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Here on this wiki, there's a slightly unusual look at short range pieces:

Other than that, I'd recommend the Piecelopedia and George Jelliss' site.

You may well be familiar with all 3. If you know of any more, please list them here.

Re: Julian Lin by Joe JoyceJoe Joyce, 14 May 2015 00:58

You did not mention what you base these claims on, or even what size board they apply to. But they seem very far from realistic. A Commoner is very similar in value to a Knight, as might be expected, as they are both short-range pieces with 8 moves. As to global properties, the Knight has more 'speed', but the Commoner has mating potential. Mating potential in general isn't worth very much, as most games are decided in the presence of Pawns. Perhaps the strongest advantage of the Commoner is that it is a 'strong defender', able to salvage a draw against a super-piece like Queen, which even a Rook cannot.

Even tests with engines that take all that into account, the end-game value of the Commoner tests hardly better than that of a Knight, perhaps 0.2 Pawn (e.g. by playing one side with 1 or 2 Knights and the other with 1 or 2 Commoners, in the presence of 3-5 Pawns each). For opening value, the Commoner tests slightly weaker than Knight (e.g. replacing one side's Knights by Commoners in the FIDE setup).


by hgmullerhgmuller, 13 May 2015 09:38

I am from Asia and I want to learn mainly about the many symmetrical pieces and more that are related to chess. Does anyone know a page that can help me?
I have "invented" only 1 variant: Zombie poison chess.

Julian Lin by chess2015chess2015, 13 May 2015 08:43

The way I see it, extinction chess will qualify as a chess variant as chess is just a game of boards, pieces and about anything would qualify as a chess variant

Re: Royal Piece and ? by chess2015chess2015, 13 May 2015 08:21

Well… the archbishop is obviously very strong, but it really has a major disadvantage against chancellors and even commoners and other shortrange pieces. maybe that might be why the commoner, although slow and shortranged, is stronger than a bishop or a knight. Here is my list: P=1.2
Lightning war machine=4.9

Hey Graeme, think I nailed it with Border War! See the bottom of the current active page: It's a simple but working chess-wargame fusion. I believe I've found one of the lesser Grails. Simplicity works! Who'd'a thunk? Joe

Answers 2, 3 years later by Joe JoyceJoe Joyce, 28 Aug 2012 04:38

Hey, Graeme, now I know it was a good idea - somebody good is already using it! And I'm also sure your sons ganged up on you, as my son and daughter would just naturally do that with me. Anyhow, Game Courier is not directly set up for multi-player games, but it can be used for them if the players cooperate. Two are "captains", and they must put all the moves in. They email the set-up to the other players on their "team" as it is each's turn, and the players email them the moves back. Awkward, but I've played some 4-handed chess that way, although the game did peter out after a few moves. Got more to say, but am very busy right now, so ciao.


Re: Battle of the 6 Armies by Joe JoyceJoe Joyce, 08 Jun 2012 15:51

Hi Joe, sorry if I've stolen your thunder, but B6A is a project I've been working on for just over the year. It's not been greatly playtested though there have been some chaotic 3-handed unfinished games between myself and my 2 sons (I'm sure they ganged up on me). I've also written a zrf for it which I'm in the process of making ready for general distribution. I am also toying with the idea of writing a preset for it using a hex-lattice board, but I'm not sure if Game Courier supports multi-player games?

Best Regards


Re: Battle of the 6 Armies by GrayhawkeGrayhawke, 08 Jun 2012 13:05

Hello, Graeme. Very nice! And you have anticipated/scooped-whatever me, with this. I have a guy doing graphics for Warlord so I can do the same thing as you've just done, but with just a folded cardstock base. This looks like one heck of a brawl. Have you had the chance to do much playtesting? Heh, amazing! Gotta run! Later, and the best to you. Joe

Battle of the 6 Armies by Joe JoyceJoe Joyce, 07 Jun 2012 20:17

I ran across an interesting article with a different approach to what makes a chess variant, but this author is considering the origins of chess and only historical games. From the bottom of page 5 to the top of page 6, we get the following, by Gerhard Josten:
Fig. 2: Living and extinct chess variants
But just what is the outstanding feature of all of these chess games? All chess games differ
from all other old games by one characteristic feature, namely that they have three different
types of pieces. These are, listed in order of significance for the game:
• Type 1: A relatively immobile central piece, the goal of the game being to paralyse this
piece. The way in which it can be paralysed varies. This rule does not apply in the game of
four-handed chess.
• Type 2: A number of pieces which can make various longer moves and – with some exceptions
– can move in all directions without restriction.
• Type 3: A number of pieces which can only move forwards, and if needs be sideways too.
All other characteristics of the game of chess such as the board, the symmetrical initial array,
the capture of opponent's pieces, the central piece or the moves in alternation can also be
found in other old Asian games. However, this concentration of three different types of pieces
is unique in chess and will form the basis of my supplementary thesis.

It certainly points out the differences between the historical forms of chess and some of the new variants.

Okay, I see that you added the Checkers to the pieces available (I don't know how you did it), but how does one then drop a Checkers? I see that it is possible to manually tell it to do so, but it says it only drops pieces "on hand."

Go here and compare our two presets:
Click on the "MOVE" option to the right of the board, and the checkers will disappear.

How good is your internet connection?The Alfaerie: Many piece set is large and may take a little bit of time to download.

Okay, I followed your instructions on the presets and here is what I have so far:

Now, how do I add the Checkers?

Okay, have you changed your username at No matter, I'll look it up. I will send you an invitation to play a game on the game courier with a preset. Accept the game and choose either side. Click on a piece to move it, and click on the square you want to move it to. This way, you will get to see what a preset is and what it does. We do not have to play more than a couple moves in the game. Then you can ask questions with some understanding.

Oh yea, I've seen that page before. But it doesn't explain what a preset is, or why one would want to do one, or what it does. I don't really "get" it.

gotta run, so here's preset info. follow it step by step, and ask me if you have any questions or problems at all. i wrote, so critique it. a few people have used it, obviously, as you will realize when you see everything is "Uri's example". ciao

"What do you mean by each?"

I was referring to the definitions from the top of the page. Or were you asking something else? I'm not sure.

"I see Jorg Knappen gave you an excellent for Catalonia. Congrats."

Yes, I did see it. Thank you! However, it doesn't sound like he played it. I don't know.

"How is the preset coming?"

I'm gonna be honest with you, I still don't really understand what a preset is, let alone how to make one. Is there some kind of page for beginners explaining what it's all about?

Hi, Francois:

Two quick things -

I see how decisiveness translates, but not drama, at a first glance. So how do you figure drama plays into the cooperative games, rather than decisiveness? And this may be as much a matter of semantics as difference of opinion. What do you mean by each?

I see Jorg Knappen gave you an excellent for Catalonia. Congrats. How is the preset coming?

Hey, Ben, in the intro, you dodge designer notes. I quote: "Intro
I'll keep this article as a simple ("simple" with respect to multidimensional chess) rules guide, and not get into the reasons for how these came about. There is a Game Courier preset at http://…"

Well, now that your game is working fairly well, you should do those Notes. You should give a brief design history [put in all the interesting spots], explain your thinking, and acknowledge your sources and inspirations, any collaborators, even your playtesters. How many people have heard of Vernon Rylands Parton?

Designer Notes by Joe JoyceJoe Joyce, 22 Sep 2010 23:07
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