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Messages - Asher Hurowitz

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16
Shogi Players / Re: Blindfold Shogi
« on: July 09, 2018, 07:41:13 pm »
Awesome! I have developed a system of my own, I can't wait to see yours when you develop it!

17
General Discussion / Re: Should this Forum have an Off-Topic section?
« on: June 10, 2018, 07:39:05 pm »
Re: Poll for voting if these forums have an off-topic section: It appears NO off topic section is winning (2 Yes, 5 No).

If there is a lull in activity on these forums, maybe we should allow off-topic. ???

I just checked another forum - the "Off topic" section at Cloudy Nights (astronomy) is the most popular thread there. It has 700,000 comments, which blasts away everything else. Even "gardening" has 10,000+ comments.

https://www.cloudynights.com/forum/101-other/

Evidently people who like astronomy also talk about other stuff too. :)

I've been thinking about it.....

18
This is slightly old news, but to give an update on this topic, Martin0 has defended the title as World Champion of Bulldog Chess for the 4th time, in a game against Junebug444. The game was completed on April 22 of this year.

Also, the championship game of "Chess on an Infinite Plane" is still in-play. The game has been in progress for almost six months, and is currently at move 122 (as of yesterday). :o

Thanks for the update!  ;D
I can't wait to see who wins the championship!

19
General Discussion / Forum Announcement and Contest
« on: June 07, 2018, 08:52:15 pm »
Hello!

You may have noticed that the forum is experiencing somewhat of a mid year lull, which is to be expected. Nevertheless I have been busy at work improving it! Besides various bug fixes and page loading problems now mended you all now have access to all of the emoticons that would be seen on an Apple mobile product messaging application, I hope you enjoy! I'm just happy I can now use the flag of Uzbekistan  on my website.

Anyway as my judges from around the world are getting back to me with the long overdue results for the 10x10 contest slowly and surely (I totally am never relying of twenty super busy people scattered around the world as a viable judging method ever again) I have decided for the summer to make a short and sweet contest that is easy to judge and I can actually do by myself.

Since I will be extremely busy almost all summer I'll give you all until August 15th revise and edit your games for submission!

You must design a playable and enjoyable variant on a board of six by five squares. The rest is up to you!

Thanks,
Asher

20
Hello!

You may have noticed that the forum is experiencing somewhat of a mid year lull, which is to be expected. Nevertheless I have been busy at work improving it! Besides various bug fixes and page loading problems now mended you all now have access to all of the emoticons that would be seen on an Apple mobile product messaging application, I hope you enjoy! I'm just happy I can now use the flag of Uzbekistan on my website.

Anyway as my judges from around the world are getting back to me with the long overdue results for the 10x10 contest slowly and surely (I totally am never relying of twenty super busy people scattered around the world as a viable judging method ever again) I have decided for the summer to make a short and sweet contest that is easy to judge and I can actually do by myself.

Since I will be extremely busy almost all summer I'll give you all until August 15th revise and edit your games for submission!

You must design a playable and enjoyable variant on a board of six by five squares. The rest is up to you!

Thanks,
Asher

21
Asher,

I just stumbled across this forum late last night. Has the judging for the variant contest started yet? If not, can variants still be entered into the contest?

On and off for the past 20 years, I have been developing/testing/improving/enhancing a collection of variants that began as a cross between Byzantine Chess (aka Circular Chess) and traditional chess. I invented the game board, CirSquare 96, in 1997 as a way to add a third direction of attack to Byzantine chess. The now outdated original version, Round Table Chess, is listed on the Chess Variants website. I entered the 96 square version--Round Table Chess (http://www.chessvariants.com/large.dir/contest/rtc-rules.html) in a Chess Variants contest. The game achieved the highest rating but did not win because not enough judges evaluated it. Over the years, I revised the board slightly, greatly enhanced the graphics, computerized it Zillions of Games with 18 variations (which are available for download online for people who own a copy of Zillions of Games), and most recently finalized 4 levels of the game, which are now: (traditional chess is Level 1 and is on the back of my quad-fold board), Castle Siege Chess (Level 2), Castle Action Chess (Level 3) , Castle Attack Chess (Level 4), and Castle Challenge Chess (Level 5, which is a team game for 4 to 6 players). Attached is a pic of Castle Siege Chess in its latest form (the attachment failed because "the folder is full"; the file is only 108 kb) (so I am reposting without the attachment).

All of my games are very well explained on my website:  CastleStrife.com
I also have a chess meetup group:  https://www.meetup.com/Castle-Chess-Club/   where you can see many pictures of both my game and traditional chess being played by club members of the Chess Club at VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University).

For the past 2-1/2 years, I have been an Associate Advisor for the Chess Club at VCU in Richmond, VA. I started the club to begin introducing my games to the public. Unfortunately for me, the large US Army project that I was working on at Northrop Grumman in Richmond came to an end this past February and I am now back at home in Cary, NC retired. The Chess Club at VCU is still going, but they are not meeting during the university's summer break.

While I was working in Richmond, a co-worker asked me if I would conduct a program at her son's Boy Scout troop (the largest and oldest one in VA) to help them earn their Game Design badges. I gave them 4 lessons, using my game as the example for the board game development process. After the last lesson, I asked them to practice the testing part of development by having a tournament to test my Castle Challenge Chess game. Although it is the most involved level of my games, I knew it would be the most fun for them. Four teams of 2 to 3 players each participated. The two youngest team (a 10 year-old and an 11 year-old) won the double-elimination tournament. The 15 and 13 year-olds were not happy at all that they lost to a pair of 5th graders. All the players really liked the game.

Last November, I received my order of 1,000 game boxes and quad-fold game boards from a small-time game manufacturer in New Jersey. I order my chess sets in small quatities from the House of Staunton and 3D print my new pieces--Archer and Catapult--at home. I also produce all the paper-based products (instructions, cards, weapons, etc. at home). So far, I have sold 8 prototypes and 4 manufactured sets to members of the Chess Club at VCU. I have just started to market my games locally and will soon have an online store on CastleStrife.com.

I entered Castle Attack Chess in the Mensa Mind Games 2018 contest, going up against well established professional board game manufacturers. I knew that some of the parts and graphics for my game were not polished enough yet to win a Mensa award, but I wanted to see what they thought of the basic look, feel, appeal, and playability of my game. Even though about half of the judges had no interest in chess (and some of them actually had either never played chess or did not like chess at all), 54% of the 92 judges who played my game said that they would recommend it to their family and friends. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest, my game received mostly 4s and 5s for "Play appeal" and "Play value" from those judges who would recommend my game. One judge enthusiastically said that he will buy my game (at $44) as soon as it is available for sale.

If it is too late to enter my game(s) into this forum's chess variant contest, could I at least have it tested/evaluated/reviewed somehow?

Sorry for long email.

Thanks,

Rich V

Welcome to the forum!
I absolutely love your variant and can't wait to see you future contributions.  ;D Long posts are encouraged! Thanks so much!
Unfortunately only variants specifically created for the contest are allowed in, if you have any ideas please do submit them!

Thanks again,
Asher

22
Variant Theory / Re: Experimental large multi-move variant.
« on: May 13, 2018, 02:27:56 pm »
This reminds me of a concept I came up with called Cantellated Chess where each edge and corner of the chess board was replaced by a square.

Do you mean that the board was just 10x10 squares? How would that work? Please do explain!  ;D

23
I looked at the variant you posted, but I am not a fan. Removing a rank and make pawns always only able to move 1 step forward makes the game a lot different. The rapid development made possible in chess by moving pawns forward 2 steps and castling moving the king into safety fast and connecting the rooks are really fun.

You also say there are no draws, but I see nothing about what you are going to do to prevent insufficient material, 3-fold repetitions and 50-move rule. Letting the game go on forever?

I also don't see why you believe simpler=better? Making simpler rules can make the game easier to learn, but not an overall better game. I don't agree with "loses nothing in terms of depth of play.", that sounds more like wishful thinking to me.
I agree with Martin0 on this one.
One move pawns just seem redundant as the two move rule was one of the main reasons for the reform of Shatranj, making the game more streamlined and fun so it seems like a regression to me, but great work!  ;D Thanks for the fascinating contribution!

24
Awesome! Many variants come to me in dreams as well!

25
Variant Theory / Re: Design Considerations for Very Large Games?
« on: April 19, 2018, 05:11:36 pm »
I agree that larger boards and more short range pieces make for more fun, it's just that they don't work well together. Multi-moves in my opinion destroy the strategy of a chess variant if it is not specifically designed with this in mind to combat any unfair play. Having many many different pieces makes the game feel more proportionally like a battle than even Orthochess does, and while technically it hurts the game having twenty bishops just isn't any fun when you can have Drunken Elephants and Eastern Barbarians.

26
General Discussion / Re: Should this Forum have an Off-Topic section?
« on: April 18, 2018, 08:27:39 am »
Also, a more general question (to anyone). Is chess considered off-topic?

If we would like to discuss chess (that is orthodox chess and not variant chess) at what forum category should we use? ???

If you want to discuss Orthochess then I always thought you could either do it in General Discussion or if it really became very popular I would create a separate board for it.

27
The status is "no progress, and not being worked on". Creating this possibility requires an action of the board admin.

I am working on it. I work very hard on this forum constantly and this is on the top of my to-do list.

28
Official Variant Creation Contests / Re: This needs to be finished.
« on: April 16, 2018, 01:02:26 pm »
Yes, we are still working off of peoples schedules. I'm not stopping the community anytime soon and I hope this doesn't discourage people. I officiallY PROCLAIM it will be done by NEXT SUNDAY!

29
General Discussion / POLL: Off Topic Section?
« on: April 13, 2018, 08:36:09 pm »
Say yes or no.

30
General Discussion / Looking for a Pocket Slotted Wallet Chess Set
« on: April 13, 2018, 01:37:40 pm »
I was wondering if any of you could help me find this type of chess set that I cannot find anywhere.
Something like this:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/527275275/vintage-travel-chess-set-in-brown?show_sold_out_detail=1
Thanks!
Asher

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