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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2003-06-07
 By Roberto  Lavieri. Altair. Altair is a modern game with an oriental flavor. (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Kevin Pacey wrote on 2018-02-27 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

This is a cool game to play, though I myself had some slight difficulty with possible ambiguity to the wording of certain rules, as put forward on this page. One case I solved by looking at an earlier comment about this page that George made, in reply to someone's question about a rule. Other than that, the different colouring scheme of various ranks, and the purpose to that, is one nifty aspect of this game.

George Duke wrote on 2017-02-13 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Altair is CV where "piece values are not a good indicator of one side's advantage in chess" to use V's current words, because most of the pieces for a move can also be dropped to empty square in rank nearby of the same color. Also they most of them can slide along their rank unimpeded. So if coming up with guide-values for stronger Mage and Lion and Diamond around 7, 5 and 4 respectively, good use of the board itself makes all the pieces closer to heuristic 3.8-4.2 each with only Pawns in some 2.x range.

Muller wrote up problem theme 3Q v. 7N in "Charge of Light Brigade." If you keep 8 Pawns, the 3 Queens versus 7 Knights may go to 3Q by already 8x10 any array, certainly by 10x10. Board used and Rules interact piece values, and cannot really be safely generalized even as to '<' or '>' for all cases; with special rules (or board) we can think of CV where even N>Q one on one!

For ex., make narrow stair step where Q can only occasionally go 3 or 2, but N leaps cross empty space and get values maybe N4 Q3 as convenient.

George Duke wrote on 2008-08-15 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Altair, in process between Carlos and myself, is almost embarrassingly neat game whilst at first seeming over-complicated. Lavieri should stick with Grand-Bishop and omit the alternatives. As noted in other thread we will revive, somehow '9x9's have disproportionate over 50% excellent. Tri-colour squares are necessary for *Ch*, in which most pieces may at any time ''drop'' themselves to vacant square three ranks removed, as a turn. Lavieri's best game over Maxima.

George Duke wrote on 2007-10-30 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Roberto Lavieri CVs feature cannibalism, like Kristensen's Chess, as secondary feature, being just convenience once in a while to open lines of attack. In fact, in Altair, still another 9x9, all the pieces may capture any friendly unit. Lavieri's Maxima is a major use like Rococo of 40-year-old Immobilizer. Altair's rank jumping as a non-capturing move, appearing again in Achernar, has to be unique. The Reducer is an Immobilizer adaptation, able by adjacency to 'Reduce' most enemy moving to one square only instead of full pattern. Highly tactical test of skill this Altair. Confining the King to the Fortress and the way of moving of the Soldier particularly give the 'Oriental flavour'. Overtaker -- like Cannon and Canon and Cannon Pawn(partly) and Orthodox Pawn and Divergent and most Outback Chess pieces -- always moves differently than it captures. The Diamond Warrior has a correspondence with the established commercial Omega Chess Champion and more closely is all but copied by newer Templar of A.A. de la Campa. The Lion-Man could be better described by Lavieri as a Queen restricted to one or two squares. Bent rider Mage, actually 800-year-old Gryphon, is re-used in later well-regarded Maxima.

George Duke wrote on 2004-12-17 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
The CHANGE is in the nature of a liberal drop, always available for Lion, Overtaker, Diamond, and Grand-Bishop. No licentious drop as in Shogi, and in fact no promotees at all, just the 8 piece-types on 81 squares. The HORIZONTAL is a more restricted drop applying to Pawns also. The Mage is 800-year-old Gryphon. I don't expect to use the bizarre cannibal provision. Three long-range D,M,B; and five one- or two-step K,U,E,P,L. In comparison, Achernar, having standard pieces, is weak sister.

George Duke wrote on 2004-12-09 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Altair, Roberto Lavieri points out, is precursor to Achernar. With ten piece-types on 81 squares, this may be where Reducer originates. Or does Reducer come from still another game? I notice that Mage re-appears in Maxima but not in Achernar. Why does a 'triple rank switch' work best in Altair and Achernar both? And why call them 'files' when standard terminology is 'ranks'? It seems to me this maneuver, inherently more powerful than say castling or pawn promotion, if only because allowed repeatedly, calls for an actual 3-D embodiment, as Lavieri suggests. Altair's piece-types are less familiar than Maxima's, which largely come from Ultima. The cannibal provision seems to be attempt to counteract the extreme piece mobility.

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