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14. February 2007, 15:29:55
Subject: Promotion in Recycle Chess
Modified by nabla (14. February 2007, 15:30:24)
Although the rules used here are a copy/paste of the version originally posted by the inventor Robert Huber on the website, I think that Recycle Chess should be played with normal promotion, for the two following reasons :

- Robert Huber has changed his mind inbetween, and all games I have played with him, plus all (numerous) games he played in the circle of german bughouse players were played with normal promotions. Me and him have even designed a (flawed) endgame study which was based on promotion. The only goal of the original rule was to use a single box of pieces, which is of course irrelevant when playing online.

- When the game is played without promotion, it becomes very hard to win endgames, because the pawns become quite useless. For instance, the defender king can head for the 7th and 8th ranks where no pawn drop can molest him any more. This is likely to become a real problem when the general skill level will increase, because in this game it is much harder to win by a direct mating attack than in Loop Chess, both because traded pieces disappear forever and because the king can escape by taking his own pieces.

When I asked Fencer if he could reestablish the promotion rule, he told me that he did not want to make the change for the moment and that the matter should be discussed here first, because :

- He doesn't like to make rules change after the game was published.

- He played some live Recycle Chess with Bobes, who said that promotions were problematic, because they allowed a player to multiply queens too quickly by playing the queen on the eight rank, dropping a pawn on the seventh, capturing the queen with the pawn, dropping another pawn on the seventh, and so on. While this observation certainly makes sense, I don't think that it overweighs the draw danger. And if a player has enough time to set up such a repetitive manoeuvre, he can probably win in other ways too.

So, Recycle Chess players, what do you think about it ?

14. February 2007, 15:45:35
Subject: Re: Promotion in Recycle Chess
nabla: Yes, I think that pawns should be able to promote, but I also agree that they can become too powerful because of the ability of dropping them on the seventh row.

Perhaps some compromise rule can work. Pawns can only promote if they either weren't dropped, or dropped on the first four rows. If a pawn dropped on the fifth, six or seventh row reaches the eight, it disappears. You would then need a way to distingish between such pawns.

14. February 2007, 15:57:47
Subject: Re: Promotion in Recycle Chess
AbigailII: In that case it would probably be enough to bar pawn drops to the seventh rank (drops to the sixth are much less dangerous), like it is done in some local variants of Bughouse Chess.
But consider that in Loop Chess pawns can be dropped on the seventh and then promoted, and that nobody seems to complain about it.

14. February 2007, 16:49:56
Subject: Re: Promotion in Recycle Chess
nabla: I don't think you can compare Recycle Chess and Loop Chess in that way. It's much easier to get a bunch of pawns in hand in Recycle Chess than it is in Loop Chess.

15. February 2007, 13:02:20
Subject: Re: Promotion in Recycle Chess
Modified by nabla (15. February 2007, 13:03:12)
AbigailII: Yes it is easier to get pawns in hands, as far as you are not concerned with making holes in your position, that your opponent can take advantage of. I have experimented with the Rxa7xb7xc7 opening (yes that is a bit naive) and that was a disaster. In the opening and middlegame, I don't think one gets more pawns in hand than in Loop Chess.
Now when we talk about the endgame, you are right that it is easier to get pawns in hand. But this is a tactical element which can be taken into account by the players. It makes pawns more valuable pieces that they are in normal chess. You may like it or not, but it is not a fundamental flaw, like the impossibility to win "won" games would be.

14. February 2007, 20:43:25
Subject: Re: Promotion in Recycle Chess
nabla:even if I did manage to draw there : Recycle Chess (mangue vs. nabla) I admit it is drawish and I would find the game much more attractive with promotions.

15. February 2007, 13:12:12
Subject: Re: Promotion in Recycle Chess
mangue: You mean "even if I didn't manage to draw" .
Yes, I had a huge material advantage in this endgame, but it was probably still a draw.

15. February 2007, 16:46:28
Subject: Re: Promotion in Recycle Chess
nabla: An alternative rule could be is "if a promoted piece is captured by a friendly force, it becomes a pawn again". That would prevent Queen cloning.

17. February 2007, 13:30:23
Subject: Re: Promotion in Recycle Chess
Modified by nabla (17. February 2007, 13:31:41)
AbigailII, KotDB: OK, Robert Huber told me that they always played with promoted pieces reverting to pawns once they were taken. I hope that we will agree on this rule.
It avoids the "queen factory" trick, but sets a little problem : in order for the interface to be completely "Brainking-compliant", all info should be displayed on the board, so that the promoted pieces should be somehow marked. Although it is almost always quite easy to remember what pieces were promoted.

17. February 2007, 13:52:58
Subject: Re: Promotion in Recycle Chess
nabla: Perhaps you find it quite easy to remember, and it probably would if you are playing in real time, but I doubt I would be able to remember that when the game progesses with one move per week, and I play 10 games.

17. February 2007, 18:02:04
Subject: Re: Promotion in Recycle Chess
Modified by nabla (17. February 2007, 18:02:26)
AbigailII: You have a point here. It would be preferrable to have marked promoted pieces, although without it the game would still be more playable than say, Cloning Backgammon without marked "race" checkers :-)

20. February 2007, 02:34:20
Peón Libre 
Subject: Re: Promotion in Recycle Chess
nabla: Yes, that's probably the best rule.

As far as I'm concerned the interface issue is secondary. It should be very easy to create the necessary additional piece images (e.g. take the current images and add a little red dot or something). And even without the extra images, all the information would still be there in the game history; players would just have to be careful to pay attention in certain situations.

But the most important thing is to get the rules right. Now that we know what the correct rule is, the BK implementation should be corrected as soon as possible.

20. February 2007, 02:44:54
Walter Montego 
Subject: Re: Promotion in Recycle Chess
Modified by Walter Montego (20. February 2007, 02:46:41)
KotDB: In Shogi the promoted pieces revert back to their unpromoted shelves when captured. While promoted they're marked with a circle around the unpromoted symbol. This is if you use the Roman letter marked pieces as I do to play. If you use the Kanji marked pieces they're red colored when promoted and the promoted piece has a different name.
Either method would seem to work for this variant you're talking about, though just using a red dot on the promoted piece would seem like a real easy thing to do. Especially if the captured piece is going to revert back to a Pawn and the player might have a choice of captures to make.

14. February 2007, 18:26:12
Subject: Re: Promotion in Recycle Chess
Modified by goodbyebking (14. February 2007, 18:26:50)
nabla: Maybe we should consider have pawn drops, but only return them to an original pawn starting position (i.e. the 2nd row)... They would be able to be promoted after dropped, of course.

15. February 2007, 13:10:13
Subject: Re: Promotion in Recycle Chess
emmett: I don't think that we need to be so restrictive, as your proposal would make pawns in hand completely uninteresting. If pawn drops are limited to ranks 2 to 6, they are already of controlled danger, but even that restriction does not seem necessary to me. Don't forget that when you capture one of your own pawns, you are generally "wasting" a move and weakening your position, in compensation for the new pawn you get in hand.

One could discuss forever about how everyone would like the rules to be. But I don't see why Fencer should implement anything else than either the original rules (which he did), either the actual rules as corrected by the inventor (which have been thoroughly playtested by german players).

16. February 2007, 02:36:18
Peón Libre 
Subject: Re: Promotion in Recycle Chess
nabla: I agree completely that the choice is between the original rules and Robert Huber's revision. It would be inappropriate for us here at BrainKing to patch together a hastily concocted hodgepodge of fiddly litte rules and try to pass the result off as Mr. Huber's work. That sort of thing would only lead to confusion and the tarnishing of an interesting variant.

I support adopting the revised rules. I have not yet played Recycle Chess, partly because I just haven't got around to it, but also because the original rule (where a pawn's reward for bravely crossing the board is cruel annihilation) is simply ugly.

Of course it would have to be made clear whether a promoted pawn, upon being recycled, retains its promoted status (as in BK's Loop Chess) or reverts to pawnhood (as in Bughouse and Crazyhouse).

16. February 2007, 22:20:05
Subject: Re: Promotion in Recycle Chess
AbigailII, KotDB: Yes, that should be made clear and now that you rightly pointed that out, I realize that I am not sure about the author's intention in that case. I will ask him by e-mail.

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