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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2002-03-02
 By Ralph  Betza. Tripunch Chess. Knights become Nightriders, Rooks add Gryphon moves, Bishops add Aanca moves, and Queens become unbelievable. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-07-25 UTCGood ★★★★

I'm not all that sure I agree with (as I noticed elsewhere) Greg's usual dislike of variants having lots of 'power' (in terms to having several very powerful pieces, on a board of relatively modest size dimensions in particular, I assume), but this variant's very powerful armies on an 8x8 board strikes me as very over-powered, at least at first. Still, if Ralph Betza has given his name to a variant he invented, it suggests the idea may not be so bad at all... It's been played lots on Game Courier, so far, so that alone means its had some pretty good testing.


H. G. Muller wrote on 2014-09-24 UTC
When I spoke of 'large board' I just meant that in comparison to the 8x8, where our intuition on the value of the Queen comes from. (Although historically the Queen was of course already an established piece of Chu Shogi long before it made its introduction in Chess.)

You are correct in that Chu by Shogi standards is not large, and that the term 'large Shogi variant' is typically reserved for Dai Dai, Maka Dai Dai and Tai Shogi (17x17, 19x19 and 25x15). Not because that is spectacularly larger than, say, Tenjiku Shogi's 16x16, but because these variants are so clearly related by similarity of the participating pieces. These 'large' variants feature dominating pieces like hook movers and Lion Dog, while Lion promotes to Furious Fiend. None of these pieces occur in the smaller variants Chu, Dai and Tenjiku Shogi, which are also very clearly related, and have similar pieces, except that in Tenjiku these are (obviously intentionally) supplemented by a 'zoo of weirdness'.

Btw, the issue of the pinning in Tripunch reminded me of an old Chess joke:

k . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .
. . N . . . . .
. . . B . . . .
. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .
. . . . K . . .
White mates in 0.5.
(Answer: he lifts the Knight.)

Jeremy Good wrote on 2014-09-24 UTC
Thank you both, for lending clarity to the discussion. I do have a way of getting confused, especially while under the pressure of playing unfamiliar positions. Yes, now it seems clear that my commentary bucked chess norms we routinely follow so it's not as unfamiliar as I made it out to be. I was wrong and you're both right - good job. George, thanks for your thoughtful commentary. I especially liked your description of the moa route to capture the Harvester! Heh. :-) I deeply appreciate your poignant argument, H.G. Muller AND want to ask you: Is Chu Shogi really to be considered a large variant? Apparently, it means "mid-sized chess." I am not trying to undermine anything you're saying (because I think it's all true even the comment that 12 x 12 is a large variant in contemporary terms where variants bigger than 12 x 12 are almost never played). If we're going to regard Chu Shogi's lion as a normative piece, I only wish to suggest that we should perhaps consider 12 x 12 boards normatively mid-sized and not large. Here I'm deferring to shogi history, not contemporary thought.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2014-09-24 UTC
First some comment on the remark in the article that pieces stronger than a Queen are rare: the Chu-Shogi Lion is a good example of a piece much stronger than a Queen. Even on a 12x12 board, where the large board size should favor sliders, it is valued 15, vs Q=9. I used it in the western Chess variants Mighty-Lion Chess and Elven Chess. As to the pinning question: pins have no official status in the rules of Chess. That you cannot move pinned pieces is only because it violates the official rule that you cannot leave your King in check AFTER the move. When you capture the pinner, the latter isn't the case. If the position had to be judged also after 'picking up' the piece you are going to move, moving a Rook pinned by another Rook to capture the latter would also be forbidden in ortho-Chess (I guess this is similar to George's Queen example). Or, in case one wants to argue that Rooks are never really picked up, but slide over all intervening squares along the pin line to tackle the pinner, the interposition of a Rook to block an existing Rook check would be forbidden, as it leaves the check unblocked as long as it has not reached its final square.

George Duke wrote on 2014-09-24 UTC
No. NN x H is legal. There are several rationales. One, the capture is instantaneous. Two, given Harvester is compound of Bishop plus Gryphon counterpart stepping one as Rook first, the pathway of Harvester threatening check is only the one 'f4-f3-e2-d1'; and NN pathway is just as well e2-f3-f4. Three, there is only check on completion of turn. A lot of these situations appear when stepping ordinary Bishop or Rook or Knight to capture the first fundamental piece Falcon. All it takes is conveniently placing one of those three lesser pieces R or N or B between own King and enemy Falcon. As they slide or jump to capture, technically there can be brief opening for three-path Falcon to be checking King. Yet it doesn't count until the turn ends, and then in comparable example to Harvester, the Falcon threatening is captured and gone. Or using familiar Queen case, if you have WK-h1, WQ-h2, BQ-h8, obviously Qxh8 looks pretty good. White Queen is "pinned," loosely speaking, and cannot go along the other 3 directions, but she can capture the pinner.

Jeremy Good wrote on 2014-09-23 UTC
Suppose a King is on d1, nightrider on e2 and Harvester on f4. Ordinarily the nightrider should be able to capture the Harvester, but it can't, in this case, because it's pinned and in the process of capturing its pinner, it would illegally leave its king in check. Right?

Daniil Frolov wrote on 2014-01-22 UTC
I was thinking of game with alike pieces - on 24x24 board, with 24 pawns and normal amount of other pieces. Kings were limited combines, pawns - limited forward-only moving-only reapers and limited forward-only capturing-only harvesters, and knights had no normal move, but instead had 6:3, 6:2, 6:4, 5:3, 5:2, 5:4, 7:3, 7:2 and 7:4 leaps (that is, could leap to squares, 6:3 spaces away or adjecent - covering up to 8 3x3 areas, triple kinght's leap away).

Charles Gilman wrote on 2009-08-05 UTC
Well, I've done all that - in my piece article MAB 13: Straight and Crooked Moving.

It has just occurred to me that strengthened-FIDE-array variants, such as this one and my own recent Overkill Chess and Quadripunch Chess, are particularly suited to combining with my Nearlydouble concept, so that the stronger pieces have a larger board to make better use of their greater powers. Would you be happy for me to include a properly-attributed Nearlydouble Tripunch Chess among a page of such variants?


Charles Gilman wrote on 2004-03-26 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
The common theme of the names is particularly good. I may well mention (and credit) them when I get to pieces with non-straight moves in my series of piece articles.

Roberto Lavieri wrote on 2003-08-21 UTC
In this game you can quickly note the absence of some common characteristics to good chess variants: Say BEAUTY and ART in the game play. Many ENDS are usually horrible!, without real fight, and the game decided in straightforward manner in only a few movements...

Joseph DiMuro wrote on 2002-06-02 UTC
You have a ZRF already? Wow... I guess I have to buy Zillions of Games now, huh? ;-) To answer your question: a flip counts as a move, so you can't castle with a Reaper that has flipped.

Peter Hatch wrote on 2002-06-02 UTC
Another question: Does flipping a Reaper mean you can't castle on that side? On the one hand, it is a move of the piece, so it would prevent you. On the other hand, it hasn't moved to a different square, so it seems somewhat intuitive for it not to prevent later castling. I suppose the same question could be asked about the DemiRifle army, when the Snail makes a rifle capture. I've got a ZRF with the Tripunch Terrors implemented, but it causes Zillions to die a horrible death under Windows 98, so it's not released yet. I should have a good version soon, so you could use that to test if you wanted. Zillions is absolutely terrible with the army when it looks 5 plies deep or less. I beat it with the FIDEs when I was just screwing around at the start. Essentially it just leaves the pieces in non-capturing mode almost the whole game. Playing itself looking 6 plies deep each army won one game. Normally there seems to be very little difference between 5 and 6 plies deep, so this army is unusually sensitive to that - probably because Zillions ranks positions based on the number of moves available, and in non-capturing mode there are more moves, so it is only by looking deep that is sees the benefits of capturing mode.

Joseph DiMuro wrote on 2002-06-01 UTC
I might've known there would be a problem somewhere... :-D First of all, let's call the piece that combines Reaper and Aanca a 'Reapaanca'. Well, if 'Gryphaanca' is good enough for Ralph Betza (for the piece combining Gryphon and Aanca), then 'Reapaanca' is good enough for me. So there. :-D (Besides, we can change it later...) Now for promotions: let me add a third possibility to the list. When a pawn promotes... 1. It may be set to either capturing or non-capturing mode. Player's choice. 2. It must be set to the mode that the promoted piece type normally starts in; for example, capturing mode for a Flipping Reaper. 3. It is set to non-capturing mode if it moved to the last rank with a non-capturing move, and capturing mode otherwise. All seem playable, so let's take option 1 for simplicity. The player may always choose which mode the promoted piece starts in. By the way, I haven't done any playtesting with this army yet. I want to make sure it is at least CLOSE to the right strength before I make it an official submission. Anyone for a game? :-D

Peter Hatch wrote on 2002-05-31 UTC
How does pawn promotion work with the Tripunch Terrors? Could they chose whether they are moving or capturing when promoting, or would they have to use the same mode that the piece type is set up as?

gnohmon wrote on 2002-04-16 UTC
The Tripunch Terrors are a fine idea, whether or not they are balanced. For one thing, experience with them would refine my wild guess about the value of pieces that have to flip between movement and capture.

Joseph DiMuro wrote on 2002-04-14 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
How about the Tripunch Terrors, another army to compete against the Fabulous FIDEs? :-) King and Pawns are standard. The rest of the pieces are from Tripunch Chess, but they flip as pieces do in Weakest Chess- these pieces have capturing and non-capturing modes, and can flip (as a move) from one to the other. To keep the pawn line defended, the Reapers and Combine start in capturing mode; the others start in non-capturing mode. If flipping pieces are half as strong as regular pieces (and that seems to be the estimate in the Weakest Chess article), then the Tripunch Terrors are about 4 Pawns too strong as described. So we remove the ability to move as a Bishop from the Harvesters and Combine... and then we should have a game. So here's the official lineup: the Flipping Reaper, the Flipping Nightrider, the Flipping Aanca, and the Flipping... the Flipping... Give me some time. I'll come up with a name for that last one. :-D

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