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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2002-06-20
 By Peter  Aronson. White Elephant Chess. Four variants pitting the white Elephant army against black with the normal FIDE array. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Christine Bagley-Jones wrote on 2012-01-28 UTC
Great Elephant is the simplest one but probably the one i like best, very cool. War Elephant is nice and must be dangerous piece. Tiger is very interesting idea with it's one diagonal step and then 2 leap repeatedly. Not sure if i have seen a piece have this kind of movement. Mammoth is great piece. This piece is in 'Tai Shogi' under the name 'Free Gold', moving like a gold general with unlimited range.

Christine Bagley-Jones wrote on 2012-01-28 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
never noticed this game before, 4 very nice pieces, congrats.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2012-01-28 UTC
Yes, the Goldpashtun in Pashtun Shogi, which also has a Silverpashtun moving in the Silvegeneral's five directions. Pieces moving up to three steps I term the Goldlining and Silverlining in Man and Beast 11: Long-nosed Generals, but I have yet to use those in a game.

John Ayer wrote on 2012-01-28 UTC
Has anyone used a piece that moves in the same six directions as the Gold General, or a second square in those same six directions? I don't see it.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2010-11-19 UTC
My Man and Beast series now has names for most piees that have been considered elephantine. 2:2 movers are something of a special case as I use Elephant as a generic for both but also subdivide such pieces in to the leaping Alfil and stepping Xiang. Others are:
* the Bishop (FF) called Alfil in Spanish and Slon in Russian;
* the Silvergeneral (FfW) known by the Burmese word for elephant in that country, although silver is a paler shade of grey than is usually associated with elephants;
* the Silverelephant (AfW) so named as adding the orthogonal part of the Silver move to an existing symmetric diagonal piece;
* the Silverbishop of Silverchess and Electrum Chess (FFfW) ditto;
* the Silverthief of Alibishogi (AfD) so named as expanding a forward-only piece to the Silver range of directions;
* the Silverpashtun (FAfWfD) ditto, same as this page's Great Elephant;
* the Fearful (FA) called Modern Elephant by some;
* the Silverfearful of Unidirectional Shogi and Saint Pancras Shogi (FA);
* the Elephrider (AA) which may be specified as Alfilrider or Xiangrider depending on the effect of occupied odd squares;
* the Silverrider of Silverchess and Electrum Chess (FFfWW) which nearly got used as this page's Mammoth;
* the Goldrider of Goldchess and Electrum Chess (WWfFF) which actually did;
* the Waffle (WA);
* the Wafflrider (WWAA) sae as this page's War Elephant;
* the Spear, a 2:2 mover requiring an intervening piece for some or all moves, named by analgy with...
* the Arrow of Yang Qi, a Bishop requiring an intervening piece for some or all moves.
* mastodons, oblique riders that cannot make the single leap except in the two most forward directions;
* the Goldmammoth and Silvermmamoth, a Goldrider and Silverrider that cannot make the single step except in the three forward directions. At the time of these coinages I had quite forgotten this page's Mammoth, and had used the name in allusion with the mastodons.

This page's Tiger also appears under the name Columbine, as part of a family of names for pieces of its kind.


George Duke wrote on 2010-11-16 UTC
White Elephant against f.i.d.e. regulars.

George Duke wrote on 2010-06-30 UTC
And ten years ago, what's time in a bubble, White Bison/White Buffalo as pieces of the whole with a name, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_buffalo, http://whitebuffalomiracle.homestead.com. Also http://www.chessvariants.org/dpieces.dir/pink_pather.html.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2010-06-30 UTC
Regarding comments of June 2006 (4 year ago!) note the last paragraph of this page.

David Paulowich wrote on 2005-03-04 UTC
The Ginsho (Silver General) is a tricky piece. I am curious as to how it works in variants like Peter's Gothic Isles Chess. My first question is: If we drop the 'bare king' rule, can we find a forced stalemate victory in the ending King + Silver General versus King? I have tried running a Zillion - Zillions match for over 250 moves, at one minute per move, with no success. CORRECTION: my first 2005-02-24 comment included a quote concerning the Kinsho (Gold General). I confused this piece with the Silver General, and drew some false conclusions.

David Paulowich wrote on 2005-02-25 UTC
The Eccentric Elephants: a new army for Ralph Betza's 'Chess with Different Armies.' Replace the Bishops with Elephants, the Rooks with Great Elephants, and the Queen with a Mastodon, a piece combining the Rook with Ralph Betza's Bede (Bishop plus Dabbabah). Even though the Mastodon can jump like a Dabbabah in all four directions, I think it is worth no more than a Queen plus a Pawn. This should balance out the army nicely. There is no need for a special castling rule for this army, as the Great Elephants are not colorbound. Note that each Great Elephant has a single orthogonal jump in the initial position, just like each Bede in the Colorbound Clobberers.

Greg Strong wrote on 2005-02-25 UTC
Elephant (shogi Silver General): Average Mobility: 3.94 Average Safe Checks: 0.00 Average Directions Attacked: 3.94 Average Squares Attacked: 3.94 Great Elephant: Average Mobility: 6.94 Average Safe Checks: 3.00 Average Directions Attacked: 6.94 Average Squares Attacked: 6.94 War Elephant: Average Mobility: 11.17 Average Safe Checks: 14.00 Average Directions Attacked: 5.75 Average Squares Attacked: 17.50 Mammoth: Average Mobility: 11.06 Average Safe Checks: 13.34 Average Directions Attacked: 5.03 Average Squares Attacked: 18.38 Sorry I can't generate numbers for the Tiger; there are still many pieces that ChessV can't yet support (in this case the Slip-riders, but in general, any piece which changes direction during a move, like the Mao, cannot yet be implemented.)

David Paulowich wrote on 2005-02-24 UTC
Pawn=7, Alfil=8, Ferz=12, Silver General=20, Knight=21, Commoner=28, Rook=35 <p>are my working values. I started by multiplying Ralph Betza's 'standard values' by four. The Commoner can move like a Wazir or a Ferz, and has a higher value of four Pawns in his more recent writings. I simply averaged Ferz (12) and Commoner (28) to get 20 for the Silver General. Perhaps the modern Bishop should be 22. Like the Commoner, the Great Elephant is more than the sum of its parts. I estimate its value at 32 to 36. Time to stop juggling numbers and make a concrete proposal. <p>WHITE ELEPHANT CHESS V: Replace the White queen with a mammoth (rook plus forward bishop). Replace the Black bishops with elephants and the Black rooks with great elephants. Each army is no more than one pawn weaker than the FIDE army. I suspect that Black has a tiny material advantage over White.

David Paulowich wrote on 2005-02-24 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Dr. Peter Nicolaus writes in BURMESE TRADITIONAL CHESS:

'The Myin moves as the modern knight. The Sin moves one square at a time either diagonally or forward. It seems that Myin and Sin are of equal value. Nevertheless Burmese players appear somewhat reluctant to exchange a Myin against a Sin.'

Roger Hare writes on his Chu Shogi page: 'The old texts say that a kinsho and osho against a bare osho wins.' I assume this means that a King and Silver General can force a 'stalemate position' and then capture the enemy King after it moves. In White Elephant Chess it would seem that a lone Black King on the first rank can achieve a stalemate draw against these two pieces. [EDIT] Kinsho = Gold General in Shogi. I suspect that it is not possible to force stalemate with King and Ginsho = Silver General against a lone King.


Charles Gilman wrote on 2003-03-21 UTCGood ★★★★
Your point on avoiding colourbinding is a good one. Presumably even a full bishop would be made significantly more powerful by adding a single forward orthogonal move.

Peter Aronson wrote on 2002-09-27 UTC
A fWA? Interesting piece. It covers more ground than the fWF Elephant, but on the other hand is somewhat awkward. One of the Sanskrit words for elephant (and the Elephant piece) is <i>Hasty</i>, which is of course coincidently identical to the English word hasty. Well, to move hastily is to move quickly but awkwardly, so I would dub the fWA the Hasty Elephant or simply Hasty.

Jianying Ji wrote on 2002-09-27 UTC
oops, I mean fWA

Jianying Ji wrote on 2002-09-27 UTC
I wonder what about fWD? And what adjective should be used with this kind of elephant?

John Lawson wrote on 2002-06-23 UTC
If drunken humans see pink elephants, do Drunken Elephants see pink humans? And what about diversity?

Peter Aronson wrote on 2002-06-23 UTC
Pink Elephants! I gotta think about that one -- there's something there, I'm sure. <hr> The Drunken Elephant or Suizo moves like a King, except not directly backwards (fsWF). It promotes (by capturing) to a Crown Prince (!), which is essentially a spare King. It's found in Chu Shogi and most other large Shogis.

gnohmon wrote on 2002-06-23 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
You have everything but pink elephants! (And is there not a Drunken Elephant in one of the Oriental variants?) I like the way you start with the simple theme of the five-limbed elephant and extend on the idea to develop bunches and bunches of new pieces and armies.

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