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Gast's Chess. Large 1969 variant using the Cardinal (Guard) and the Chancellor (Archer). (12x12, Cells: 144) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Charles Gilman wrote on 2012-03-03 UTC
Sorry if I confused anyone, the idea of Gazelles got me carried away. The suggested variant in my last comment was not modelled on Gast's Chess but a follow-on from my comments on (a) the Gazelle's Knightlike qualities and (b) my reason for not having a Nearlydouble of a variant with both Knights and Knighted pieces. By Grand I really did mean Grand, not Gast's. Perhaps that comment would have been better in a free-standing thread, or even on my main Nearlydouble page. It was only the 12x12 of my previous comment that was based on Gast's Chess, and addressing just two well-defined issues with it. If I were to do a Nearlydouble of a 12x12 variant it would be either 19 files by 15 ranks or 22 ranks x 13 files, depending on which if any factor of 12 ranks was significant

George Duke wrote on 2012-03-01 UTC
It is not very clear to what effect Gilman is offering up revision of Gast's. What's a good opening move, Charles, on this new size 13x15? 13x15. Or a plausible opening sequence to advantage (Knight + Zebra)? The idea in the Gast Knight enhancement, forty-five years old, is to keep the three different legs within a surrounding 7x7. It is rejection of the Carrera model. By coincidence Mark Hedden of Ganymede and Europan also was early avoider of conventional BN and RN. That phase of Carrera/Capa compounds one after another was outgrown even by modern designers some time the mid-aughts finally 6 or 8 years ago. (Knight + Zebra) is pretty opaque though better p-t than any compound of duals beyond the Gnu. (Knight + Zebra), call it Gazelle after Gilman, is worth cataloguing into Sovereign values and so forth. The reason Gast's (Knight + Alfil + Camel) is probably better for players is that all-orthogonal-adjacency of arrival squares might be more consistently visualizable. However, it is close call since on the other hand bi-compound ought to be favoured over tri-compound in principle. The distinction though is why Betza Half-Duck has no counterpart in (Wazir + Alfil + Tripper) at least by Betza. Ralph was pretty discriminating amidst his own proliferation up to 150 cvs, more than anyone can possibly play let alone master, in mentioning rejects of dozens of alternatives within many a one solitary CV write-up too.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2012-03-01 UTC
Actually the more I think about it the more I like the idea of using Gazelles for a Knighted-piece Nearlydouble. I can see it now, a Nearlydouble Grand Chess with the folowing array:
where the Knight image represents the Gazelle, and the Knighted pieces the Razorbill and Basilica.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2012-02-27 UTCAverage ★★★
Sorry, meant to add a re-rating - and it's not one that's available on editing existing comments!

Charles Gilman wrote on 2012-02-27 UTC
Since 2004 I had quite forgotten this variant, and I noticed it as the variant alphabetically following Ganymede Chess while navigating to that variant following a comment referring to it with no link.

How naive my 2004 judgment must appear! How did I fail to notice how far in the Archers were - the King's-side one too near the King for Castling to be as good as thought that it waa at a time? I have to agree with a later criticism of 'knighting' a Bishop with a piece that alhas a diagonal move anyway. In fact the form of Knight enhancement used here is a bit of a mess anyway, as it detracts from the FIDE (and Carrera and Bird and so on) pattern of one basic piece being unafected by square colour, one colourbound, and one colourswitching. Even the Endknight of my Nearlydouble Chess, which does retain colourswitching, would have a corresponding problem in a knighted Rook.

Neither of these problems are unsurmountable. As regards the first, the Archers could be swapped with the next piece out to put them exactly the same distance from the King that FIDE Chess puts Rooks. It will actually have the bonus of an array with all Pawns unprotected (unless I've missed something, the Guards' Pawns are unprotected in the current array). As regards the second, I would suggest enhancing the Knight by adding the Zebra to give a Gazelle. At one time I suggested names for Rook+Gazelle and Bishop+Gazelle - Razorbill and Basilica - and while I dropped these as obscure one-offs I could reintroduce them to Man and Beast if the pieces appear in a variant.


Jeremy Good wrote on 2006-02-28 UTC
Well, I'm not seeing a Game Courier preset for tutti frutti chess or I'd be interested to play it too. I've been playing Alekhine Chess at cowplay.com and so far I haven't enjoyed it as much as I thought I would. An unusual preliminary theory I'm entertaining about it though is that while the superpowerful pieces remain on the board, I'm not sure the king is safer castling, but it's a pretty complex game and that notion could be false. Btw, you didn't answer my questions. Your comments are helpful though. Would you believe I had overlooked that rule about pawns capturing two diagonally? By giving the pieces more options for how to move (and allowing the pawns to meet in the middle), Gast really makes the larger board very manageable and it may be that superpowerful pieces like the Gast Archer and the Gast Guard are better suited in fact to a larger board. That may seem obvious, but it's something worth exploring.

David Paulowich wrote on 2006-02-27 UTC
Jean-Louis Cazaux uses two-step Pawns in: Perfect 12, Toulousain Chess, and Gigachess. But those Pawns can only capture one square diagonally forward. Here '... a pawn may move one or two squares forward, and may capture one or two squares diagonally forward.' Again, I am reminded of the work of Frank Maus on the 8x8 board. But if I was in the mood for some fun with powerful pieces, I would choose Tutti-Frutti Chess.

Jeremy wrote on 2006-02-27 UTC
David, you appear to be rating Gast's Chess as poor. Is that based on play-testing? Or just abstract analysis of the quality of the pieces in light of the reference you cite? Because I've found it to be very enjoyable, more so than Capablanca Chess variants. You may have noticed that I rated it as 'excellent.'

David Paulowich wrote on 2006-02-26 UTCPoor ★

In Cavalry Chess (Frank Maus, 1921) the Knight is replaced by a Knight-Camel-Zebra compound. Maus attempts to balance this piece by using a much stronger king, but does not succeed, according to Fergus Duniho's essay on the same page.

Gast's Chess has an ordinary King (with more castling options) facing Knight-Camel-Alfil compounds, plus Archers and Guards. That gives your opponent six pieces that can checkmate by capturing your undefended j-file Pawn.


Jeremy Good wrote on 2006-02-26 UTC
The rules say: '...the knight is also given a longer leap, to the opposite corner of a rectangle either four squares by two or three by three.' I take this rule to mean that the knight can move like a camel or an alfil in addition to knight. Is that correct? Is that also the correct formulation of what Gast intended?

Jeremy Good wrote on 2006-02-25 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Having played it once, I really like this variant, but the Guard (Bishop plus enhanced knight) gets a raw deal compared to the Archer (Rook plus enhanced knight) since the Guard can move to the opposite end of a 3 x 3 rectangle (square) anyway by virtue of being a bishop! I think the Guard should be allowed a different alternate jump, perhaps like a zebra as well to compensate (the Gast Queen or 'pope' or 'enhanced Amazon would share this extra leaping move). I'd like to know precisely what the layout of the other Gast's Chess is and what the source of the information about Gast's Chess is and whether Mr. Gast left behind an archive of chess information and where it can be accessed. I'd very much like to play the 12 x 14 version with my own extra rule added.

George Duke wrote on 2005-02-20 UTCGood ★★★★
'GHI,LargeCV': Looking like a Turkish Great Chess, Gast's is really recent CV with some novelty in Knight and Pawn making a more or less average game. (By ten ranks, something has to help the Pawns and this is a try.) N is (N+Camel+Tripper), Tr. as (3,3); the leaping logic extended for 12x12. 'Archers'(R+N) have that same compound-N power. After its start Pawn goes 1 or 2 forward non-capturing, 1 or 2 diagonal capturing; initial 1,2,3,4. A size like this needs win condition short of checkmate, because any interest is localized interactions in the middle game. In the 14x14 version of Gast, 'Pope' is Amazon(enhanced-Knight-wise).

Charles Gilman wrote on 2004-04-10 UTCGood ★★★★
The castling rules seem particularly sensible: a range of ways to do it over a long rank depending on which pieces are unmoved, and involving those pieces with Rook moves not already adjacent to the King.

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