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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]
David Paulowich wrote on 2006-02-24 UTCGood ★★★★
The 12x8 board seems to be neglected, with many designers choosing to work on the 10x10 board. The Murray Lion is a piece that I would like to use in a variant someday. A weaker version is used in this game, along with several other pieces that are not strong enough to mate a lone King. The good news is: a pair of Can(n)ons should be able to do the job. In fact, I believe that you could even force mate with King, Can(n)on, and an ordinary Cannon versus a lone King. Let White have King[b3], Can(n)on-Pao[c4], Cannon[c2] and Black have King[b1] on the standard 8x8 board:

1. Can(n)on-c3,remaining Can(n)on-Pao, King-a1

2. Can(n)on-e3,changing to Can(n)on-Vao, King-b1

3. Cannon-d2 King-a1

4. Cannon-d1 King-b1

5. Can(n)on-g1,changing to Can(n)on-Pao, mate.


George Duke wrote on 2010-01-26 UTC
Here 6 years ago was expressed Antoine Fourriere's design philosophy: http://www.chessvariants.org/index/displaycomment.php?commentid=5623. Bilateral is intent on ''retaining the f7 weakness and the unguarded Rooks.'' As Centennial begins describing itself as ''holy grail,'' Bilateral opens with comparisons to both Xiangqi and OrthoChess. Fourriere rejects in analysis all of Camel, Gnu, Champion, Wizard, Cannon, Vao, Leo, Gryphon, Centaur, and Champion for Next Chesses. Has not the inventor hit upon a Next Chess solution in Cannon/Canon and Murray Lion without the two extra piece-types? This Lion is modified to exclude one-step non-capturing. Cannon/Canon has same destinations as 1930s' Leo but differently. The familiar line-up is retained inside, as is done with Bifurcators(#1) on 68 (rather than 80) and Unicorn Great(#5). msd

Antoine Fourrière wrote on 2013-10-05 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.


George Duke wrote on 2013-10-19 UTCGood ★★★★
Antoine Fourriere's ten CVs were made 2002 to 2006. The term prolificist has been used in CVPage for those designing fifteen or more CVs during the heyday of CV design about 1999 to 2009. Then were 'over-fifteen prolificist-club-members Paulowich, Joyce, Gilman, Lavieri, Duniho, Betza, Aronson, to name hardly 20% of them. Do the arithmetic: if there were 20 prolificists making average of 25 CVs during the Aughts 2000-2009, they alone have 500 CVs to study let alone play. 

This Bilateral is not one of Antoine's fantasy CVs like excellent Jacks & Witches, but an intended Next Chess solution.  Added to Bilateral to go along with the Orthodox six RNBKQP are Wizard, Elephant, Lion, and Cannon/Canon. Short-range Wizard is the better half of the two new pieces put into Omega Chess, but Bilateral Wizard has altered modality.  Though invented accidentally, the Murray Lion makes more natural fit than older large Shogi Lion because its value is weakened leaping two squares to move. Capturing like King, the Murray Lion can command all the squares on board eventually after the right captures. Whereas original large Shogi Lion would be near Queen value 7.5 or 8.0, Murray Lion is more desirable 4.0 within Bilateral. Focus in follow-up on Bilateral will be on Murray Lion and Cannon/Canon, since the other two new piece-types are intended more fantastically.

Also to consider are Antoine's current comment's subvariants of Bilateral and Paulowich's comment on the 8x12 board in general. '8x12' of course as alternate Chess solution has long history nearly a thousand years in European mediaeval Courier Chess of Germany.  At once Courier board of 96 makes a CV larger than conventional Shogi 81 and Xiangqi 90. As a result, 8x12 and a fortiori 10x10 are suspect solutions, consigned in most minds for fantasy CV workings not "Next Chesses."  Yet let's look in more detail since 12-wide does readily accommodate 5 natural pairs, not only four.

George Duke wrote on 2013-10-20 UTC
"I'm glad you're not going on with the Game, you nearly had me.  If you're not going to play Chess, I'm going to write some letters." --from Alfred Hitchcock's 1947 'The Paradine Case'
(Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Paradine_Case)

The logic in Canon of T.R. Dawson invention to go with Cannon is inescapable.  The Chinese have been saddled or stuck within their own Orthodoxy not to have thought of it. Never mind that Fourriere's Cannon/Canon duplicates squares achieved along regular Rook and Bishop lines, since the specific modalities differ, the former requiring a screen in capturing. The matter becomes one of filling the right pieces and array to screen enough and optimally.

Fergus Duniho has been the best designer at fulfilling others' preliminary idea, as for example Big Board, http://www.chessvariants.org/index/displaycomment.php?commentid=24670.  Perhaps alone Duniho makes in over 30 CVs not a single new piece-type of his own invention. Typically, during the prolificist era 2000-2009 Duniho CV is preceded recently by another's originating the general concept then perfected by Duniho.  So here equal contribution of Fourriere's Bilateral itself is precisely that almost immediately it is followed by excellent Eurasian Chess, http://www.chessvariants.org/large.dir/eurasian.html, also employing Cannon and Canon. 

Next to consider are Antoine's speculative revisions in extended comment  last week (touching on Lion and once patented Falcon).

George Duke wrote on 2013-10-23 UTC
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirty_Hands. 
'Hoederer: They need props, you understand, they are given ready-made
 ideas, then they believe in them as they do in God.  We're the ones 
 who make these ideas and we know how they are cooked up; we are never
 quite sure of being right.'   -- from Jean-Paul Sartre's play Les Mains 
 sales.[Quotation parodies the great CV-unwashed: http://www.chessbase.com/;
http://www.fide.com/]


   The other two world experts, Jorg Knappen and Charles Gilman, are invited to corroborate please.  It would appear that Antoine Fourriere has important unique novelty mechanism, http://www.chessvariants.org/index/displaycomment.php?commentid=30211, for generating variety in the Chess array.  Has anyone seen that before, focusing on the first half of Antoine's comment through '1)', not '2)' yet?  Or did Antoine already use this elsewhere not very well noticed?

To go with RNBKQP, Antoine's chosen basics to expand OrthoChess are Camel -> Zebra, Cannon -> Vao, and Elephant -> Machine, all six.  They are six piece-types to complement old-time fundamental six, making twelve piece-types.

But only 9 piece-types appear in the starting array, J being Camel, C Cannon, and E Elephant.   So instead necessarily as the arrows above represent, the two Zebras, one each side, get positioned only upon either side's Camel moving!  Likewise, any first Cannon move generates two Vaos replacing, and any first Elephant move generates two Machines replacing.

Now Elephant is nothing but Ferz plus Alfil, an old CV type happen to be used by Antoine's fellow Frenchman Cazaux for instance in Shako, http://www.chessvariants.org/large.dir/shako.html.  And Machine is also many decades old simplistic Wazir plus Dabbabah. To get Convergency comprehensive, Antoine calls for Korean Cannon which historically must have screen both moving and capturing.  "Korean Vao" full-fledged was never used by Koreans nor by Korean Chess players. It is suggested by Britisher T.R.Dawson development almost exactly a hundred years ago of Xiangqi Cannon diagonal equivalent. Thus Korean Vao, the Korean Cannon diagonal equivalent, is perfectly understandable CV term used here and there, for convergent, not divergent, piece-type of Cannon extraction and modality.   Clear distinction is made with "Chinese" divergent orthogonal Cannon and derived divergent diagonal Canon on one hand, and "Korean" convergent Cannon/& derived Canon. (Canon and Vao are one and the same, with Arrow yet another synonym). 
So all six new piece-types are convergent, that is moving and capturing the same -- obviously Zebra, Camel, Machine, Elephant too -- making 11 of the 12 p-ts that are utilized on the 8x12 board CV described by AF in fact Convergent.  Only OrthoPawn retains divergency. One expects in general Convergent types to be more readily playable.  

Of course once recognized as Mutator that it is,  Antoine's placement technique "Array-Pair-Morph" (as we may as well call it) has wide applicability across the CV spectrum among others' CVs of Next Chess calibre as well.  
The effect in the present CV game is to have 2x2x2, or eight, standard arrays conveniently available, not just one: JCEMOZ, JOEMCZ, JCMEOZ JOMECZ, ZCEMOJ, ZOEMCJ, ZCMEOJ, ZOMECJ.  The Method ARRAY-PAIR-MORPH is Occam's-Razor-like conforming, in comparison with tacky Pre-Randomized Shuffle selection technique, become proliferated, after FRC itself,
http://www.chessvariants.org/diffsetup.dir/fischer.html,
 Robert Fischer's 1996 futile effort to try to save beaten-to-death Ortho-RNBKQP last-ditch.

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