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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2005-10-01
 By Joe  Joyce. Two Large Shatranj Variants. Missing description (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Joe Joyce wrote on 2015-07-13 UTC
Thank you, Tony, for the comment and the rating. Sorry I didn't notice it when you posted it. You were partly responsible for my interest in shatranj variants, way back when. The games were fun to do and I got to "meet" Christian Freeling in the process. Fwiw, being very bad with awkward pieces, like the half-duck (HFD), and being terrified of relatively cheap but unblockable pieces capable of attacking several pieces at once, like the squirrel (NAD), I tried to design simple, obvious pieces that were easy to use and to understand. I didn't want them too powerful, but they needed to be much more capable than the original piece mix. It's nice to see some of my games being played. Thanks.

Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2015-05-20 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Great idea to explore short range moves, in the spirit of the ancient game!

Joe Joyce wrote on 2009-08-27 UTC
Thanks for the comment, John. [And I appreciate the game. We certainly have different styles, don't we?] This fits in nicely with what George and I are talking about in the Modern Shatranj comments. And I promise to be brief. ;-) At the risk of being somewhat immodest, I rate my handful of shatranj variants as individually good to very [very] good. Others may differ. What I think is excellent is the progression from game to game, playing variations on the same theme to build a range of individual games that are each an exposition of one step in the evolution of shatranj in that parallel universe where they don't play FIDE. And you've got it, George. Just as the 'Shatranj to FIDE in 6 steps' comment in MS is a somewhat arbitrary ladder of my own devising, so too is the progression from historic Shatranj through my variants a somewhat crooked ladder that eventually leads to Chieftain and elsewhere stranger, and is no longer shatranj in any real sense, though it often uses similar pieces. Still amazing is that Modern, Great, and even Grand Shatranj were not done long ago by someone else. They were obvious games, just lying there on the ground waiting to be picked up by anybody who wandered by that spot. Apparently I was the lucky one who looked there first, but others could have. And now Maorider has popped up, another game getting initial rave reviews, as just one example of many. Makes you wonder how many good games there out there in the dark, just waiting for us to stumble over them.

John Ayer wrote on 2009-08-27 UTCGood ★★★★
I am also an annoying pedant (though I didn't write that remark). I should not have said that the Atlanteans would not know what an elephant is; they probably would have known. I am playing Great Shatranj D at the moment, and enjoying it. I consider it Good, subject to possible upgrade later.

Christine Bagley-Jones wrote on 2006-07-12 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
brilliant collection of games

David Paulowich wrote on 2006-04-17 UTC
The 'Jumping General' is called a 'Squire' in Eric V. Greenwood's Rennchess (1980) and Jean Louis Cazaux's Chess (Variant) Graphics (2002).

David Paulowich wrote on 2005-12-17 UTC

And now for something completely different!. Imagine Freeling's Grand Chess, with the Bishops replaced by Elephants and:

Queen replaced by Centaur = Knight + Wazir + Ferz

Marshall replaced by Grand Rook = Rook + Afil + Ferz

Cardinal replaced by Grand Bishop = Bishop + Dabbabah + Wazir

I am fascinated by the Centaur: try using the 'equesrex' BMP file - although strictly speaking that should be used for a 'royal' piece. And for the other two (brand new?) pieces: 'promotedrook' and 'promotedbishop' BMP files. Note the reversal of Freeling's arrangement, this time we have one Knight compound and two Queen-like pieces. I am inclined to squeeze the board down to 10x8, using the 'same' opening setup as our current PBM game.

[2007 EDIT] substituted 'Grand' for 'Great' in the piece names. [2008 EDIT] Key McKinnis used a wide selection of pieces in Drop Chess (2000), including the Demon (Grand Rook ) and the Pope (Grand Bishop).


David Paulowich wrote on 2005-12-16 UTC
Dabbabahs are frequently called 'war machines' on this site. That would make a good name for the Wazir-Dabbabah combination, which is called 'Machine' in Jean-Louis Cazaux's 14 x 14 variant Gigachess. Here is an old Ralph Betza quote about riders completely lacking the ability to move an odd number of squares:

'The Dabbabahrider moves in (0,2) increments as opposed to the Rook's (0,1) steps. As a piece by itself, it is much weaker than a Knight, the main reason being that it is colorbound times colorbound -- it can visit only one fourth of all squares on the board. The Alfilrider is even worse, and can see only one eighth of all squares. Because of this extreme limitation, we have the interesting case where the AD (Alfil plus Dabbabah) has the same ideal value as the Knight but is much weaker in practice, while the AADD (Alfilrider plus Dabbabahrider) has an ideal value which is unknown but which must be appreciably larger than Knight -- but the practical value of AADD seems to be a bit less than a Knight.'


Christine Bagley-Jones wrote on 2005-10-07 UTC
huh people bad mouthing the name 'elephant'?! :) i like the name 'elephantqueen' for alfil/fers, everyone knows the elephant mostly indicates alfil move, and fers is related to queen, i think, in some way, he he, anyway, hey joe :) (i love the name 'alibaba' hate the name 'fearful')

Joe Joyce wrote on 2005-10-06 UTC
Thanks for the comments, Charles. I like the name 'Alibaba', and will gladly use it for the DA piece (even if I never find the 40 thieves), though I also like the 'Jumping General', which would then be the augmented alibaba. I'd prefer to keep to 'old-style' names for the pieces, so I'd be uncomfortable using names like 'Marshlander' for example. You have reminded me of the discussion on names a while back; if I remember correctly, your carpenter got hammered then... sorry, but you shouldn't feed me those lines. You're exposing me as a person who is not serious, but I am a serious designer. And I do want to keep all the names in the same thematic group, so I'll gratefully take alibaba, but probably use the adjective 'augmented' with the name of a piece to indicate it has a new and lesser (not as 'important' or extensive) move; eg: the augmented alibaba is the jumping general. Augmented knights would be the NF and NW pieces (though this might cause a little confusion). Names for compounds of roughly equivalent pieces, like the NA or ND, still elude me.

Anonymous wrote on 2005-10-06 UTC
The large Shogi variant is known as 'Taikyoku Shogi', although the spaces are rather irreveliant. (Japanese has no spaces). It's actually playable though.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2005-10-06 UTCGood ★★★★
You asked for names for compound pieces. Well one of them is known by several names, and I have proposed some for others. Here are the names with the basic reasoning behind them. For more details of each group see my piece articles Constitutional Characters, The Heavy Brigade, and Diverse Directions respectively. The capturable piece moving like a King is known variously as a Guard, Mann (a German word meaning, in this context, henchman), or Prince. The last is my preferred name for it, as part of a larger pattern of royal names for orthogonal+diagonal, ducal for orthogonal+triagonal, and imperial for all three. For pieces mixing one-step and two-step radial components I have proposed extrapolating from the Waffle (Wazir+Alfil) and the all-two-step Alibaba (Alfil+Dabbaba): Wazir+Dabbaba=Wazbaba, Ferz+Alfil=Fearful, and for the record Ferz+Dabbaba=Fezbaba. These names have the disadvantage of being too abstract for some tastes. For pieces with a Knight move I have proposed Knight+Wazir=Marshlander (a punning name for a short-range version of the Marshal), Knight+Ferz=Cardilander (a similarly suffixed Cardinal), Knight+Alfil=Kangaroo (from Timothy Newton's Outback Chess), and most contentiously Knight+Dabbaba=Carpenter (a name alluding to the manufacture of war engines and toy horses, and to a Lewis Carroll character).

Joe Joyce wrote on 2005-10-04 UTC
Ah, John, you don't think I can get an elephant through a hurricane in a reed boat? (Okay, a very strong tropical depression.) I can see the islanders laughing at the entire concept of that mythological monster, the imaginary elephant, but still keeping the name for the game piece. The expression 'seeing the elephant' would take on an entirely different meaning for them, though. Seriously, thanks for the comment. I am still fishing for names; maybe I should run some contests: Name that Game and Name that Piece.

John Ayer wrote on 2005-10-04 UTC
Looks good, though I haven't gone over it thoroughly. The people of that western land would not know what an elephant was, so that name wouldn't be used.

Greg Strong wrote on 2005-10-03 UTC
It's should have an apostrophe when it is a contraction for 'it is'. It does not have an apostrophe, however, when it used to show possession. (Yes, this is one of those really obnoxious illogical nuances of English which drive us crazy, since normally an apostrophe is used to show possession.) I hate English, but I worked in a college of law, and I had to get up-to-speed quickly, as I didn't want law professors attacking my otherwise good ideas because of my bad grammar. :)

Joe Joyce wrote on 2005-10-03 UTC
Dear Annoying: Are you telling me that, 50 years ago, my second grade teacher, Sister Mary Ruler, was wrong when she drilled the class in possessives? I quote: ''It's' means 'it is'; 'its'' means 'that belongs to it'.' I hereby confess to over-punctuating, as I have already confessed to having trouble with names. Suggestions for names would be appreciated (but I remind you this is a family site), and will be considered. Finally, I would like to thank Mr. Gifford and Mr. Pedant for their comments. As my computer skills are about as obsolete as my English usage, it may be a while before I can add rules illustrations or presets, much as I would like to do so.

Annoying Pedant wrote on 2005-10-03 UTCGood ★★★★
I like the new piece suggestions, but the names need work. (Elephant is overused, for example.) However, 'its'' is not a valid English construction. No possessive pronoun carries an apostrophe: his, her, my, your, their, its, whose, thy.

Gary Gifford wrote on 2005-10-02 UTCGood ★★★★
The idea seems quite good to me. I even like the opening story because it has me wondering how many great games were lost through natural disasters, sinking ships, etc. Some board graphics (with initial piece placement) would be a great plus to the rules page. After seeing these games played I may very well upgrade my comment to 'Excellent.' I look foward to seeing game couriers for these variants. On a related note: Despite these Shatranj games being great and grand, we should also be aware that there are several large Shogi games. The largest that I am aware of is called 'Tai Kyoku Shogi.' It is (was) played on a 36x36 board with 402 pieces per side. Hard to imagine.

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