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Diagram testing thread[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Daniel Zacharias wrote on 2023-02-02 UTC

Just for fun


H. G. Muller wrote on 2023-02-01 UTC

Bah, I was (sadly) fearing to get such an answer. I take your last sentence straight in my face, thank you. Are you especially angry today?

Not angry at all. But if you suspected this answer could come, there must be some truth in it, right? And don't get me wrong, Shako and Pemba are great games. I count them in the top 10%-tier of all chess variants, because of the good spectrum of piece values and interesting pieces. But that doesn't mean one should make infinite numbers of variations on them, using the same set of pieces over and over again, with minimal variation. Especially since there are already many other variants that use Elephant, Cannon and Vao. At some point that gets boring, and a clone of a great original is still just a clone.

Greg Strong wrote on 2023-02-01 UTC

You expressed an opinion. H.G. expressed a different opinion, complete with the logic behind it. I don't see anything objectionable here, except possibly the last sentence, and even there I think you are being too sensitive.

You often express strong opinions - sometimes quite forcefully, especially regarding the names of pieces. You also sometimes respond poorly to alternate opinions.

Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2023-02-01 UTC

@Kevin: no, not yours.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2023-02-01 UTC

Hi J-L: If you mean my answer, no, not angry at all - though I did just get up from a nap and may not yet be as tactful as I should be.

Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2023-02-01 UTC

Bah, I was (sadly) fearing to get such an answer. I take your last sentence straight in my face, thank you. Are you especially angry today?

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2023-02-01 UTC

With 16x8 Officer-Spiel (or 8x10 Officer Chess), I used every traditional compound piece (but only once per army) plus the other 8 pieces from FIDE chess, much as e.g. 12x10 Very Heavy Chess uses them.

While my first instinct is to reject Officer-Spiel as having too many powerful pieces (I've since added an alternative setup I prefer, with an edit to that post), maybe I'm being too fussy. That's since 14x8 Alekhine Chess uses quite similar great piece power, without even the ability for a player to castle quickly - yet that CV proved popular as far as I know, at least initially (pandering mainly to many lower rated players, perhaps - though you do what you've got to do ;)).

With 16x8 Constable-Spiel (or 8x10 Constable Chess), it was a similar story - I used 2 of each of 4 piece types (that are the logical compounds of A,D,F and W, in ways that make them all approximately worth a Kt; they also each only move within a radius of 2 cells). Then I combined those 8 pieces with the 8 pieces of the FIDE chess army. I liked sticking to the theme, and still don't much mind the FA type at all (much as I don't dismiss Amazons automatically as invention idea setup choices - another thing each variantist has his own personal preference about, it seems).

H. G. Muller wrote on 2023-02-01 UTC

Capablanca Chess and Carrera Chess have BN and RN singletons in the wings. For a board this wide I think it can even be nice to spread out the 'power-pieces' a bit. I don't have any clear preference myself; I just put RF and BW where I did because that was where Kevin had put the Elephants that I replaced. But I don't see why this would beg for 'improvement'. If symmetry would be the holy grail, I would sooner take two BW in the wings than move singleton BW and RF to the center. (BW on 16x8 could be significantly stronger than Rook anyway, because it will in general attack the opponent in two places, rather than one.)

One point to consider is that there are already so many variants using Elephants, Cannons, and Vaos (to not even mention Archbishops and Chancellors). I experience it as very refreshing to also see some other pieces now and then. The WA, FD, BW and RF are only rarely encountered, outside shogi variants.

And as to 'unnatural moves': if a chessplayer would consider anything unnatural, it will be the Cannon and the Vao. The presence of those divergent hoppers really upsets everything you thought to know about tactics. And I don't think the FD is unnatural at all: it is just the conjugate of a King (i.e. the 45-degree rotated version moving on the sub-grid of one shade). And King moves are very natural. The WA is indeed a different matter; you will have to learn how to manouevre with it, just like novice chess players have to learn to manouevre with a Knight. But that seems a small matter compared to mastering the use of Cannons and such.

I don't see much fun in reducing every chess variant to a version of Shako or Pemba on a differently shaped board.

Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2023-02-01 UTC

If I may join and play with you on this interesting discussion, to my taste:

  • I agree with HG that it was too much strong pieces in the array (Amazon, RFN, BWN).

  • I don't like too much compound pieces like FD and WA, nice pattern but not natural (yes, this is subjective, but I feel it like this). I do prefer much FA (Elephant) and WD (War Machine) because I see a consistency in their move.

  • I don't like that singleton pieces (here Crowned R and Crowned B) are on sides where as some duo pieces are more in the center (on f,g,j,k). (Another subjective opinion).

  • I would suggest to use a pair of FA, a pair of WD. 4 spaces would remain. Have you considered to use a pair of Cannons and a pair of Vao? (Instead of the 2xFD, 1 RK, 1 BK).

H. G. Muller wrote on 2023-02-01 UTC

Ah yes, sorry. That is what I meant. I now corrected that.

Of course one can argue that the WD is similar to a Rook in the same way the FA is similar to the Bishop, but in the WD case there is a quite large value difference. And the WD is a very interesting piece in itself because of the combination of low value and mating potential.

Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2023-02-01 UTC

"And you already have the WD, which is also color bound"

You probably meant the FD, not the WD.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2023-02-01 UTC

Thanks for the effort, H.G.! I'm glad Fast Castling is now supported by the I.D. (though I as a dinosaur personally have a ways to go before ever learning how to use that, especially authoring/inventing something with it).

Your modification to Constable-Spiel is interesting, and may deserve a name of its own (would we be co-inventors, if it takes root?!), even if I still prefer to keep the original around under the Constable-Spiel name.

I have 22 CV invention ideas (that I at the least haven't totally rejected yet), on scrap paper and scattered in comments on this CVP site since 2019 - a start would be for me to make settings files files for them at my leisure, before thinking about the long daunting process of submitting the ideas (Fergus once capped the number of submissions at a time by a member at 9 maximum; I have 9 published presets that also might use rules pages some day). With settings files done, people could locate the ideas a bit more easily, and also play them if they wish.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2023-02-01 UTC

For my taste the pieces in Officer Spiel are way too strong, while those in Constable Spiel (although I like that more) are a bit on the weak side. If you would replace the Elephants by a Crowned Rook and a Crowned Bishop you would have an interpolation of the two that has pretty much an ideal piece mix; it would add one rook-class piece, and one halfway Rook and Queen, next to three pairs of light pieces (of which the War Machine has mating power).

I suggest to replace the Elephant, because it seems the 'most redundant piece': its footprint is a subset of that of the Bishop, and although it can jump, you already have the WA that has that move. And you already have the WD, which is also color bound.

files=16 ranks=8 whitePrefix=w blackPrefix=b graphicsType=png graphicsDir=/graphics.dir/alfaeriePNG/ squareSize=50 lightShade=#cccc11 darkShade=#339933 rimColor=#111199 coordColor=#cccc11 firstRank=1 useMarkers=1 borders=0 newClick=1 pawn::::a2-p2 knight:N:::b1,o1 kirin::FD:warmachineferz:c1,n1 phoenix:X:WA:elephantwazir:f1,k1 war machine::WD:warmachinewazir:g1,j1 bishop::::d1,m1 rook::::a1,p1 crowned bishop:H:BW:promotedbishop:e1 crowned rook:D:RF:promotedrook:l1 queen::::h1 king::KispO8::i1

P.S. The Diagram now also supports 'fast castling'. (Flush browser cache!) The XBetza notation ispOn. It seemed fitting to use the p modifier to distinguish it from normal castling, as it is a castling that can hop over other pieces. For now the n is ignored; perhaps this can be interpreted as the maximum range over which the King is allowed to jump.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2023-01-31 UTC

Below is a diagram for a (16x8) CV invention idea of mine, which might be called Officer-Spiel, that I can study at my leisure (Fast Castling rules like in Wide Chess, and FIDE pawn rules). It was inspired by my much earlier (8x10) CV invention idea Officer Chess (see 2019-02-16 post[s] in this thread), as well as by Michael Wortley Nolan's (14x8) Alekhine Chess (I thought, if that 8-rank CV with all its piece power, and no quick way to castle, has some popularity, maybe Officer-Spiel shouldn't be ruled out):


edit: Alternative setup for Officer-Spiel (currently prefer):


Kevin Pacey wrote on 2023-01-31 UTC

Here's a diagram for a (16x8) CV invention idea of mine, which might be called Constable-Spiel, that I can study at my leisure (Fast Castling rules as in Wide Chess, and FIDE pawn rules) - it was inspired by my earlier (8x10) CV invention idea Constable Chess (see 2020-12-16 post[s] in this thread):


Can you look at this[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Fergus Duniho wrote on 2023-01-25 UTC

Okay, that's fixed now.

wdtr2 wrote on 2023-01-25 UTC

The game shogi seems to be broken also. Error on turn 0.

wdtr2 wrote on 2023-01-24 UTC

It's Tuesday 1/24/2023 18:07 EDT. About 1.5 hours ago I was playing pocket shogi copper, and I made my move. My opponent made his move, and now when I go into the gameroom wdtr2-cvgameroom-2023-20-548 the game blow up. It seems to be dumping the piece array. Worse than that if I click on the game not the game room the object blows up also. It seems almost like the instruction file (program) was wiped/modified/or became corrupt. It was working about 2 hours ago. Note: I did make a modification to this game about 2 or 3 days ago, so if you had to do a restore from a few days back this would explain the unusual behavior. Thanks, Jim aka wdtr2.

Diagram testing thread[Subject Thread] [Add Response]
Kevin Pacey wrote on 2023-01-19 UTC

I hadn't looked at Betza notation much so far, but didn't realize he used K=FW; I thought he'd might have cared if a piece were royal (in which case if he didn't want to use FW for Man, he might have picked another letter[s] than K - the Alfairie: Many set in the Diagram Designer, for example, uses {GU} for guard when one is putting it in its FEN notation, though that's 4 characters[!]).

Bn Em wrote on 2023-01-19 UTC

The KAD goes back at least as far as the Pasha of Paulovits' game, and also appears as a Mastodon in Mats Winter's games and as Joe Joyce's Jumping General (How's that for alliteration?(!) )

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2023-01-19 UTC

I guess a FADW could be seen as a more appropriate analogue to an almost clearly weaker version of a Q, in the spirit of calling a FA an almost clearly weaker version of a B (at least in many endgames).

I wonder if a FADW would make for an interesting piece in some CV invention(s), whether or not the piece has been used by someone already. edit: Joe Joyce has used it, I recall now:


H. G. Muller wrote on 2023-01-19 UTC

Considering the WA a weak version of the Q is a stretch of the imagination. The value difference alone makes it a completely different piece, in the way you have to use it. On 8x8 the opening value of the FA is hardly different from that of a Bishop. On larger board the Bishop gains value, but the FA stays similar in value to a Knight. As the WA would. Each of those is, after all, an 8-target leaper.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2023-01-18 UTC

The FA is one of my favourite fairy pieces, even though it seems usually much weaker than a B in an endgame with not many pawns (even then, it might somehow usefully leap to the other side of its K if adjacent to it). It's too bad there is not a Piececlopedia entry for it, but maybe understandable since at the least the origins (or favoured name(s)) of the piece are unknown or unclear (is Courier-Spiel the first instance of it being used? if so, we don't know who invented that CV).

The WA does come from Japanese origins, it seems, though maybe one could try to argue that it is almost just a clearly weaker version of a Q and doesn't add much to a CV where Qs are present in the setup (analogous to the way FA and B are sometimes compared).

Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2023-01-18 UTC

For my part, I like the FA. I am sensitive to the consistency of a piece. The FA is a pure diagonal piece. It is different enough from the Bishop, especially in the center of the board where it may leap to threaten enemy pieces. A nice pattern is not necessarily a nice piece to play with, this is why I prefer it to WA or Omega's WAD. Of course this matter is highly subjective.

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2023-01-17 UTC

Hi H.G.:

These 2 latest CV ideas here are ones I thought of back some years ago, when I was keen to keep the FA pieces as part of the CVs (and some others), as they were part of the Courier-Spiel tradition. They also are handy when trying to keep all pawns guarded in the setup (a principle at least Fergus and I like to follow, even though the other 'Classics' than chess [Chinese Chess and Shogi] break it big-time, in ways extensive playtesting seems to justify however - Janus Chess is a well-tested modern CV that breaks it too).

Even much earlier you suggested the Phoenix (aka Waffle) to me, and I did use it at the least in my long-ago submitted 10x8 Waffle Chess preset, but I found keeping every pawn guarded was awkward enough that I used my Fast Castling rules even for that, though I didn't like doing so for a 10x8 CV (however enemy forces it seemed to me could make a more normal type of castling [e.g. Capablanca Chess style] problematical). Maybe I used Phoenix' in my old 12x8 Wide Chess CV too - I'd need to check. [edit: indeed I did. Note that someone took the name of Phoenix Chess before I could use it.]:

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