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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2007-04-09
 Author: M  Winther. Inventor: Yasser  Seirawan and Bruce  Harper. Seirawan ChessThis item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2007-04-09
 Author: M  Winther. Inventor: Yasser  Seirawan and Bruce  Harper.. invented by GM Yasser Seirawan, a conservative drop chess (zrf available).[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
M Winther wrote on 2009-07-24 UTCGood ★★★★
Charles, the common sense rule in chess is that the heavy pieces are best kept in the reserve. The heavy Capablanca pieces are awkward when surrounded by light enemy pieces on this small board. Strategically, it is more clever to keep them in the reserve until the situation is cleared up. This is coupled with the great flexibility of the introduction square. But this would create a game that is unconstrained and allows the players to play with hidden cards. It is destructive to the clarity of the game. Planning becomes very difficult. Generally, free introduction of heavy pieces is not a good idea. /Mats

Charles Daniel wrote on 2009-07-23 UTCBelowAverage ★★
Not so. Dropping it on a separate turn does not allow the drawback you stated in your site. Why should a player not decide to drop a powerful piece? My suggestion allows one player to develop quickly without dropping the piece and still have that option in reserve. An altogether more flexible situation adding more varied type of play. In fact the game is VERY strategically clear to each player - either one or both players can choose to develop first gain the advantage and then introduce the piece.

I see no reason the dropped piece is 'FORCED' to make an entry soon. That makes the game more contrived and less flexible. If anything it is preferable to leave that up to the players. A good player will be smart enough to know that the opponent will eventually introduce the new piece. If a player is good enough to play without the piece he/she can dos so knowing that the option to introduce it still remains.

The game Wreckage uses this drop mechanism.

By the way your description for Pioneer Chess is faulty. IF White turns down the piece and Black overrules - no game can be played - both players disagree on what game to play.


M Winther wrote on 2009-07-23 UTCGood ★★★★
The underlying reason for this dropping method is that the external pieces are forced to make an entry soon. It creates a flow in the game. If all the pieces develop and no entry is done, then the pieces cannot be introduced. If they were allowed to stay outside and enter at any time, then the game would be strategically unclear. It wouldn't be possible to decide for a plan because you wouldn't know what forces the opponent has prepared. It is not proper for Western chess which demands planning and foresight. So it's a good idea. In my Pioneer Chess I go even further. The players, in their first move, must decide from which file they aim to introduce the external piece. http://hem.passagen.se/melki9/pioneerchess.htm /Mats

Charles Daniel wrote on 2009-07-23 UTCBelowAverage ★★
I am not sure why this method of dropping into the back rank was chosen. Its quite possible that white will have an even greater advantage because of this. Better to make the drop as a separate turn. This seems more logical and slows it down a tad. Also I just realized I had commented on this item before. Looks to me that the ability to drop ninja pawns in addition to the rook-knight and bishop -knight might actually be more interesting perhaps 2 or 4, not sure. The Rook-knight and bishop knight drop into empty space in backrank in separate turn. The ninja pawns can drop into vacant space in second rank and optionally push forward to center. The ninja pawns will move like pawns except for enpassant and ability to move 1 space sideways and also capture sideways in enemy half of board. At this point this variant has failed miserably even more so than gothic which i believe is far superior (and actually in retrospect quite a good variant). Perhaps the version I suggest above might be interesting - I wouldn't mind trying it. I may create a preset and send out a challenge. As to why does regular Chess have on the order of 10^4 to 10^6 times more followers than variant chess .. Chess variants are parallel universes - completely unexplored with weird rules /laws and strange configuration. The regular chess universe is still unexplored and overwhelming for most despite the oversaturation of opening theory at top GM level. Chess variants are for those with moderate to little interest in regular chess and with no desire to compete with regular chess players. I doubt if there are currently is any 2100+ rated (at present) chess player interested in variants. Seirawan himself must have lost interest in his own variant just like Bobby Fischer lost interest in FRC. 2100 chess rating is approximately the elo at which opening theory becomes tedious since many lines do have to be memorized. Some may say its even higher than that. Below 2100 and memorizing opening theory is not terribly important - understanding openings is of course a different matter. It is important that the chess variant community understand that nothing is to be gained by proposing to 'fix' chess or to 'convert' chess followers. Chess variants instead must attract the type of person who does not want to dedicate to one game and likes a chess-like family of games. Of course high rated players disillusioned with the game will be welcome but they must come on their own. Rather than harp on the nonexistent 'flaws' of chess, it is better to show how interesting it is to play a game of chess in which a few properties are changed. Board size, pieces etc making in many cases a radically different but still vaguely familiar game of chess. This is the appeal of chess variants. Think HORSE in poker - tournament of a family of poker games. A chess tournament like this can take place here too. The recent Cv Potluck was a good start, and SHOULD BE DONE AGAIN. Maybe one day the parallel universes of chess might appeal to a totally new audience. From that certainly a few chess variants will immediately spring to mind in the general populace just as orthodox chess does now.

Graeme Neatham wrote on 2008-03-23 UTCBelowAverage ★★

I have never been a fan of the drop, feeling it to be an alien addition to the mechanics of chess. Promotion on the other hand is not, being a well established chess mechanism.

I therefore suggest using promotion as a better means of introducing the RN and BN. Thus, for example the Rook could promote to RN on making a capture, and the Bishop likewise but to BN. The idea could be extended further allowing the Knight to promote to, say, a Nightrider.

Using promotion also goes someway towards relieving the piece-density and power increases associated with dropping; more so if the number of each of the new pieces is restricted to one.


George Duke wrote on 2008-03-21 UTCGood ★★★★
Seirawan Chess is important because Yasser Seirawan is the leading USA Grandmaster at present time. About average research into background of uses of the introduced pieces is evident at the webpage. To its credit, Ben Foster's Chancellor Chess is cited, predating Capablanca's. ''Rather than being test of skill, Chess has become matter of knowledge and technique,'' the write-up says.'' and ''Capablanca almost had it right.'' Our ratings on SC have been deliberately mixed from Poor to Excellent, to confront the irony. Hutnik is correct in immediate Comment that, after 400 years, RN and BN are the ''top fantasy chess pieces'' -- at least in terms of public awareness, such as it is. Much irony there. We could dump about 9975 of the 10,000 invented (and re-invented, and stolen) chess piece-types as of 2008, and upwards of 25 solid piece-movement concepts would suffice -- definitely including Carrera's venerable Centaur(BN) and Champion(RN) themselves. Give them a pass into the 25 all-time pieces for historical significance alone.

Rich Hutnik wrote on 2008-03-16 UTCGood ★★★★
Here is my spin on this: 1. I also, in 2007 (unaware of this game) happened to wonder how to do Capablanca pieces on an 8x8. End result was IAGO Standard Fantasy Chess (Capablanca 64) in its bunch of mutations, which can be found on the Zillions site (Seirawan's version isn't in it). It was different than this. I believe the best shot to get Capablanca pieces adopted is with an 8x8 board. I played with this concept years ago with my Corner Chess game also (meant to be 4 player chess on an 8x8 board) 2. I would propose that the name Sharper Chess be adopted in honor of the fact that Harper worked on it (S from Seirawan and the rest is Harper). It also sounds pretty cool as a name. 3. Here is how you settle the name controversy (people who don't want to lose the names Chancellor and Archbishop). The top two pieces in fantasy chess are the Chancellor and Archbishop. I know Seirawan wanted different, because he felt the other ones didn't make sense. Well, I say you can go with BOTH actually. If the pieces start on the board, they are Chancellor and Archbishop (or Cardinal). If they start in a POCKET position, then they would be Hawk and Elephant. I don't see it as a big deal. This way, you also know if the Capablanca pieces have entered the game or not. 4. For people arguing about this and that, and disappointed (want to have them enter different spot, have different board, and other complaints on here), please view this variant as being a METHOD to get new pieces into the game. This game is a near ideal GATEWAY to get new pieces into chess in an acceptable manner. Viewed in light of this, it is a good thing. Work with this, and then add your own tweaks. Want to have the Amazon get accepted into chess? Well, have it as a possible other piece in Seirawan chess. a. People who don't think it is radical enough, can we keep in mind, we need the FIDE crowd to adopt it to some degree for there to be enough players? b. People who feel it wrecks one line of play or another, and believe bishops will die too early (thus propose that if you move a bishop, you can't enter in the Capablanca pieces), can we play with this a bit more and see if we can keep the simplicity of what is propose, and make it lead to MORE options on play, rather than less? Also, if makes the game a LOT more open, with new lines of development, why wouldn't that be acceptable? 5. I believe an easy variant on this would be you leave the queen space blank and then players alternate turns each placing a queen, elephant/chancellor, or hawk/archbishop in the initially left empty queen space. 6. This variant can work with Chess960 as a variation of Capablanca Random Chess, and make it easier to accept. Also, it can work with Bughouse. 7. This version allows for Capablanca pieces to get into chess, without having to deal with the headaches of Gothic Chess. 8. The underlying methodology of introducing pieces here can be used with other chess-like games. Consider Shogi with this, for example. You could even go with the OLD version of Shogi without the rook and bishop on the board, and the pieces in the last two rows, and have them come into the game via the method in this game. Chinese Chess would be another. 9. Anyone want to calculate how many different ways that new ways the two new pieces can enter the game?

George Duke wrote on 2007-09-16 UTCGood ★★★★
So, do Knights moving out first make better openings? It does not seem advantageous not to get (RN) and (BN) out pretty early. Maybe the effect over-all is to reduce the number of feasible openings, not increase them. In the video that came with it, Yasser Seirawan joked that it was hard to tell who was ahead at some points in the 6 or 12 simultaneous games being played. Speculate that they are not really much serious about Seirawan Chess but want to break into the possibility of altenatives. MWinther Commented, so I can say we think Bifurcation Pieces are better than more Marshalls and Cardinals, but since there are so many of them and not yet adapt to 80 or 100 squares, it is hard to be specific.

Andreas Kaufmann wrote on 2007-09-13 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Very original and interesting idea about how to introduce 'new' pieces R+N and B+N to chess. Advantages over 8x10 and 10x10 variants are obvious: starting position stays the same (with usual opening patterns). The board dimension stays the same, so balance in piece values is retained. I think the names for these pieces chosen by Seirawan are fine: since ordinary chess player donesn't know them anyway, no problem to come with names you like more.

George Duke wrote on 2007-08-16 UTCPoor ★
Does Computer detect irony? Our previous Comment of 'Excellent' Seirawan Chess could be computer test for any exclusively left-brained entities. To perspicacious observers, everything meant its opposite! Seirawan's and Hooper's name changes for Marshall and Cardinal are actually to be condemned not appreciated. When we say 'Bravo' for RN and BN on 8x8, it is really one prolonged hiss of disapproval. When projecting recycled Carrera CVs every 50 years til kingdom come, Computer may take it literally, but an effectual 'advanced' Turing test bolts (hey, sounds like 'halts': Halting problem) at a lark, red herring or wild card. How to tell? You simply have to be elite 23-paired-chromosome-carrying (apes have 24). Gary Kasparov's Advanced Chess (teaming purported 'grandmasters' and 'chess-playing' program), no other than Yasser Seirawan has called 'atrocious idea'. True enough despite source. Abominable idea too is Seirawan's Chess' crowding Marshall and Cardinal onto 8x8, foremost because of borrowing without attribution (Perfect Chess, Tutti-Frutti etc.), displaying ignorance of place among hundreds CVs. Besides, SC plays as mediocrely as Omega Chess. Is (IRONY: EUPHUISM) as 1(GRADUALISM: TRANSLOCATION) 2(PERSIFLAGE: APOLOGUE) 3(RNA: COFACTOR) 4(CONSISTENCY: HOBGOBLIN) 5 All of the above, 6 1&3 only, 7 2&3 only, 8 1&4 only ?

George Duke wrote on 2007-08-14 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
They are doing it again. Henry Bird did it 1874, Jose Raul Capablanca did it 1923 and now Yasser Seirawan does it 2007. 'Revive' as the premier alternate chess 400-year-old D. Pietro Carrera's Chess! See how the names change. Carrera's Champion(R+N) becomes Guard 19th C., then Chancellor or Marshall 20th C., now Seirawan's Elephant 21st C. Bravo for Elephant on 8x8 now instead of everyone else's 8x10! Carrera's Centaur(B+N) becomes Equerry 19th C., Archbishop, Chancellor(not to be confused) or Cardinal 20th C., now Seirawan's Hawk 21st C. New names for new millennium. Same old comfort zone. Capablanca Random shows these can be tweaked in acceptable fashion to taste 50 or 100 or 200 times good and symmetrically. So, with a new one every fifty years or so, the low-order 50 times 50 years is, well, over 2000 years, itself more than age or time of Chess. Consistency is no hobgoblin.

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