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Kevin Pacey wrote on 2019-03-10 UTC

For what it's worth, here's a link to a CVP page showing games invented by one of the (possibly few) female members of CVP. Granted, the games may not reflect what the vast majority of female chess variant players might wish for in CVs that they would often play:

Jeffrey T. Kubach wrote on 2019-03-08 UTC

I will add that I like the 8 stone chess idea.  Maybe the 8 stones (or however many you use) can be the job of the teammates.  One person gets the pieces, the other gets the stones.

Jeffrey T. Kubach wrote on 2019-03-08 UTC

I think it's cool that you want to make it more female-friendly, but I'm not sure that the name change and having teammates sit across from each other is necessarily enough (or apparent enough to cater to female players).  Nevertheless I do still like those two ideas.  It's a nice combo of "lady" and "bughouse."

I'm not too concerned about specific time controls as much as move order rules.  I'm not sure what other bughouse variants there are, but my understanding of the present form is that two games are running on their own time, and each player just suddenly receives the captured pieces from their partner's game, available to drop.  Without a specific move order it's a lot of wild and crazy luck and/or waiting strategies (unless I'm missing something about the normal bughouse rules).

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2019-03-08 UTC

First I'm not sure why my original title for the subject has not held.

Anyway Jeffrey thanks a lot for discussing it.

Yes, I mean a new game indeed with more formal time controls (which we can establish), but the crux of the matter was to design a game with that in mind along with other features which should define nextchess. The disadvantages of "classic" bughouse is exactly what has got me into this. But the concept of a 2vs2 seems intriguing to me. It is just poorly executed here.

Ladybug is the name of a  supposed to be a variant, or more likelly a class of variants, as I think new bughouse should be (it's just my taste though), but more female friendly (hence the "lady" part)

. I think ladybug is a small insect.

Because it is a difficult task I decided it's better to make it a team effort. Ex-president Kenedy was not there for no reason either.

Short story I strongly believe that the computer almost AI era needs a reformation in what we call chess.


Jeffrey T. Kubach wrote on 2019-03-08 UTC

Aurelian, I always thought that bughouse was usually considered a "wild and crazy" mostly blitz-timed game - the sort of thing people don't analyze but just enjoy watching in action.  Are you trying to develop a more formal turn-based version of bughouse? Personally I was never a huge fan of it because of the uncertainty of talking rules, the timing of the exchanges, etc. but will enthusiastically discuss these things if you're trying to create a more standardized version of bughouse that people could actually go back and analyze.

What do you mean by ladybug?  Is that a current variant or you're just talking about what it could be called?  

[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Aurelian Florea wrote on 2019-03-07 UTC

Hello all you guys and hopefully gals.

A few weeks ago (February the 9th) I had encountered on the Facebook group here : the question if " Is there any dedicated team vs team abstract games? ".

Bughouse was given as example and a question has been risen whether bughouse and it's solitary counterpart crazyhouse. It has been argued that bughouse was designed to be a 2-player/team (4 players in total) game. I disagree. Bughouse is just regular chess shoved into two board with a shogi-like reuse rule!..

But we chess player do tend to get a weird/nerd/geek stamp in a "anti-good" way. And I wondered could I do it. Could I design such a game? Maybe aI could have had. But even most importantly many things needing improving in chess have crossed my mind.

Among them especially important is that chess and it's many variants are not female friendly designed. So that would be a second task.

But then I got so many ideas and then got blocked. It was clear. I can't do it on my own.

The discussion about nextchess is a very old, initial and dear to most on this website. So let's think about it together while crushing the quite unfair believe (ok, maybe a little fair) that chess players are not people persons. So together why not identify what next chess would require and design I propose a few nextchess variants together.

And by know ad-hoc skeptics would complain that it has been tried before: yara,yara,yara.

To that I leave you tto the explanations of someone who does it much better than I :

After this above link is well comprehended let me establish some initial ground rules.

1. Principles need to be established which will guide future conversation without having necessarily any obligatory ones nor the list should ever be closed.

2. The purpose of this post is to design a bughouse game (pair game) for 2 pairs that will benefit from designed goals aligned with this objective.

3. The second purpose (but as primary in importance) is to create a another such game with female friendly concepts in mind. I think a nice name for it would be ladybug.

4. The principles enumerated by Fergus in the link bellow are generally to be considered.

5. Down bellow I will name a few high council member (like in the klingon empire- I know you know what I'm talking about) but most important try to bring into the fold as many people as they think this will matter.

 For starters I name to consider all this active members with a lot of lately contributions and quite interesting and different ideas : Fergus Duniho, Greg Strong, HG Muller, Vitya Makov, Kevin Pacey. I could have missed others though so please, everybody.

6. The ladybug game should be considered to be played on one larger board where partners could see eye to eye as opposite to stay shoulder by shoulder. It is proven that evolutionary speaking women communicate better this way where men communicate better in the later.

7. In order for that to work I propose for consideration that each member of a team should have it own color (although some pieces could change color adding a second way of giving - this time your own- pieces to your opponent). The inspiration for this was the game dada :

8. stones like in 8 stones chess are an interesting addition. They would also provide interesting tactics and yet another way of giving pieces to your partner.

9. I engage to update the list from time to time as the discussion progresses

10. Most importantly Try to bring lady friends into this. We won't be able to properly do 3. otherwise

I would also prefer more alike games. Like with slightly different pieces (like I had done in my 2 apothecary games). For now this is it. I'm waiting for your feedback :)!

And in closing may I add two examples of game principles for orientative puropses as the above ones are rather general (7. & 8. are also game principles). Ex1. There should be a balance between leapers and riders. Ex2. Pieces that are blockable short range but have long range like the picket and giraffe from tamerlane chess are to be considered.

Diagram testing thread[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Kevin Pacey wrote on 2019-02-19 UTC

Here's another version of my (10x8) Officer Chess variant idea, which I may have rejected too fast - I'll study it at my leisure. It might be called (12x12) 'Brawl Chess', and again is a kind of extention of my popular (10x10) Sac Chess variant. Castling would be done on a player's second rank with either unmoved rook, with the unmoved king going 3 squares sideways. Pawns would move as in Omega Chess, i.e. initial double or triple step allowed (as are en passant capture possibilities). Pawns would promote on the last rank, to any piece type in the setup (except for king):

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2019-02-18 UTC

Thanks for the offer, wdtr2. I'll try to get around to making an unofficial preset for my (8x10) Officer Chess idea when I'm a bit less tired and also have more time.

wdtr2 wrote on 2019-02-18 UTC

Kevin if you want to play against me (Officer Chess)  Invite me.  I'd be glad to run prototypes (tests).



Kevin Pacey wrote on 2019-02-16 UTC

Thanks for the replies guys, however critical. The theme I had in mind with this Officer Chess variant idea is basically the same as what I had with Sac Chess, namely the standard chess pieces plus the classic compound piece(s) (i.e. crowned or knighted versions of the standard chess pieces). For Officer Chess I added in two more compounds, each triple compound pieces, to try to logically complete the classic bunch of crowned and knighted compounds (plus standard chess pieces).

As I wrote earlier, I originally wished to have two each of all the compounds (not counting the queen by itself), but that didn't work out on 12x10. It could work out on 12x12, but as a rule I don't think that board size would be remotely attractive except when played online rather than on a physical board. Not only that, but on 12x12 the Ns have rather a short reach, and somehow I'd rather have more camel/wizard type pieces, as in Gross Chess, which is a fine game (for online at the least, indisputably in my eyes). Also, a game played of a 12x12 version of Officer Chess might last way too many moves on average if played well enough, I fear, if armies of 36 units each are used. Note that castling is possible, along the second rank, for the (8x10) Officer Chess idea I'm still contemplating, though my doubts are now increased. Substantially modifying it would take more thought and work though, and it would become a different variant idea altogether.

With Officer Chess I had some hope of doing something fairly quick and dirty, else just forget it (or modify after a taking a break). Note that the popular (10x10) Sac Chess has not one but two amazons per army. I thank H.G. again for putting together a software package long ago that included that variant, though perhaps he has had a change of heart since regarding the merits of that game. Fergus has favorited it on this CVP website, which I consider a considerable endorsement, especially as Fergus also has the customary inclination to avoid including amazons in any variant as a rule (at least such a powerful piece type is on a considerably large board, in the case of Sac Chess). Aurelian's support for the (8x10) Officer Chess is encouraging, if I have any lingering doubts about just junking the idea, which is basically Sac Chess on a somewhat smaller board (perhaps allowing for shorter games on average, which is a plus). I'm not afraid to use a lot of super-pieces, as in chess major piece middlegames and endgames are often very exciting, for both players and spectators - and may lead to more decisive games.

Jarid Carlson wrote on 2019-02-16 UTC

I just see a few useless pieces. 1 rook, bishop, and knight (the standard ones) are superfluous. You already have one of them and then a king compound of the same piece. And if you remove the amazon you can get rid of four and it may make it easier to slim the game down evenly (even if I do like the piece and would love to see it in there somehow if it can be done without resorting to a weird board shape). 


But other than that it seems fine. I'd just simplify it that little bit and probably put the king in the back to allow for some castling. Then it's a little more like regular chess, albeit with a compound of every piece. 

Edit: you can also replace the pieces. Alfils, a man, etc. Assuming you want the same piece amount and don't want to mess with that much.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2019-02-16 UTC

Too many super-pieces, too few minors, for my taste. IMO, if a chess variant contains an Amazon, it already sucks.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2019-02-16 UTC

Hi Aurelian

The back rank pieces are the same compound pieces I used for Sac Chess, plus a couple more compounds that I figure are both in between a queen and an amazon in value, on 8x10. However, I used all the compound pieces only once each, for this (Officer Chess) variant idea. The main issue I have is that the setup (the back ranks at least) is arguably rather ugly, but I had a reason to put just about every piece on those ranks where they are. Earlier I had tried to use each compound piece twice, on a 12x10 board, but the setup always had lots of pieces menacing towards the opponent's pawns right from the setup. With Officer Chess, that just happens with the edge pawns, though even that is worrying, if I want kingside castling to seem safe to the players much of the time.

For a while now I've run out of fresh ideas. One thing is, I don't have the technical skills (nor the burning desire to get them, if hard study required), say simply to be able to make a game with a random starting setup (e.g. on the back rank), nor how to make brouhaha offboard squares, for example (not that I have any clue on what new game I might ever use them for). Being able to have rules-enforcing presets for games would be good, as I suspect such games get played a lot more. However, again it's a matter of skill and not much desire to get it (there's also that I'd hate for a bug to come up if people played such a game of mine, if I wrote the preset, whether or not I was still coming to CVP website at such a time). Otherwise, I'd like it if Hannibal Chess and Frog Chess had rules-enforcing presets, for example. Meanwhile, more complex Ultima-style or wargame-style CVs are beyond my design imaginings right now, nor would I know how to upload any special graphics if necessary.

On a seperate note, I've sent you 6 personal GC invitations, if you haven't noticed yet, and care to accept any.

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2019-02-16 UTC

Why not? The back rank pieces are neat.

But your games do give me a feeling of more of the same.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2019-02-16 UTC

I had an idea for a chess variant the other day, and I'll leave it here for now for study at my leisure. I'm not at all sure yet the idea is worth saving; this variant idea might be called 'Officer Chess', and would have rules like for FIDE chess, except the pawns could promote on the last rank to any type in the setup except a king:

Anal Rententive me.[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
wdtr2 wrote on 2019-01-28 UTC

On the web page:

You can seen all the active and Invatations.  I noticed that there a few or several games that no one has made a move in over 100 days.  It might be too much work ... perhaps we can make a rule for untimed games ... If you do not move in 100 days, you loose that game. 

For the most part 99.9% of the people here are dedicated in making their moves in a timely fashon.  Once in a while a person starts to loose and rather than resign they leave the game in limbo waiting on their turn forever. 

Based in what I see the record right now is:   the game located at


Based on my analysis it looks like andrewthepawn has not made any moves in over 300 days.

It most likely is not a big deal to the web site, but if I was playing someone and they disappeared, it would bother me.  This is not any issue at CV, but me being anal retentive. 

Ideas for future of chess variants[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Aurelian Florea wrote on 2019-01-22 UTC

And Kevin, one more thing about cyborg chess. I'm not sure how you would guarantee equal hardware usage. I guess you can make it a rule that everybody uses the same engine which is distributed very shortly before the competition starts so it won't be hacked. And it is also checked to be ok after each round. But this at first glance at least has the downside that everybody must use the same engine. I believe I can get around this but it's complicated to explain :)!

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2019-01-22 UTC


I had played Arimaa. There is not anti-cheating policy besides just saying don't do it :)!

As far as I know until now it worked :)!

For cyborg games the goal should be that the human players should make the final decision based on huge amounts of properly presented raw data.

The human  part of the cyborg skills are not the same as sole human skills so I'm not sure if not establishing and elite in that setting plays any major part.

Today chess computing heads more and more towards machine learning.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2019-01-22 UTC

It occured to me to Google "chess variants championship tournament", just in case the idea of a multiple CV event (on or off line) had already been thought of. Sure enough, there was an old 2003 idea proposed in detail by an editor for a world open PBEM CVs event to be held on at some future time. Apparently the idea didn't go anywhere, but the details are interesting. I didn't see any mention of how to avoid any computer assistance by players, just that it wasn't allowed. An entry fee of sorts was to be involved:

Note that on the first page of the Google search result that I obtained, there was a 2005 FICS (Free Internet Chess Server) championship event mentioned, which included 7 chess variants.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2019-01-20 UTC

@ Aurelian:

Regarding online cheating via computer assistance, the better chess servers try to detect that for chess, but it's like an arms race in that there are a lot of chess engines out there, old and new. So, even a serious online chess competition may be an expensive proposition. Arimaa (a heavily licensed game) has it's own approved website, which runs its own world championship. Not sure how anti-computer cheating works for that, but since a couple of years ago the best computer program is now also the world's best player. For a CVs website to hold a very serious multiple CVs event online, maybe (or maybe not?) trying to prevent computer cheating is even more of a nightmare for potential organizers. Note that it seems that it's easier to take anti-computer cheating measures for offline chess events than for online ones, but then there are still costs involved in running such events.

Cyborg (Man+Machine) competitions could avoid that trouble, but for CV players I'm not sure there could be a level playing field from the point of view of who has access to the best software and hardware, alone (at least if a competition is to be online). There's also that there might be less interest in CVs cyborg competitions, as, at the least, in the case of CVs, we haven't even yet established who the best human CVs players are, if that's close to possible.

One irony here is that long ago I read a very old book (Computers, Chess and Long-Range Planning), on creating a strong chess program, by world chess champion M. Botvinnik, who opined that once there was such an engine, man would have acquired a tireless helper. He may not have cared about the slight loss of dignity for the world's best human chess players in the future, but it also seems he didn't forsee the ease with which people nowadays can obtain computers and engines, allowing for the possibility of somewhat frequent computer assisted cheating, that today causes so many headaches and concerns.

The birth of two variants: Apothecary chess 1 & Apothecary chess 2[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Aurelian Florea wrote on 2019-01-20 UTC


The knights are fine. It is just how these games work.

I'm not sure what could be wrong with the griffin and aanca code. I think I had just copy pasted what you had written a while ago. And we had talked about this before. But there could be the biggest trouble. Maybe tomorrow I'll take a look :)!

Aurelian Florea wrote on 2019-01-20 UTC

Ok, Fergus,

Thanks for the tip :)!

Ideas for future of chess variants[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-01-20 UTC

If you want live tournaments, it will probably be best to let someone other than myself handle it. I have no experience in running live tournaments, I went to maybe one Chess tournament before quitting the Chess club in high school, and I don't travel much. I'm more into the variety of Chess variants than I am into the intense competition of the Chess world.

The birth of two variants: Apothecary chess 1 & Apothecary chess 2[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-01-20 UTC

On comparing the post-game code in the two presets, there are some piece label differences, and in the Post-Move 1 code for the second preset, there is an endif without a semicolon after it.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-01-20 UTC

In the one with the infinite loop, there are complicated piece functions for the G and A pieces, and the N function has some more code in it. One of these functions might be at fault. I would recommend that you get the second one working, then introduce these functions back into the script one at a time and see what happens. I do not think that anything in the post-move code is involved in the infinite loop, since it happens before I have the opportunity to make a move. But to rule that out, you could try deleting the post-move code temporarily to see if it makes a difference.

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