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ArchCourier Chess. This game is Courier Chess expert Eric Greenwood's modernization of Courier Chess. (12x8, Cells: 96) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
H. G. Muller wrote on Wed, Oct 19, 2022 05:48 AM UTC in reply to Jean-Louis Cazaux from Tue Oct 18 09:19 PM:

Well, BW is about equal to Rook. On 8x8 at least. But you are right, quick naive counting with Q = RN = 9, BN = 8, KN = RF = NAD = 7, R = BW = 5, B = N = FW = 3 gives totals of 31 for FIDE, 48 for Capablanca and 60 for this. So it has 33% more power on a 20% larger board as Capablanca. Divided by the board width we get 3.875, 4.8 and 5. I guess part of that is due to the fact that it has an extra piece. But Seirawan Chess with 48 on 8x8 is much worse (6). And I did not even bother to calculate it for variants like Sac Chess.


Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on Tue, Oct 18, 2022 09:19 PM UTC in reply to H. G. Muller from 08:00 PM:

Hmm, I count 4 pieces in between Q and R here: RF, BW, KN, Sq. So 6 pieces at >5, what is left is the Bs, a Man which is equal to the B and thus not so light, and finally the weakest is the N. I believe it is much heavier than Capablanca's. That's perfect if you like bloody battles.


H. G. Muller wrote on Tue, Oct 18, 2022 08:00 PM UTC:

Well, it doesn't seem worse than Capablanca Chess and similar 10x8 variants. There you have 3 Queen-class pieces, here only 2. Here there are 2 pieces in between Rook and Queen, though (Squirrel and Crowned Rook). But the board here is 12 wide instead of 10. A agree that it is a bit short on weaker pieces, with only an extra Guard. But very many variants suffer from that; here at least there is an extra light piece.


Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on Tue, Oct 18, 2022 07:30 PM UTC in reply to H. G. Muller from 06:01 PM:

Very nice application, I have enjoyed to play.

It is an appealling modernization of Courier chess but to my taste, the board is somehow too small for so many strong pieces.


John Ayer wrote on Thu, Oct 23, 2014 03:31 AM UTC:
I have taken another look at this, and still like the prospect.  I suppose the king-pawn cannot take a double first step.

Anonymous wrote on Sun, May 9, 2010 02:48 PM UTC:
It's in category 'one-dimensional'. I think, it's mistake. [fixed - Ed.]

John Ayer wrote on Mon, May 8, 2006 03:32 AM UTC:
Eric Greenwood replied to me privately, but has assented to my posting some of his remarks:

As to the Duke name, the piece in Ed Friedlander's Exotic Chess (the Make-your-own game) which has the guard-and-knight move is the Duke, which is why I selected that name. The name of the piece in Renniassance Chess (where the Duke piece comes from that's in the Piececlopedia) which corresponds to the knight-and-guard move is the Page. With pawns also starting with p, you can see why I used the Duke name for the piece. Also, and it's a matter of taste, I don't like the name Centaur--there are too many C-names for 'better' pieces already established.

Interesting point on the knights--but perhaps they can do flank duties from there? It's never been a disadvantage for me. Taking two moves to get centralized allows a more flexible deployment--and since it's not a slam-bang variant, players should be able to find the time to develop them 'properly.'

As far as the g-pawn goes (the pawn on the third rank), there we may just have a difference of style. I wanted it there for the extra protection around the king it affords. Plus, remember, this variant is based on Courier Chess among others, where a pawn is advanced even farther (actually, the rooks' pawns are also advanced to the fourth rank in Courier). I left it on the third rank to give players more choices as to deployment, as well as the king safety factor.

Thus far Eric Greenwood. I had not known of the precedent that he was following in naming the Man+horse, and all of his choices are, of course, perfectly valid. In my favorite variant, Courier Spiel, I found myself using the sage (centaur) to contest the center (with the fool backing it) while the knights do indeed do flank duty. I think this invention looks quite promising.


Jeremy Good wrote on Mon, May 8, 2006 02:02 AM UTC:
Why not refer to the Duke here as 'Eagle' instead?

John Ayer wrote on Fri, May 5, 2006 11:54 PM UTC:
And very interesting it is! Still, a few thoughts bubble up. A different piece is listed in the Piececlopedia under the name 'Duke,' and the inventor is Eric Greenwood. The piece that combines Man and horse is usually known as a centaur, and I wish we could be a little more consistent. Then, I know, you would have had to find a different initial for the crowned rook, or rook-ferz, also known as a Dragon King.

The knights are at a disadvantage so far from the center, but the duke and squirrel are admirably placed and armed to do the knights' usual duty.

With the guard in front of the king, I personally wouldn't bother with a king's pawn.

Not only is the king probably safer where he is, I don't think castling makes much sense on a board so broad.

Your exposition of your logic is indeed instructive. The notes at Emperor Chess show most of the steps by which I evolved that game into something that I think should be much better; when I have gotten someone to play-test it with me (next month, I hope) I intend to offer that one, too.


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