The Chess Variant Pages
Custom Search




[ Help | Earliest Comments | Latest Comments ]
[ List All Subjects of Discussion | Create New Subject of Discussion ]
[ List Latest Comments Only For Pages | Games | Rated Pages | Rated Games | Subjects of Discussion ]

Latest Ratings and Comments

Later Reverse Order EarlierEarliest
This item is a reference work
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2017-09-09
 Author: Fergus  Duniho. What is a Chess variant?. An essay on what distinguishes a Chess variant from other games.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Kevin Pacey wrote on 2019-04-19 UTC

Re: "Changing the pieces":

Two points:

1) The Piececlopedia and Piece Articles CVP main index pages currently have no option available to leave any comments. I could start a new thread to do so for general piece-related comments, but for now I chose to post in this particular existing thread what follows, namely:

2) Googling 'Most popular fairy chess pieces' gets a surprisingly high number of relevant search results. My question to Fergus, other CVP editors, or CVP members, is, maybe we are missing something by not having a members' favorites list of fairy chess piece types. I know there are an infinite number of possibilities for piece types in theory, but the Piececlopedia and/or Piece Articles pages narrows them done to a manageable number (like there is a finite number of CVs on CVP). I'd personally be curious to see which piece types are actually popular, based on CVP members' votes cast, and which are surprisingly not so much so. Some pieces may well have a built-in advantage, in that they generally work well on a very large number of board sizes and/or shapes. Anyway, such a list might also help those trying to deliberately invent CVs that are more likely to be popular (even though some popular games may have included some unpopular or then-novel piece types).


This item is a miscellaneous item
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2012-03-18
 Author: Fergus  Duniho. Sign in to the Chess Variant Pages. Missing description[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
softburritoz wrote on 2019-04-18 UTC

Not recieving the email for the password, why is that?


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2019-01-28
 By Jeffrey T.  Kubach. 8-Piece Chess. (Queen's Army chess, all 8 Back Rank Pieces different).[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeffrey T. Kubach wrote on 2019-04-12 UTC

A puzzle: Black to move and save the game for a forced draw:


This item is a miscellaneous item
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2015-12-11
 Author: Fergus  Duniho. Home page of The Chess Variant Pages. Missing description[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Ben Reiniger wrote on 2019-04-12 UTC

@sxg: Oh no!  I wasn't aware of any such problem, but I also don't know how to look into such local connection issues.  (We were down for about a week a little while ago, but nowhere near the months you're reporting.)

@wody: Many of our Piece articles describe many pieces, and our single-piece Piececlopedia articles are few enough that a random link doesn't seem useful.  But I have been wanting to expand on our piece decscriptions, including some new database tables; if and when I get around to that such a random link would be nice, and I'll be sure to add that.


This item is one or more fairy chess problems
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2018-12-23
 By H. G.  Muller. Checkmating Applet. Practice your checkmating skill with fairy pieces.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2019-04-12 UTC

The EGT generator in the applet currently can only handle ordinary sliders and leapers, or their compounds. It is blind to subtleties like divergence, lameness or ski-sliding. These can be indicated in the Betza notation, and the Interactive Diagram used for display will highlight the  pseudo-legal moves accordingly, but the EGT will move the pieces as if the corresponding m, c, n or j modifiers were not there at all.

I guess there now is a need to fix that, in order to get correct handling of the ski-slide (XBetza jR) of the CwDA Wyvern.


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2002-05-28
 By Ralph  Betza. Chess with Different Armies. Betza's classic variant where white and black play with different sets of pieces. (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Ben Reiniger wrote on 2019-04-11 UTC

Neat!

Checkmating with the Dragon fly

Play with the Wyvern (The checkmating applet doesn't seem to like the jumping sideways rook component, putting the black king in check by that move.)


H. G. Muller wrote on 2019-04-10 UTC

The Daring Dragons

I designed a new army, which in tests with Pair-o-Max scores about equal against FIDE. I named it the Daring Dragons.

promoChoice=WHLD graphicsDir=../membergraphics/MSelven-chess/ whitePrefix=w blackPrefix=b graphicsType=png symmetry=none pawn::::a2,b2,c2,d2,e2,f2,g2,h2,,a7,b7,c7,d7,e7,f7,g7,h7 Dragon Fly:F:sNvR:chancellor:b1,g1,,b8,g8 Dragoon:D:KivmN:man:c1,f1,,c8,f8 Dragon Horse:H:BW:crownedbishop:a1,h1,,a8,h8 Wyvern:W:vNsjRB:dragon:d1,,d8 king::::e1,,e8

Interesting feature that sets it apart from other armies is a piece with an unusual (meta-)color binding, the Dragon Fly: this is bound to even or odd board files, along which it moves like a Rook. It can switch between files through a sideway Knight jump. (It is in fact half a Chancellor.) It is worth slightly less than a Bishop, and can often force checkmate on a bare King. The other light pieces is the Man / Commoner, but to facilitate its development (which would otherwise heavily compete with that of the Dragon Fly), it has some additional initial non-capture Knight jumps. It is called a Dragoon. (Dragoons are mounted infantry, using horses for mobility, but fighting on foot.) The Rook replacement is the Dragon Horse known from Shogi (moves as Bishop or one step orthogonally), worth slightly more than a Rook.

The super-piece (called Wyvern) is a somewhat weird construct; first I wanted it to be a Centaur (Knight-Man compound), but then the army proved too weak. Then I replaced the wide Knight moves of the Centaur by a sideway Rook slide, to also have the latter in the game. This makes it a compound of a Man and a 90-degree rotated Dragon Fly. But this was not really stronger than a Centaur; with either the army scored only 40% with black. A sideway Rook slide should be worth more than four Knight moves, but the Centaur already covered the first step of it, so it did not add enough. I also did not like its low speed in the vertical directions, which was unworthy of a super-piece. After some experimenting, a compound of a rotated Dragon Fly and a Bishop proved a little too strong (60% against FIDE), although not out of line with what the other CwDA armies do. A suitable way to weaken it to exactly match FIDE was to replace the sR slide by a ski-slide, skipping the first square on the ray (jumping any occupant if needed).

Ski-sliders are interesting anyway: on a near-empty board they are obviously inferior to the corresponding ordinary slider, as they lack the moves to the adjacent square. That the more distant moves cannot be blocked on that square is of no import if there is nothing around to block them. But on a crowded board, where slides almost always are blocked before they hit the board edge, the ski-slider will have the same number of moves as the normal slider, each target just being moved outward one step. Which should make them nearly equivalent. So ski-slider strength will depend in a different way on game phase as the other pieces, relatively decreasing towards the end-game.

 


This item is a miscellaneous item
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2015-12-11
 Author: Fergus  Duniho. Home page of The Chess Variant Pages. Missing description[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
sxg wrote on 2019-04-09 UTC

Hello,

For the past few months, I have been unable to connect to the website for the past few months in my region (Ireland), when I tried to connect I got a server-side error. Were you aware of this? thx


wody wrote on 2019-04-03 UTCAverage ★★★

Please add random piece link in this website.


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 1996-00-00
 By Ralph  Betza. Wand Chess. Pieces have a magic wand, that gives random outcomes.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
James Hutchings wrote on 2019-03-31 UTC

"White has Ke4, Black has Ke6; if both Kings are fast, whoever moves can capture the other King (somebody made an illegal move, otherwise this position could not have happened);"

I think this could arise legally: someone uses an unidentified wand on one of the Kings, and it turns out to be a Wand of Speed.


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2002-05-28
 By Ralph  Betza. Chess with Different Armies. Betza's classic variant where white and black play with different sets of pieces. (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Greg Strong wrote on 2019-03-31 UTC

Hi, H.G.  It's good to hear from you and to hear that you are working on another engine to help test these things!  I got distracted on other things and never got around to following up.  I have far too many different projects that attract my attention - usually chess variant stuff, but sometimes other things as well.  I found this programming language for writing interactive fiction (think Zork) where source code reads like English called Inform7.  I would not have thought it possible for a real programming language to be a subset of English.  Wild stuff.  But yeah, anyway, I get sidetracked a lot :)

First, I did complete the FIDEs vs. Nutters test with the FIDEs given added incentive to move forward through the PST.  This helped a tiny bit, but not much at all:

Nutty Knights: 261
Fabulous FIDEs: 84
draw: 55

My next thought is to reduce the value of the knight and bishop when facing off against the Nutters.  This will give the FIDEs a strong desire to trade off and the Nutters will have to limit their options to prevent that.  Once the minor pieces are traded off I think the FIDEs are fine.  I don't believe a charging rook is better than a normal one, although a colonel may be a little better than a queen.

I have recently switched back to trying to get the next version of ChessV out.  I have several new features that are mostly done that just need to be closed out.  (Of course, I don't always finish a feature before starting on the next ...)  The most siginificant of these is that I have added a stand-alone ChessV CECP engine so it can be run without the GUI.  This code is all written but almost completely untested.  I admit I've been procrastinating on that.  In the whole scope of this project, there is nothing that is less appealing to me than trying to plan/code/debug for inter-process communication.  The other side of the coin - ChessV's ability to host other XBoard engines is not 100% bug-free either, although it is certainly good enough to be usable.

The material hash is something else I've added but am not making much use of yet.  It is implemented as you describe, and will handle binding of any kind such as your even/odd file example.  I think it was here I described the recursive algorithm I used to find all the different 'slices' of the board for any given piece.  (I'm calling them slices rather than colors because colors becomes confusing when different pieces have different bindings - the knight in Alice Chess being a wacky example.)  It will be interesting to see what scientific testing determines colorbinding bonuses/penalties should be for multiple color-bound pieces.  Currently, ChessV starts discounting the value of pieces heavily starting with the second piece bound to a slice if there are no pieces on a complimentary slice.

Regarding enabling CwDA for inter-engine play, yes, I am definitely interested in figuring out how we can do this.  I am certainly of the opinion that both our GUIs and all our engines should be as inter-operable as possible.  I will post some thoughts about this shortly.  (I'll start a new thread for it.)


H. G. Muller wrote on 2019-03-31 UTC

@Greg

Any progress on this? I am contemplating to also return to piece-value measurements. Because I want to measure the more subtle effects, such as mating potential and pair bonuses, this will require a less course approach than Fairy-Max. I have started to extend the capabilities of my engine KingSlayer (originally released as 'Simple', until I was told that name was already taken), which I wrote a few years ago as a demo source code for orthodox Chess somewhat more advanced than TSCP, to also support fairy pieces. And in particular CwdA. So I changed the move generator to support limited-rage sliding/riding on a per-move basis. (For Chess it was done on a per-piece-type basis, and the range could only be 1 or infinite.)

As that engine only supports 6 piece types per side (which, with a little bit of work, could be expanded to 7), I implemented this by initializing the tables with piece properties it uses during play from a larger table that contains descriptions of all supported piece types. (So far the 16 piece types of the 4 classical CwdA armies.) For a particular game it then just picks up to 4 of these in addition to the always participating P and K. Unlike Fairy-Max, this engine has a dedicated check test (rather than just trying a null move and wait for a King capture), and this had to be extended too in order to handle the new moves. Basically it works by having a 15x15 'board' indexed by the relative distance, where for each step a bitmap indicates which piece type in principle could make such a step, where for sliding moves a contact threat is distinguised from a distant one (to easily see if you need to test for blocking). By making use of the fact that some pieces are compounds of others (like Q=R+B), and decomposig some pieces into 'primitives' to make even better use of that, the number of different primitives needed to support CwdA was 13, too large for the byte originally used for this purpose, but less than half a 32-bit integer, so that I can now even use separate bits for white and black attacks, eliminating the need to test the piece for being an enemy by other means. This type of check test would become more cumbersome with hoppers (where you don't only have direct and discovered checks, but also have to deal with 'activation' by interposition), and very awkward in the presence of bent sliders (like the Gryphon). So this engine will probably never support those kinds of moves. Divergent pieces would still be a realistic possibility, though.

Unlike Fairy-Max this engine does have an advanced Pawn-structure evaluation, (e.g. passer recognition), which is directly usable in CwdA, as that uses the same Pawns. It did keep track of the number of pieces of each type that are still present, and used this to award a Bishop pair bonus (if there were two), or discount the static evaluation score when mating potential gets into jeopary for lack of Pawns (i.e. with 1 Pawn or less). This will have to be substantially refined, though, as with multiple color-bound types cross bonuses are to be expected, and you cannot conclude from the piece counts alone whether you have a pair or not. Also drawish cases similar to 'unlike Bishops' cannot be recognized this way, which was already a weakness in regular Chess. So I plan to add a 'material hash', which uses a hash key that depends on the present material, but counts color-bound pieces of the same type but on different square shades as different. (This can be done through a Zobrist-like hashing scheme that doesn't assign a different key to a piece type for each board square, but just one for each 'meta-color' relevant for that type.) Which piece combinations will have mating potential will now depend on the army, and will thus require a more complex analysis, but if the results of that analysis are kept in a hash table, this will not impact engine speed.

BTW, other types of (meta-)color binding can be interesting as well. E.g. odd/even file binding, such as for vRsD, which does have substantial mating potential. (Although a fortress draw is possible when the bare King cannot be cut off from the safe edge. A vRsDD would even be better in preventing that.)

 

You mentioned lack of standardization presenting a problem for having XBoard engines playing CwdA in ChessV. What would be needed here? Now that I am making KingSlayer into a CwdA engine, it might be good to have a closer look at the specific problems, and try to find ways to remove those. At the moment I have KingSlayer report in the CECP variants feature that it supports variant 'fairy', and gave it engine-defined combo options 'White Army:" and "Black Army:" that can be used to select the flavors FIDE, Clobberers, Rookies or Nutters, and will determine what variant fairy means. But in addition to that I could allow setting of the default value of those options through arguments in the engine command (so that you would never have to bother setting the option).


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2007-03-28
 By Greg  Strong. Cataclysm. Large board game with short-range pieces designed to be dramatic without being overly complicated or dragging on too long. (12x16, Cells: 192) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Greg Strong wrote on 2019-03-30 UTC

I'm thinking of making a change to make games a little shorter.  I need to test it, but I am inclined to change the pawns to fast pawns (pawns can make a double-step, subject to en passant from anywhere.)  This change was suggested by John Davis.

If I did this, I would also remove the rule that a player can move two different unmoved pawns a single space (I like this rule, but it makes the game hard to program because it becomes a multi-move variant.)


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2016-04-06
 By Charles  Gilman. Hoo Mitregi. Intermediate between Mitregi itself and Dai Mitregi. (12x12, Cells: 144) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
KelvinFox wrote on 2019-03-25 UTC

This looks like a fun variant to play. I am going to test it soon


This item is a piececlopedia entry
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 0000-00-00
Mao-hopper. Moves as knight must must jump over occupied orthogonal square at first movement.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
KelvinFox wrote on 2019-03-23 UTC

A logical extension of this would be a version of this that only hops when capturing


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2001-11-13
 Author: Edward  Jackman. Inventor: Gary  Gygax. Dragonchess. A three-dimensional fantasy variant. (12x8x3, Cells: 288) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeff Coutu wrote on 2019-03-12 UTC

There is a mistake for the Elemental. The original text for the Elemental has “The upward move can only be made if a capture is involved, but the downward move can be made without capturing.” The descriptive text above for the Elemental matches the intent of the original text but the diagram for the middle board does not. The four “x” on the middle board should be “c”.


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 0000-00-00
 Author: Mikk  . Inventor: Shimpei  Sato. Onitama. Cards decide how pieces move, perfect information with no chance beyond setup.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Aurelian Florea wrote on 2019-03-11 UTC

Thanks Mikk!


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 1997-05-14
 Author: Hans L. Bodlaender. Inventor: Dr. Arno  von Wilpert. Wolf Chess. Half-century old variant on board of size 8 by 10. (8x10, Cells: 80) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
RalfG wrote on 2019-03-11 UTC

I've just bought the booklet on Wolf-Schach by A. von Wilpert.

The game was indeed invented in 1943, but the booklet was probably published in 1959 (as mentioned by amazon.de - the booklet itself does not give a date of publication). In fact, the booklet mentions two works written by J. Boyer in 1951 and 1954 respectively.


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 0000-00-00
 Author: Mikk  . Inventor: Shimpei  Sato. Onitama. Cards decide how pieces move, perfect information with no chance beyond setup.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Mikk wrote on 2019-03-11 UTC

Hi Aurelian, there are 16 move cards (frog and rabbit are on different cards, same for horse/ox, goose/rooster, eel/cobra), but only 5 are selected for each match. I will clarify this, I see now that my presentation was a bit vague


Aurelian Florea wrote on 2019-03-11 UTC

I see 12 moves and only 5 cards. How are moves distributed on each card ?


Ben Reiniger wrote on 2019-03-11 UTC

That's just the default behavior for a new submission, since most user-submitted pages are their own inventions.  I've updated the information.  Thanks!


This item is a reference work
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2003-01-25
 Author: Glenn  Overby II and Ralph  Betza. Inventor: Ralph  Betza. Betza Notation. A primer on the leading shorthand for describing variant piece moves.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2019-03-11 UTC

Unfortunately crooked pieces are not yet supported, neither by XBoard nor by the Interactive Diagram. The 'z' modifier is also a bit ill defined (and likewise 'q') when applied to oblique leaps. Three different kind of crooked Nightriders would be possible. One could of course define it such that one always has to take the minimal deflection, as with 'q' for the Rose. For a crooked Nightrider this is not the most-likely choice, though.


This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 0000-00-00
 Author: Mikk  . Inventor: Shimpei  Sato. Onitama. Cards decide how pieces move, perfect information with no chance beyond setup.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Mikk wrote on 2019-03-11 UTC

Hi, I don't know why this lists me as the inventor. I didn't make it, I just wanted it to be on the wiki. Thanks!


This item is a reference work
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2003-01-25
 Author: Glenn  Overby II and Ralph  Betza. Inventor: Ralph  Betza. Betza Notation. A primer on the leading shorthand for describing variant piece moves.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
KelvinFox wrote on 2019-03-10 UTC

I wonder how I can make the Crooked Vao display correctly


This item is a miscellaneous item
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2015-12-11
 Author: Fergus  Duniho. Home page of The Chess Variant Pages. Missing description[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Aurelian Florea wrote on 2019-03-10 UTC

Hi Fergus,

A few days ago this on this post : https://www.chessvariants.com/index/listcomments.php?itemid=0000000100000000&order=DESC    I've made a few days ago the title has been misteriously lost :)! Any idea why? When others have answered things seemed to have happened here:

https://www.chessvariants.com/index/listcomments.php?itemid=19990302b57b7f27&order=DESC

Trouble is that things got disconencted and they have to not be :)!


25 comments displayed

Later Reverse Order EarlierEarliest

Permalink to the exact comments currently displayed.