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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 1999-05-08
 By Adrian  King. Scirocco (old). On ten by ten board with over thirty different pieces. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
George Duke wrote on 2018-04-24 UTC

This Frog is quad-compound WFTH, that is Wazir Ferz Tripper(3,3) Trebuchet(0,3).  Emperor is WDA.

Lioness is quint-compound WFDNA, that Betza already hypothesized in the nineties, all the squares inside 5x5 from a central starting square.

George Duke wrote on 2008-07-10 UTC
Notice Scirocco had lot of discussion in 2005. I recently commented on both 1999 Jupiter and 1999 Typhoon of Adrian King. Rich Hutnik is right my sidetracking Comment on Many Worlds does not do justice to Calvinball Chess either. Sorry, I was distracted by further look at one of my favourites Gridlock II and the Murray quotation King uses here at Scirocco, where King describes his design philosophy, insofar as it can be taken seriously. There are 36 different piece-types in Scirocco, only few non-standard being long-range, such as Scirocco and Spider. Later Typhoon has at least 75 piece-types all well-defined. King deliberately flouts Pritchard's ''Designing a Variant'' admonition, that elegant game combine minimum rules with maximum strategy, as he states in the third section. Hey, what is Art history (or that of aesthetics) but often history of revolt against the prevailing Zeitgeist?

Derek Nalls wrote on 2005-12-09 UTC
I think I can voice some encouragement for 'Anonymous' even though I classify my position as neutral and realistic, neither optomistic nor pessimistic.

Yes, 'there are plenty of good reasons for making chess variants besides trying to create the perfect one'. However, 'trying to create the perfect one' is the truly outstanding and inspiring reason. As to whether or not it is actually achievable, I maintain that creating a virtually perfect game is. Moreover, I can tentatively offer only ONE game I have ever created as a living proof ... to be lacerated at will by any or all naysayers who hang out here. It is named 'Hex Chess (square-spaced)'. Please check it out!

I prefer to venture that a more appropriate or correctly applicable parallel or analogy is a limit (in the sense of calculus) whereby perfection is not absolutely achievable but progressively approachable thru the correct solution of as many successive, problem terms or steps as possible. By no means do I regard this parallel or analogy as a perfect fit to our endeavor, though:

1. I strongly doubt that the number of game-design principles which must be adhered to in order to create the best chess variant possible is infinite (and thus, unachievable). I am aware of only appr. 25 essential and appr. 25 non-essential game-design principles which I consider important enough to comply with in every case. After six years of thought and work, I have become convinced that I have not overlooked or failed to consider any critically important topics within our craft.

2. The importance of the various problem terms or factors in game design varies greatly. One is most important (symmetry), several are vital, dozens are of minor-to-trivial benefit ... to comply with. Consequently, I have reasons to think that a board game exhibiting 75%-90% perfection (as if anyone has devised a proven, reliable mathematical method to measure such value-judgment laden qualities) can readily be implemented by anyone with sufficient expertise to follow several well-defined guidelines.


'It may also hold for chess variants that all the ideal characteristics of a chess variant cannot compatibly coexist in the same game. If that is so, then the ideal chess variant is a pipedream.'

Your logic is impeccable but your premise, although very interesting, is dubious as it is drawn via precarious, interdisciplinary leaps from abstract findings in political philosophy and mathematical logic which may not be pertinent or unconditionally applicable to our specialized area. By the way, I address the issue of the apparent-yet-surpassable, incompatibility of ideal characteristics in chess variants within (and to some extent, throughout) my main descriptive essay and demonstrate the feasibility of these ideas via the implementation of one game.

David Paulowich wrote on 2005-12-09 UTC
Regarding the [Repetition] section in the game rules

SILLY QUESTION: Does anyone care who has a forced win in the endgame with WHITE K(d4) and R(e5), BLACK K(g7) and R(f6)? Promotion of a King to Emperor might give a winning advantage here, but this will not happen until your opponent stops blocking the advance of your King with his Rook. So the game could drag on for more than 1000 moves, with the no-repetition rule deciding victory.

INTERESTING QUESTION: Is there a simple way to force a win with Emperor and Bishop against Emperor and Knight? It would seem that the Bishop's greater range (plus its ability to triangulate) could lead to a no-repetition rule victory.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2005-12-09 UTC
There are plenty of good reasons for making Chess variants besides trying to create the perfect one. (1) The act of creativity is enjoyable for its own sake. (2) It is possible to create very good games, even if the ideal of the perfect game is unreachable. (3) It is fun to play good Chess variants. (4) It is fun to play a wide variety of Chess variants, and creating more adds to the number of good games that can be played. (5) I may like to try something no one else has ever thought of before. (6) There are endless possibilities, and active game creation is a way to explore them without relying on others.

Anonymous wrote on 2005-12-09 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I disagree. Perhaps the 'Perfect' chess variant will never be made, but if we don't try, then what's the purpose of making them at all?

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2005-12-08 UTC
Let me offer some parallels here. According to Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem, any sufficiently comprehensive system of logic will be incomplete. The ideal logical system would be both comprehensive and complete, but Gödel has shown that this can't be. According to Arrow's Impossibility Theorem, 'There is no consistent method by which a democratic society can make a choice (when voting) that is always fair when that choice must be made from among 3 or more alternatives.' As Steve Eppley puts it, it shows 'that no voting method can, in every voting scenario, satisfy a certain set of desirable criteria: non-dictatorship, unanimity, rationality, and independence from irrelevant alternatives (IIA). Thus no voting method is ideal.' The basic idea behind both of these is that some of the ideal characteristics of a system, whether a logical system or a ballot counting system, are incompatible with each other. It may also hold for Chess variants that all the ideal characteristics of a Chess variant cannot compatibly coexist in the same game. If that is so, then the ideal Chess variant is a pipedream.

Derek Nalls wrote on 2005-12-08 UTC
'Adrian King tried to cure all the ills of chess in one ambitious variant. While this attempt was doomed to fail, it is worth studying carefully.' I cannot understand such extreme pessimism. Why do you automatically believe all possible solutions to a problem are 'doomed to fail'?

David Paulowich wrote on 2005-12-08 UTC
'If you have read the above rules carefully, you will realize that any game of Scirocco played to the bitter end cannot result in a draw.'

Adrian King tried to cure all the ills of chess in one ambitious variant. While this attempt was doomed to fail, it is worth studying carefully. He presents many different pieces and promotion rules. This comment will be continued on the 'Zillions of Games file for: Scirocco' page.

Breadman wrote on 2004-09-10 UTCGood ★★★★
The Salamander has conflicting documentation: in the table, it is restricted to three spaces; however, its extended documentation and image show it moving up to four.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2003-05-05 UTC
The link between the pieces here called the Spider and the Octopus makes an interesting link back to Chaturanga and beyond. Chaturanga inherited its board from a presumably Ludo-like chariot racing game called Ashtapada - a Sanskrit word meaning spider but connected to octopus by etymology. Some people use Spider for the Alibaba - a piece the same as your Dervish but without its effect on other pieces - but your usage is better as your Spider reflects the symmetry of the zoological one, whose legs are all paired left-right with none straight ahead or straight behind.

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