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Grasshopper Chess. Each player has eight additional grasshoppers.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-16 UTC

Any idea what these Grasshoppers are worth?

Not really. The diagram estimates them at 1.5 Pawn. The problem with hoppers is that their value depends on piece density a lot. Which is still something different as the 'classical' game phase, which is based on total piece value. Usually Pawns are not counted in game phase, but their presence will be very helpful to the Grasshoppers. Likewise, weak as they are, the Grasshoppers probably contribute very little to game phase. But their presence will be very helpful to each other. In other word, there will be a large cooperative effect for the Grasshoppers. The diagram only estimates piece values at one piece density.

Greg Strong wrote on 2021-05-15 UTC

Any idea what these Grasshoppers are worth?

H. G. Muller wrote on 2021-05-14 UTC
satellite=grass2 graphicsDir=/graphics.dir/alfaeriePNG35/ promoZone=1 squareSize=35 graphicsType=png lightShade=#CCCC11 darkShade=#339933 rimColor=#111199 coordColor=#CCCC11 borders=0 firstRank=1 useMarkers=1 promoChoice=QNGRB pawn::fmWfcF::a3-h3 grasshopper::gQ::a2-h2 knight:N:::b1,g1 bishop::::c1,f1 rook::::a1,h1 queen::::d1 king::::e1

Grasshopper Chess

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2020-02-19 UTC

Server load rarely gets very high, and the rare peak of high server load does not correlate with the site going down. So, even though tables could also work, I'm not worried that using single images will increase the load too much. Also, it has been simple enough to replace various JavaScript diagrams with generated images, because I could reuse the FEN string from the JavaScript with only occassional modifications.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2020-02-19 UTC

Ah OK. I overlooked that. So drawdiagram + arguments is as good as a fixed image, and Cloudfare will carry most of the burden for supplying it. There still could be some concern as to whether Cloudfare would cache unique images of an entire board long enough for the caching to be actually helpful, while individual pieces of the various sets would be requested so often that they would never leave the Cloudfare cache.

Broken ranks is of course awful, and it is good you fix that. But it should be possible to produce good-looking board images from individual piece images through HTML tables (this is what the Interactive Diagram does), so I wondered if it would not have been better (for the server load) to fix it that way.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2020-02-19 UTC

I exempted it from the rule that Cloudflare will not cache PHP scripts. Cloudflare caches the output of this script for different query strings.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2020-02-19 UTC

Now I am confused. I thought you exempted PHP scripts from caching by Cloudfare, through one of the rules. I don't see how it could be otherwise. PHP scripts are running on the server, not in the client. Surely Cloudfare is not running PHP for us? That would be a much heavier task than just caching the output these generate. (And how would it get the scripts? Normally scripts should not be loadable from other machines, just their output.)

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2020-02-19 UTC

As I mentioned to you not too long ago, the script used to draw this picture is cached by Cloudflare. Also, the previous diagram had ranks broken into two rows and looked really bad.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2020-02-19 UTC

You do realize that this drives up the bandwidth it requires to download the page, and increases the server load? Browsers would display a table of individual piece images without any further server access, once the complete Alfaerie set is in their browser cache. And the most commonly used pieces certainly would be, from visiting other pages on this site. Perhaps a rare piece (such as the Grasshopper) would have to requested once (from Cloudfare!), and then the user would have that cached too.

A monolythic image of the entire position would be unique for every article though, and have to be downladed. Using a PHP script to generate the image 'on the fly' means it cannot even be cached by Cloudfare.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2020-02-18 UTC

I replaced the diagram with a single image.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-03-01 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

This variant is clearly one of the more original chess variants, and which has been around for quite a while.

George Duke wrote on 2008-10-15 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I notice this is first comment on Grasshopper Chess in all its 13 years posted. Here is double-Pawn-type Grasshopper Chess from 1950's by Joseph Boyer of France. As the first sentences note, Grasshopper has appeared more in Problems than CVs, and GC here is one exception. That was characteristic style of T.R. Dawson, who invented Grasshopper, and his followers in first half of 20th Century. Then Boyer and V.R. Parton mark the advent of early ''prolificism'' after Dawson's death, when designing lots of new Rules-sets was still constructive activity, before the growing pointlessness of its practice today. Under Boyer, Parton, and then Ralph Betza, being prolific was still reliably connected to proficiency and high quality. These would be the top four all-time CVers, Dawson, Parton, Boyer, Betza; and only Dawson had full wits about him with thoroughgoing respect for his audience to stay mostly within domain of challenging Problems always popular in Chess journals. (Previously including Sam Loyd with the four neglects that Loyd's specialty was highly-unusual OrthoChess problems and puzzles rarely employing fairy-types at all.)

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