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Apothecary Chess-Classic. Large board variant obtained through tinkering with known games.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Bob Greenwade wrote on Mon, Aug 28 05:24 PM UTC in reply to Aurelian Florea from 04:56 PM:

I'd love it, if you do!

Well, I did. I wasn't too sure about including the Ostrich anyway.

💡📝Aurelian Florea wrote on Mon, Aug 28 04:56 PM UTC in reply to Bob Greenwade from 04:01 PM:

I'd love it, if you do!

Bob Greenwade wrote on Mon, Aug 28 04:01 PM UTC:

I really should include the Mamluk in Desert Dust....

💡📝Aurelian Florea wrote on Wed, Jan 13, 2021 07:18 AM UTC in reply to Daniel Zacharias from Tue Jan 12 04:51 PM:

You have made my day Daniel especially with that final sentence :)! Thanks! I'll try hard!

Daniel Zacharias wrote on Tue, Jan 12, 2021 04:51 PM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★

This is a very good game. Everything fits together well. The random setup provides variety without being completely chaotic. The brouhaha squares are a great way to add more pieces without making the board so big it feels empty. The promotion rule encourages more variety in promotion, which is something I look for particularly; and I like the auxiliary pieces used here. The Mameluk especially is fun.

I think I might slightly prefer the Modern Apothecary game, for it's Dragon and Griffin, which to me are more interesting than the Chancellor and Archbishop, but I like the Siege Elephant and Mameluk as auxiliaries, so it's hard to choose one game over the other. I don't know if I'd agree with the statement that the Joker can't defend well. It seems to me that it's ability to mimic an attacker's move makes it particularly good at defending and more difficult to use aggressively. I'm not great at chess (in any form), though, so I could be wrong about that.

I'm interested to see what the next games in this series will be like!

H. G. Muller wrote on Sat, Dec 26, 2020 07:37 AM UTC in reply to Aurelian Florea from 05:07 AM:

No, I just replaced the standard JavaScript random generator by obne of my own making. And I am sure that new one works.

For me, the Diagram in this article does randomize. But only when you press 'Restart' in the AI control bar; the initial display is always of the 'nominal' setup. The diagramsfirst Diagram in the comments to it does not randomize, though. But it also do not contain a shuffle=... parameter.

It could also be a problem that you have multiple diagrams on one page. It seems the shuffle triggered by 'Restart' (or in fact any of the navigation buttons) acts on the 'active' Diagram, i.e. the one you last used. And pressing the buttons or opening the AI control bar doesn't count as 'use'. (This is arguably a bug.) So be sure to touch a piece in the diagram before you press 'Restart'.

💡📝Aurelian Florea wrote on Sat, Dec 26, 2020 05:07 AM UTC in reply to Aurelian Florea from Wed Dec 2 05:27 PM:

@H.G. Hello. You have said that you have worked with the randomizing algorithm. It seems that my diagrams don't randomize anymore. Could there be a connection?

💡📝Aurelian Florea wrote on Wed, Dec 2, 2020 05:27 PM UTC:
files=10 ranks=10 promoZone=3 promoChoice=!PZNBLER2J2A2D1Q1 graphicsDir=../graphics.dir/alfaerie/ whitePrefix=w blackPrefix=b graphicsType=gif squareSize=54 symmetry=none pawn::fmW*fceF::a3,b3,c3,d3,e3,f3,g3,h3,i3,j3,,a8,b8,c8,d8,e8,f8,g8,h8,i8,j8 knight:N:NmZ:knight:c2,h2,,c9,h9 bishop::::d2,g2,,d9,g9 rook::::a2,j2,,a9,j9 queen::::e2,,e9 king::KisO3::f2,,f9 archbishop:A:BN:cardinal:e1,,e10 dragon:D:FyafsF:dragon:f1,,f10 mamluk:L:WL:camel:b1,i1,,b10,i10 siege elephant:E:FAH:elephant:d1,g1,,d10,g10 Cavalier:Z:NF:wideknight:b2,,i9 joker:J:fI:fool:i2,,b9 royal=6

Kevin Pacey wrote on Fri, Oct 9, 2020 02:07 AM UTC:

I started using the AI in the Classic version's article as of last night, when I had the experience I wrote of in my last post.

It's quite possible I did what H.G. supposed I might have.

A frustrating part of using my Windows 10 laptop is that mouse-slips seem to happen fairly often for me - particularly increasing or decreasing the font size without intending to, when on websites, happens a lot (I use [cntr]+ or - to get it back to 100% (normal) font size). I also accidently moved a piece I didn't intend to, one time, when moving too quickly.

H. G. Muller wrote on Thu, Oct 8, 2020 08:37 AM UTC in reply to Kevin Pacey from 03:07 AM:

Well, it is hard to say without knowing exactly how you clicked. I can elucidate some general aspects of the Diagram, though:

  • The Diagram does not enforce turn order. Hence you can always make as many moves in a row as you want. If the AI is switched on, however, it will always reply to every move with a move of the other player. This causes some alternation of turns, but would not preclude you from moving for the side that the AI just moved for.
  • A click on a piece that is not highlighted as a valid target for a piece that was clicked before, will select that former piece, instead of any previously selected one. So it is not possible to enter illegal captures. Clicking an empty square will always move the selected piece there, whether it is legal or not.
  • When a Pawn enters the promotion zone, and the piece table below the board is open, a message will appear (on red background) above the board requesting you to select a piece from the table to promote to. The table should then have highlighted (in light blue) all the piece types that are available.
  • If the table is closed, however, a pawn entering the zone will automatically promote to a default piece, (the piece mentioned first in the promoChoice parameter of the Diagram) whether this is available or not. This is perhaps something I should improve on, e.g. by automatically opening the table and then following the same procedure as above.

If I must hypothesize on what happened, I would think you had the table open, but missed the request to select a piece (perhaps because it was out of view). When nothing happened after you clicked f8 you got confused about whether the click had succeeded, and clicked it again. (Or perhaps your mouse button 'bounced', and accidentally produced a double click.) But this click, instead of a click in the table for selecting a promotion piece, aborted the promotion move, and instead selected the black Pawn. This added to the confusion, and you tried to redo the entry completely, by clicking your own Pawn again. But this Pawn was a valid target for the (now selected) black Pawn (which, unlike the white Pawn, was not waiting for a promotion choice to be made). So what you intended as a first click for your move, was in fact interpreted as a second click for a black move, which was then executed (Pf8xe7).

💡📝Aurelian Florea wrote on Thu, Oct 8, 2020 07:46 AM UTC in reply to Kevin Pacey from 03:07 AM:

Have you used the diagram in the article or the one in the comments section?

Kevin Pacey wrote on Thu, Oct 8, 2020 03:07 AM UTC:

@H.G. (or Aurelian):

I tried playing the AI for this variant as White a couple of times, and in one game some things happened that apparently shouldn't have. Unfortunately I don't have the exact position or a record of the game, but here are the relevant details that may be all that's needed:

White: Pawn e7,f6; Rook f1; King i1

Black: Pawn d6,e8,f8; Bishop g9; King f9.

I tried touching my pawn on e7 and the Black pawn on f8 was lit in red, while the empty square f7 lit in green.

I then tried 1.Pe7xpf8 and Black's pawn on f8 took my pawn on e7 instead - at no point did I specify what to promote my e7-pawn to, yet (there's already been at least the Archbishops traded and a bishop of mine traded for a knight). After that, I simply elected to recapture Black's (improperly arrived) e7 pawn with my f6 pawn, to see what would happen. At that point I was allowed to make a second move in a row, which I used to capture Black's king with my Rook on f1 on a now open file, and I was told that the program had lost.

Any ideas what might have happened for such a case?

💡📝Aurelian Florea wrote on Fri, Oct 2, 2020 11:49 AM UTC:
files=10 ranks=12 symmetry=none holdingsType=1 promoZone=4 promoChoice=!P*N*B*L*E*R3*J3*A2*Q2*C2 graphicsDir=../graphics.dir/alfaerie/ whitePrefix=w blackPrefix=b graphicsType=gif squareSize=54 hole::::a1-j1,,a12-j12 pawn:p:ifmnDfmWfceF:pawn:a4,b4,c4,d4,e4,f4,g4,h4,i4,j4,,a9,b9,c9,d9,e9,f9,g9,h9,i9,j9 rook::::a2,j2,,a11,j11:1 queen::::e3,,e10:1 bishop:B:B:bishop:d3,g3,,d10,g10 knight:N:NmZ:knight:c3,h3,,c10,h10:1 mamluk:L:WL:camel:d1,g1,,c12,f12:1 siege elephant:E:FAH:elephant:e1,h1,,d12,g12 joker:J:fI:fool:f1,,e12 Chancellor:C:RN:chancellor:i3,,i10 archbishop:A:BN:cardinal:b3,,b10 king:K:KimbsLimbsN:king:f3,,f10 symmetry=mirror shuffle=A:BC,:BN,ACQ

I have tried this week to add a rider piece. Unfortunately this proved to make the game worse as more opening moves were forced. So I reverted to an earlier version while keeping the idea that black has more pieces on the non-king side. This will be the final apothecary chess-classic game. I'm satisfied with the game.

💡📝Aurelian Florea wrote on Mon, Sep 28, 2020 03:35 PM UTC:

I have switched the places of osprey and mamluk in the opening position in order to give more opening opportunities.

💡📝Aurelian Florea wrote on Sun, Sep 27, 2020 12:10 PM UTC:

I have played this game against the interactive diagram's AI. It takes less time that an game courier match and I wanted to see how the games feel after the final changes I have made. The game seems to be very tactical now with many strong pieces quickly engaging . I'm really unsure about how good the game is. It's learning curve is quite steep but maybe once properly learned it is fun. I was hoping that more experienced player will take a look and try to play against the interactive diagram until the endgame (me I always blunder something before the endgame).

💡📝Aurelian Florea wrote on Sun, Sep 27, 2020 09:09 AM UTC:

Thanks so much HG. very cool tool you have made!

H. G. Muller wrote on Sun, Sep 27, 2020 08:20 AM UTC:

This night the following occurred to me: I normally write a Diagram definition by first specifying all parameters, and then all pieces. Although some parameters (such as the board size) must be set before placing any pieces, in general there is no need for this ordering, and parameter definitions and piece definitions can be mixed in any order. Furthermore, it is not an offense to specify the same parameter multiple times with different value; each definition simply replaces any previous value, so that the value from the last definition prevails.

You could therefore try the following: start with a line symmetry=none amongst the parameter settings. Then specify all pieces with their locations. Because at the time of their processing the symmetry is set to none, it will not automatically place any mirror images, and you specify the squares of both white and black pieces in any way you want. After defining all pieces, you add a line symmetry=mirror . This will alter the symmetry spec, but this new spec will not be used during setup, which is already done. It will be used during shuffling, though, which occurs after the entire Diagram definition is read.

H. G. Muller wrote on Sat, Sep 26, 2020 10:03 PM UTC:

I guess the current diagram script cannot do this, because the specified symmetry is applied both to the shuffling and to the setup. You seem to want a point-symmetrical setup, (symmetry=rotate) but then a line-symmetric shuffle (symmetry=mirror).

💡📝Aurelian Florea wrote on Sat, Sep 26, 2020 03:29 AM UTC in reply to H. G. Muller from Wed Sep 23 09:59 PM:

@HG : And I could not find a solution on my own :(!

💡📝Aurelian Florea wrote on Thu, Sep 24, 2020 05:07 AM UTC:

@HG, ... But it has introduced another problem. Now the shuffling of pieces is not simtrical anymore :(!

💡📝Aurelian Florea wrote on Thu, Sep 24, 2020 04:16 AM UTC:

@HG, Indeed that has solved it. Thanks!

H. G. Muller wrote on Wed, Sep 23, 2020 09:59 PM UTC in reply to Aurelian Florea from 03:54 PM:

I suppose you need a symmetry=none line in the diagram definition. It is probably reflecting the other Joker now.

💡📝Aurelian Florea wrote on Wed, Sep 23, 2020 03:54 PM UTC:

@HG, Hello, The interactive diagram on this page puts in the initial position an extra black joker outside of those defined. Why is this happening?

💡📝Aurelian Florea wrote on Wed, Jul 22, 2020 03:41 PM UTC:

It works well. I hope there are no more bugs. Thanks Fergus!

🕸Fergus Duniho wrote on Wed, Jul 22, 2020 03:14 PM UTC in reply to Aurelian Florea from 02:55 PM:

I think this would work better. I moved an or and reformatted it to show the logic better.

def White_Barren_Pawn 
checkaleap #0 #1 0 1 
and cond empty #0 not capture empty #1
or and 
  or checkaleap #0 #1 -1 1 checkaleap #0 #1 1 1 
  cond empty #0 capture islower space #1;

def Black_Barren_Pawn
checkaleap #0 #1 0 -1 
and cond empty #0 not capture empty #1
or and 
  or checkaleap #0 #1 -1 -1 checkaleap #0 #1 1 -1 
  cond empty #0 capture isupper space #1;

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