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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2007-03-11
 By Gary K. Gifford. Heavy Gravity Chess. Chess with heavy gravity, Knights can't jump, Queens, Bishops, and Rooks are limited to 4 spaces per move, Kings move 1 diagonal. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-07-28 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

An interesting variant that reminds me of Chinese Chess a little bit, in that the pieces are all fairly weak compared to that of orthodox chess. It's also less complicated to understand than at least some of Gary's other variants.


Vitya Makov wrote on 2009-12-16 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Nice variant because of it's Old Monkey weaker than King.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2007-03-15 UTC
Sorry about the Coppergeneral error. Yes, I should have said orthogonal. There isn't a single backward diagonal anyway, there are two - and adding both of them to the forward moves is another definition of Silvergeneral.

David Paulowich wrote on 2007-03-15 UTC

Consider this position in FIDE CHESS

WHITE(to move): K(d2) and N(b2)

BLACK: K(f6) and P(a3)

WHITE is helpless here, even 1.Kc2 a2! still allows the Pawn to promote. At least the Ferz and the Old Monkey can 'fight back' when attacked by a Pawn.


Gary Gifford wrote on 2007-03-15 UTC
That's the idea Joe! Players choose their King from a set of 4 candidate Kings.... just kidding, I think.

Joe Joyce wrote on 2007-03-15 UTC
Lol! Now you'll have to use all the pieces: 4 variants!

Gary Gifford wrote on 2007-03-15 UTC
One terrible aspect of an Old Monkey, (and Ferz) of course... is that they have trouble capturing western pawns.

Gary Gifford wrote on 2007-03-15 UTC
The main idea of the 'Old Monkey' here, representing the King (weaker from heavy gravity), was to allow the originally planned Ferz, and then to allow the backward move, not so much as a third avenue of retreat, but as a means to change square color-- which was lacking in the original concept [as Charles Gilman had pointed out]. I am not sure as to what is better, (a) using the Old Monkey, or (b) using a Wazir with allowance for it to transform into a Ferz (irreversably), when a player feels that is adviseable.

Andy Maxson wrote on 2007-03-15 UTCAverage ★★★
the old monkey-king is also more able to retreat than move forwards.

David Paulowich wrote on 2007-03-15 UTC

Yes, the Silver General and its backwards version cannot triangulate. Recently I posted this comment on Andy Maxson's ancient chess:

Eric Greenwood proposed this change in the rules of TAMERLANE CHESS '... the Ferz gains the power to move 1 square straight back ...'

See also the humpback in Whale Shogi. This is precisely the reversal of the moves of the silver general from Shogi.


Gary Gifford wrote on 2007-03-14 UTC
Charles Gilman's most welcomed comments regarding the original Ferz-King not being a good choice, made their way to a three-way conversation between Joe Joyce, Jeremy Good, and myself. After the conversation we all agreed that an 'Old Monkey' would be a good replacement for the King. That piece is like a Silver Shogi General, but turned upside down. So an Old Monkey has now replaced the King, and I anticipate no additional changes to the game. Thank you, gentlemen. Gary

Gary Gifford wrote on 2007-03-14 UTC
Yes, Charles - excellent point. Thank you. Jermey, can you update the pre-set to have a Wazir replace the Ferz? I think this will be a very good improvement - but, I am also adding a new rule that will allow the Wazir to transform to a Ferz (only once, and not back again). As to why Ferz was chosen over Wazir in the first place - This game, like most of mine seemed to pop into my head... and it seemed quite playable to me... the Ferz was there, and I liked how it could from e1 to a5 in 4 moves (as opposed to 8 moves for the Wazir)- still, in Heavy Gravity it makes more sense for the King longer to get there. I also like how a Ferz on c5 can stop a pawn moving from a6 to a1, but a Wazir on c5 cannot do this. But, your 'color' comment has great merit to it. And so, I have this idea: Start with the Wazir King, but, a player may, at any time during the game, while not in check, transform his King from a Wazir to a Ferz on his move... this would count as a move. This can only be done once and is not retro-active. It cannot be done while in check. I'll give you credit on the rules page for being the logical motivating force for the new set-up with the Wazir. Many thanks. Very logical. Better game mechanics.

Abdul-Rahman Sibahi wrote on 2007-03-14 UTC
Charles Gilman, As I know it, the Copper General moves to all three forward directions and the backward ORTHOGONAL, not diagonal.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2007-03-14 UTC
Why replace the King with a piece moving as a Ferz? This leaves it colourbound, bringing an asymmetry between one enemy Bishop that can never threaten it and one whose binding it can never escape. I would have expected a better choice to be a piece moving as a Wazir, or one moving as a Silvergeneral (Ferz with forward orthogonal added), or one moving as a Coppergeneral (all forward directions plus backward diagonal). All three would be non-colourbound, but like the Ferz unable to triangulate.

Gary Gifford wrote on 2007-03-13 UTC
Thanks for the comment, Joe. The comment about the last games being on stretched boards and this one having 'shrunk' pieces was interesting. In regard to the game itself, as pointed out in my rule notes: On 8 March 2007 Jeremy Good informed me that Heavy Gravity Chess is similar to Ralph Betza's 'Half Chess' [invented March of 2001]. And that game is similar to Mr. Betza's 'Halfling Chess.' I was aware of neither until after I made HGC. Ralph Betza kept the Knight move unchanged for his 'Hafling Chess;' but in 'Half Chess' replaced it with a 'Crab of DemiChess.' Aside from different Knights; Pawns and Kings are also different. Ralph's King and Pawns, as he stated, 'have their fighting power doubled, as compared to FIDE Chess.' In Heavy Gravity Chess, to be consistent with the concept of heavy gravity affecting all pieces, the King and Pawns have become weaker than their FIDE counter parts. Before closing: A special thanks to Jeremy Good for creating the new 'heavy' 4-move pieces used in this game. It is much appreciated. I like them very much. - Best regards, Gary

Joe Joyce wrote on 2007-03-13 UTC
Can't rate this yet because I haven't played it, but it looks really nice. It's obviously well-balanced and 'easy' to play. And it's sort of the opposite of a couple of his last games. In those, the board was stretched, and here, the pieces were 'shrunk'. A universal effect was applied to each part of the game in both cases. This is a very rare occurrence in chess design, done to very good effect. I look forward to playing this. That it's unknowingly similar to a Betza game is certainly a point in its favor.

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