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Subject: Byzantine Chess rss

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Richard Moxham
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A plea for a bit of assistance here.

On holiday in Crete, I acquired what described itself as a Byzantine chess set. The board and pieces are beautiful to a degree that would have clinched the deal for me even had no actual game been playable with them, but since such a game exists I should like at least to familiarise myself with it.

The difficulty is that the board design incorporates a quirk which is absent from almost all of the relevant images on Wikipedia, and isn't mentioned in any of the online rule descriptions I can find. (I brilliantly neglected to check the box for a rule sheet at the point of sale and therefore have managed to come away without one.)

Here's the quirk - actually two quirks. On one side of what might be called the board's equator the playing area is banked, somewhat after the manner of an Ancient Greek theatre, the other half being completely level. In addition, the chequered pattern generally in evidence is likewise interrupted at the equator, the touching cells on either side of which are identically coloured on all four rings.

It may well be that this deviation from what appears to be the norm makes no practical difference, but it would be nice to know for certain, if anyone out there is in a position to clarify.

With thanks in advance

Richard
 
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christian freeling
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A picture might help.
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Russ Williams
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FWIW the game has a BGG entry: Byzantine Chess
 
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Richard Moxham
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russ wrote:
FWIW the game has a BGG entry: Byzantine Chess

Yes, I know. Nothing helpful there that I could see. But thank you, anyway.

 
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Moshe Callen
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Could it be that the four rings are oval with minimal center area along what you're calling the equator?
 
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Richard Moxham
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whac3 wrote:
Could it be that the four rings are oval with minimal center area along what you're calling the equator?

Moshe, my apologies, but I don't understand your question. Would you mind re-framing?

I think I noticed in another forum that the game is not unknown to you. Are you able to say/conjecture whether my two pairs of 'files' with orthogonally adjacent cells of the same colour is a manufacturing error. I failed to notice it at first, but I'm now a bit worried about it since it seems to mean that both bishops on each side are of the same colour, and also that they must change colour whenever a diagonal takes them across the cells in question.
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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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mocko wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Could it be that the four rings are oval with minimal center area along what you're calling the equator?

Moshe, my apologies, but I don't understand your question. Would you mind re-framing?

I think I noticed in another forum that the game is not unknown to you. Are you able to say/conjecture whether my two pairs of 'files' with orthogonally adjacent cells of the same colour is a manufacturing error. I failed to notice it at first, but I'm now a bit worried about it since it seems to mean that both bishops on each side are of the same colour, and also that they must change colour whenever a diagonal takes them across the cells in question.

The game is played on a board of four concentric loops. Pieces move principally round the loops and only side to side within the space of the four loops. It's essentially a 4x16 board except that the narrow ends connect with each other so that there is no end in that direction. Pieces are set up halfway round the board from each other in four rows across the loops. Pawns are outward. Pieces move as in medieval chess.

It sounds to me as if your inner ring does not have a significant amount of space in its middle. Is that correct?
 
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mocko wrote:
my two pairs of 'files' with orthogonally adjacent cells of the same colour is a manufacturing error. I failed to notice it at first, but I'm now a bit worried about it since it seems to mean that both bishops on each side are of the same colour, and also that they must change colour whenever a diagonal takes them across the cells in question.

I suppose you are saying that you have a circular chess board looking like those in the Byzantine Chess image gallery. However, the semicircular halves of your board are mirror images making black squares flush with black squares and white with white. And your board is not plane.

Sounds like a production error or the starting point for inventing a new game.
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christian freeling
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Did we get to the proverbial thousand words yet?
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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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christianF wrote:
Did we get to the proverbial thousand words yet?

No, and it would help greatly.
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Richard Moxham
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whac3 wrote:
christianF wrote:
Did we get to the proverbial thousand words yet?

No, and it would help greatly.

I do, of course, understand this. I just don't know how to do it. However, I've just acquired a new phone, its predecessor having given up the ghost, and as soon as I've read the relevant bits of the manual, plus the relevant bits of BGG, I may or may not understand enough to make it happen. Apologies if it annoys, but how did we ever manage before?

In the meantime, The Player of Games (who apparently knows how to process words) is exactly right in his reading of the problem, and probably (I'm reluctantly coming to fear) in his analysis of its origin - i.e. manufacturing error. I don't think the only-semi-planar 'Greek theatre' aspect of the board is either here or there. That's purely aesthetic, as far as I can tell. It's the interrupted diagonals that would seem to matter more. Though actually I don't suppose there's any reason why intermittent switching of bishop colours should get in the way of anything. The diagonals, after all, are still there in the places they should be. It's just very irritating, that's all.

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Luis Bolaños Mures
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mocko wrote:
I've just acquired a new phone, its predecessor having given up the ghost, and as soon as I've read the relevant bits of the manual, plus the relevant bits of BGG, I may or may not understand enough to make it happen.

Yeah, too bad those manuals don't include pictures.
 
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Richard Moxham
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luigi87 wrote:
mocko wrote:
I've just acquired a new phone, its predecessor having given up the ghost, and as soon as I've read the relevant bits of the manual, plus the relevant bits of BGG, I may or may not understand enough to make it happen.

Yeah, too bad those manuals don't include pictures.

I presume this to be sarcasm, Luis, but your point....?

 
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Richard Moxham
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Okay. Here's an image. I think (1) the non-planar layout of half the board and (2) the interruption of the chequer pattern are both clearly visible.

At this stage there's probably just one thing I'm looking for: the opinion of anyone familiar with the game as to whether the inconsistent patterning is likely to be an error in the manufacture - because if so I need to discuss this with the vendor asap.

Thanks in advance

Richard
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Wolfram Troeder
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mocko wrote:


Okay. Here's an image. I think (1) the non-planar layout of half the board and (2) the interruption of the chequer pattern are both clearly visible.

At this stage there's probably just one thing I'm looking for: the opinion of anyone familiar with the game as to whether the inconsistent patterning is likely to be an error in the manufacture - because if so I need to discuss this with the vendor asap.

Thanks in advance

Richard


I would talk to the vendor, as all BC boards I know and played had consistent pattering and IMO it hinders the game flow.
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Richard Moxham
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Wolfram wrote:
mocko wrote:


Okay. Here's an image. I think (1) the non-planar layout of half the board and (2) the interruption of the chequer pattern are both clearly visible.

At this stage there's probably just one thing I'm looking for: the opinion of anyone familiar with the game as to whether the inconsistent patterning is likely to be an error in the manufacture - because if so I need to discuss this with the vendor asap.

Thanks in advance

Richard


I would talk to the vendor, as all BC boards I know and played had consistent pattering and IMO it hinders the game flow.

Thank you very much, Wolfram. As I suspected, but extremely helpful corroboration from a more knowledgeable source

Best wishes

Richard
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Moshe Callen
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They've done it that way to make the starting spaces distinct and clearly visible. If one plays with rules sets which treat the starting spaces as an "end" of the board this can be important but I don't like such variants. It should have little or no effect on gameplay. Use and enjoy.
 
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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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Wolfram wrote:

I would talk to the vendor, as all BC boards I know and played had consistent pattering and IMO it hinders the game flow.

I was inclines to agree at first with this opinion but really since the pieces move as in medieval chess it really should not matter.
 
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