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Xiangqi FAQ. Missing description[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jeffry Simmons wrote on 2002-04-06 UTCGood ★★★★
Very informative! But are the listings for clubs, organizations, and world's strongest players current?

Chess. The rules of chess. (8x8, Cells: 64) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jere wrote on 2002-04-06 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I had not played chess in 40 years. It was a great refresher; covered all the rules in a straight-forward manner. Nice job.

Omega Chess. Rules for commercial chess variant on board with 104 squares. (12x12, Cells: 104) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
David Short wrote on 2002-04-06 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I would like to announce that I am going to be running an Omegachess
tournament by email on Richard's Play By Email server at
In order to play in the tournament you must have a PBM userid.
Check out and 
if you are new and want to sign up for a free userid and password
on the server. You do not have to have ever played Omegachess before
on the server to compete in this tournament. If you would like to play
in the event please email me your PBM userid to
I have not yet decided exactly how I am going to structure the Omega
tournament. It will probably be a round robin tournament, with between
4 to 8 games in the first round, and a certain number of players 
advancing to a second and final round.

I would also like to announce that I am also going to run a chess
tournament on PBM too. This is traditional orthodox chess!
This tournament is open to the first 25 players who email me to enter.
I will be creating five 5-man sections. Each player will play a total
of 4 games, 2 as white and 2 as black, one game against each of the
other players in the tournament. The 5 section winners will then
advance to a final 5-man section for the championship of the tournament.
In the event of a tie for first place in a section the first tiebreaker
is head-to-head result. In the event of a draw or a 3-way tie where
A beat B, B beat C and C beat A, all tied players advance to the finals
and a larger final section will be created. Again, to compete in this
tournament you must have a PBM userid. You may enter both tournaments
if you like. When emailing me please make sure to specify which
tournament you are entering. Thanks again and good luck!!

Chatter Chess. Variant based on the idea of line chatter where rider pieces can switch to other friendly pieces' lines of movement. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
gnohmon wrote on 2002-04-06 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
People should know that the excellent diagram that makes it so easy to
visualize the chatter moves was added by the editor, not the author.

The editor gets an 'excellent' rating for this page.

gnohmon wrote on 2002-04-06 UTC
That was an excellent chatter response.

Responsible usage of the rules tells us that a piece which takes only one
step ends its move after that one step and therefore is not eligible to
chatter. However, your idea sounds like a lot of fun!

One can always arbitrarily restrict Kings and Pawns from participating in
the fun; and I think this would be necessary, not only because it appears
to be too difficult to chase down a King supported by multiple riders (note
that 'a K supported by a Bishop' can only run towards the Bishop), but also
because the offensive uses of Chattering Pawns would dominate the game, as
they do in N-Relay II.

Decimal Chatter Chess, on a 10x10 board, would become quite interesting if
you had the Pawns on the third rank, all Riders on the first, and a second
rank full of weak steppers -- the usual suspects, W, F, Crab, Barc, A, and
D -- because the early play would be dominated by the weak pieces being
thrown forwards by the power of the riders. You'd need to arrange your
pieces very carefully, making room for the weak pieces to get past the
Pawns, setting up intersecting lines for the riders, and putting the
weakies where they could join in the fray but not get in the way. All the
while trying to maintain a defense against the pesky foe.

Peter Aronson wrote on 2002-04-05 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
You know, I can't see any reason (aside from restraint) why stepping pieces couldn't take advantage of chatter even if they can't create it (sort of like a low-power line mixed in with higher-power lines). Then, if a stepper could move to a square containing a rider's line, it could ride away on it! In that case, castling and Pawn-double-step could definitely generate chatter lines (and we'd have to distinguish between capturing and non-capturing chatter lines). Of course, chasing down a King supported by a Bishop could be rather difficult . . . <p> The above would probably result in a fairly crazy game, but it would also come closer to working with different armies. <p> And for the list of possibly unplayable games, I'd like to add <u><a href='../d.betza/chessvar/confu01.html'>Confusion 1b</a> Chatter Chess</u>.

General Comments Page. Page for making general comments.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
David Howe wrote on 2002-04-05 UTC
Ok, I'll look into extending the feedback system to allow some sort of message threading based on something other than existing pages. I understand why people do not like the yahoo group system, although it does have some nice features. Give me a few days to come up with something.

gnohmon wrote on 2002-04-05 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
The comment system allows you to see the whole discussion on one page,
instead of needing to access (and then page down past all the garbage) a
new page for each message.

This is a huge advantage, and I expect that people will abandon the yahoo
thingy and flock to the comment pages.

John Lawson wrote on 2002-04-05 UTC
I fall between Peter and David here.  When I write a comment, I don't
really plan it.  Something in the page, or another comment sets me off, and
I just start writing.  If it leads somewhere not completely germaine to the
page being commented on, so be it.

BUT, the result is that discussions that are potentially interesting or
inspiring get buried attached to pages that effectively conceal them from
later browsers.  (Look at the recent discussion attached to the
'Archoniclastic Chess' page.)

To do the thing properly, comments should be limited to the variant they
are attached to, and any flight of fancy should be moved to the discussion
group.  I think this is against human nature (at least mine) and I would
probably never make 50% of those posts.  Furthermore, the discussion group
posting may be cryptic outside of context of the variant page that inspired

On the other side, the number of people 'misusing' the comment system are
relatively small.  It would be a huge waste of time and resources to build
a parallel discussion system for a handful of 'chatterers'.  Also, the
public discussion board has a better possibility of attracting random

Maybe a compromise is possible.  Let me note here that I am no programmer,
and I have no idea how difficult any particular idea would be to implement.
 An idea that seems simple to me might be to allow the writer of an
extended comment to select a small set of keywords ('Ruddigore',
'double-move') which the comment system could also search for.

Better ideas?

Peter Aronson wrote on 2002-04-04 UTC
It would seem kind of redundent to have you build a discussion group when we already have one. However. There would be some advantages to a home-built discussion board: <ul> <p> <li>It could be integrated with the comment system. What <strong>I</strong> would like to have is a single system where both comments and general discussion are displayed in order of posting. It seems awkward to me to have two different systems with two different user interfaces for one purpose: discussing Chess variants. And I know for a fact there are for both people who use one but not the other.</li> <p> <li>It would be faster (it would hard to be slower!).</li> <p> <li>It wouldn't have all of the stupid advertising the current incarnation of the discussion group has.</li> </ul> <p> But still, it would seem like a lot of work for something which we already have, if not in ideal form.

David Howe wrote on 2002-04-04 UTC
While I agree that discussions of new game ideas are valuable, I don't think they are appropriate for the feedback and rating system. It's better to keep the discussions relating to a particular page on our internal feedback system, and use our discussion group when the commentary digresses to new game ideas. The discussion group has many more features than my crude feedback system, so I think it's better to use that. That is, unless you want me to build a discussion group system that lives on the chess variant pages... :)

Chaturanga 4-84 ZIP file. An Updating of Chaturanga for Four Players with modern pieces on an 84-square board.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Peter Aronson wrote on 2002-04-04 UTC
A variant has been added where both moves of a side are made in sequence, instead of alternating; a sort of limited double-move version. Thanks to John Lawson for the idea!

Chaturanga 4-84. An Updating of Chaturanga for Four Players with modern pieces and an 84-square board. (10x10, Cells: 84) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Lawson wrote on 2002-04-04 UTC
By the way, if anyone were interested, the link to the World Camelot
Federation website, where the rules of Grand Camelot are posted is:

Peter Aronson wrote on 2002-04-03 UTC
Well, the game has been played a fair number of times against the computer and at least once by e-mail vs a human opponent, and it seemed to play fairly well (of course, there might be something wrong with it, after all I <em>lost</em> :)). <hr> A play order of AABB instead of the more usual ABAB for a four-player partnership game transforms it into a limited double-move variant, rather like one whose name I can't recall, where you get to move a piece on the left side of the board and one on the right side each turn. Limited double-move variants tend to be fun and exciting, so I can see the appeal, and spliting the double-move between partners has some piquant aspects, particularly if communications are restricted and reading minds is not at least one of the partner's strengths. I think I may add an AABB variant as to the Chaturanga 4-84's ZRF (still double-dummy, alas). <p> As for bid multiplayer Chess with a dummy . . . Could be done. Should it? :) <hr> Thanks for the kind words, Tony.

gnohmon wrote on 2002-04-03 UTC
<P>A CV in which the players have goals is my Hi-Lo Chess, in which each player secretly selects one of the goals W, L, D, WL, WD, LD, or WLD.<P>In order to get more variety in the selection, we used to write a pack of paper slips with goals and require the players to shuffle and use the top goal from the pack.<P> There must be a 'mate me' rule and a 'perp me' rule -- if at the end of your move your opponent has a mate in 1 or a perpetual check, you can require that it be played.<P> Scoring: if you have one goal and achieve that goal you get 1 point for the game; if you have 2 goals you get 1/2 point if you succeed. If you have all 3 goals, you get 1/3 point no matter what -- you can gain by preventing your opponent from achieving his goal.<P> Inspiration: High-Low Poker.<P> <HR> Hi-LO Chess is extremely well tested, I have played more than a hundred games face-to-face with a human opponent. Fro the number of games played, you can guess that it's an enjoyable game.<P> It's a game of incomplete information. You try to guess your opponent's goal while concealing your own; and then you can plan and execute a brilliant combination the purpose of which is to checkmate yourself.<P> I don't remember the date of Hi-Lo, but it's probably late 1960s.<P>

John Lawson wrote on 2002-04-03 UTC
Peter, I've recently been playing Grand Camelot in another venue.  Grand
Camelot is a four-player version of Parker Brothers Camelot game.  (To the
peanut gallery: Yes, I know it's not a chess variant; let me finish.)  

Grand Camelot has two unusual features for a four-player game:
1 - Partners sit side by side.  Translating to this game, Red and Green
would be partners against Yellow and Black.
2 - The turn sequence is a 'figure-8'.  Translated to Chaturanga 4-84, that
would be Red - Yellow - Green - Black (repeat)

This small change works surprisingly well, and I've wondered if it would be
as successful in a 4-player CV like this.  I generally find 4-player
abstract strategy board games annoying, but Grand Camelot is lots of fun
and very exciting.

Also, the comment about the ZRF being double-dummy brought an idea to mind.
 Has there been a CV (e.g. Bridge Chess or Whist Chess) where the players
bid to achieve a certain outcome?  The partner of the 'declarer' sits out,
and the defenders play without communication.  This might be a possible
thing to design.  One could even play a Feeback version with ones
physician, attorney, and accountant.

Xiangqi (象棋): Chinese Chess. Links and rules for Xiangqi (Chinese Chess). (9x10, Cells: 90) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
willem wrote on 2002-04-03 UTCGood ★★★★

General Comments Page. Page for making general comments.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Lawson wrote on 2002-04-03 UTC
So, given the amount of chatter about Chatter Chess and Ruddigore Chess and
so on, do we need 'virtual' comment pages so we can discuss variants that
haven't actually been posted?  Then, going forward, the comments will be
where they belong.  I mean, who's going to think about looking for comments
about Ruddigore Chess attached to the Archoniclastic Chess page?

Also, to David, I like the little subtle link to the recent comments at the
top of the What's New page, but I don't think in GMT.  Maybe we could
include the current time in GMT, or the time elapsed since the last
comment, or something like that.

Peter Aronson wrote on 2002-04-03 UTC
I'll add <b>Ruddigore Chess</b> to my 'to do' list, but since that's already 1.83 miles long, don't expect it this quarter. But I will almost certainly write a Zillions Rules File for it, and bully poor Tony Quintanilla into playing it with me by e-mail so I can see if it works or not before publishing. Someday. <p> (I realize I don't <em>need</em> Zillions to play the game by e-mail, but it makes it more convenient and enforces rules that might get missed. Also, I find programming a game a good way to examine a game's rules in details.)

Chaturanga 4-84. An Updating of Chaturanga for Four Players with modern pieces and an 84-square board. (10x10, Cells: 84) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
gnohmon wrote on 2002-04-03 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I have no idea whether or not it's really playable, but judging purely by
the text, the number of ingredients in the recipes, and the quality and
amount of spices, I would have to guess that this is a very fine piece of


Grid Chess. Always move to a different 2 by 2 square part of the board. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
gnohmon wrote on 2002-04-03 UTC
Pinwheel Chess was invented early 1970s by me, in NOST/Algia.

The idea is, it's grid chess, but each grid rotates 1/4 turn after each move; and alternate grids rotate backwards -- e.g. a1 goes to a2, and c2 goes to c1.

I wrote the program that displays the board and lets 2 people play, more than once, in different languages. Long lost, of course, even if you could find compilers/interpreters for those languages.

Orbital Rotating Grid Chess is like Pinwheel Chess except that e4,e5,d4,d5 is one cell, (so far just as in Offset Grid Chess, but...) and the other squares in c4-f6 are another cell, and the remaining squares in b2-g7 another, and the remaining squares in a1-h8 (in other words, the 28 edge squares) are another cell. And they rotate in opposite directions. Chaos!

Knight's Tour Rotating Grid Chess, not the right name, but you take a Knight's tour, and each turn the pieces on a1 move to b3 and the pieces on c2 get transferred to a1, and so forth
And finally, Brownian Motion Chess, where the squares are randomly inserted into a linked list, unknown to the players, and each turn everything moves forward on the list one step.
All that was from just one of my densely-typed two page articles in N/A in early 1970s.

I have all the back issues, and some other stuff, packed in a box to send them away, but I never get around to doing it. So nag me.

Critique: Pinwheel could be played postal, which was the only mode back then, but you'd be crazy to try. Both pinwheel and Orbital should be playable (and even fun!) in a noncompetitive online situation.

Knight's Tour is just an over-the-top thingy all us CV designers like to do, and Brownian Motion is over-the-over-the-topmost.


General Comments Page. Page for making general comments.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
gnohmon wrote on 2002-04-03 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
If you think Ruddigore Chess seems playable, by all means test a bit more
and write it up! You're the inventor. I just blathered away with a crude
sketch of the rules and a crazy suggestion, you saw the possibilities and
found the specific rule-set that makes it work -- in other words, you do
all the hard work, it's your game.
You'll mention me, of course, but you know I would never have pursued the
idea further...

Chaturanga 4-84. An Updating of Chaturanga for Four Players with modern pieces and an 84-square board. (10x10, Cells: 84) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2002-04-03 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Very nice game. It is highly playable. Very enjoyable. The double teams
interact in a cooperative way. The board is interesting to play on,
especially with the center squares which change your piece types.
   Although the game harkens back to Chaturanga, even the 4-player version
of Chaturanga, and other 4-player games, there is a lot on ingenuity here.
The idea of changing piece type in the center adds some of the ancient
flavor too. The double team environment in-itself adds a new element in
many ways.
   The rules are simple to grasp. Traditional chess moves are used, along
with the ancient moves in the center. The center, of course, alludes to the
traditional struggle in chess to capture the center.
The game is very nice. By that I mean that it is graceful and evocative.
   Nice game. Try it!

General Comments Page. Page for making general comments.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2002-04-03 UTC
David, will this page be linked to the side bar somehow? That would help in the future when it is not longer the new item in the Feedback page.

Peter Aronson wrote on 2002-04-02 UTC
It seems to me that <b>Ruddigore Chess</b> actually seems playable! But I would suggest that the first three turns be declared a Bank Holiday with no capturing required.

Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2002-04-02 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
David, Peter, great idea! This makes it easy to comment, is practical, timely, and should have a wide audience.

Chessgi. Drop the pieces you take from your opponent. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Chad wrote on 2002-04-02 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
You can play this game at <a href=''></a>.

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