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A modest proposal about pawns[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Jeffrey T. Kubach wrote on 2019-10-19 UTC

Maybe 1. a5 would be a hassle for Black to deal with in 8x8, but... maybe Black can aim for the center as a response.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2019-10-19 UTC

In FIDE chess, 1.e2-e4 d7-d5 2.e4xd5 Qd8xd5 3.Nb1-c3 Qd5-d6 is a very popular way to play the Scandinavian Defence for Black these days, and so the sequence 1.e2-e5 d7-d4 2.e5xd6e.p. Qd8xd6 that you mention in your proposed variant would seem to be a whole tempo up on that popular Scandinavian Defence line for Black (although the pawns move differently here, it may not help White out much by comparison). So, at least for the sequence you gave, Black is not clearly hurting because of the different pawn rules.

Jeffrey T. Kubach wrote on 2019-10-19 UTC

Today I was thinking about large board variants and their typical "two step" pawn-at-any-time option and "three step pawns" and I thought of a possible idea for pawn movement in general, for ALL board sizes, even 8x8 or smaller.  The main idea is a way of speeding up the game and giving pawns just a bit more power at the right time, while keeping some restraints.

So here it is: what's to stop us from playing with pawns that can slide straight forward as far as they want?  They still capture only one square diagonally.  My added rule is this: ANY piece or pawn can capture en passant at any square that it just moved through.

1. e5 looks too powerful for White as a first move, but what about 1. .... d4 as a response?  If e x d6 e.p. then Qxd6.  Black isn't hopeless here. 

Admitedly I haven't studied it much or played it, but let's discuss!


Testing[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-10-17 UTC

I just checked my page rules on Cloudflare. They are set to cache drawdiagram.php and to bypass the cache for all other PHP scripts. In case it helps, I just chopped the "www." part off of the URLs. From what I understand of the documentation, this is not required.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-10-17 UTC

Although I haven't got a response to my ticket, and the host still says "Virtual server not found", things do appear to be working again.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-10-16 UTC

As far as I can tell, there is a problem with the server. It is somehow partly online and partly offline, and it is also affecting my blog, which has its own domain. I have submitted a ticket about this to the hosting service, and they will hopefully do something about it.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-10-16 UTC

Testing again. The host says " Virtual server not found ", but pages are showing up, and I was able to log in. I haven't been able to move in Game Courier all day. I get 520 errors when I try to, but I've seen that other people have moved today.

Greg Strong wrote on 2019-10-15 UTC

I had this problem in the past but I thought it had been resolved ... six months ago maybe?

H. G. Muller wrote on 2019-10-15 UTC

Well, now you are testing, perhaps you can also test this: when I was submitting my latest chess variant, the submission form was using cached data every time I opened it to make a change. With as a result that the modifications I made would have disappeared next time I opened the input form, unless I would first refresh it with Shift + Load to ignore cached data.

I am not sure if this is just a problem with my FireFox settings, but it seems very undesirable behavior.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-10-15 UTC


New game on CV - Horseman Pawns[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
wdtr2 wrote on 2019-08-10 UTC

Change your password[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
John Lawson wrote on 2019-08-08 UTC

I've had emails like that, similar to yours.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2019-08-06 UTC

A while ago, one longtime member shared with me an extortion scam email he had received that included his CVP password in it. Today I received a similar email that included my CVP password. If you get such emails, just ignore them. It talks about installing malware on your computer, recording your passwords, recording you through your webcam, then conveniently removing all trace of the malware from your computer. It's just a scam, not a real extortion threat.

I don't think it's a coincidence that the password it included in the email was the one for this site. Until just now, I had not changed it in years, and several years ago, all passwords here were encrypted as MD5 hashes. This is very insecure, because there is a fixed relationship between the original word and the encryption, which allows people to build translation dictionaries that can identify your password from its MD5 hash.

If there were really malware on my computer monitoring my passwords, the hacker could just as easily steal my Paypal password, which would prove lucrative without going through the trouble of trying to blackmail me.

If you have not changed your password in a long time, it will still be encrypted as an MD5 hash. To fix this, sign in and change your password. Your new password will be encrypted in a format that does not have a 1-to-1 relation with the password, and it will be much more secure. While you could keep the same password and just update its encryption, that is what I had done, and this email proved that this was not enough to protect my password. The best thing you can do to protect your password is to change it.

Video Tutorial[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Greg Strong wrote on 2019-08-03 UTC

ChessV is open source and it contains a simple scripting langauge for modifying games or creating new ones.  It is hit-or-miss with what you can do in the scripting language.  Usually, you can add or remove piece types, create new piece types, and select what rules are in effect.  You cannot, however, create new rules with the scripting language at this time.  Most of what you suggest would be new rules and would require you to change the C# source code and recompile.

The download comes with several games that are defined in the scripting language, the most advanced being Butterfly Chess.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2019-07-31 UTC

Are you talking about Game Courier now to play it here on-line, or about ChessV? I don't think that in ChessV you can do any of these things; ChessV is not a general configurable variant engine, although it does have a mechanism to configure some (mostly minor) rule variations on the games it supports. And I don't think it is open source. Greg can tell us more about that.

As for Game Courier; I am sure all that is possible there, but in practice you have to be a programmer to be able to write a rule enforcing preset. For this reason the large majority of presets have no rule enforcing at all, and just leave it to the players to enforce the rules. Erroneous rule enforcing is much worse than having no enforcement at all. This should be a good option for the mentioned 100-cell chess, as the location-dependent move rules seem to give it above-average complexity.

Stanislav Kravchenko wrote on 2019-07-30 UTC

Hello. Do you have a clear, detailed video tutorial on creating your own chess pieces and variations? By changing the rules? Is it possible to introduce a diagonal on which some figures could be amplified? Is it possible to introduce pawn castles, so that the pawn could swap places with its own figure standing in front and walking diagonally, that is, with the queen, bishop, wizzard, lion, zanny ...? should only be transformed into the figure that stood on this square, only on the royal square in anyone?

100 cell chess Vsevolod Dubrovsky[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2019-07-24 UTC

Stanislav's name and the fact that he brings this up at all suggests that he reads Russian. So why doesn't he put a discription of this variant on this website?

Google translate doesn't do too bad a job on this, BTW. It seems that this is a patented commercial variant (in Russia) that uses 2-step area-moving Ferz and Wazir as extra pieces, which furthermore aquire Bishop or Rook moves when on the same file as the King. Seems the King itself also has some extra capabilities, but I didn't really read that far.

Greg Strong wrote on 2019-07-23 UTC

I don't read Russian, but I will ask my wife to take a look.

Stanislav Kravchenko wrote on 2019-07-23 UTC

Hello. Do you have the opportunity to add a description of this type of 100 chess to your site, as well as the opportunity to play it on ChessV?

Chess variant engines and CECP (XBoard) protocol[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
H. G. Muller wrote on 2019-07-08 UTC

Your diagnosis is entirely correct. Because KingSlayer was originally designed with only (2x) 7 piece types, it initializes the move-generator data for the four variable types from a larger list of all types depending on the army choice. But when 'Traitor promotion' is set it initializes the 5th variable type as a copy of the 4th, in the table for the opponent. But I forgot to flip the orientation. I will add a note to this posting when I have fixed it.

Good that ChessV now gives a memory command. I already had made KingSlayer a bit more robust to not receiving one, by having it interpret memory size 0 as 128KB and launching it with that size, and then check the memory size at the start of every search to see if it is still at 0, and allocating 64MB if it is. But relying on default hash sizes is likely to give rise to unfair use of resources.

[Edit] OK, I uploaded a version (0.1, same link) where the traitor orientation should be fixed. This was a bit tricky, as the initialization also collects all sliding directions of an army, to know from which directions it should expect discovered checks.

Greg Strong wrote on 2019-07-07 UTC

I have had some more time to test.  This is a really an excellent CwDA engine.  I think I have found another bug though.  In one game, it insisted ChessV made an illegal move when the move was fine.  In that game, ChessV was white playing the nutters and KS was black playing the rookies.  KS promoted a pawn on g1 and chose to promote to a colonel.  ChessV then moved the king to g4 and KS called this an illegal move, presumably thinking that its colonel on g1 attacked it.

So I think the issue is that when KS plays black and promotes a pawn to a piece from white's army, it thinks that the piece moves "forward" as a white piece instead of as a black piece.

Also, good catch about the memory usage.  ChessV does not yet offer an xboard engine's configuration options but as a stop-gap I have added settings for the generic "memory" and "cores" options and it will supply them to xboard engines that support those featuers.

wrong personal invitations[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Aurelian Florea wrote on 2019-06-12 UTC

All right!...

Carlos Cetina wrote on 2019-06-11 UTC


Please note that the pair of personal invitations you gave me recently 



were wrongly addressed to a Game Courier user that does not exist: carlos cetina (with lowercase initial letters).

I am registered as Carlos Cetina (with uppercase initial letters) and userID: sissa.

Such logs are not listed in my "Your Games on Game Courier" page.

Now then, regardless of this random fact, I'm sorry to tell you that I'm currently focused on promoting the Symmetric Chess only; and, for reasons of time and energy savings both physical and mental, I have decided not to play other variants except those included in the current tournament.

So my dear friend, send me all the invitations you want as long as they be of Symmetric Chess!!!

Chess variant engines and CECP (XBoard) protocol[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Greg Strong wrote on 2019-06-04 UTC

Yes, you're right, I was still on 1.2 somehow.  I will test with 1.3.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2019-06-03 UTC

Are you sure you got the new version, and that there was no problem with your browser caching the old version? It should say cwda-1.3 for the version number, and have 'dragons' as one of the options for the White/Black Army (not properly working yet, though). I tested it with a position "8/6P1/6k1/8/8/8/8/1K6 w - - 0 1" in FIDE vs Rookies, and it does play g7g8q without quote in that position.

In earlier versions I had some crashes too, which seemed to occur when the score got extreme. This disappeared after I calculated the interpolation between opening and end-game evaluation in a less overflow-prone way, and the version I originally posted had played several hundred games against Fairy-Max without a single crash. It could be that I broke something when changing the check test to also work with ski-slides. (But I see in the log that this happened for 1.2, so this cannot be the explanation.) This crash also doesn't reproduce.

Indeed I did not put equal armies in the list it announces in the variants feature. It would recognize the names in the 'variant' command, but of course a proper GUI would never send those if the engine did not announce it supported those. It is possible to play equal armies by selecting those through the White/Black Army options, and then select variant fairy. (This is how I test, as it currently is the only method where it is compatible with Fairy-Max, when I tick the option for old piece names, and turn traitor promotion off.)

BTW, in the log I see that you did not send a 'memory' command to set the hash size. That means KingSlayer would use its default hash size, which is only 1MB.

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