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Comments by Antoine Fourrière

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zillions of games with windows 8[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Antoine Fourrière wrote on Sun, Oct 20, 2013 11:08 AM UTC:
I'm on Linux so I have no idea whether Zillions works with Windows 8, but
you can download it at

Bilateral Chess. Game on 12x8 board adding Lions, switching Cannons, Wizards and pushing Elephants, but keeping the standard array in the middle. (12x8, Cells: 96) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
💡📝Antoine Fourrière wrote on Sat, Oct 5, 2013 11:58 AM UTC:
Preview/Ramblings:     Chess with Elephants, Cannons and Camels.

I have been trying for some years to come up with my own version of a Next Chess solution of the Shako/Eurasian Chess/Mir Chess family (that is, a family of games with no-nonsense pieces, featuring essentially Western Kings, Pawns, Rooks and Knights, as well as orthogonal Cannons and either Bishops, modern Elephants or both). I am now rejecting compound pieces such as the Can(n)on, the Murray Lion or the Falcon, which I find too strong, in favor of the modern Elephant, the WD - called here a Machine -, the Korean Cannon, the Korean Vao, the Camel and the Zebra. All these pieces are convergent, have orthogonal and diagonal symmetry, and - the Vao excepted - are roughly worth a Knight. I find the Elephant, the Cannon and the Camel, which also appear - the Cannon being Chinese - in Jean-Louis Cazaux's Tamerlane 2000/Perfect 12/Metamachy, more enticing than their "hippogonally symmetric" counterparts, although I am unwilling to completely do away with the latter. I want to include the 64 Orthochess squares within my original setup, but whenever I try to come up with a 14x8 or 16x8 version, the Queens, instead of exchanging themselves, keep rampaging the outer ranks, so 12x8 - or perhaps 13x8 - is the limit. I want the Vaos, the Camels and the Zebras to be unable to threaten a fork and an exchange before a few moves. I certainly don't want the Cannons to get exchanged soon. I also wish to make 19th century opening style fruitful, so I prefer KP vs. K to be a draw, which bars Pawn promotion to Queen, Rook or even Machine.

Hence this probable setup:

   +---+   +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+   +---+
8  | j |   | c |:e:| r |:n:| b |:q:| k |:b:| n |:r:| e |:c:|   |:j:|
   +---+   +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+   +---+
7          |:::| p |:p:| p |:p:| p |:p:| p |:p:| p |:p:|   |
6          |   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|
5          |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |
4          |   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|
3          |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |
2          |   |:P:| P |:P:| P |:P:| P |:P:| P |:P:| P |:::|
   +---+   +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+   +---+
1  |:J:|   |:C:| E |:R:| N |:B:| Q |:K:| B |:N:| R |:E:| C |   | J |
   +---+   +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+   +---+
     w   x   y   z   a   b   c   d   e   f   g   h   i   j   k   l 

wherein the (Korean) Cannons and the Camels - represented by J/j - are initially unable to move, with two rules:
1) The first Elephant's move - say i1-g3 - turns the moving player's other Elephant and the Elephant facing that other Elephant - here, z1 and z8 - into Machines, the first Cannon's move turns the moving player's other Cannon and the Cannon facing that other Cannon into (Korean) Vaos, the first Camel's move turns the moving player's other Camel and the Camel facing that other Camel into Zebras. Thus each player gets one Elephant, one Machine, one Korean Cannon, one Korean Vao, one Camel and one Zebra.
2) A Pawn hitting the eighth row may only promote to an Elephant, promote to a Camel, but on a Camel's starting square - thus choosing the Camel's square color - or die while turning an enemy piece - often a Rook - into a Cannon. Thus the game will often feature extra Elephants, Camels or Cannons.

(A Cannon may hop to a Camel's square - why not? - but it may not hop over or capture a Cannon, though it may hop over or capture a Vao. Similarly, thanks to mirror symmetry, an Elephant is unable to capture an Elephant before promotion. Ditto for Camels - and Vaos.)

I am not completely satisfied with the game as it is, though. There may lack some rule which would introduce infrequently a strongish leaper such as the HFD or the Great Elephant/Silver Elephant. There may lack also an occasional Commoner and I would certainly prefer 12 Pawns. But burying the Cannons beside two Pawns and two pieces on the y and j files seems ugly. Besides, the Commoner - or weaker types such as the Gold/Silver/Copper General, the Wazir and the Ferz - tends to remain passive until the endgame. It is also slightly unfortunate that the players may get an Elephant and a Camel - and a Vao - of the same square color. And perhaps the game should start with three Cannons, only one of which would become diagonal. On the other hand, the game already features 100 squares, 48 pieces and 12 piece types.

I guess (basing myself on Dave McCooey's result about KBCamel vs. K being a win on 8x8 and H.G. Muller's hints about nx8 being essentially similar to 8x8) that KPP vs. K is a win if both Pawns are able to promote to an Elephant and a Camel, but if I'm wrong, perhaps a Pawn should also be permitted to promote to a Knight while changing all enemy non-King pieces - including Pawns - to Knights, something you're willing to do only against a bare King.

Lion. Powerful piece from Shogi variant.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Antoine Fourrière wrote on Thu, Oct 3, 2013 09:08 PM UTC:
Perhaps this theoretically reflectional setting might implement Greg's idea, with the added rule that the first Lion to move destroys its colleague and its mirror opponent. Once the two surviving Lions have left their starting squares, no Lion or Knight in its right mind would reach the four extra squares. But there is no need to destroy them. (Or you can use the Gustavian board or the 8x8 board analog to the Omega board, and destroy the extra squares.)

Antoine Fourrière wrote on Tue, Oct 1, 2013 09:52 PM UTC:
I think that Joe Joyce is fundamentally right to imply that the Lion is merely too strong for FIDE Chess. (I agree that a mere FWDAN would offer no particular interest, though.)

Nevertheless, your second setup is better than your first one, and a third Knight on h2/h7 would be even better. 10x8 with two Knights and a Cardinal would be even better. Rotational symmetry - with Lions on the outer files - would be better. 12x8, with a Marshall, a Cardinal, a third Knight and rotational symmetry would be better. True, it would no longer be a modest variant.

The Chu Shogi restrictions are much more necessary on 64/80/96 squares than on 144 squares, but what is going to happen once the Queens - and the other compounds, should you add one or both of them - are exchanged? The players will be stuck with Lions until the endgame. Or perhaps you could allow a Lion exchange once the Queens - and the other compounds - have disappeared? Or you could disallow a Queen exchange on the same basis that you disallow a Lion exchange? That seems the least bad option to me.

All in all, I am afraid the game will remain flawed. I hope I'm wrong, because the Lion seems a great piece.

A minor idea on 8x8 is to allow a Pawn which has started on the third rank to step backwards while the Knights on a2/h2/a7/h7 move.

I don't see why the Pawns should be allowed to promote to Queens, but not to Lions, although it would make no practical difference.

A Favorites System[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Antoine Fourrière wrote on Thu, Apr 25, 2013 02:26 PM UTC:
It seems I can pick only 13 favorites.

Antoine Fourrière wrote on Wed, Apr 24, 2013 05:00 AM UTC:
Catapults of Troy, Centennial Chess, Invasion, Maxima.

Antoine Fourrière wrote on Wed, Apr 24, 2013 03:03 AM UTC:
I cannot mark as favorites games which are three levels down the file

Rococo. A clear, aggressive Ultima variant on a 10x10 ring board. (10x10, Cells: 100) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Antoine Fourrière wrote on Sat, Aug 11, 2012 08:02 AM UTC:
In 1), both moves are legal, so Game Courier accepts them, just like it would accept h2-h3;h3-h4;h4-h5. But the second part of 2) isn't legal as a single move either.

Chu Shogi Western ZIP file. Missing description[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Antoine Fourrière wrote on Mon, Feb 21, 2011 06:45 PM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
The Copper Generals and the Lances are missing.

[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Antoine Fourrière wrote on Tue, Jan 25, 2011 07:36 PM UTC:
I don't know the latest chessvariants password. Could David or Fergus
email it?

Korean Carrera. Missing description (15x10, Cells: 150) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Antoine Fourrière wrote on Sun, Sep 5, 2010 06:23 AM UTC:
Is merely using a piece which jumps like a Korean Cannon enough to qualify? Then my own Bifocal Chess has a piece which becomes (by choice) a Korean Cannon or a Korean Vao after each jump. 

I am also considering this 12x8 setup:


wherein C are the same Korean Cannons/Vaos (starting as Cannons, and allowed to capture or jump a Cannon/Vao), L are so-called Leapers whose first diagonal or orthogonal move turns them  as a pair for the duration of the game into Cazaux Elephants (AF) or War Machines (DW) (unless one is captured before , turning the surviving Leaper into a Zebra or Camel), and Pawn promotion is allowed only as a Knight, an Elephant, a War Machine, a Camel or a Zebra (one of each per player).

Makruk (Thai chess). Play the traditional Chess variant of Thailand on Game Courier.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Antoine Fourrière wrote on Wed, Feb 10, 2010 04:31 PM UTC:

Yes. See for instance this preset.


Ajax Chess. All pieces have can play one square in any direction, the Mastodon leaper complements the Knight. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Antoine Fourrière wrote on Thu, Jan 21, 2010 11:09 PM UTC:

Antoine Fourrière wrote on Mon, Nov 2, 2009 08:27 AM UTC:
Oops, it's corrected.

Antoine Fourrière wrote on Sun, Nov 1, 2009 10:33 PM UTC:

Antoine Fourrière wrote on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 05:37 PM UTC:

Catapults of Troy ZIP file. Large variant with a river, catapults, archers, and trojan horses![All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
📝Antoine Fourrière wrote on Mon, Oct 19, 2009 09:07 PM UTC:
I have removed a bug. A Ram sliding off a Catapult captured by replacement instead of destroying everything on its way.

[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Antoine Fourrière wrote on Fri, Oct 16, 2009 06:41 AM UTC:
I tried some time ago a (seemingly lost) zrf for Comet Chess, a rather dull 10x10 variant which merely used a CRNBQKBNRC setup, with augmented Knights (color-changing NW) and Comets, parabolic, colorbound curve riders which moved (1,1), (2,4) or (3,9). (So, advancing a Rook's Pawn threatened to exchange a Comet for a Bishop.) The Comets, the Bishops and the NW had approximately the same value, if I recall correctly.

Ajax Modern Random Chess. Missing description (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Antoine Fourrière wrote on Mon, Sep 28, 2009 10:04 AM UTC:
Okay, I've made them transparent and added them as _jc_aa, _JC_AA, _jc_ac and _JC_AC.

Modern Chess. Variant on a 9 by 9 board with piece that combines bishop and knight moves. (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Antoine Fourrière wrote on Fri, Aug 14, 2009 02:09 PM UTC:
Sorry, it seems to be working now.

[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Antoine Fourrière wrote on Wed, Nov 12, 2008 09:17 AM UTC:
My mistake. I had to fix the preset for Large Nahbi Chess (by rewriting
alfnahbi which Uri Bruck had inadvertently deleted). The problem is simply
that alfnahbi isn't referenced by sets.php yet.

Antoine Fourrière wrote on Mon, Nov 10, 2008 09:49 PM UTC:
It seems this concerns the automated games in which one of the players has
castled. The Shako games and the Ultima games are okay, but the Falcon
Chess games and the Chess on a Longer Board games are not, and my GCT1
Anti-King Chess game against Roberto Lavieri (who castled in that game)
also does not open.

The View command doesn't work.

There are (were?) also some problems with choosing a piece set.

Falcon Chess. Play Falcon Chess on Game Courier![All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Antoine Fourrière wrote on Sun, Nov 9, 2008 12:41 PM UTC:
If you write twice each move in the moves section of the piece, Zillions will give you twice the value. In this case, I think it would be much closer to the truth; to me, a Falcon is closer to a Rook on 10x8 than a Knight is to a Bishop on 8x8.

Alfaerie Expansion Set 6. Missing description[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Antoine Fourrière wrote on Thu, Sep 11, 2008 10:09 PM UTC:
Okay, I've added them to alfaerie-many.

[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Antoine Fourrière wrote on Sat, Apr 19, 2008 09:38 AM UTC:
I agree that draws aren't a problem. They aren't that frequent at
subgrandmaster level and grandmasters can decide for themselves what suits
them best. But for the record, I would suggest the following solution to
this non-problem. 
In the Yugoslav Soccer Championship, draws led to overtime and penalties,
but the penalties were shot before the overtime. Hence, the players knew
whose interest it was to attack. Following that idea, how about a blitz
with inverted colors giving half a point to the winner and a third of a
point to the loser should the real game end in a draw?

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