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Ultra Slanted Escalator Chess. Game on an asymmetrical board of 84 squares with Crabs and Ultras. (10x9, Cells: 84) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
George Duke wrote on 2017-01-30 UTC

I revise/add to my analysis last comment of USEC to include important observation one sentence Bishop. That is, having edited it -- since there are intervening remarks-- Bishop can reach every square! By nature of this board both Bishop and Rook (and everyone else) are not colorbound, neither in general colorswitching even Knight. No explicit Bishop-conversion just full access to every square. Well, it depends on the local environment whether one says colorswitching etc. They would need to be re-defined for specialized board to be completely accurate. Viewers noticed this feature of Bishop during the contest, then forgot about it.

Rather than a calcified Commoner (Man/non-royal King) conversion rule, designers can follow Ultra Slanted and have a whole conversion area available for those lamely you could say limited to (about) half the squares, giving halfway-mobile Bishops in particular full-participatory rights.


George Duke wrote on 2017-01-29 UTC

Unusual connectivity here in board lacking symmetry made Ultra Slanted the runner-up winner in the 84-square contest over decade ago. Crabs and Ultras and all the pieces are hard to get across to the other side to attack, threading the needle. David Short recommends for best play keeping Knights as 'stay at home' defenders. Without specific color-switching, Bishop is able to reach every square by nature of the board.

If Short won copy of 'Encyclopedia Chess Variants' as stated, notice that can be $1000 online now and hard to find for $100 used.

I noted in other comment 2007 only a little cynically because it is in fact accurate for most designers, the bell-shape output: "Here is record of the years of invention: 1999-1; 2000-2; 2001-3; 2002-9; 2004-1. The typical bell-shaped design trajectory can be detected albeit skewed right by so many in the one particular year."

As player, would you rather have the '2 for 1' transition nearby as for White, or a ways off as for Black?


George Duke wrote on 2008-11-25 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
The big one is the best one. Talk about a fun CV easy to interpret! I think USEC made about third place among over 40 entrants at 84-square contest, if spite of my group's passing it over for first recommended.

George Duke wrote on 2008-06-12 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
This is the pinnacle of the Slanted family, and Ultra Slanted Escalator won 4th Place out of 33 entries in 84-square Contest. Sheer artwork. Unfortunatly, like so many CVP-inspired games, there is little play of it and maybe never any sort of Preset for so tricky board. For the ways everything moves through the diagonals, go back to Slanted Escalator.

George Duke wrote on 2007-09-11 UTCGood ★★★★
Around 2002-2003 Ultra Slanted Escalator Chess was extensively Commented. However, only couple other Comments appear right here, so Ralph Betza must have made remarks about USEC elsewhere. So what? One, it shows JJoyce's recent point that it is difficult to find some material even with CVPage's Superior indexing, because of sheer volume(fortunately we always know our way around). Two, it shows how fleeting a purportedly good CV invention can be, this one a Contest winner. Who in the current crop knows USEC and its cousins like Slanted Escalator Chess? Okay, follow the links and at Slanted Escalator Chess, 'gnohmon' (=Betza) rates SEC 'Excellent' and informally 'interesting', and also says with reason 'Bishops should be replaced by something else'. Also, RBetza addresses White first-move and other advantages in the 60-square one(usually an issue with smaller Chesses like that more so). RBetza also hypothesizes putting a Nightrider or Rose on board. Maybe Zillions has lot of USEC and SEC play. Look at David Short's extensive work explaining piece-moves at SEC. We include this inventor's Double Chess as part of backdrop for Complete Permutation Chess although really 8x16 alreadly appears more than once in DP's 1994 ECV. These Escalator ones are comprehensible and likely playable, whereas Schizophrenic and Existentialist (which has GC Preset) may be over-complicated. DShort has fifteen(15) CVs listed under 'Invented', the minimum criterion we use for 'Prolific' category. Here is record of the years of invention: 1999-1; 2000-2; 2001-3; 2002-9; 2004-1. The typical bell-shaped design trajectory can be detected albeit skewed right by so many in the one particular year.

David Short wrote on 2003-07-29 UTC
I am pleased that I have won a prize in this contest, though of course
I am disappointed that I didn't win first place! Congradulations to
all of the players who won prizes! I will be happy to receive a copy
of the Pritchard book on chess variants, as I do not already own it!
Now that the contest is over may I solicit some more comments 
from readers about this game? What do you feel are its strengths and
weaknesses?

Peter Aronson wrote on 2003-03-04 UTC
Fixed! Actually, the Chancellors are used in a couple of the included variants, since they're fun on this board. Also, when commenting on issues with the ZRF, it is best to comment on the ZRF's page, not the associated game's.

David Short wrote on 2003-03-04 UTC
There is something wrong with the zip file that is attached to this page for this game. The IMAGES folder does not contain .bmp files for the ULTRA pieces. Instead, it contains images for a white chancellor and a black chancellor, both of which are pieces which are not used in this game. Please have the zip file corrected and the proper version made available for download, and please alert us all when this has been corrected. Thank you.

David Short wrote on 2002-12-06 UTC
As long as I'm fishing for comments (hopefully mostly positive) on Schizophrenic Chess, let me also make the same request for feedback on ULTRA SLANTED ESCALATOR CHESS. I would like to remind potential judges of this game not to get too hung up on asking themselves which is a better implimentation of the 'interesting connectivity' of the escalator squares, this variant or its predecessor SLANTED ESCALATOR CHESS, and simply try to evaluate this game on its own merits. <p>One thing I think I should point out to readers who look at the diagram of the board and think to themselves, 'Gee, it looks like it's going to be harder to get one's own pieces to the other side of the board to mount an attack!' that THAT IS THE POINT OF THE GAME! (sorry for shouting!) The challenge is to try to navigate through the available 9 files to get to the other side of the board and launch an attack. To me the game has a similar feel to it as OMEGACHESS, with the CHAMPION-like pieces next to the rooks. <p>Other general comments: Bishops have greater mobility and range if they are fianchettoed. Knights are obviously weaker on this larger board, and while it is tempting to try to advance them out onto the board so that they can take advantage of their ability to leap the barriers, they're probably better off being used as 'stay at home' defenders. Using crabs instead of pawns was absolutely necessary as pawns would tend to get locked up with enemy pawns, but crabs have the ability to make sidesteps to adjacent files with non-capturing moves, thus they cannot be blockaded so easily. <p>I welcome comments and reaction from readers to this game.

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