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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2004-11-01
 By John  Leslie. Hostage Chess. Pieces taken are held hostage and can be exchanged against other pieces and then dropped. (8x8, Cells: 64) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Kevin Pacey wrote on 2017-10-03 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Cool variant. The extra basic rules are slightly complex, but still, cool variant.

It may be worth giving here the relative piece values for Crazyhouse that I once saw on someone's blog; these values just might actually be of use in assessing the [tactical] usefulness of pieces in games of Hostage Chess, in a general way, too: P=2; B=3; N=3.5; R=4; Q=6.


Boris wrote on 2016-09-02 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

This is one of very best variants, may be best variant.  But when I download and use Duniho ZRF for Zillions program, I discover that pawn cannot promote even if player has piece in prison.  Pawn moves to last rank and stay pawn and cannot move more.  If Duniho fix and upload new ZRF it should be great for players of this great variant.  Thank you.


Matteo Perlini wrote on 2012-11-19 UTC
Doa Vo, I have studied but unfortunately I cannot implement my function.

In technical terms what I need to do is this:

1. looping in prison-white-zone and in prison-black-zone
2. if in prison-white-zone there is a piece matching the type of a piece in prison-black-zone, then those pieces move to a certain zone
3. the loop ends when all prison-white-zone is scanned

I'm stuck so I really need help. :-)

Doa Vo wrote on 2012-11-06 UTC
I think I have to play Hostage Chess to know exactly what you talk about. I recommend you to study all the zillions commands of add (add, add-copy, add-partial, add-copy-partial). Also, study the zillions files for Checkers and Hostage Chess. If it's too complicated to implement then take that as a sign to make the game simpler. If this is what you strongly believe in, then it worth the time. You'll love it when it works out right.

Matteo Perlini wrote on 2012-11-06 UTC
Doa Vo, thanks for the reply. With "automatic exchange" I mean: "At the end of the turn, if a player has in his prison a type of piece already present in the opponent's prison (rook and rook; bishop and bishop; guard and guard; or queen and queen), the prisoners' exchange is mandatory: the white piece in the black prison is moved to the white reserve, the black piece in the white prison is moved to the black reserve." This process is mandatory at the end of the turn, so I would like that a dummy player could do that. That is, the players don't exchange the hostages, the AI do that for them. Sorry for my English. :-)

Doa Vo wrote on 2012-11-06 UTC
I don't really know what you mean in "the exchange is automatic." If you want a piece may only capture another piece only when both pieces are of the same type, then it is easy. Perhaps, this is NOT what you wanted.

Matteo Perlini wrote on 2012-11-06 UTC
My cv has a similar exchanging pieces protocol. But it is possible to exchange only pieces of the same type: rook with rook, bishop with bishop, and so on. And, this is important, the exchange is automatic (without interaction with the players) at the end of the turn. Can someone help me to implement this mechanism? How Hostage zillions file can be modified in this way?

Andreas Kaufmann wrote on 2011-02-19 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
There is a nice freeware to play 'Hostage Chess': http://www.hostagechess.com/download.html On the first start of the program I got an error message about non-existing directory, but after I created the required directory (Documente/HostageChess), it works without any problems. The AI strength of computer opponent is pretty good already by 5 sec/move, so if you like Hostage Chess it is really worth to install.

Shru wrote on 2005-01-09 UTCGood ★★★★

Nasmichael Farris wrote on 2004-11-28 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I am very pleased this variant has been exposed here at ChessVariants.org--I wish that other sites were aware of and had provisions to play this very playable and entertaining (and difficult) variant. The possibilities for two players of varying strengths to have a challenging game together are strong, and (having tried the game out with players above, below, and around my strength in reference to our standard games) in any event, it is an exciting proposition. Kudos to John Leslie for the opportunity to create a bridge between eastern and western chess styles. In the 2005 Game Courier tournament, I would be excited to see this game offered as an option to play!

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