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Maorider Chess. Maorider and king with unusual recruiting abilities. (8x9, Cells: 72) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-07-28 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

An interesting variant, albeit a slightly complex one. The kings' recruiting power is a ground-breaking idea.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2017-04-22 UTC

This page could use a diagram.

TH6 wrote on 2017-03-30 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Wow, this game is quite a gem.  The piece combinations are perfect - some long range, some short range, but nothing too over powered.  It tends to be a slower paced game (our game was 70+ moves), but it adds a lot of depth.  

Two different types of pawns and 3 promotion potentials, with a possibility of getting a second king.  The kings, are also valuable pieces in the fight.  Possibly the strongest piece in the game if you can keep them out of check.  Recruiting is a very unique style of play, providing strategy that I haven't seen before.  In my opinion, by far better than the pocketing method of Shogi.

Another aspect that I found great was due to the smaller number of pawns, your "line" was maintained by your minor pieces.  Every move and every capture was meaningful in this way.  It felt like an actual battle instead of a game.  Very much so one of the best games I've ever played.

I definitely favorited this one.

Nicholas Wolff wrote on 2009-08-26 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Vitya has always been a great opponent to play and I was wondering if he would ever come out with a variant of his own. It is quite evident that he was biding his time, because this variant turned out really well. I agree with Jeremy that this game is great. I don't think any of the pieces are over powered, they all work well together, and the recruitment adds a different dimension of the game. Good job, Vitya!

Jeremy Good wrote on 2009-08-23 UTC
The mutator is clever and interesting and a lot more manageable than the unwieldy Cleopatra of Cleopatra Chess which is hard to tame into something more than an unruly gimmick (though I try to do so in some of my mostly untested, experimental -acious series). The King in this game is powerful, not just because of its mutator but because it is the only piece in Maorider Chess that can access any of its eight surrounding squares. The rest of the pieces all have at least two blind spots where they can be attacked by the color changing king. Also, with the exception of Maorider and Short Rook (even they are sometimes not hard to thwart), they can only move one or two squares at most which makes them approachable. So the choice of pieces happens to suit the King very nicely indeed. By not allowing it to capture, Vitya prevents the King from being too powerful. This allows it to retain enough vulnerability to make every choice in moving it difficult. For both sides, the calculation of such maneuvers is the same: Can the King attack and thus succeed in paralyzing a piece? Or will it be forced to retreat if it tries to do so (or worse, become victim to a classic king chase / mating net)?

Abdul-Rahman Sibahi wrote on 2009-08-22 UTCGood ★★★★

This game looks certainly interesting , (and thanks to Jeremy Good for pointing it out for me.)

What I like about it , tho , is not the pieces selected , or the starting position , but rather the Recruitment rule . It certainly could be a mutator , in the same breath as suicide or atomic (but not necessarily as playable with normal chess , think Recruitment Chess .)

However , I doubt that it will make me return to the Chess Variants pages . Even FICS I am playing every now and then with no real commitment . It is refreshing , however , to see people thinking outside the box again , in a very Betza-like fashion . Keep up the good work .

[I took the liberty of moving the rest of your remarks to a separate thread, hope you don't mind. - JG]

Jeremy Good wrote on 2009-08-22 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

How many variants can one describe as achingly beautiful? Maorider Chess is delightfully rich, an instant classic, a charming gem, a variant masterpiece. The openings have the feeling of formal ritual, like a Japanese tea ceremony. By the time one gets to the middle game, each move feels like a profound thought, worthy of intense concentration. Short range pieces require long range calculations.

The dynamic of the extraordinary recruiting king interacting with the rest of the simpler pieces lends the game a rewardingly edgy, chess-like feeling. Why? Because one is always in this game thinking seriously about the usually conflicting needs for king safety and aggressive offense play, as one does in the sort of risky, double-edged chess games that the most successful professional chess players have often played (such as Semi-Slav, Najdorf Sicilian, Ruy Lopez, King's Indian). One thinks also of the first World Champion Wilhelm Steinitz's Steinitz Gambit (from the Vienna Gambit) in this context. Not to mention the centuries long romantic tradition exemplified by the King's Gambit's domination in chess! Never has a royal piece felt so alive (as in Maorider Chess)! it 'once...twice...once again' - this one is great.

Anyone who wants to play it with me, I have some invites up... email me if you need help accepting an invite.

Updated to describe a little more why the king in this game gives it an 'edgy, chess-like' feel. It may have seemed like me using the word 'chess-like' was redundant, but in fact, many variants have a decidedly un-chess-like flavor for those of us whose grounding in chess is traditional.

Vitya Makov wrote on 2009-07-27 UTC

Yu Ren Dong wrote on 2009-07-27 UTCGood ★★★★

Chinese Camel - is R2.
Elephant - is  B2.

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