do show up well on that board. But I actually like your board better.

Jeremy Good wrote on 2006-10-24 UTC
I'll work on that, Gary. For the time being, why don't I change the color of the board to get an immediate contrast? On my computer the contrast is already strong, but I know it isn't the case with every computer.

Gary Gifford wrote on 2006-10-24 UTC
In regard to the pre-set for Gess, I think the White Stones are a bit hard to see. I think, keeping the board as is, that if the white stones were replaced by blue, red or green stones, then the pieces would stand out much better. Greater contrast.

Abdul-Rahman Sibahi wrote on 2006-10-23 UTCGood ★★★★
Personally, I think the rules are confusing, and difficult to explain. It looks like a good game, though.

Anonymous wrote on 2006-03-24 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Peter Wolf wrote on 2006-03-24 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
In his variability of figures, gess is really more exiting than chess. The rules are so simply, that someone could learn them easily. It is sad that it isn't more popular.

It would be nice to have more than one weak old turbo pacal programm to play against and no place on the internet to play tournaments against humans.

On a real board someone should invent a 'footprint mask' with wich someone could move all nine pieces with one move of his hand. Imaging two players in a tournament and one have only a few second on his clock. In chess he moves his piece very quickly, but in gess he has up to nine pieces to move.

Larry Smith wrote on 2005-03-09 UTC
I wrote a Zillions implementation for this game a few years ago. It's located at the Zillions-of-Games website.

George Duke wrote on 2005-03-08 UTC
'GHI,LargeCVm': Gess would have to be played, which this cross-thread avoids. Is Gess generalized chess? Ten-year-old article and only 4 Comments. One-piece type is not unprecedented: witness Battle-Chieftain Chess. Sub-cross-thread of 'pieces occupying more than one square' applies to Gess: Gigachess, Giant-King, and Cobra have 2- or 4-square occupancy variously. Gess' 'mega-piece' occupies 9 squares but works differently. There is no piece unless only one side's stones are in a 3x3(See rules). Number of 'pieces'('mega-' and stone alike) will keep changing as configurations of stones change and stones remove. (Perimeter stones within a 3x3 determine directions allowable, as it explain well.) Not appealing that the array is not compelling: it seems any number of alternative starting set-ups and stones could work, such as varying the six 'outlier' stones. Also, no particular inevitability in '1-,2-, or 3-' step, when say omitting '3-step' would not hurt anything. Notice each side starts with one ring and better keep at least one ring, or lose. So, making more rings is part of strategy, but it never says this: a player is supposed to get into the intellection and figure some things out. Though an individual move can be visualized, that is just one move. It is uncertain whether Gess would play really tactically or just afford some claim for such in hindsight for whoever removes the other's ring(s). At least there is no flaw of a draw because somebody is bound to lose rings. Would this 'Go-Chess' hybrid-form Gess be partly 'guess'-work? Or commonly take an hour to find the best move?

Paul Bolchover wrote on 2003-01-09 UTC
To avoid confusion, I'll point out that the name 'gess' is short for 'generalised chess'. Despite this, it's pronounced with a hard 'g'. Of course, the fact that it might be taken to stand for go/chess isn't a coincidence...

Anonymous wrote on 2002-11-11 UTC
I just want to annotate the german language name for Gess:
It is called Gach and appeared in the german sister journal
of Sci. Am., Spektrum der Wissenschaft (sorry for the 
incomplete reference).


pizzaglasssam wrote on 2002-11-07 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Cool, I was afraid I'd never find the rules for Gess again when I couldn't find it on SciAm's site. This is wonderful, and having links to the Gess applets is better than I had ever hoped! --Brian

LCC wrote on 2002-10-25 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
This is excellent! 100% playable, resembling both the original games, but with its own tactical flavor. Very good.

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