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The Classified Encyclopedia of Chess VariantsA book, magazine, journal or pamphlet
. Second edition of the Encyclopedia of Chess Variants, now arranged by category.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Ben Reiniger wrote on Tue, Jun 5, 2018 02:22 AM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★

(The first couple of remarks below reference Fergus's old comment here.)

The errors are indeed quite troubling.  Perhaps you can reach out to John Beasley; he has a list of errata/omissions included as "Toward ECV3" on his site.

As for brevity, I've found many of the game descriptions lacking; I suspect that was mostly to keep the overall length short.  (I'll also note, though I don't think this applies to any of your games, that some games seem to be included light-heartedly, and incomplete descriptions of these do not bother me.)

Evidently, Beasley cut out some examples of play from the first edition, assuming the reader would already own the first edition (not true of me, nor I suspect of most readers who have access only to the freely shared version now on Beasley's website), which would be nicer to have.

But overall, I find the CECV to be an excellent resource.  Pritchard (and occasionally Beasley) go into detail on games he (they) find particularly interesting, and list references for most of the games (though many of those have since become difficult to obtain).  Many games appear in both CVP and CECV, while many reside only in one or the other; but I doubt many "serious" variants lie in neither.


🕸Fergus Duniho wrote on Thu, Aug 27, 2015 08:38 PM UTC:Poor ★
I have checked its descriptions of all my games that were mentioned here.

This misdescribes the rules of British Chess. It says, "B
can  also  move  one  square  orthogonally." But it fails to mention that its orthogonal move is non-capturing.

Eurasian Chess is not described in enough detail to play the game. It does not describe the setup, the absence of castling, or pawn promotion rules.

The description of Kamikaze Mortal Shogi fails to mention the order of demotions. The last sentence reads, "A captured P returns to the board as a Kamikaze and is removed from play if captured or capturing" This is inaccurate. It should say, "A captured P returns to the board as a Kamikaze, which is removed from play if captured or capturing." It also fails to describe how the Kamikaze moves.

The description for Voidrider Chess inaccurately describes how the Voidrider moves. It says, "The V moves like a rook and can cross voids, but it must either land on a square on the far side or take its own square with it." It moves as a king, not as a rook, though its movement across void spaces must be orthogonal.

The description of Interdependent Chess gets it confused with Ultima when it says, "Pieces capture by withdrawal, using the capturing power of the victim." This is incorrect. All capturing is by displacement, independent of the victim's powers of movement. The power of movement is borrowed from the piece a piece moves away from, but this is not the same as the piece captured.

It seems to get the rules right for Cavalier Chess, Clockwork Orange Chess, and Thunder Chess. Of the games of mine included in this book, these are the only ones played on an 8x8 board. It makes mistakes describing all the others. Very disappointing. This book could have benefited from fact checking and correspondence with game creators.

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