The Chess Variant Pages



This page is written by the game's inventor, James Gryphon.

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James Gryphon wrote on 2014-02-09 UTC
There's almost always an unintended consequence to a ruling, and in this case it seems to affect the Prince losing conditions. Your reasoning on the King being able to cause bare prince and winning the game (while still technically "risking" itself) is logically sound. I could specifically address these situations and make special rules, but that seems to me to be a bit of a copout, and that it complicates the ruleset without need. It seems that the best way to handle the situation is to leave it alone -- if that results in a few strange things that I hadn't thought of when I wrote up the rules, that's the way it rolls.

Your speculation on the meaning of the draw rule is correct. I hoped that that was what was implied, but apparently I didn't make it as clear as I should have. There actually is a segment that says "All rules not mentioned or altered above are presumed to be as in normal Chess", but that's at the very end of the document, and maybe doesn't cover all these little situations as well as I'd have liked.

The rule on stalemates is an artifact from the time when the game did not have the komi (point) system to resolve draws. I had a different system that went basically like this: all (other) draws are resolved in favor of black. I realized as soon as I thought about it for more than a few seconds that there was too much compensation for the second move and changed the game to use the system that you see now, but the stalemate thing somehow stuck around (probably because it didn't have anything to do with the side's color). If I was going to change the rules again, I think I would take out the bit on stalemates (making it a normal draw), and simply make the King worth points.

Regrettably I doubt I've playtested it much more than you have. I don't have anyone to try it out on in the real world, so I only had my own thoughts and experience to judge it. I would have played the computer, if I could have, but there's just enough non-standard elements to make it impossible to implement in any free Chess variant app. I guess Zillions of Games would be able to figure it out, but I haven't registered that at this time, so I was stuck. If you're up for playing it sometime, I'd definitely appreciate the opportunity.

I'd be surprised if any phase of the game directly corresponds with FIDE Chess. The opening is different (thanks to decreased pawn movement), the end will be very different... even the midgame is different, since piece promotion is rampant. I suspect that the stages of the game will have the most in common with Shogi, since that game also has a lot of promotion, but really it's anyone's guess. It has Western and Eastern Chess genes, and the result is a game that resembles but isn't quite like either of them.

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