Hello! My name is RD, and I'm located in
January 30, 2008
I had a chance to look this over mo= re at lunch. Are your chess pieces available yet?...
January 30, 2008
link to the House of
...What is the problem with a 10x8 = or 10x10 board [with the new pieces], other than it weakens the Knights?
Why is it preferable to add the Haw= k or Elephant later rather than arrange
them as either Gothic or Grand Ches= s?...
February 14, 2008
We have several thoughts on this. First, we like chess on an 8x8 board! We have seen many beautiful things happen in classical chess and a big part of that is the size of the board.<= span style=3D'mso-spacerun:yes'> Second, the 8x8 board is important= for a great deal of endgame theory, and expanding the board destroys all these subtleties. Third, the weaken= ing of the knights, in comparison to the other pieces, is very significant and the loss of the “bishop vs. knight” debate matters. Fourth, and perhaps most important, there are literally millions of chess sets and boards in the world, and peo= ple have hundreds of millions (billions?) of dollars tied up in chess equipment. Chess variants whi= ch require players to walk away from their investment in classical chess equip= ment face an uphill battle. S-ches= s, on the other hand, requires only the four additional pieces, then you’re= in business.
Just discovered this variant in the game...like to purchase the two “new” pieces for both players...simply to play and know more about new approach....looks extremely interesting...thank-you.
February 16, 2008
This is a great idea. Do you know i= f anyone is developing a computer version of the game? The pieces do look very diffi= cult (read: expensive) to carve from wood. This can be a big deal for those of us who would like to add the extra four pieces to a House of Staunton set. Simplified forms might be worth considering, though I do think they're beautiful. Just my opinion, for what it's worth.
February 25, 2008
No computer version is currently available, thankfully. Computers have been bad for chess&= #8230;
Good point. Amen to that.
February 25, 2008
I am most interested in Seirawan Chess. How can I obtain the pieces?<= /span>
February 26, 2008
I would like to buy the new pieces.=
February 27, 2008
Great ideas! ... just a suggestion,= but what about another variant: K+B powers =3D Archer (i.e. can shift colors sq= uare and can fire from black or white squares) and K+N powers =3D Paladin (a sto= mper more powerful than a knight and shifts colors powerfully in the center). Th= ey are less powerful and come onto the board as you suggested. Seems to me the= new pieces hawk and elephant are very powerful and may dominate a game too quic= kly.
Anyhow, great ideas and you got me = thinking of these variants!
February 27, 2008
It doesn’t seem that experience has borne out the concern that the (admittedly powerful) new pieces dominate the game too quickly. It is not so easy for an Elephant = or Hawk to take control of the game in the opening, any more than a Queen can do so (although when the Queen first received its modern powers, back in the 1500= and 1600s, it won many game single-handedly, as players weren’t used to s= uch a powerful piece). And of cou= rse the opponent has a Hawk and an Elephant too...
As for a king/bishop and a king/knight, we think Capablanca had it right in thinking of the rook/bishop (the modern Queen), the rook/knight (our Elepha= nt) and the bishop/knight (our Hawk) as a trilogy. The number of “special powers” than can be granted pieces is limited only by the imagination, but these three seem to us to be the most natural and “chess-likeR= 21;.
I'd be interested in a Seirawan che= ss set, and am generally interested in the variant. Are sets currently for sale?
March 2, 2008
Could you tell me how much your
"Seirawan Chess" sets cost? Also, are they plastic, wood or
something else? And one more question; what size board (well, I guess=
would be what size squares) do they work best with?
March 2, 2008
are plastic, because this allows the new pieces to be mass-produced (and ma=
it a lot less nerve-wracking to play blitz!). The cost at the House of
The best board would be one with 2.25” squares.
I like your idea. The elephant is a= good name for the rook/knight. I would call the hawk a "Prince". You should put up a pre-set at Ch= ess Variants Game Courier so we can play it there. Its totally free and very ea= sy to do...
March 16, 2008
March 23, 2008
I am currently compiling a book on = chess variants. I would appreciate any information you can provide on your product. I am especially interested in any sample games. I will= be including photo comparisons and would appreciate a review copy of your game= .
March 23, 2008
March 25, 2008
I am interested in buying the new p=
but I live in
April 5, 2008
I love the idea. Mainly, what intri= gues me the most is that your basis for creating this game is to complicate combinations!!! Combinations in chess are beautiful and exotic already... In "Seirawan" chess, combinations are abounding!!!!!
April 8, 2008
I want to buy a Seirawan chess set<= /span>
April 14, 2008
Can you promote your pawn into a ha= wk or a elephant?
April 29, 1008
I gather your only primary goal is = to eliminate or reduce the role of pre-planned and memorized openings; while maintaining some the players' ability to understand the basics of the initi= al setup. FRC-chess960 has been criticized for completely disorienting the pla= yers during the openings. If I understand your goals, I think you are using too = big a broom to sweep away this problem.
April 22, 2008
Reducing the importance of opening theory is hardly our “only” (or even “primary”) goal. Fortunately, experience doesn’t seem to bear out your concern = that players will become disoriented, although of course there’s a learning curve involved.
My question involves the following
(admittedly rare) kind of
April 23, 2008
questions have been resolved in the most current version of the rules: =
When a piece is mov= ed from its original square, the move must be legal according to the laws of chess;= the placement of an undeveloped Hawk or Elephant as part of the initial move to block a check or replace a pinned piece is not sufficient to render legal an otherwise illegal move.
Here are two examples:
last move is 1...Rh1+. White may not play 2.Kd1/Ee1. White could
play 2.Kd2/Ee1 but may not expose his King to the Rook check for "half=
What you really need to promote you=
variant is a puzzle book and some annotated games played between strong
players. Getting this b=
published by Gambit or Everyman Chess would be a huge boon to the success of
April 25, 2008
Any games available to see with ana= lysis during the moves? How much would a set of pieces be, and what size sq= uare should they "fit" on?
April 27, 2008
kits and matching sets are available at the House of
Boards with 2.25” squares are recommended.
Can i g=
in black/white and beige/brown?...
May 8. 2008
Sorry - currently the pieces only come in the standard colors.<= /i>
It is gratifying that you and
[I have been a] USCF member and che= ss player [for] some forty years.
May 27, 2008
Kind words indeed! We especially l= iked the term “upgrade”!
How do I buy the pieces?
June 7, 2008
...The game and its premise are very exciting. The game adds a very pleasing and desirable element of surprise. = When one least expects either piece, here it comes, and it could happen at any moment, and one has no idea which piece is going to be used. Very nice!
Please forward my Kudos to GM Seira= wan. I think I have read about every book that he has written, [and] some of Minev's works. They are also very insightful and inspirational works. My very best to both of you.
June 9, 2008
Please let me know where & when= I can buy the pieces!
June 12, 2008
I found the chess sets at
That looks like a fun addition to t=
I'll be sure to bring the pieces to the
Thanks for the follow-up!
... Perhaps you can get some kind of on-line chess board that lets people play via web browser.
June 12, 2008
We are definitely thinking along those lines, although it is harder than you w= ould think...
... You say memorization is a bad t=
but don't want pawn structures or piece values thrown into confusion. =
you mean that OPENING memorization is what you don't like?
June 16, 2008
Not just opening memorization, actually. Tournament players memorize a lot more than that – basic strat= egic plans, where to place the pieces when standard pawn structures arise, what = to do in certain types of positions, endgame theory... A person can become quite a strong player by sheer memorization, without injecting any creativity or originali= ty into the game (in fact, it is increasingly hard to be creative or original = in chess, and not just in the opening). That’s really the basic point of s-chess.
Your promotion suggestion doesn’t sound workable, and would seem to reduce, rather than increase, the scope of the game (for example, b-pawns and g-paw= ns could only promote to knights) – although it would change endgame the= ory in a random way. As for the s= econd idea, it’s not clear how or where the additional queens would be “just add[ed]”.= i>
Our view is that many players are happy with more variety, but they don’t want it to be semi-random. Th= ey want to at least control their pieces, even if they can’t control themselves.
I played a Seirawan game last night= . Very complex and exciting! This morning I came up with possible values for the Elephant and the Hawk. Just plain math I guess...If the Queen is evaluated = at 9 points, and it covers 27 squares from e5, then the Hawk should be 7 points (covering 21 squares), and the Elephant at least 7 points (covering 22 squares). ...I am certain that you = have already considered more accurate numbers for the strength of both pieces, b= ut just wanted to holler on back. Thanks again and my very best,
June 16, 2008
You can spend a lot of time trying to assign a “value” to the new pieces – it’s difficult, because they are very strong in some positions and not as strong in others (just as knights can be elegant or clumsy). We figure the Elepha= nt is about 8 and the Hawk is about 7, although in certain positions the Hawk see= ms to be about 100...
Another interesting question: In general, which is better?
Q + N
E + B
H + R
... I am looking at the three group= s of pieces, and don't think it's a simple mathematical thing so much now. you a= re correct....values seem to change depending on when the new pieces enter the game, the pawn structure, and the overall position...holler on back if this makes any sense...
Summary of below:
Overall though, E+B seems to be mor= e dominant! Then Q+N, then H+R. but I have no stats (sorry about that).
It seems to be easier in the Openin= g for the E+B pair to get out of the back rank than for any other pair. Then H+R,= and last Q+N.
Locked center: The best pair (I thi= nk) that has the easiest job getting around is Q+N, then E+B, then H+R.
Fixed center: Q+N, then E+B and H+R= pretty much the same.
Everything depends on the position = and the types of pieces on the board.
Thanks again and my best...<= /p>
June 16, 2008
No stats! LOL!=
I was thinking in endings, where each side has just two pieces (plus pawns). In the way that Q + N is supposed = to be better Q + B (although some question even that).
I don't think there's an answer, which is great. And so far there may not even be a question - I've never seen any of those endings! Someone tends to get mated first..= .
That's something that I'll give a t= ry with a friend. Two pairs placed far apart from each other (and the opponents King :-), plus varied setups for pawns. Should be a blast.
You are correct about never really = getting to an ending. We never even got to mate. Last night, it was a resignation on his part... my opponent had g= iven up his queen, many other pieces, and some pawns. I had a queen, bishop (on = the back rank - never had a chance to get out), rook, hawk, bunches of pawns...= The Q+H work OH so nicely as a pair. ...I'll give your idea though a try soon a= nd maybe I'll remember to record the moves next time .....Thanks again.=
June 16, 2008
I was wondering where I can play th=
variant online? Perhaps you can set up an email route up here until a full
interface can develop? ... or has one been created already? I like the new
pieces, and agree that the 8x8 board makes more sense. It has the added ben=
of forcing engagement earlier as well. Good luck. I will try to encourage t=
variant here in
June 22, 2008
Clearly on-line play is the key to truly popularizing s-chess.
Are there any plans in the near fut= ure for a tournament?
June 24, 2008
There have been discussions about this. Stay tuned.
I have been playing s-chess weekly = with friend who says he likes it better than chess960 and classical!=
June 29, 2008
I just met someone online at a= game server (brainking.com) who wants to play via email. Why not set that up on = your site?
June 30, 2008
We have held off on that in the hope of getting a site to support true on-line play. It has been frustrating= .
I'm interested in buying Seirawan c= hess pieces! Please, tell me how I can get these.
July 1, 2008
An abomination. Chess is already a = perfect game, so don't fix something that is not broken. There are still new ideas = to be found in chess, go find them. Respect chess. Even Capablanca hasn't "mastered" chess. Woe the horror and abyssma= l depths of chess.
July 6, 2008
Opinions differ. It’s comforting= to think that “chess is already a perfect game”, but what form of chess? The chess played in th= e Arab world in 900, before the Queen’s power was increased and pawns could = move two squares to start the game? Chess before castling was figured out, about 500 years? Chess as it happens to be now?
Unless you have a 9 x 9 or a 10 x 10 [board], this does not make much sense to me. The 8 x 8 [board] is already pretty crowded as it is and introducing two more pieces in this way will sc= rew up development and you will have supposedly powerful pieces severely under-developed ... remember you are proposing to put 4 more pieces on the current 8 x 8 board. For more combinations go for a 10x10 board ...<= /p>
July 21, 2008
The view that the classical chess b= oard is “already pretty crowded” is unique – are you getting too = many cramped positions?
Your fears are not borne out by actual play.&nb= sp; The new pieces come onto the board and exchanges usually result, although often not of equivalent pieces (so an Elephant might be traded for= a Queen, or a Hawk for a Bishop and Knight).= These exchanges relieve the pressure you’re concerned about (another suggestion that might help you with your over-crowding issues in classical chess – exchange some pieces early).<= /p>
I'm interested in ordering a set of
Seirawan Chess, but having them shipped from
August 1, 2008
is an annoying practical problem.
One solution is to meet your other chess equipment needs at the Hous=
This might be a naive question to a=
but isn't part of the skill in chess not making the mistake that costs you?=
skill would also be in putting that pressure on your opponent to make the
mistake would it not?
August 4, 2008
True, but it depends on the level of play – and your definition of “mistake”. “= ;Good moves” used to involve creativity and the discovery of new ideas, but= now usually involve the technical exploitation of slight inaccuracies. There is something to be said for = giving players the opportunity to discover things for themselves.
1. All openings have been played ou= t.
2. People are reluctant to wait/play through to the middlegame due to point one.
3. There is a piece missing in the mathematical trend that leads up to the Queen.
4. Although 10x10 is too big and 9x9 uneven, 8x8 is too small.
5. I like [the] Seirawan pieces, I = think they could be catchy and I even like the way [they] are interloped into the standard game, but on an 8x8 board they are too powerful a presence and imbalance the game.
6. Stay tuned.
August 1, 2008
wouldn’t go so far as to say that “all openings have been played
out”, but many players are understandably frustrated when they lose in
the opening without their opponent having to make a single original move.
Your second point is certainly valid, except that sometimes it isn’t a question of “waiting” to get to the middlegame – you never get there at all, because you’ve lost in the opening!
As far as a piece being missing, really there are two pieces missing, arenR= 17;t there? (Starting with the Roo= k, Bishop and Knight, currently only the first two are combined into the Queen= ).
On points 4 and 5, we don’t think the 8x8 board is too small, and that t= he advantages of familiarity and being able to use current boards and pieces (= just adding an inexpensive s-chess kit with the four new pieces) more than outwe= ighs any risk of imbalance.
I am interested in buying the piece= s
August 5, 2008
I'm an amateur chess player and to = make the story short I'm fascinated by this variant, but its name should definitely = be changed. Someone proposed Sharper Chess, which I think is excellent, fusing= the names of the creators and displaying the combinational variety that is introduced into the game. Menagerie chess was also an idea, seeing that with the knight as a horse there are now 3 animals in the game, but it is not as catchy in my opinion.
August 5, 2008
We’ve thought a lot about the name and tend to agree with you.<= /i>
Stop trying to mess with chess. Kee= p it the way it is...it's perfect now!
August 11, 2008
After viewing Yasser's videos, I pu= rchased a Seirawan chess set. I'm enthralled with the game and have been talking it= up with other members on Chess.com, a relatively new American site that I beli= eve may be the best of its kind on the web. The site administrators at Chess.com tell me that they are too busy developing new chess features and improving their site to entertain chess variants at this time, so I began a forum cal= led Seirawan Chess fans last week and wrote a short article discussing the virt= ues of the game. We have 7 members already and we've begun playing online using= the messaging functions of Chess.com.
It seems to me that what S-Chess ne= eds is for one of the big sites, like FICS or, better still, the ICCF to pick up Seirawan Chess and have an interactive board, as they do for other chess variants. If they did I'm convinced that S-Chess would catch fire. There is= n't much chess activity in my small community, but I will do my best to promote= the game on line.
August 13, 2008
I am a TD and chess teacher. = Perhaps I can help promote this variant. I am interested in where I can get plastic pieces.
August 15, 2008
There is a rumor on chessvariants.o=
you guys do not wish the Seirawan Chess pieces used for any purpose besides
playing Seirawan Chess.
August 19, 2008
This is a strange question! Of cou= rse we prefer it if people use the new pieces to play s-chess, as intended, but there’s nothing we can do about it if people want to use them to play= a chess variant, Monopoly or use them as paperweights...
Once someone buys a kit, they can use them however they like.<= /i>
I have a set of Seirawan chess piec= es and have enjoyed the new game with my chess-playing friends. I am studying the articles on this web site. I would like to see some complete games published.
Also, can the game be played on-lin= e?
August 22, 2008
We recently added a viewer to our website, and that should help with publishing games. We share your desire t= o have a place to play on-line...
Thanks for your recent reply to my inquiry. I've been studying Mr. Seirawan's "Chess Endings" articles on the Seirawan Chess web site. I think I see a better solution to one of the problems, specifically the multipart exercise at the end of "Seirawan Chess Endings 2: The Hawk".
Part 2 of that exercise reads:
"2) If Black chooses to captur= e the Bishop with, 1...Qxg5 2.Hxg5 f6, how would you continue the attack?"= p>
My solution is:
if 4...fxg5 = ;5.e8Q checkmate
if 4...g6 5= .e8E checkmate
One other comment on that exercise,= which appears as if it could be from an actual game. Some of the Black piec= es are in their original positions, however, the article does not say whether Black's Elephant and Hawk have yet been used in the game. If not, Bla= ck could make a move such as 1...Qxg5 (Hd8).
Thanks to you and Mr. Seirawan for = creating Seirawan Chess. I have now played S-Chess with six different opponent= s, and all have enjoyed it.
August 22, 2008
You are 100% right about the simpler mate!&nbs= p; Promoting to a Queen – who would ever think of that!
A very good point about making it clear whether placement of an Elephant or H= awk is still permitted.
The entry method could be improved.=
Method 1: When the new piece is ent= ered simul with a developing piece the new piece on that square should not be allowed to give check or block check or capture on it's next move from the entry square.
September 28, 2008
In our view, it’s much too soon to tinker with the rules to s-chess. Speaking only for ourselves, we al= so don’t think these suggestions are “improvements”.
I love Seirawan Chess ..... tell me= more!
November 2, 2008
If we knew more, we’d be better at it!
I love the idea, think it needs a l= ot of thinking through (speaking as a novice), lots of people will say it's unbalanced and that the pieces are too powerful, etc. but I think it's a gr= eat idea, and there needs to be a new concept in chess, now about the most exci= ting thing its castling and promotion!
November 2, 2008
Castling and under promotion!
Some people have opined that the pi= eces are too powerful, but very few people that have actually played it have that opinion. Like matter and anti-matter, pieces on a crowded board tend to ... disappear, one way or another.
From GM Seirawan:
Thanks for the post and comment. In fact a great deal of thinking went into = the development of the new game. Decades in fact. We’ve taken= Capablanca’s pieces and applied them to an 8 x 8 board as opposed to a 10 x 10 board. Over the last few years we’= ;ve run simultaneous exhibitions, tournaments and played hundreds of hours of b= litz games. All of which have collectively proved the concept of the new game. In all the games I’ve played, I’ve never experience= d a cramped or crowded board. After you’ve played a few dozen games= I think you will realize that it is really a lot of fun. = i>
Hi, I was watching your video (whic=
commented on) on Seirawan Chess, and I had a thought which I couldn't put d=
on the comments post because of the word limit. [I’d] like to share [it with=
(though I am a relative novice at chess). (I hope this message doesn't sound
November 2, 2008
1. You aren’t being rude at all!
2. We have found that the time when the board is “crowded” (more occu= pied squares than vacant squares) is almost always fairly short, because pawns a= nd pieces tend to get exchanged. We have played games where the position gets blocked and there are no exchange= s, but the potential energy builds up quickly and one side or the other (or bo= th!) have opportunities for sacrificial breakthroughs – the delay makes the game that much more violent when things start to happen (no surprise – this is often true in classical chess as well). So we don’t think any additi= onal rule is necessary.
From GM Seirawan:
Your post is the si= ngle biggest criticism that we’ve received about the game. Simplifie= d, “Isn’t an 8 x 8 board too small with the addition of the new pieces?” Simple answer: “No.”
As mentioned, IR= 17;ve never had a crowded board. Full stop. I’ve played hundred= s of S-Chess games. Is there a theoretical chance this could happen? Absolutely! But again, I’ve yet to see such a game. I cou= ld easily “construct” such a game but our assumption is that folks will p= lay a real game as opposed to creating an artificial one. Again, do your = own testing. My own experience is that piece trades occur early – indeed in some chess openings folks seem to be in a rush to get an ending, skipping past the middle-game. In S-Chess there is most definitely th= ree phases of the game, with each phase allowing for great creativity.
Before tinkering wi= th the rules, first get a good feel of the new game by practice. I once gave= a Simul where one fellow told me that he really liked the Hawk and couldnR= 17;t we start with two? And I’m not kidding, a few boards away, anot= her fellow from the very same Simul told me the Elephant was great and could he start with two? Why not? Have fun! But again, give the new game a good try first and a few dozen games later we can talk.= span>
3. We quite like the names Elephant and Hawk, and the way in which the latter can= rip the opponent’s King position apart does remind us of a bird of prey.<= span style=3D'mso-spacerun:yes'> It also made it easier to design p= ieces and remember how they move.
4. An Elephant moves like a Rook and Knight in exactly the same way a Queen moves like a Rook and a Bishop. In = any given move, it moves like one or the other, not both.=
Hi, I'm sorry, but I forgot to ask
something vital in my last message, that is, how many points are the pieces
worth? I would assume 9 for an
elephant (Rook/5+Knight/3+1) and 7 for a Hawk (Bishop/3 + Knight/3 + 1), bu=
don't know, but it would be very nice to know.
November 2, 2008
We don’t know either! Mayb= e more like Elephant 8, Hawk 7...? B= ut it very much depends on the position.
And this from GM Seirawan:
Great dude and exciting ideas.
November 4, 2008
Where can I get those S-chess piece= s I saw on the web site??
I am interested in your new idea an= d would like to know how it is going.
November 9, 2008
Pretty well, we think, but there is so much more that could be done!
Yes, I would be willing to help org=
tournaments. Also, where
November 9, 2008
component in all of this is on-line play.&=
A world-wide federation would, of course, be very valuable too! =
From GM Seirawan:
many thanks for your interest in S-Chess! My co-author,
Chess is not a perfected game by an= y means. These new pieces seem cool in concept but in reality not practical. This will never catch on. Even so the best players will stil= l play regular chess not this abomination. Verdict: creative but uselessly distorting to the game.
November 24, 2008
Your post seems a bit ambiguous – “cool” but an “abomination”? Ma= ybe something can be both? Whether s-chess will “catch on” depends on what people think of it, and people will hopefully make up their minds based on the game itself, not what others might or might not think of it...
Hi, I am contacting you from
November 28, 2008
No wood pieces have yet been created, but you would be pleasantly surprised by= the quality of the existing pieces.
What about Seirawan Chess openings involving insertion of either the hawk or the elephant as part of a standard non-pawn's first move? You didn't write up any article on openings, middle games and tactics using these two new chess pieces.
Simply put, I'm wonder whether or n= ot it really is possible to have some opening analysis involving the elephant and= /or the hawk.
December 6, 8, 2008
Fantastic idea...can't wait for my = new pieces to arrive. Please place me on the newsletter mailing list.
December 13, 2008
This is a great idea, I love it, ju= st to get players who study the first moves confused.
December 18, 2008
As well as players who don’t study the first moves!
Why don't you try the Chinese chess= with 9x10 board which has not played out yet as chess with 8x8 board. I found the pawn structure make the chess very boring to be played. The development is = very slow, the first 10 moves just for this purposes to develop pieces. And the = game is struggle for the "pawn"
January 2, 2009
We have given our reasons for developing s-chess, but if you think pawn struct= ure makes chess “very boring” and that in chess the pieces develop = very slowly, you really haven’t explored the full potential of classical c= hess.
Very interesting additions to the
game. Sounds very interesting.
January 2, 2009
Recently I bought a plastic Collect=
Chess set with the additional Seirawan chess pieces from the House of Staun=
and I'm pretty enthusiastic about the variant. I have some issues however, =
are not resolved by reading the rules and/or watching interviews.
January 15, 2009
The Hawk or Elephant can move as a Knight or as a Bishop (or Rook, as the c=
may be). If it moves like a K=
it can jump over another piece. But
if it moves like a Bishop or Rook, it can't - just as a Queen can't. =
2. When you castle (say White castling kingside, as an example), you may place= a Hawk or Elephant on e1 or h1 (but not both). The White King and Rook have then = moved off their original squares, and it is no longer legal to place the Hawk or Elephant on either g1 or f1.
And thanks for the kind words - we like the game too!
I am interested in buying several s= ets of the Hawk and Elephant pieces. How much and where to buy? Also what would be= the shipping charges?
January 17, 2009
Where can I buy a Seirawan chess se= t and how much are they?
January 22, 2009
I would like to buy a set of [s-] c= hess pieces. Best.
January 23, 2009
Everything the pair of you have bee= n saying about the current state of chess is spot in. It certainly needs a kick= up the backside and your game has so many new possibilities from the first move onwards. I'm an average player admittedly but chess computers on much much easier levels can often beat me in the opening b= ecause of their database of knowledge and annoying traps. It's like playing a Grandmaster in a blitz game until you survive the opening.
Sorry to be negative now but I= 'm not totally digging the elephant as a piece as it just seems too powerful especially with two other big hitters on the park in the Hawk and the Queen. Did you ever consider putting in the influence of the Chin= ese game by having a Cannon like the one in Xiangqi= span>? It's a pretty unique piece in how it captures and in Xiangq= i it leads to some nice and unusual tactics especially as, unlike o= ther pieces, there are four ways of getting out of check where a cannon's involv= ed. You can also get some weird forks going with it.
That Elephant just has me sweating = when it's on the board but maybe that's the idea, eh!
Anyway, congratulations on your gam= e and hope it takes off
January 43, 2009
is a lot of power when all three big pieces are on the board, but we find t=
often one or more get traded, and you end up with middle games with one of =
three against the other (and often not the corresponding one). So we think it's all right. =
We tried to keep it as "chess-like" as possible, so we never conside= red the Chinese cannon...
Thanks for the encouraging comments! We hope to get it on-line...
Are you ever going to consider maki=
wooden versions of the elephant and hawk you make and sell thru the House of
February 16, 2009
might be more up to the good folks at the House of
People like this get bored with che= ss, or they can't cut it anymore so they create dumb garbage like this. Ridiculous=
February 20, 2009
Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion.
chess (and s-chess) there are often more possibilities than people think.
As for “can’t cut it anymore...” LOL! What’s your rating?
Nice, the Elephant would be as valu= able as the Queen right? 9 pts? The Hawk 7 pts?
I like it!
February 22, 2009
This is a fascinating question which keeps coming up, and we’re not really closer to an answer. We’= ;re thinking Elephant 8, Hawk 7, give or take a half point or more, depending on the position.
From GM Seirawan:
You are certainly in the right ballpark with the numerical values. Some f= olks like the Elephant over the Queen, especially in the endgame. More practice is needed!
I am interested in more info.
February 26, 2009
any news re upcoming SEIRAWAN Chess tournaments??
any known Seirawan Chess software??=
March 5, 2009
We're working on getting an s-chess viewer on the web= site... We hope to have s-chess on IC= C or a related site later this year.
As far as tournaments are concerned, local events are= outside our control. The possibility of higher-profile events becomes more re= al once we can broadcast them on the internet. And if s-chess is on a server, internet tournaments become feasible as well.=
So it looks like things are starting to happen in the directions you are asking about!
Great .... keep me posted
March 8, 2009
Dear madam or sir,
March 13, 2009
I think this is the first time chec= kmate can be done with only one piece, the hawk, with the opponent king in the corner. Bad endgame.=
March 13, 2009
It would be, although a lone Hawk (unaided by a King) cannot force checkmate.<= span style=3D'mso-spacerun:yes'> It would be very unusual for that = type of position to arise.
I would like to buy a set of pieces= to play Seirawan chess.
March 24, 2009
Message: Seirawan chess is a truly interesting chess variant. I like how keeping the 8x8 board and adding the = two new pieces will ensure that there are no boring, routine positions (like th= ere are in traditional chess)and allow for richer tactical play on the more cro= wded board. I just wish there was room for a R+B+N "su= perpiece" to complete all possible piece combinations. I don't really like the names "Hawk" and "Elephant." I much prefer calling them the "Marshall" and "Cardinal" (from Fr= eeling's Grand Chess). We don't want the board to be a zoo, do we?
March 25, 2009
Thanks for the kind words!
A lot of thought went into the names and they were chosen to be original (for leg= al reasons) and also to allow distinctive pieces to be made (the way a knight = is distinctive, as opposed to the more abstract queen, which we're all used to, but there is nothing particular about it which distinguishes it).
As for the superpiece, that was intentionally omitted. Our view is that eve= ry piece should have a weakness (i.e., every piece should be open to attack without being able to capture the attacker: the queen is vulnerable to a knight; the elephant to a bishop; and the hawk to a rook).
those who are concerned about the flaws in chess that you refer to (and oth=
problems you didn't mention) will all be able to get on the same wavelength=
support this version. It cert=
"plays like chess" to me (
Thanks for your reply!
Seirawan Chess has finally made me =
that the old 8x8 board need not be ditched to make a fabulous chess variant=
had been a huge fan of going to the 10x10 board for years, until I came acr=
S-Chess. I once corresponded with the inventor of Grand Chess, Christian
The main thing I don't like about 1= 0x10 boards is how they seriously weaken the knight (and king). On a 10x10 board= a knight is truly pathetic.
I still much prefer the name cardin=
the B+N combined piece and
By the way, I fervently hope S-Ches= s can draw away fans of "Omega Chess." What a 10x10 (+ 4 corner squares) monstrosity Omega Chess is! O-Chess has been called "the most popular chess variant" and "the next evolution in chess" by its partisans. I don't buy it.
Sorry for the length of this mail. = :)
March 26, 2009
I am very interested in the Seirawa= n chess variant. I have the set and have been playing it with my wife. We love it!<= /span>
March 28, 2009
I'm interested in buying the Hawk a= nd Elephant pieces (black & white).
April 8, 2009
Have just heard about Seirawan ches=
morning on the internet. It sounds fascinating. I would love to
introduce my 10 year old nephew to the game. He gives me quite a batt=
every time we play as it is.
April 10, 2009
shudder to think how strong a new generation of s-chess players might be!
Experts and masters may find chess = played out, but the majority of people in the world haven’t reached that poi= nt yet, or will probably never reach it.
April 21. 2009
Thank you for your comment. You are certainly right. What we offer is= a possible evolution which adds to the complexity of chess while not subtract= ing any of the beauty of the game. Those who have actually played the var= iant are surprised by how much fun it is.
JR gave me a kit, I played a couple= games with my students today! Could be fun for a summer chess camp.
April 23. 2009
...What I do miss: complete games w= ith Seirawan Chess! Studying your site one wonders: does anyone play this game? You? You ought to play a match with some grandmaster and publish the games = with your instructive annotations. Studies, fine, but people need complete illustrative games to get interested and inspired.
By the way, I stumbled over some ty= pos on your site:
SCE 2: The Hawk
Variation after Diagram 1: 4…= Ka8 correction: 4…Kb8.
Variation after Diagram 4: 1…= Kg4 correction: 1…Kh4.
Variation after Diagram 10: 2…= ;Kg8 correction: 2…Kh8.
SCE 3: The Hawk
Diagram 1: there are two rooks on b= 8.
Diagram 3: Kg1 correction: Kg2
Diagram 5: complete mess … Ge= t rid of the pawn on f2.
Kg8 correction: Kg7
Qb8 correction: Qf2
It would’ve been much easier = to follow the variations if the main variations were in bold. If that had been= the case I would’ve played through all variations. As it is, I haven̵= 7;t.
May 20, 2009
From GM Seirawan:
Thank you for the typos I will forwards them to our webmaster.<= /i>
Yes. I’ve played simultaneous gam= es (complete scores); we’ve held tournaments and given the games. They should be on the site as well= !
Yes. House of Staunton is our only reta= iler, at the current time.
I was in
Any servers or some way to play this variant online? It looks great and worth a go.
July 21, 2009
I also wanted to add that even thou= gh like this idea a lot, I always associate the Elephant with the Bishop because the Bishop name replaced that same piece in Chess' evolution. As I watched I thought the Elephant would be the piece that moves diagonally and L-shaped = so I was a little confused when this is what the Hawk does instead. Any thoughts= in regards to this?
July 22, 2009
From GM Seirawan:
From FM Harper:
As the heftier piece, the rook-knight seemed more appropriately called the Elephant, while the more agile bishop-knight was better named the Hawk.
We might add that you’re likely more in tune with chess history than most people. We found it didn̵= 7;t take that long to get used to which new piece was a rook/knight and which w= as a bishop/knight.
I play t= his all the time with my friends. It is awesome. I was skeptical until I was forced= to play it. I haven't turned back since. I just wish there was a way to play online though.
August 1, 2009
From GM Seirawan:
Me too. We are working with the = good folks at ICC and are keeping our fingers crossed.
Stick with Fischer Random
September 12, 2009
You mean Fischer Random s-chess?
Chess 960!!!!! But it’s true, chess is play= ed out cause of computers, books, and etc.
October 1, 2009
They say the first step to a solution is to agree there’s a problem...
Can you give my email address to an= y of the "fans of S-Chess group" and tell them they should invite me to pl= ay a game of S-Chess via e-mail?
November 8, 2009
This is an interesting idea. It= 217;s time to start linking people together...
As soon as u can play S-chess on-li= ne, please let me know..... thanks!!
November 8, 2009
Adds a whole new dimensions, very interesting
November 11, 2009
I've been wondering if playing Seir=
chess is a good idea for a novice chess player. I watched a few of the
Videos on the House of Staunton site and kind of came away with the impress=
that the game developed because the folks who were REALLY good at chess
didn't find it challenging any more.
December 10, 2009
Our view is that s-chess isn’t restricted in any way to “betterR= 21; players. In fact, some “stronger” players instinctively tend to react more negatively = to the idea of s-chess, because they have invested more time and effort into memorizing openings and other aspects of chess theory that s-chess lessens = in value.
So try it!
From FM Harper:
Well, I still find chess "challenging", in that I make a lot of mistakes (and seemingly more when playing blitz with people like Seirawan and Nakamura...)! I would never consider myself really good at chess comp= ared to them...
I was going to say that I don't find chess "interesting", as opposed to "challenging", but that's not true either, because I spend an hou= r or so a day on the Internet Chess Club, playing either one-minute or three-min= ute games. But actually, classical time control tournaments I've given up= on, it's true.
All that said, I love s-chess! On Sunday some friends were over and we pl= ayed a series of five-minute games, then some s-chess bughouse. What a qua= lity way to waste time!
So my answer to your first question is "sure, why not?", as long as you have fun playing! Maybe it's just that simple! I think that whatever attracts people to chess (at least certain people) makes s-chess interesting and enjoyable as well. After all, it *is* chess, but with= out all the theory and memorization that turns a lot of people off. So you might be the one to invent some principles for elephants a= nd hawks!
We plan to have a "Someone vs. the World" game up on the website ear= ly in the New Year. Getting s-chess on a server so people can find each other and play on-line is harder, but we hope to get there. In the meantime, we should have on the website some sort of way for people to find each other - it might be you live in the same city as someone else who was taken up the game...
In the meantime, stay tuned! Every day there seem to be new people who f= ind the game cool.
Woo Hoo= I'm buying a kit now. It's going to be a chess Christmas...
December 11, 2009
January 6, 2010
It’s an annoying thing. The best i= dea we’ve come up with it to find several people so that the one-time shipping cost might be spread over a number of sets...
On-line play would also help here.
This guy sounds like the old horror= movie star Vincent Price! His new game sounds scary too. The complications would = be mind blowing.
January 14, 2010
It is and the complications can be!
February 11, 2010
I wanted to sign up for your news l= etter.
April 14, 2010
Another good idea to add to the list!
Played 8 games this evening with a = good friend. We were both pleasantly surprised to have some great fun and some good laughs as well. A great game. Thank you.
April 15, 2010
Neither of us has ever played s-chess without have both the fun and the laughs! Now, the question: which was more = fun, the first few games or the last few? Our bet is the last few...
First played it yesterday. Played f= or three hours today. It's the most fun I've had with chess in 50 years.
April 16, 2010
i hate the idea of adding additional pieces , and i extremely hate the idea of develop 1 piece and put another piece on the boa= rd , it is just against the idea of chess that all pieces are on the board at beginning and after a capture it is removed of the board , there shouldn’t be a way for a piece to come on the board without being it a pawn that promotes to another piece , because when the piece is put on the board it have had to be dead before (because it was off before)
April 20, 2010
If you have to feel this strongly about something, we’re glad it’s= s-chess and not something else...
at the risk of disillusioning you, in classical chess a piece does not=
have to be “dead” before you can promote a pawn to that piece.<=
style=3D'mso-spacerun:yes'> You can have three Rooks, Knights =
Bishops on the board and (much more commonly), you may have two or even thr=
Queens (there have been a number of classical chess games with two