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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2006-11-27
 By Joe  Joyce. HyperModern Shatranj. Missing description (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Sam Trenholme wrote on 2010-02-04 UTC
I would not object at all to the Pawn’s move being updated. I would change this:
Pawn: pawns move 1 square orthogonally forward, toward the opponent's back rank. They capture, by replacement, 1 square diagonally forward.
To read like this:
Pawn: pawns move 1 square orthogonally forward, toward the opponent's back rank. They capture, by replacement, 1 square diagonally forward. Also can move 2 squares orthogonally forward in its first move if there is no piece directly in front of the pawn
You know, it’s interesting to look at the history from Shantraj to “Mad Queen” Chess. There is so few historical documents about this we don’t even know if the transition was done in Spain or in Italy. I think the only intermediate game between Shantraj and “Mad Queen” chess we know the rules of is “Courier Chess”.

Joe Joyce wrote on 2010-02-04 UTC
Sam, Jose, thank you for your comments. I agree the rules for pawn movement could be a little more organized. Would anyone object if I fixed that part? The double step and en passant are listed as 2 of the 6 rules given in the write-up, but it would be clearer if that information was included in the pawn movement paragraph. The original preset does use an alfil-ferz icon for the elephant, and for the queen analog has a specific, made for that purpose icon, a 'double-guard', unshaded. However, that preset does not rules-check, something I cannot do. Apparently when the rules-checking preset was made for the tournament, it was based on the Modern Shatranj preset, not the HyperModern. I agree it is somewhat confusing, especially if one plays Modern Shatranj at the same time, with the same opponent, as Vitya and I are doing. But we can live with it for the tournament. Sam, the question of what the queen analog [and other pieces] 'should be' is what took me through my entire shatranj series and right into things like Chieftain Chess and chesimals, which are still shatranj variants, although of a somewhat different character. The series uses the pieces you've suggested, and several more, in various games, and encourages experimentation. I believe the reason this game was picked for the tournament was that it is the closest of my designs to standard FIDE chess, and was included as an example of 'weak chess'.

Jose Carrillo wrote on 2010-02-04 UTCGood ★★★★
I agree about the confusion regarding the pawns. Probably a copy and paste of rules from the Modern Shatranj page, as not even the pieces in the diagram match the ones in the game in the tournament. But in the first paragraph it does say that the game uses modern pawn rules (= 2 squares initial move + en passant). Regarding the Elephant, I wouldn't call it a 'Bishop' like piece that can jump. It's actually an Alfil (that jumps) that can also play like a Ferz.

Sam Trenholme wrote on 2010-02-04 UTC
Now that I’m playing this game in the tournament, some issues:
  • The documentation does not make it clear the pawn has an initial double move like in modern “Mad queen” chess.
  • It is confusing to have the bishop-like piece be able to leap two squares, but having the queen-like piece not able to leap two squares, jumping over other pieces.
I think it makes more sense to either allow the general (queen-like piece) to jump, or to have the queen-like piece be a rook + ferz + alfil (rook + bishop-like move) in this variant.

If you want something less powerful, another option is to have the queen-like piece be a “commoner”: Moves like a king, but is not royal.


Joe Joyce wrote on 2008-12-28 UTC
Stepping one square diagonally is not generally considered a jump. While the step to a diagonal square is longer than the step to an orthogonal square and the 2 squares moved between share no edge, nothing more than a single point of zero dimension, the ferz move is still considered a step rather than a jump. [And if I'm wrong, I know there are people who'd love to correct the error.] Still, there is certainly nothing wrong with the idea, and I am never going to discourage people from experimenting with shortrange pieces. But my sense of style demands that piece be as it is for this game, which [was] fit[ted] into a specific sequence even before it became a stand-alone game. Finally, even if I completely agreed with you, I am still only one of [at least] three people who designed the game. Christine and Roberto together outvote me. ;-)

John Smith wrote on 2008-12-28 UTC
But are not Ferzes classified as leapers? Therefore, the General should jump, as both the Alfil and the Elephant jump.

Joe Joyce wrote on 2008-12-27 UTC
John, thank you for the comment. Actually, the jumping general makes it into Grand Shatranj, but not this game. However, there is no reason you could not replace the sliding general with the jumping general in this game. The two reasons that did not happen are: first, that this game was sort of independently and sort of communally designed by 3 people, all of whom came to the same piece*; and second, in considering the game as I wrote up the game page, I felt the jumping aspect made the piece far too overpowered for a shatranj game that was otherwise so close to the original in pieces and concept. Still, all my presets are non-rules-checking, so one can swap pieces easily. *I suspect the reason we all used this piece was that we were looking at moving shatranj toward chess in a series of 'shortest steps' from one to the other, and neither the modern queen nor the ancient ferz jump.

John Smith wrote on 2008-12-27 UTC
I would prefer if the General could jump, being consistent with the Elephant.

Andy Maxson wrote on 2007-02-20 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Where i got the panther name was the exotic pieces applet. I like the waffle beacause it is not colorbound so the game flows quicklier. This game might actually be on par with chess it is just a little to weak so maybe if there was an added weak piece it could battle chess. But anyway shatranj variants are really interesting to me

Joe Joyce wrote on 2007-02-20 UTC
Thank you for the comment and rating, Andy. Since I haven't heard from Christine or Roberto recently, I guess I'll have to speak for all of us. Both Modern and HyperModern Shatranj were designed to fit on a 'direct line' between the games of historic shatranj and modern chess. Thus the elephants stay bishoplike and the 2-square sliding general stays linear for HMS, unlike your substitutes of waffle and panther. There's nothing wrong with that; I've used the piece you call the 'panther' in 4 recent games, generally under the name 'bent sliding general' with its own icon. [BTW, where did you get the name 'panther'? I didn't see it in the Piecelopedia...] You describe a different game, which is obviously playable. There are about 3 differences between the 2 games. The most obvious is in the greatly increased strength of the queen analog, all 24 squares within 2 of the panther vs 16 for the [linear] sliding general. The waffle is not colorbound and also hits 8 squares, so should be stronger and is in an endgame with very few pieces, for example. But [unlike the modern elephant], the waffle is a rather clumsy piece, and has only 3 forward squares to the elephant's 4, so is deficient in attack power. The panther more than makes up for it - different games. You could write it up and make a preset.

Andy Maxson wrote on 2007-02-20 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
The elephant can reach half the squares on the board. how about replacing elephants with waffles an the sliding general with a panther which moves 1 or two squares in any direction but cannot jump

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