Talk:Empress (chess)

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Mate in 2[edit]

In the mate in 2 puzzle, what is the solution for Kd3 and Kd5? For any other King or pawn move the given solution works, but for these two moves I cannot find a solution. MarSch (talk) 09:17, 7 March 2016 (UTC)

@MarSch: Oh dear...the given solution is the only one present in the link. Should I remove it, since it's apparently not a sound problem? Double sharp (talk) 12:17, 7 March 2016 (UTC)

A better Title for this article?[edit]

I think this article's Title should be changed to either "Chancellor" or "Marshall". I could not find any information that the name empress (for R+N compound) has ever been used historically nor currently. Even the article itself does not indicate a source of where this name comes from. Under history, the first named use of this piece is given as "The name chancellor was introduced by Ben Foster in his large variant Chancellor Chess...".

According to the Chess Variant Pages, the name empress is NOT used in any of the following variants (all which use a R+N compound):

Shatranj Al-Kabir, Carrera's Chess, The Duke of Rutland's Chess, Turkish Great Chess, The Sultan's Game, Bird's Chess, Chancellor Chess, Capablanca Chess, Wolf Chess, Cagliostro's Chess, Renniassance Chess, Grand Chess, The Remarkable Rookies, New Chancellor Chess, Paulowich's Chancellor Chess, Cobra Chess, Grand Hexachess, Euchess, Chess 2000, Eric's Great Chess, Pre-Grand Chess, Cavalier Chess, Unicorn Chess, Haynie's Great Chess, Pick-the-Team Chess, Hexmate, Grand Cavalier Chess Bedlam, Metamorphin' Fusion Chess, Fusion Chessgi, Fusion Chess, Metamorph Chess, Giant Chess, Perfect Chess, Terror Chess, Turkish Chess, Trihex, The Knightliest Black Hole, Drop Chess, Fantasy Grand Chess, Blackhole Chess, Gigachess, Four Towers, Abecedarian Big Chess, Full Double Chess.

The names Chancellor and Marshall are much more commonly used names for this piece. (The Chess Variant Pages titles its page as "The Rook-Knight Compound").

Please let me know if there is consensus for renaming this article to "Chancellor (chess)". Thanks.LithiumFlash (talk) 17:54, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

(2/11) I did some more searching, and could find NO CASE where the name empress was ever prominently used for the (R+N) compound. It was never used historically, and is not being used for the most modern variants (those using a RN being Abecedarian Big Chess, Full Double Chess, Seirawan Chess, Musketeer Chess, and Chess on an Infinite Plane). I could also find NO EXAMPLES where the name empress has been used by problemists.
But I did find 47 chess variants where OTHER NAMES were used for the RN compound. "Chancellor" is among the most common, and the most common used recently.
Therefore (unless there is an objection) I will plan to change the title of this article to "Chancellor (Chess)" in about two weeks. (It is done by a "Move" of all content in this article to the new Title). I will also change the corresponding text in the article to be consistent with the new title.
Please let me know if there are any comments or objection to this. Thanks.LithiumFlash (talk) 17:40, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
No. Empress is the scholarly name, the others have various popular use. From A Guide to Fairy Chess (Dickins, Anthony (1971) [corrected repub. of 1969 2nd ed., The Q Press, Richmond, Surrey, England]. A Guide to Fairy Chess. New York: Dover Publications Inc. ISBN 0-486-22687-5. ), p. 13:

COMBINED CHESSMEN (BCM July 1989 1898; H.S. pp. 18–9; J. Boyer, L.J. pp. 83–4)

Two or more chessmen may be combined into one, and some of these combinations have fixed names.

(a) Combinations with Fixed Names (XY or X + Y)

OMNIPOTENT QUEEN, TERROR, GENERAL or AMAZON = Queen + Knight (used before 1500 A.D.).
EMPRESS = Rook + Knight.
PRINCESS = Bishop + Knight.
GNU = Camel + Knight.
DRAGON = Pawn + Knight.
GRYPHON, GRIFFIN = Pawn + Bishop.
SQUIRREL = Alfil + Dabbaba + Knight.
DEMI-QUEEN = Rook + Demi-Bishop.
GRAND-QUEEN = Rook + Grand-Bishop.

(b) Combinations with one Power of Movement, another of Capture (X-Y) or (X-mover/Y-capturer)

p. 54:

BCM = British Chess Magazine; H.S. = Hermann Stapff (author of Einfuhrung in das Marchenschach); L.J. = Les Jeux d'Echecs Non-orthodoxes by Prof. J. Boyer.

(I.e., Boyer, Joseph (1951). Les Jeux d'Echecs Non-orthodoxes. Paris. ) --IHTS (talk) 20:03, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
The scholarly tradition, as IHTS writes, is in favour of "princess" for the BN and "empress" for the RN, and these are the names problemists tend to use. Only in that field is there an actual consensus on what to call those pices, since many incompatible names have been invented for both in chess variants (doubtless because they are among the most obvious fairy pieces to reinvent). I would personally prefer to stick with a name that is at least standardised in one field over one that's not standardised in any. Double sharp (talk) 04:09, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
Note that the name Empress (and Princess) is used in the chess variant Superchess: H.G.Muller (talk) 14:11, 22 July 2017 (UTC)

Thanks. I used the information you provided to make the first paragraph in the article more clear. It will explain the discrepancy between common usage and this article's title.

Note however a title change still needs to be considered. Wikipedia's guide says a title should have "Recognizability – The title is a name or description of the subject that someone familiar with, although not necessarily an expert in, the subject area will recognize. ...The title is one that readers are likely to look or search for..."

There's no preference for titles to be scholarly or scientific, i.e. "Apple" is preferred over "Malus pumila". The book you cite is interesting, but by no means does it set the standard for "correct" names of chess pieces. It might be what the author proposed in 1989, but consensus and actual usage may be far from what he suggested.LithiumFlash (talk) 05:29, 12 February 2017 (UTC)

I'm not sure "chancellor" or "marshall" have anything like an indisputable claim; which one should the title be if we use a "common" name? It seems to me that both are used to a similar extent. I would note that it's not just the scholarly tradition that uses "empress"; fairy chess problemists usually adopt that name and no other. So now we have three conflicting names, all with a claim to be "common": "empress" is the most common among problemists, while "chancellor" and "marshall" (maybe with one L instead of two) are the two most common among chess variant inventors. The page nevertheless can only have one title, so it makes some sense to appeal to the scholarly usage in a case that is as disputed as this one, even if we would of course use the most common name when that is not in dispute. Double sharp (talk) 05:51, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
The book you cite is interesting, but by no means does it set the standard for "correct" names of chess pieces. I'd dispute that; the book is a sort of "Bible" for fairy chess. I posted it also because it's inaccurate that the name empress (for R+N compound) ... was never used historically. Also note typo correction above (1989→1898). Also "Some names they have acquired are [...] R+N: Admiral, Cannon, Champion, Colonel, Concubine, Count, Dabbaba, Duke, Empress, Guard, Lambeth, Lord Chancellor, Marshal(l), Princess, Samurai, Superrook, Tank, Visier, Wolf." Pritchard, D. B. (1994). The Encyclopedia of Chess Variants. Games & Puzzles Publications. p. 227. ISBN 0-9524142-0-1.  --IHTS (talk) 08:39, 12 February 2017 (UTC)

OK, thank you for the information. I will not change the title of this article, unless there is new commentary that causes one or the other to be favored in a strong way.

Btw, the article "Princess" has a similar issue. Most variant chess games using a B+N compound call it the Archbishop, Cardinal, or Paladin. Only one variant has called it the Princess, but I know your argument applies there also. I might add that as a topic on the talk page there also.LithiumFlash (talk) 16:32, 13 February 2017 (UTC)

A mention (under a different name)[edit]

This seems to be one of the few fairy chess pieces that has any mentions in the larger world; see this NY Times article, where it receives a (very) passing mention under the name "war machine." --JBL (talk) 14:11, 11 April 2017 (UTC)

The princess is also mentioned therein as the "vizier", as both pieces exist in Turkish Great Chess. Historical variants ought to be judged as more important than variants someone made up one day and placed on a popular website, because the former at least have a historical tradition of having been played somewhere. I would think that pieces become notable if they either exist in a game that is extremely widely played (the chess pieces obviously have their own articles, but I'd think that the xiangqi and shogi pieces may deserve that as well), or if they exist in multiple independent games that have a serious claim to notability, or are common in the problemist tradition. The princess and empress certainly fall into the latter class; the grasshopper and nightrider too, but more in fairy problems. The "elemental leapers" up to a perimetre of two are certainly notable due to historical usage; the ones up to three are a bit more shaky, but IIRC the zebra is still reasonably common and standard in the problemist tradition.
There are, of course, limits. There are some pieces which have standard names in the problemist tradition ("marquis" and "prince" are knight+ferz and knight+wazir – or it might be the other way around; I can't really remember), but since they have almost no independent use outside that tradition, and are in any case combinations, I'm less inclined to let them through. At least the threeleaper, zebra, and tripper are "simple" in the sense that they might be components of a more powerful piece that can exist independently as "atoms", though they are getting near the lower limit IMHO and I wouldn't mind if they were deleted if there happened not to be adequate serious sources for them (I just have a strong feeling that there are, from my recollections). Double sharp (talk) 14:20, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
About historical variants, yes, sure -- but only if there are actual sources that support that they really do have any history. The ten or so articles on fairy chess pieces I've looked at are full of comments about the age and history of the pieces, but none of them have a single decent source supporting the historical claims. (The same is true for the estimates of their values, all of which seem totally made up.) --JBL (talk) 16:10, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
I wonder...@H.G.Muller:, have you published your analyses of fairy piece values (e.g. BN, RN, W, F, D, A) anywhere else outside CVP? (I think the BN value is surprising enough that publication in a serious journal should not be much of a problem!) To answer your question, no, they are not made up: I know one prominent researcher in this on WP. But I am not sure how complete his results are at this point and how many pieces he plans to extend them to, which would be important for finding this in a reliable source. Double sharp (talk) 22:39, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
I first published it in the (now all but faded-away) Gothic Chess forum: . I never published it in any serious scientific journal. I considerd the ICGA Journal for that, but never got to actually writing a paper. It would also be of more interest if I could find an explanation for the anomalously high BN value, but I still did not accomplish that. H.G.Muller (talk) 14:20, 22 July 2017 (UTC)