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    Chess variants comprise a family of strategy board games that are related to, inspired by, or similar enough to the game we today call Chess . The game we commonly know today was based on earlier games, most immediately the Arabian game of Shatranj, itself descended from the Indian game of Chaturanga. Besides its direct ancestors, Chess has many cousins, the most popular being Shogi (in Japan), Xiangqi (in China), and Janggi (in Korea). The modern game of Chess has also inspired countless variants. Some have been created by Chess champions seeking new challenges. Some have been created by entrepreneurs who have provided commercial sets. Some have been created for fairy Chess problems without any intent of actually playing them. And most have been designed by creative people who like to try out new pieces, new rules, or new ideas.

    This site seeks to catalog the vast number of Chess variants created throughout history, as well as to nurture the creation of new variants. Thanks to computers and the internet, it is now easier to play new Chess variants than ever before. We have benefited from Zillions-of-Games, which has allowed us to program and play numerous Chess variants against the computer. And we offer Game Courier, which enables you to play numerous Chess variants against others online, including new games of your own invention. This time in history is a renaissance for Chess variants, and this site is here to share this renaissance with the world.

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    1: /home1/chessvar/public_html/
    2: /home1/chessvar/public_html/index.html


    Author: Hans L. Bodlaender and David Howe.

    See also


    This item is a miscellaneous item,
It belongs to categories: Not categorized
It was last modified on: 2002-10-03
 Author: Hans L. Bodlaender and David  Howe. Home page of The Chess Variant Pages.
    2015-03-18Ben Reiniger Verified as Ben ReinigerNone

    Yes, it works on my tablet now (also Android).

    I'm not very familiar with how to make this available to contributors for inclusion on their own pages. We had (and still do, but they now are very seldom used) the scripts ffen2diag and such; can we just upload your script to a convenient place on our site and have contributors include from there? (I'll be out of town for about a week and probably won't get around to this until I return; maybe just email me about implementation details?)

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    2015-03-18H. G. Muller Verified as H. G. MullerNone

    The following 'moves at a glance' should also work on touch-screens now:

    At least, it did work on my wife's Android tablet now. Could you please test if it works on yours too? The problem apparently was that a 'touchStart' event does not also generate a 'mouseDown' event (which the script was using) when the touch point is not stationary, and it is in practice almost impossible to touch without moving a little. I now have the script also react to the touchStart itself.

    That also gave me the opportunity to make it work with a touch screen slightly different from with a mouse: when touching you obstruct your own view, so it was pretty annoying that the move markers would disappear as soon as you end the touch (as they do on mouseUp), as you would never have a good view of them. So I made it 'sticky' in that case: first touch of a piece shows its moves, second touch on that same piece then clears them (so you can see all pieces again), touch on another piece also clears any displayed moves and shows those of the new piece.

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    2015-03-17H. G. Muller Verified as H. G. MullerNone

    > for instance, your script doesn't run on my tablet

    Oh, I wasn't aware of that. But I just tried it on my wife's Galaxy Tab S, and indeed something strange happens there. It seems to ignore short taps on the squares, and only triggers on long presses. But then it doesn't only show the moves, but in addition a system popup appears that asks me what I want to do with the image.

    I am sure this must be fixable, however. JavaScript is so standard on the web that there must be ways to make the page work on both PCs and tablets.

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    2015-03-17Ben Reiniger Verified as Ben ReinigerNone

    I like the interactive diagram. For use on this site, I would be a little worried about compatibility; for instance, your script doesn't run on my tablet, so I'm left with just the static arrangement of pieces.

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    2015-03-17H. G. Muller Verified as H. G. MullerNone

    Moves at a Glance?

    For the pages on my XBoard website that describe the various Chess variants it supports, I have developed a nice interactive gimmick to show the move of the various piece types, which I call 'Moves at a Glance'. It is basically a move diagram that shows the participating piece types positioned close to the center of a chess board (so they have room to move in all directions). When the user clicks on one of the pieces, the squares it can move to are highlighted with dots of various colors, according to a legend besides the board. So it is basically equivalent to a move diagram for a large number of piece types, collapsed into one, the user selecting the piece for which he wants to see the moves. But in case of special moves such as e.p. capture or castling it would also be able to show the side effects, such as moving the Rook and King when you click on one of the Rooks in the diagram positioned to castle.

    For an example, see for instance the description of Chess with Different Armies.

    I wondered if it would be possible to implement something similar on, and make it available to contributors through the template they use for posting their own game descriptions.

    The way it works on my XBoard website is that the diagram is just an html table that contains a piece image in each cell, and defines 'onmouseDown' and 'onmouseUp' events as routines in a simple JavaScript program associated with the page, which then apply and remove the board markers in the table. For me each cell calls the same event routine, with the cell coordinates as parameters. So that the routine must be aware of what stands where, and is thus specific for each rule page, or shared by just a few rule pages for variants that share many pieces.

    But for general use this could of course be altered, and the contents of the cell, or more accurately, the desired pattern of board markers, could be passed as an argument to the 'onmouse' event handlers. For instance as a string with the Betza description of the piece in that square. (That seems simpler than a FEN to specify which squares should be marked in which color by hand, although the JavaScript 'engine' could be made to accept both formats.)

    The poster of a new variant would then only have to supply a list of (squareCoords, pieceImage, BetzaString) combinations, from which the posting pre-processor would then construct the html table (for a 10x10 board, say, although this could also be made user configurable) with the provided info in each cell. The piece image could just be the name of an alfaerie gif file present in a standard directory on this site.

    Would it be a good idea to have such a feature here? If so, would it be feasible?

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    Number of ratings: 28, Average rating: Good, Number of comments: 192

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    Last Modified: Wed, 16 Jul 2014 09:42:38 -0600
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