360° Chess Symbols & Counter Pieces

360° Wooden Chess Counters by Jepps
These 360° Chess Counters by Simon Jepps are made from wooden base discs for craft models, which were then hand painted freely with Indian ink. They are only the simplest improvised creation, yet so easy to replace and make again.
This is a personal project I undertook in order to remedy the Chess industry’s apparent inability to manufacture sensible, useable counter Chess pieces.

This project is also a secondary hobby to accompany my Chess variant creation, Genie Of The Lamp.

There are many Chess sets featuring counter pieces, yet for some unknown reason they are always designed featuring standard Chess symbols.

Of course you would ask, “Why, whatever else?”

Aye, if studying a Chess problem, or correspondence position, or indeed teaching strategies to a classroom, of course you would make sure a universally accepted symbol is employed.

However, a problem is encountered when employing the universal symbols into a face to face match, over a real board.

This problem is the inevitable fact that standard Chess symbols are only recognisable if they only face one direction.

Granted, people can play with these symbols, but in reality they are very disorientating and “counter-productive” when trying to study a position… upside down.

It occured to me that since nobody has yet decided to design specific “360 degree” symbols for counter piece Chess sets, that I should publish a public template for such a concept.

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Genie Of The Lamp

GOL Sondergut Travel Chess
Genie Of The Lamp is designed for the Sondergut Travel Chess Set
Of gods and men, mountains and seas,
Wherefore art thine hearkener of pleas;
A game of Chess, a battle of truths,
Aye, summon ye good Genie, for ’tis time we choose.

Here is another good Chess Variant of mine, which I created a few years ago whilst living in an old Church house.

I have fond memories of that time, a period in my life whence I was enjoying much blissful contemplation.

This blog article will be a purely concise tutorial, that is to say, without detailed intricate diagrams, since the rules to this game are actually fairly straight forward.

Therefore, I hope you enjoy the beauty in its simplicity, which I endeavoured to create.

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Armageddon Chess

Armageddon ChessA game of Chess which must be won before the world disappears.

This is an intriguing little variant of mine, played exactly the same as standard classical Chess, but without squares.

What?! You ask? NO SQUARES??!! Yes, that is correct.

In fact it is easier to play than you might first imagine.

The beauty of this game is not only its entertainment value, but as we all know, it is a lot easier to just carry about some pieces in a small pouch than also a hefty wooden, or even roll up board.

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The Phantom Of The Chess Board

The Phantom Chess Piece By Simon Jepps
Phantom

Chess is like an Opera,
The board a theatre,
The pieces the performers,
Yet the game has only just begun.
Phantom to f4.

The centuries long search for the next evolution of Chess by Grandmasters and Chessicians alike has indeed proved itself a worthy adversary to even the greatest minds.

Yet perhaps this little wonder which has boggled so many for such a long time is and always has been staring us in the face. Laughing at us. Dancing around us unawares. Teasing us with possibilities but then never materialising to grant us its existence.

Indeed the “holy grail” that is the evolution of Chess may very well have driven many a player insane with torment.

Today however, I do believe that someone, who has lurked amongst the shadows of the Chess board for so many centuries, seems to have forgotten their cape.

Elusive, aren’t they, Phantoms?

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Siomega’n Openings & Pawnspace

Siomega Chess by Simon Jepps
Black plays 14… h6.
As discussed often regarding one hundred square board variants, Opening play about this much larger arena is often observed to weaken the collective strength of Pawns, since vast spaces will grow between them reducing their ability to form defensive communities.

Yet perhaps what is more often overlooked, is the remedy within the individual player’s ability to adjust and adapt to a different style of play.

In actual fact, whence playing a 100sq variant such as Siomega, the most experienced players of such an arena will tell you, the secrets of defensive agility reside in the ability to play offensively yet at arms reach ~ recumbently so to speak, yet with a long distance catapult.

Indeed scholars of “Hedgehog” systems may find this article of particular interest.

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Siomega ~ The Crescendo Of Modern Chess

Introduction

Siomega Chess by Simon Jepps
Siomega Chess by Simon Jepps
The name “Siomega” gets its origins from the two words “Si” and “Omega”, in that the game is a blending of Omega Chess and the chessgnastics of “Si” Jepps.

The game of Siomega is played very similarly to Classical Chess, in fact it borrows all of the same pieces, only in Siomega we also play a little magic and borrow one more piece, the Omega Wizard.

I have always loved the Wizard, ever since I first heard of its invention by the great Daniel MacDonald. Indeed MacDonald’s Omega Chess, whilst a recipient of some criticism, is a fairly well designed game.

However, the “Champion” piece has never settled well with me and also I never could quite surrender to an extended 104 square board.

Yet the Wizard… what a marvelous piece.

Honestly, in the last twenty years of designing and constructing Chess variants, I have never witnessed such a beautiful piece. Its grace and wisdom the pure artistry of its creator.

In fact what may have never been mentioned before is a very magical trait I believe to have discovered about the Wizard.

I will describe its movement shortly, but when I do, be sure to observe its pattern. For if you look closely you will see, a crescent moon within its reach and a pointed star within its stride.

Here then is my final contribution to the Omega Chess conceptual variantism. Yet regard my game not as a final embracing of Omega Chess, but instead behold it as a toast unto the future.

For what I believe to have created here, is the answer to the Wizard’s dilemma. He knows he is meant to exist and he knows he was created to bring great joy unto the world.

Yet he doesn’t quite know his worthiness, for he exists only in a foreign land, born into an artificial world where his comrades and friends are likewise misplaced.

Siomega Chess is then, I believe, where the Wizard belongs.

This, my final salute to the ever turning, ever swirling chaotic pool of Chess Variant fanatiscism, is what I truly believe to be the Final Frontier Of Checkered Warfare.

Siomega Chess then, presents to you many wondrous yet easy to embrace, magical twists to the laws of the game, yet which whence applied rationally and logically, ignite with thunder the ultimate strategical conundrums of this ancient art.

Please… enjoy.

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Jeppscotch Chalkboards

Jeppscotch ChalkboardsI personally find the portable chalkboard to be the perfect accompaniment to Jeppscotch.

Whilst one may always have their dice and chalk to hand, there is not always an ideal location or environment in which to play matches.

Besides there is so much more one can create with a chalkboard than say for example, a Chess board, and it is for this reason I will always favour Jeppscotch over any other game.

There are numerous companies manufacturing and selling chalkboards of various sizes and these can be found all over the world wide web.

Most of these companies have a storefront within the Amazon network, so get over there and grab one today!

Jeppscotch ~ The Roll & Scratch Dice Game

Jeppscotch Roll & Scratch Dice Game
Jeppscotch Roll & Scratch Dice Game
Jeppscotch is a mesmerizing strategical dice game for 2-3 players, best played with three.

There are traditionally two kinds of modern standalone strategic dice games and they are:

  • Roll & Write
  • Roll & Draw

These kinds of games require the basic equipment of some dice, some paper or marking cards and some coloured pens or pencils.

Jeppscotch is a new third kind I have developed for this particular genre and it is known as:

  • Roll & Scratch

This third kind, Roll & Scratch, is actually the oldest of all dice genres, yet bizarrely it has never yet been awarded true status. So hereby, it is my duty to enthrone the oldest of pastimes with this, my monumental debut game, Jeppscotch.

Roll & Scratch does not use pens or paper, but:

  • Chalk and a chalkable surface, or;
  • Sticks and a scratchable surface

So for example, you could play this in a playground, on a beach or even in the streets.

If keeping score is awkward given your particular environment, then a pencil and paper may be used for this one element. The game in proper however, should still nevertheless be played with either chalks or sticks.

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Time Lords

Time Lords Dice Game By Simon JeppsA strategy dice game for 2-4 players, by Simon Edward Jepps.

Hitherto my good peacekeepers and sacred guardians of all cronospace, prepare ye selves for righteous battle!

The game of Time Lords is not purely a game, but an adventure in time and space. To undertake this quest, you will need a heart of gold, an undying determined spirit and a very special fondness for all that is wondrous and infinite.

You will also need the following equipment.

  • Four 20 sided dice.
  • A multi coloured pen.
  • A pad of paper.
  • A calculator.
  • A table clock.

Different coloured individual pens may be used instead, these are to distinguish each player’s markings on the board.

The board can easily be drawn onto a piece of paper. Thus, these here listed items are all your necessary equipment.

You will require one RED, one GREEN, one BLACK and one WHITE twenty sided die.

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Wizardry & Follying ~ AI, Droidfish & Other Apps

Droidfish Analysis Screenshot
A screenshot of Droidfish Chess engine for Android
In time to come we hope a Chess computer of sorts will be available which is capable of processing Wizardry and Follying algorithms.

Whilst at this time there is none such computer, YllwChlk does have at least a solution of a kind.

Personally, I employ Droidfish for recreational, analytical and publishing use. It is a very good Chess engine with numerous features and even a selection of interface themes.

When playing Chess against Droidfish, it is possible to incorporate Wizardry and Follying by a method of intervention in its computational processes.

It is not exactly a solution, since Droidfish does not actually compute these new rules, but it does allow the player to compute them on behalf and thus assert a continuum of play.

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