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Game Reviews (and other rated comments on Game pages)

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Dou Shou Qi: The Battle of Animals - The Jungle Game. Simulated conflict between animal kingdoms. (7x9, Cells: 63) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Anon wrote on 2022-03-23 UTCGood ★★★★

The Wolf is ranked higher (stronger) than the Dog.

https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/鬥獸棋

象>獅>虎>豹>狼>狗>貓>鼠

Elephant > Lion > Tiger > Leopard (Panther) > Wolf > Dog > Cat > Rat

I played this since childhood. This is the proper ranking of the animals.

The confusion about Dog > Wolf happened because on some of the cheap chess pieces, the wood carving of the Dog and the Wolf are almost identical.


Hero and Superhero Chess. The King's Pawn is replaced by a Hero (moves like any other piece on your side on the board) or a Superhero (improved Hero). (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Baseball Chess Baseball Chess Set wrote on 2022-02-09 UTCGood ★★★★

great article, this is definitely one of the easiest strategies for young chess players to skim through and learn. Might also interest for more Superhero Chess Sets see this page [spam url deleted].


Baseball Chess. Missing description (9x9, Cells: 81) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Baseball Chess Baseball Chess Set wrote on 2022-02-08 UTCGood ★★★★
great article , this is definitely one of the best for young chess players to read and learn strategy.  If you intend on writing more similar content on this site be sure to check out our page with more inspiration for future posts

Jupiter (Revised). Missing description (16x16, Cells: 256) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Ruei Ching Hong wrote on 2021-12-31 UTCGood ★★★★
Is there any .ZRF file for this game?

Kriegspiel. With help of a referee, two players move without knowing the moves of the opponent. (8x8x3, Cells: 192) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
chesspro24 chesspro wrote on 2021-12-10 UTCPoor ★
What If They Castle Do they Tell you?

Capablanca Random Chess. Randomized setup for Capablanca chess. (10x8, Cells: 80) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Thomas wrote on 2021-12-02 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

But why the limitation to set up queen and archbishop on different coloured squares, when they can change the square colour by moving like rook resp. knight?


Terachess II. An unrealistic summit on a very large board of 16x16 squares and 128 pieces.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Eric Silverman wrote on 2021-11-27 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I've been playing a lot of this game recently (via Ai Ai), partly for my own enjoyment and partly as inspiration for my own 16x16 experiments. There are relatively few modern Chess variants played on 16x16, and for me, this game is the best example thus far.

The variety of pieces presented here is at first intimidating, but one soon realises there is a logic to everything presented here, and shortly thereafter you'll find the piece movements become natural. The balance of the initial position is excellent, with every piece finding its way into the fight without too much awkward development. Games are long -- against AI at 2 minutes/move my games take at least 400 plies, with my longest so far at 695 -- but as a large Shogi variant fanatic this doesn't bother me at all. Throughout those long games one will find drama, excitement, and plentiful opportunities for subtlety and subterfuge.

If I were very picky, I might say that I'd like to see the Rook + Camel/Bishop + Camel compounds in here, which I find really fun on a large board. Also the basic leapers -- Camel, Giraffe, Knight -- feel less impactful in a game this size. Having said that, everything works well together, and I enjoy this game tremendously.


Opulent Chess. A derivative of Grand Chess with additional jumping pieces (Lion and Wizard). (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Eric Silverman wrote on 2021-11-22 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I've played the heck out of this via Ai Ai, and I absolutely adore this game. I prefer the greater piece density and the more interesting piece mix here to those of Grand Chess. The resulting play is interesting and nuanced both tactically and strategically. In my opinion Opulent Chess is one of the finest 10x10 variants.

My one complaint is the presence of Pawn promotion by replacement, but that's not particular to this game, I just dislike it everywhere. Promoting stuff is fun and interesting, so I prefer just being able to promote to any piece without restriction. After all I'm a Shogi player, and what can I say, we like promoting stuff! I also dislike some of the weird effects the rule can produce in rare circumstances, but that's more of an aesthetic objection. I do like the extended promotion zone though.

On the whole, a delightful game. Strongly recommended to anyone with an interest in decimal variants.


chesslolś chess. chess but fun.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Thomas Mens wrote on 2021-11-19 UTCGood ★★★★

chesslols chess is finaly ready


Simple Mideast Chess. Game with simple rules, no promotion, no nonstandard move or capture, no asymetric pieces, and no check, checkmate or stalemate.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2021-11-17 UTCPoor ★

This page has many problems.

Rules 4, 5 are not rules, they are more advices.

The drop rule does not say if the captured pieces change their color.

Finally, why changing the names of all pieces or giving well established names to different moves ? It might be confusing for some players.


Musketeer Chess. Adding 2 newly designed extra pieces. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2021-11-03 UTCPoor ★

The quality of the page has not been improved in more than one year. If everyone is happy with that, fine.


Grand Riders Chess. Chess with cross over between Cavalier Chess and Shogun Chess and use the normal riders.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Siwakorn Songrag wrote on 2021-11-03 UTCGood ★★★★
I think the old name of this board is to bad, i decided to change the name to Grand Riders Chess from Grand Shogun Cavalier Chess. I think, it is better to rename.

Beautiful Beasts. A new team for Chess with Different Armies based on the Roc.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Andrew L Smith wrote on 2021-08-28 UTCGood ★★★★

This is a great concept for an army! I like how the Vouivre encourages tactical play with its forking capabilities and ability to do nasty smothered mates, while the Geese are more focused on strategic pawn play in the endgame; similar to how the tactical Knights and the strategic Rooks provide a variety of viable playstyles in the Fabulous FIDEs.

In your opening line, 2.Vg5 doesn't work because of Qxg5.

PS: If you're willing to upload this army to ChessCraft, I'd be happy to playtest them alongside my own Starbound Sliders.

Edit: Upon closer inspection, this army is actually very weak.

  • Ouroboros: 2x5pts Although the Ouroboros is about Rook strength, it's the only one that's as strong as its claimed to be.
  • Roc: 2x3pts+0.5pts colorbound pair bonus The Roc is colorbound and has limited range, making it weak and finnicky even by minor piece standards. Complicated maneuvres are less viable when the board is full of pawns, which further highlights the Roc's difficulty in movement. It is definitely not as strong as a Rook, though its ability to reach 12 squares means it may be slightly stronger than a Knight.
  • Flying Goose: 2x1.5pts The Flying Goose has very little value, and also gives the Beautiful Beasts the very annoying trait that they can't castle without moving one of the three Pawns that will be in front of the King (unless they castle queenside and mave the a pawn). Granted, the Flying Goose is little more than a slightly stronger pawn anyway, but still.
  • Vouvire: 9pts The Vouvire is reasonably strong for a Queen equivalent and it's great for tactical play, the problem is that there's nothing to play tactically against. Knights are fun to use because they're the weakest piece in the army (so when they fork something, you're in business!) while the Vouvire is the strongest piece so it can't fork anything that's protected. Also, it can't go to any of the 8 adjacent squares, which makes maneuvering on a crowded board surprisingly difficult.
  • Total: 28.5pts CwDA armies typically range from 31.5 (Fabulous FIDEs) to 33.5 (Nutty Knights) with more complicated armies needing more value.

Two Move Chess. Designed to alleviate the first move advantage for White using double moves, while retaining the tactics of international chess.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Greg Strong wrote on 2021-08-27 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

This is an interesting and logical approach to tackling how to have a double-move variant addresses pesky rules like check and en passant.  They always require special-case rules to address, and how it is addressed here "feels" right to me.  Marseillais Chess handles the check thing fine, but falls down on how en passant is handled.  You seem to have neatly solved that, too.  I also like how you are limited to one capture per move and cannot move the same piece twice.  This also helps to preserve the strategical similarity to orthodox chess. I guess Marseillais is more of a "let's make double moves and we'll end up with an interesting but totally different game."  Originally, it wasn't even "balanced" (white started with two moves.)  This is an ambitious attempt to add the property of double moves games being "balanced" while changing as little else about the game as possible.

Extra Move Chess also provides similar benefits.  You can make a second move, but don't have to, as long as it doesn't capture or move a piece that just moved.  If you make a second move, it can be a two-space pawn move (which a first move can't, except for white's first move of the game.)  This also neatly solves check and en passant.

I'd like to add this to ChessV.  I think it's doable but I need to think some things through.  The thing I see that most concerns me is this:

Each position created by a two move turn is included in the count toward a draw by threefold repetition, or toward a draw by the Fifty move rule (or the Seventy-five move rule)

If I understand this, it would be difficult to implement and doesn't make a lot of sense to me.  Are you saying that any move in a single move turn or responsive move turn should not count towards the 50-move rule, nor should they be counted toward any potential repetition?


ChessXp. 10x10 Chess, strictly derived from the 8x8 architecture.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Andrew L Smith wrote on 2021-08-23 UTCGood ★★★★

This seems like a nice variant. I especially like the 32221111Q movement of the pawns. The falcons/bison are also fun to play with, their long leaps make for nice tactics.

Pretty much the only thing I'd change is that castling leaves the King too close to the middle. Instead, I would make it so that castling results in the King and the Rook swapping places (White king can go to b1 or i1, black king can go to b10 or i10; rook always goes to the f file) as this gets the King 1 space away from the corner. This would also fix one of the gripes I have with regular chess: queenside castling is usually terrible. Opposite side castling often leads to fun games, so making it happen more often seems like it would be desirable. Also, it would allow players to castle by moving the Rook first, as the ambiguity between O-O and Rg1 is removed.


Dou Shou Qi: The Battle of Animals - The Jungle Game. Simulated conflict between animal kingdoms. (7x9, Cells: 63) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2021-08-20 UTCPoor ★

I came on this page by accident. After so many years, the name of this game is still wrong. It is Doushouqi, not Shou Dou Qi at all. And the comment about jaguar for leopard is absolutely right. The solution to avoid a L is to call this piece a Panther, panther or leopard is the same animal.


Hex Shogi 91. A hexagonal Shogi variant on a 91-space board. (Cells: 91) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Daniel Zacharias wrote on 2021-08-18 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I've only played this once, but it feels right somehow. The hexagonal board, oriented horizontally like this, gives a distinct chess experience that square boards generally lack. It feels more natural than square shogi to me.


The Starbound Sliders. A Chess With Different Armies team featuring rook-inspired sliders.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Simon Jepps wrote on 2021-08-13 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I like the Stars, they present a naturally digestible identity, in keeping with the elementary makeup of Classical pieces. I would have invented a more relatable name for them, perhaps 'Sheriffs' or, something you know, that has a real life character, but nevertheless I praise you for their design.

Nice work.


Pandemonium (Surajang修羅場). Capablanca chess + Crazyhouse.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Michael Nelson wrote on 2021-07-24 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

A very well thought and pleasing out blend of a Capablanca's Chess and Shogi. I am curious about the rule against having identical promoted pieces other than promoted Pawns. I consider it a small wart on a otherwise perfect design.


Maasai Chess. Large CV with 48 pieces per side, of 20 types including both regular and rapid Pawns.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Eric Silverman wrote on 2021-07-07 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I have played this game extensively in the Ai Ai software package since adding it, and I feel it may be the best iteration so far of Jean-Louis Cazaux's series of 12x12 variants. The piece density and variety generate very interesting interactions on the board. The various Pawn- and Pawn-like pieces in the 3rd/4th ranks create a nice sense of progression, leading the board to gradually open up and allow more powerful pieces to enter the fray.

In a sense, the game reminds me slightly of a Chess equivalent to Dai Dai Shogi, which has a long opening phase that gradually expands into a delightfully complex middlegame. As a fanatic for large Shogi I consider this a plus :)

In any case, I highly recommend this game for fans of larger variants. In the future I hope Maasai might generate some similar developments of Gigachess and Terachess as well. I have experimented a bit myself with adding the two ranks of mixed Pawns to those games and the results were quite enjoyable.


Yangsi. A very playable chess variant with 12 different pieces on a 10x10 board.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Eric Silverman wrote on 2021-07-02 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Having implemented this variant in Ai Ai and having played it a bunch of times, I really enjoy this game. Being a large Shogi fanatic, the higher piece density of Yangsi doesn't bother me in the slightest :)

For me this game is an improvement on something like Sac Chess, as the pieces in Yangsi are more interesting to use. In fact I was inspired by this game to make what I called 'Heavy Shako', an extension of Shako that fills in all the gaps in the back rank with other pieces used in the larger variants by Jean-Louis Cazaux. The original concept was much improved by some excellent advice from Jean-Louis, and the resulting game has been a lot of fun.

I'd enjoy seeing an extension of Yangsi to 12x12 with a high-density setup, too.


Palace. 7x7 board with a 3x3 Palace at the centre, where King promotes to Queen.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Simon Jepps wrote on 2021-07-02 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I like this, it brings out a rural realm to the game. Well done!


Grande Acedrex. A large variant from 13th century Europe. (12x12, Cells: 144) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Daniel Zacharias wrote on 2021-06-14 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

I wish this game were more popular. It seems like an excellent design. The piece selection seems strange at first but after thinking about it I can see the beauty of it.

I imagine the aanca could have originated as an enhanced ferz, to go with the bigger board. Then the knights could have become unicorns by gaining a diagonal slide after their leap to complement the aanca. The crocodile is a fairly obvious addition. The giraffe and Lion both make knight-like leaps, suitable for the large board, and the Lion includes and extra 3,0 leap which removes it's color binding and forms a nice looking pattern.

The result of all that is eight pieces with a nice range of power and an aesthetically consistent set of moves. There are all of the 2,1 3,1 and 3,2 leaping moves, the rook and bishop moves, and bent rook and bishop moves (unicorn and aanca). The leaping pieces are differentiated in power by some of them having additional movements, but they don't ever feel like arbitrary combinations.

The initial setup is also elegant. The Pawns start as far apart as they do on the 8x8 board, and the pieces are all on the back rank. The promotion rule fits well with this setup and is another great innovation.

I think the main weak points, if there are any, would be the pawns and the king's leap. It seems unlikely that the king would benefit much from a 2 square leap on such a big board with so much empty space; and perhaps modern pawns would be better. But overall this variant appears to be carefully designed.


Chess with Mixed Pawns. Four normal and four Berolina pawns per player. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Stephen Tavener wrote on 2021-03-24 UTCGood ★★★★

Fun idea! Might I suggest the name ChiMPs?


Quadlevel 3D Chess. Four level 3d chess. (4x8x4, Cells: 128) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
robert koernke wrote on 2021-03-18 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

You only need to checkmate/fork one King. In the standard-Rules version. Game play tends to be the same length as regular-chess.

Its one of the least complicated 3D-Games. Simply set-up 2-sets of chess-men.

The hardest part to explain is why its frowned upon to go on side-ways diagonals (in 3D) or that knights should not go in L-shapes without advancing or retreating from the opponent. I say frowned-upon, because of course you can change to non-standard rules. But you may find the game much longer, and knights to be as powerful as queens. Stalemates to be more attainable...


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