Classes of chess pieces for chess variants

Discussion of anything and everything relating to chess playing software and machines.

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hgm
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Re: Classes of chess pieces for chess variants

Post by hgm » Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:11 pm

BTW, the link you posted does not work.

RichV
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Re: Classes of chess pieces for chess variants

Post by RichV » Wed Jan 22, 2020 8:21 pm

HGM, I'm sorry about the broken link. I was advised by a patent and trademark attorney that there is a high probability that I would be turned down for a trademark for "Thrones Chess". He said Game of Thrones has a chess game called "Game of Thrones Chess Set", which makes my requested trademark too similar. So I reverted back to Castle Siege Chess, which I have had trademarked for over 5 years. I am quite sure that I am going to make "Castle Siege Chess" the primary name for my collection of chess variants instead of "Castle Strife Games". I changed the website address several days ago from castlestrife.com to CastleSiegeChess.com (CastleSiege had already been taken) and forgot about direct links to pages that I had given out. That is why the link did not work. Here is the correct link (which I just verified):

http://castlesiegechess.com/08_csg_story_08_23_p23.html

Yes, the triangles and 3 directions of attack do make the rooks, bishops, and queens much more powerful. Based on your previous comments (before Jan 21), I was planning to cut the Zillions of Games piece values in half and use those values for my chess piece Classes. Now, I am very interested in knowing the values that Fairy-Max gives to the Q, R, B, and extended K. Can you please give those to me?

The "double-barreled" effect caused by the triangles for certain moves of a B, R, and Q are quite fun and powerful. With the help of the 'King in check next to a castle wall' rule, a Q or R can single-handedly checkmate a K if they catch the King in the open on a space between two triangles and next to the inside of the castle wall. For example, if the king is on any of the spaces 51 through 56 and either a Q or R moves to space 34 or 41, the King is mated (if he can't cross the wall while in check). I actually like the rule not allowing a K to cross a castle wall when in check, but if it cannot easily be implemented in Fairy-Max, maybe we could just use it as known manual rule to be abided by. I have found that new players of Castle Siege Chess quickly catch on to the rule and it reduces the need or desire for players to memorize a lot of lengthy game endings.

I truly envy your computer programming skills for chess variants and chess engines. I wish that I could be even half as skilled. Thanks again.

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hgm
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Re: Classes of chess pieces for chess variants

Post by hgm » Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:55 pm

It should not be too difficult to add this or a very similar rule toFairy-Max. I just don't see why you would want R or Q to be able to single-handedly checkmate a King, or why you would want a King to be so defenseless. To me it seems a bad feature. But this apparently is just a matter of taste. I would recommend to simplfy the rule to one where the King is always allowed to capture across the wall.

Anyway, I don't expect this rule to have any effect on piece values, so I am doing the valuedeterminations without it.

RichV
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Re: Classes of chess pieces for chess variants

Post by RichV » Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:52 am

HGM, On the CirSquare board, the R and Q being able to single-handedly mate a King seems to be similar to a R or Q being able to mate a K that has been left behind 3 Pawns after castling and the R having moved out. It also seems similar to fool's mate in chess where the Q mates the K by herself in 2 moves. It doesn't take many times being mated those ways to start avoiding the situations that allow them to happen. When a R and/or Q is stalking a player's K on the CirSquare board, the player needs to be aware of the possibly of being trapped next to and behind the castle wall between the two triangles and avoid moving to that area or make sure there are pieces that can be moved to block the attack.

Once players become aware of a cheap way to get mated, it becomes a rare way to mate them. On a large, dynamic board like the CirSquare 96, it often takes 3 or 4 pieces to gang up on a K to mate him. The castle wall rule for a K in check acts to reduce the number of pieces needed to achieve mate down to usually 2 pieces instead of 3. It helps to keep the length of the game more In line with the time it takes to play a classic game of chess and to help reduce the likelihood of a draw or stalemate. Even with the rule, the average game on the CirSquare board is probably about 15 minutes or so longer than the average classic chess game for a given pair of players.

My first 3 years of play-testing was in a city where I worked before I retired 2 years ago. That city is over 2-1/2 hours away from where I live. So after I retired, I can't afford to drive there to continue playing at that chess club. I had to start all over again here by starting a new chess club and having a new set of players become proficient in my games. Losing the set of players in the old chess club that had become good with my games was a big lose for getting valuable feedback on the intricacies of playing chess on the CirSquare board. It will take another 1 to 1-1/2 years at my current club to get back to that point again.

So far in the 5 total years of playing my games at chess clubs and with chess coaches and masters, there have been only two changes in the rules--allowing the king to capture an uncovered attacker across a castle wall when in check, and allowing the Knight to have the extended move without capture. I am finding the extended Knight move to be a great enhancement to the game. There have been some non-chess changes to my higher level games, but they do not apply to this discussion. I put a thin red rubber band on the Knights to act as a reminder of their extended moves.

I definitely want to make any changes to the game that will improve its playability, interest, and excitement. And I do listen to chess experts like yourself and very much appreciate the advice. As cheap mates occur and as more people gain experience playing with the extended Knight moves, I ask for their thoughts about them and possible needed improvements. So far, I have not received any complaints from players about the castle wall rule regarding a king in check. I am glad that you think that it will not be too hard to program the rule in Fairy-Max. I just started using the extended Knight move 2 weeks ago at the chess club, and it has been well received and easily understood by those who have played using it. Even those who are low intermediate chess players catch on very quickly to the rule and readily use it.

Being both an excellent chess player and an outstanding chess variant programmer with a lot of experience with many different chess variants, you are my best source for advice about my game. The local chess coaches and chess masters are my next best group, and then all the chess club players with a wide range of chess experience is my 3rd best source. But all of those groups are important and I need to pay attention to all of them.

I can hardly wait to find out what values Fairy-Max places on the pieces when used on the CirSquare board. It will be good to finally get my chess pieces Class chart initial version established and start using it with my higher level Castle Siege Chess games--the 3 games that use my Action cards. The Classes will allow the use of any non-classic chess pieces as long as I can determine their values when playing on the CirSquare 96 board. I will use their basic value determined in the lowest level Castle Siege Chess game. I need to be able to refer to pieces by class on the Action cards to allow the cards to be used with any new chess piece in my upper level games. The temporary changes in value for a single turn using a particular Action card will not be considered.

Having 2 chess engines--Fairy-Max and ZoG--to use to get chess piece values in Castle Siege Chess is going to be huge help for me!

Thank you and have a great weekend! (Sorry for long post, I got carried away.)

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Ovyron
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Re: Classes of chess pieces for chess variants

Post by Ovyron » Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:00 am

RichV wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:52 am
I definitely want to make any changes to the game that will improve its playability, interest, and excitement.
Well, if you ever manage to implement this in a site like lidraughts.org (clone of lichess where instead of chess people play draughts) I'll be there to playtest it :)

RichV
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Re: Classes of chess pieces for chess variants

Post by RichV » Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:49 pm

Thanks Ovyron. I hope that I can have Castle Siege Chess playable online on the CirSquare board sometime this year. HGM is doing a great job making Castle Siege Chess playable in Fairy-Max. The board design had to be changed to fit a square board design. So the board design went from square to a combination of square and round and then back to a variation of square. Maybe I should call this version "Castle Siege Re-squared". :-) He almost has all the additional rules programmed. The moves, especially diagonal moves and moves through the 4 'triangular' spaces, are a bit more difficult to follow through the four 4x4 corner areas of the board, making you have to pay more attention. But it is fun to play and it provides another way to check the values of the pieces when played on the CirSquare board. The moves are easier to follow, at least for me, on the CirSquare 96 board. I will let you know when it is available for play online.

Thanks!

BTW, if you have a copy of Zillions of Games, I can give you a link to download my latest ZRF files, which include 70 variations of Castle Siege Chess. Some of the rules do not work, but you can perform them manually--such as castling and en passant.

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Ovyron
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Re: Classes of chess pieces for chess variants

Post by Ovyron » Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:36 am

Thanks Rich, the idea of playing online is playing against other people. I do have Zillions and have programmed my own private chess variants into it (none very good...) but I'll wait until playing other humans is possible :)

RichV
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Re: Classes of chess pieces for chess variants

Post by RichV » Sun Jan 26, 2020 3:38 am

Ovyron, Zillions supposedly can be played online, but I can't figure out how to make it work or even it still works. On the Zillions menu, 'Net' seems to be where a user can create or join a session. I could not find any information on their site about how to start an online session for one of their games. If you can get it to work, I would very much like to play some of my games with you.

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Ovyron
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Re: Classes of chess pieces for chess variants

Post by Ovyron » Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:50 am

RichV wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 3:38 am
On the Zillions menu, 'Net' seems to be where a user can create or join a session.
I could be wrong on this, but I'm pretty sure that's only for playing via LAN over a home network (you have two computers with you and you connect them to a modem and people play Zillions on their own screen at home instead of playing on the same computer), not for playing over the Internet (as there's no Zillions server that I'm aware of.)

RichV
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Re: Classes of chess pieces for chess variants

Post by RichV » Sun Jan 26, 2020 5:12 am

Ovyron, That would not surprise me, but on their site they say you can play people world wide. When I selected the Net menu item, the dropdown had a couple of choices. I tried the 'join host/session....' which changed the dropdown to 'Direct Play 8 Serial Service Provider, or Direct Play 8 TCP/IP Service Provider, or Wait for lobby connection... I do not have any experience at playing games online, so I do not know what to do with any of those selections.

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