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Comments by Daniil Frolov

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Hippodrome. Solitaire game using a small board. (4x4, Cells: 16) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Daniil Frolov wrote on Thu, Feb 27, 2020 12:07 PM UTC:

Another thought on possible 2 players Hippodrome variant.

A few days ago I've read about an "L-game":

They say, it was ivented as mathematician and psychologist in their speech concluded that the chess game is to complicated, which obstructs it's elegance, and so the psychologist decided to invent an L-game instead. We have to admit that chess game is really quite artificial and heavy, and so are most of chess variants (despite the fact that European chess set is pretty logical compared to it's Indian ancestor or Chinese and Japanese sisters).

But it bothered me that they actually came to quite different game - why they had this answer to chess if there are already many games that are quite modest and mathematically-elegant, like, say, Go? (Let alone that this L-game seems solvable and have a perfect play.) And I thought that there shold be some game that gives the actual essence of chess, while being mathematically-compact, not enheavied by artificial things.

There are two main features that make chess the chess. Different piece movements and a special role of the King. Second one actually seems more artificial, but I guess there is game that could give the mathematical essence of checks and checkmates, but let's leave it for further thinking now.

And suddenly it stroke me that some 2-player variant of Hippodrome actually could be that mathematical essence of "different piece movements". See - it consists of different moves, brought to 15-game. It also gas the perfect size - it brings practically all these most basic pieces, not more or less in sane sense (consider all these camels and dababahs rather derivative things).

Yet, I can't say about it's solvability. It have muuuch more possible setups than L-game, but it seems that in most of situations it have less possible turns.

What do you thing on all that matter?

Daniil Frolov wrote on Mon, Feb 24, 2020 05:54 PM UTC:

I guess it could be an interesting game for two (either with neutral queen or with swapping instead of moving to empty space, with prohibition on undoing opponent's moves in both cases), where players have to get certain poker-like combinations in a limited number of turns or to be the first to achieves several goal.

Robber-Baron. Which of the seven robbers is the robber-baron? (7x7, Cells: 39) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Daniil Frolov wrote on Mon, Feb 24, 2020 12:56 PM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★

I have to comment it for having simple yet original rules, promising a good entertainment, perhaps even well commercially-sold.

Home page of The Chess Variant Pages. Homepage of The Chess Variant Pages.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Daniil Frolov wrote on Fri, Feb 1, 2019 03:44 PM UTC:

God, I'm afraid to sound like "grass-was-greener", but anyway, sometimes I occasionally visit and see it not as convenient as it used to be. The most pages take a lot time to find - okay, one can get used to that - but once I visit Game Courier trying not even to play, but merely set pieces to test them, board appears totally not as it was planned, and most of sets are gone somewhere (especially sorry for that huge Alfaery set with all pieces one could ever need).

[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Daniil Frolov wrote on Wed, Apr 18, 2018 09:11 AM UTC:
Searching some information about russian composer Sergei Prokofiev, I found out about his devotion to chess, which correspondend his fondness to precision. "Chess is the music of the mind" - he said.
He is also known for beating the future chess champions José Raúl Capablanca 1 out of 3 times in a simultaneous exhibition match in 1914.
But, on to the subject of this website, being young, Prokofiev wished to invent a new form of chess. At first he attempted to creat "a chess on a hexagonal board that would have hexagonal cells as well". But the invention were "not thought-out for movement of Rook and Bishop were unexpectedly alike, while the movement of pawn were totally unclear". And finally he came up with 24x24 chess with nine sets of pieces.
Unfortunately, I didn't manage to find any further information about his inventions, but, from the description of Rook and Bishop movement, I assume, it could be something like Gilman's AltOrth Hex Chess. Or, another possibility, the Rook could be the one we get used to in hex variations, but bishop differing from it differing in some unexpected way (say, it could be Dababah-rider). Yet, I'm thinking of AltOrth assumption as of more likely. It seems we only able to guess.

UPD: Oh, sorry for posting it into the wrong thread. I attempted to create my own thread, but it seems too glitchy.

Snake Chess. A variant played on a 2 by 12 cyclindrical board. (2x12, Cells: 24) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Daniil Frolov wrote on Fri, Jun 23, 2017 03:36 PM UTC:

Practically, on 2-square-wide board, like in this game or Narrow Chess, crooked=cylindrical bishop works just like vertical mover (rook with no sideways movement) would, the only difference is that they are bound to different kind of "dimensions". So, it seems logical to have 2-square-wide game with 2 crooked bishops, 2 vertical movers, 1 rook and 1 c. bishop with sideways wazir move added. And a mixture of pawns and berolina pawns (they would also look identical, but in different dimmensions according the same logic).

Hmmm, how the same principle would look in more wide games?..

Bach Dang Chess. On board with 100 squares, with crafts and other special pieces and rules. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Daniil Frolov wrote on Thu, Jun 22, 2017 08:07 PM UTC:

Well, maybe, it's supposed that these 1 and 2 squares should be vacant, while anything in between may be leaped?..

(And as well, in some positions, some moves of leapers like zebra are seems to be reduced.)

Quang Trung Chess (4th edition). Variant with standard equipment, with different moving pieces, and elements of Xiangqi and FIDE-chess. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Daniil Frolov wrote on Thu, Jun 22, 2017 07:43 PM UTC:

Since it seems that most of editions are lost, I'll comment, considering only the 1st, the 2nd and the 4th. All editions have some nice advantages. Despite the borders, restricting king's movement, were added because author felt 8x8 board too small and 10x10 board too big, I feel pity that they were abolished in 8x8. Because they seemed quite fitting this kind of rook: king and pawns, the most important pieces of Quang Trung, have less possibilities to hide from the rook.

I would propose the 8x8 variation that have the limited roads, like in 2nd edition, but here - 4-files-wide, and also using knights at places of queens, and queen at place of knight, for obvious reasons. It have the following benefits:

1) That I said above about hiding from rook.

2) It keeps an ironical moment from past editions: rooks face each other, but can't capture!

3) It gets rid of requirment to have two sets of Xiang-Qi for this. One set of either western or eastern chess will be enough!

4) Why one should have two of seemingly strongest kind of pieces, while having only one of not-so-strong? Or this arrangement have something to do with Vietnamese culture?

Another possible addition is restrictions of queen in same way as king and pawns: it makes her a weapon against these important pieces, yet being vurnelable of other pieces! But maybe, it's an excess feature...


What I would like to say about Quang Trung in general - is that I like idea of making a national chess variant for a country that don't have it, and Vu Q Vo fulfiled this idea quite elegantly, making his game(s) really unique, almost "what could be if Vietnam had a CV as different from other variants, as Xiang-Qi, Changi, Shogi, Makruk and western chess are different from each other". It even would be nice, if 100 years later Quang-Trung would be mentoided among others (of course, being the last, as a subclause, with obvious disclaimers). But it's too optimistic, since now Google don't know much about Quang Trung chess... I would like to know, how it were met in Vietnam IRL. Are the any enthusiasts at least?


Of course, it's not the only case of making national chess variant. Vu Q Vo made it the most straightforwardly, and with a lot of elegance, but there are others. Some are made by people of that specific nation, some - by people inderectly connected with that nation, and some - by people with no connection with it, just these who like that nation.

In Russia, it were done at least twice, in quite different ways.

The first were the Chess-Battle, not literally Russian, but Soviet - the new type of chess for the new nation, with a strong connection with modern warfare.

The second, opposingly, tryed to follow the spirit of "ancient Russia" - that's Russian Chess, giving archaic names for standart pieces, and using way of capturing from old Russian tower checkers variant (and, perhaps, promotion of king's pawn to Q+N compound, reflects the fact, that queen had this movement for a long time in Russia). Unfortunately, it seems to pretend being real ancient form of chess.

Bulgaria also had a mystification, claiming to be authentic - Boyar Chess, using some really exotic pieces.

Charles Gilman made a Jewish-themed family of variants - Anglojewish Chess. He also have some variants, related to certain locations in Britain. And in general, Gilman himself, with his monstrous classification of pieces, looks like a kind of "Lewis Carroll and JRR Tolkien of chess world".

And there also been quite an elegant variant strongly-themed after Britain itself - Caïssa Britannia by Fergus Duniho.

Australian variant with funny pieces, reflecting it's animals, tribesmen and animals, is Outback Chess by Timothy Newton.

American Chess is, I guess, supposed to be something Americanesque, as the name suggests. It have some unique features, including winning conditions, an alternation for kings.

Hanga Roa by Hernán Marcelo Domínguez Placencia and Juan Pablo Schweitzer Kirsinger also offers something unique, reflectingthe building of Moai on the Easter Island.

Despite India is the likely and widely-belivied motherland of chess, and have several own local variants, she also were given her made-up variant: Ramayana Chess by Luiz Carlos Campos, with islands, mythical characters and leaping-only pieces (which somewhat reflects the spirit of Indian chess).

I'm not going to list all Shatranj with variants with somewhat Middle-Eastern theme.

And I'm personally thinking of Aztec (or Mesoamerican in general) chess, with links to the local culture, mythology, society and non-chess boardgames. However, I have to think about pieces, to make them elegant enough, and not being a mere copy of western chess pieces (which was successfully done by most of variantists I listed above).

(Actually, my favourite "exotic region" is Polynesia, but there's already Hanga Roa chess, plus, how I see a Polynesian chess variant, looks really like Piratecniks, so I better to think about Mesoamerican one, the region, I'm currently interested in.)

Upgrade chess. Upgrade initially weak pieces by capturing. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
💡📝Daniil Frolov wrote on Mon, Jun 19, 2017 01:33 PM UTC:

Re-reading some of my old variants, I thought about Knappen's comment. And I think, the possible solution of the game's "weakness" is to add the "treasures": non-movable neutral pieces, that could be captured by euther player and add 1 level. It would also add some more spirit of adventure RPG. But how to introduce them? Possible variants:<br/>

1) They are initially set in fixed position. But what position is the best?<br/>

2) Sometimes they appear randomly, with certain limitations (the most obvious - they should not be able to be captured on the sybsequent turn, but shouldn't there be more complex restrictions?).<br/>

3) Players do drop them, again, with certain limitations (e.g. - they should not be under one's pieces attack, or they should be on the opposing half of board).<br/>

4) They are initially placed randomly and hidden, and don't obstruct the movement, and once piece moves, it gets the number of treasures around (as in Minesweeper game). Alternative variant - rather than being placed randomlly, they are placed by player on his half of board, and of course, one can collect only opponent's treasures.<br/>

Another solution - respawning pieces, retaining they level (or reducing only by 1). But it also should be somehow restricted...<br/>

Do somebody have other ideas?

Pentagonal chess. Missing description (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
💡📝Daniil Frolov wrote on Mon, Jun 19, 2017 12:49 PM UTC:

Oh my god, I came here to fix some minor grammatical mistakes, but after the fix, diagramms went dizzy, and even Courier New font didn't help. Please, coukd somebody help me with it?


Yeah, maybe the old default format were not quite aesthetical, but it were perfect to make textual diagrams...


(Also, maybe, it's an audacity, but I also would be glad if somebody would help me to make praphical diagrams. Of course, I'm not forcing anybody to do it, but if somebody would will, I would be deeply thankful, for I think it's the most important of my chess variants.)

Boolean Rithmomachia. Missing description (4x(4x4), Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Daniil Frolov wrote on Thu, Nov 17, 2016 12:54 PM UTC:

I imagine this somehow combinated with the "Philosopher's Chess", so that movement on the additional board decides, what methods of capturing are avaible right now.

For example, in 2x2 board tokens can be moved, dropped or removed (and there must be at least one), and each square corresponds to one of capturing ways.

Xiangqi: Chinese Chess. Links and rules for Xiangqi (Chinese Chess). (9x10, Cells: 90) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Daniil Frolov wrote on Wed, Sep 7, 2016 02:38 PM UTC:

A Soviet animation with Vietnamese screenwriter and assistants, based upon an Vietnamese fairy tale or myth (Russian language). Skipped to 1:35:

The Lord of the Sky is playing chess with Mistress Drought for the Earth's water.

The game they are playing is clearly Xiang-Qi (as we know, in Vietnam they play the same chess, as in China, unlike Korea with a clearly different version). However, there is something strange about the board: on the place of the River, there are Palace-like crossed squares. Is it an actual way to mark Xiang-Qi board in Vietnam, or it's merely an animator's mistake?

Dune ChessA game information page
. Chess variant based on the Dune novels of Frank Herbert.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Daniil Frolov wrote on Sat, Sep 3, 2016 01:16 PM UTC:

Reading the novel right now, and, by impressment, looked back at this variant. Had anybody tryed it? It seems to be very slow...

Hearthstone Chess[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Daniil Frolov wrote on Sat, Aug 20, 2016 02:22 PM UTC:

Hearthstone is an official collectable-card game themed to Warcraft universe. Despite it's not chess, it may be loved by chess variantists, as all these variable cards have some spirit of chess variants community. However, this time it features a special chess-themed event, a mini-game, having the intermediate feeling between collectable-cards game and chess.

Here Kings take places of heroes, having 30HP each (20 in the harder Heroic mode) and being the goal to destroy. Other pieces are cards in the deck.

Unlike regular cards of Hearthstone, pawn, rook and queen don't attack according to the player's choice. Instead, they attack automatically at the end of their player's turn, and they attack the piece directly ahead. Since minions are always centered, piece attack two pieces ahead if players have different evennes of minons. If there are no pieces directly ahead, the minion attacks the opposing King (even if one opposing piece is "diagonally" ahead, it still blocks the King).  

Pawn, rook and queen are "regular" pieces of this mini-game, and the differ by their attack only (and the cost, of course), and they have an identical amount of health:

Bishop and knight are rather special:

Unlike other pieces, knight don't do auto-attack. Instead, it attacks a certain piece by player's choise (can't attack the King), and gets counter-attacked according to power of attacked piece.

Bishop, as you can see on the picture, plays the role of healer.


White King, controlles by player, also have power to take one of 3 randomly-suggested pieces, giving two mana-points (this power is named "castling"). Black King, controlled by computer, have "cheating" power of the same cost - he may destroy the external-left whit piece.

In the Heroic mode, black King's power is the same, and the White instead have option to move one piece to left (it costs 1 mana and may be used several times per turn). Also, in the Heroic mode the white player has less cards.


Korean Chaturaji[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Daniil Frolov wrote on Wed, Jan 20, 2016 05:23 PM UTC:
This position is dangerous for left rooks.

Double Castling[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Daniil Frolov wrote on Mon, Sep 21, 2015 08:46 AM UTC:
I thought to make a 20x20 game with the following first-line setup:


With C being Cardinal, M being Marshal and A being Amazon (that is, four of
each basic pieces, two of each double compounds, and one tripple compound).

I did not finish this game because knight (and pieces with knight
component) required some augmentation: on such a huge board usual knight
would be pawn-like. But I had no idea, what augmentation. Making three
knight leaps in freely-bending directions (exactly three, to keep it
colourbound) would make it overly-strong. Limiting these bendings in some
way (for example, knight must keep his "long" (2 squares) direction, but
may change the "short" (1 square) direction freely) would be complicated
and artifical, and making him able to make one leap or three leaps in
straight knightrider direction would be not enough, and artifical as well.

Well, now back to the subject - my idea was that the King is able to castle
with any of four rooks, or with one of two Marshals (as you see in the
setup, their position are rook-like, while Queens' positions are
bishop-like). Of course, with only one of them, and only once per game.

Can't say for sure, but I don't think it's such a problem to uncover the
path to the external rook with non-external rook: with pawn multistep
augmentation, pawns can move quite far from the initial position, and a
non-external rook have two sideways directions after moving forward, rather
than one.

Armageddon Chess. Missing description (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Daniil Frolov wrote on Tue, Mar 24, 2015 09:40 AM UTC:
What are author's reasons  of removing all his variants?..

Triangular xiang-qi. Missing description (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
💡📝Daniil Frolov wrote on Sat, Mar 14, 2015 12:08 PM UTC:
Oh my, the opening position is so badly thought-out... When I was making this, I should think better... I must set pieces in some another position... Simply moving rooks in front of elephants to protect horses would not help, as t will pin cannons... Maybe, it's better to ignor thatclassic Xiang-Qi's initial condition that cannons initially attack protected horses...

Chaturanga. The first known variant of chess. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Daniil Frolov wrote on Fri, Mar 13, 2015 07:50 AM UTC:
In "Encyclopedia of absolute and relative knowledge" by popular French writer Bernard Werber, there is a short article about chess. Well, one should read this "encyclopedia" spectically, as it's philisophical tone confidently states some things that are not necessary true, and Werber could copy other people's mistakes, lie or speculation, and in the beggining of this article it's said that Chaturanga's first mention is found in 1000 BC, wich already makes to doubt about the rest article, but anyway, I'll ask about it.

It's said that Chaturanga is an ancestor of chess, cards and dominoes(!). It's said, it used dice with four symbols of four Indian castes: cups for priests, swords for warriors, sticks for peasants, coins for merchants. I know that these symbols was used in Indian cards, and in Europe they evolved to card suits we know (cups = hearts, swords = spades, coins - diamonds, sticks = clubs). But I never heard about connection between chess and Indian castes or card suits. Are there any serious sources to prove it?

Another interesting but very doubtful guess in this book (well, at least it said that it's only the guess) is that number four - of castes, card suits and chess pieces, is somehow linked with four DNA nucleotides - Thymine, Adenine, Cytosine, Guanine.

Tamerlane chess. A well-known historic large variant of Shatranj. (11x10, Cells: 112) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Daniil Frolov wrote on Tue, Mar 10, 2015 09:37 AM UTC:
Well, it seems that girrafes ("camelopardus") in Tamerlane's epoch was exotical and legendary in Eurasia, as much as "unicorns" (rhinos). Perhaps, in chess girrafes had only symbolic meaning. (Well, so as rooks in standart forms of chess at some points of time was supposed to be roc birds.)

Thoughts on large numbers of players in one chess game. Missing description[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Daniil Frolov wrote on Tue, Mar 10, 2015 09:32 AM UTC:
I had thoughts of same direction, with many players on a vertical cylinder (each player having two rows of pawns - for two opponents he oe she faces). And the turn order in my thoughts was... mixed with real-time movements. So, players that are far from each other, moves independently, until their pieces would be in a contact (defination of of "contact" is that the furthest pieces are not further than 7 ranks from each other, or something like that; rook and Queen's rook component are not allowed to move more than 7 squares). What do you think of it?

Predator Chess pieces[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Daniil Frolov wrote on Fri, Mar 6, 2015 06:51 PM UTC:

Double-moving Chinese pawns.

Tamerlane chess. A well-known historic large variant of Shatranj. (11x10, Cells: 112) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Daniil Frolov wrote on Tue, Mar 3, 2015 08:57 AM UTC:
A historical question. Among usual military units, there are giraffes. Moreover - in another historic variant - Turkish Grand Chess - giraffe is the strongest piece, having the movement of amazon. (Of course, no question about the Grande Acedrex, as there most of pieces are named after exotical or fantastic animals.) Was giraffes actually used in army? Or it was simulation of hunt - as there was no mechanism that could control "neutral" piece (or there was no idea like that), opponent controlled giraffes you hunt?

Shogimon[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Daniil Frolov wrote on Thu, Feb 19, 2015 02:40 PM UTC:
Searching for Shogi on AppStore, I found a "Shogimon" game. Well,
combining Shogi and Pokemon-like collectible game seemed quite an obvious
idea, and the only thing which don't let tens of games like this to exist,
is the fact that both West and East are quite conservative in chess - chess
variants are not very popular thing. So I was surprised and none-surprised
at the same time, but in case, interested, and I had downloaded this game.

The first thing I must warn you - this game have a very loose connection
with Shogi, it's much more collectable-card game than chess, and even some
elements of Shogi make it more Othello/Reversi than chess, and there is
quite a high element of randomness. But anyway, it HAS elements of Shogi,
and it could be interstening for these, who are intersted in everything,
influenced by chess, and may inspire for some more Shogi-like games, and
could be a material to think about borders beyween chess and none-chess

Another thing I must warn you about - is quite a childish cartoonish style.
Well, the problem of Smess.

So, here it is. There is a board whith rectangular squares, and each player
have a set of cards. Each card have several directions, and just like with
Shogi pieces (especially if you'll remember various Shogi variants) these
directions are quite chaotic, so there could be a large set with each piece
pointing to some own direction. Cards also have elemental characteristics.
Players alternate turn, dropping their cards (in fixed orientation) to any
square of the board. They can't be moved or removed afterwards, but they
can change sides. You immediately convert opposing card, located adjecently
in any direction your droppped card is pointing on, if opposing card don't
point in the opposite direction, at your card. If it does, then the
"winner" is determined randomly, with chances depending on elemental
powers (chances could be high or low). If piece is converted succesfully, a
chain reaction could start, and the converted piece could convert other
pieces it points at. Winner is the player, who have more cards at the end.
Also, board usually have have obstacles (sometimes breakable, if piece
"points" at it, sometimes not), and special cells, increasing certain
elemental powers.

Also, if I'm speaking about what I found on AppStore, I'll mentoin one
game merely for a laugh. It have nothing common with Shogi gameplayly, but
have tematically. It's arcade game, where anthropomorphic Shogi-King runs
on the board, avoiding flying opposing pieces, with anime-lish music.

Also, I found some game, named IT軍人将棋 which is clearly some
Shogi-variant, but I can't understand it's rules, as it's all in
Japanese. The look of the board and Google translation tells that it's
something like Chinese Blind Chess or Chinese Jungle Game, but I would be
glad if there is someone who know Japanese and could tell the exact rules.

Drop variants[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Daniil Frolov wrote on Sun, Sep 21, 2014 02:08 PM UTC:
Wasn't there any drop-game, where was restriction on having more than
certain number pieces? Or crtain number for each kind of pieces?

And also, players may have several different "places" of
"pieces-in-hand" - as in Hpstage chess there are own and opposing pieces,
and, of course, only friendly ones can be dropped.

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