So a long long time ago, back in 2007, I started a generic Chess program. The idea was to be able to create your own chess variants, as well as play historical versions. I stopped updating it in 2008, but have squeezed an update out of it in the last few days. You can try this update here:
I've made a really crap interface for it, moved some of the commands over to the menu, created easier ways of viewing the whole board whether you are on a small board or a bigger one. Also, in gameplay, Jump moves would be different in that it would be displayed in Green, rather than yellow. I also changed the King's icon slightly so it didn't look so aweful and look a bit more King'ly, so that was the aesthetics done.
I've added in the ability to change the Promotion rule to some of the most common types, before you couldn't. You can now switch away from the default way, to Counsellor (the typical promotion piece in older versions of chess), Queen only, Knight only, and more specific ones for "The Duke of Rutland's" Chess and for Heian Shogi. For the Duke's game, the ability to set a 3 square initial pawn move was also included, and is used in some other variants too.
Because of these new variants, new pieces have been included, along with a couple of others in order to play similar games. Most of these pieces you may know as "fairy pieces", pieces of different move properties used more often these days for Chess problems rather than Chess games. While the previous version of LotB included "Peasant" (Shogi Pawn) and Lance, I've boosted it up more in order to play Heian Shogi, the "Honourable Horse" a Knight that can only go forward, as well as Silver and Gold Generals some of the most common pieces in Shogi games have been included.
There have been a few other changes and fixes, you can see the full details at the bottom in the update list. In truth, I've released this earlier than I planned, just in case I can't finish what I hoped to do. It is still much better than the previous version, and runs a bit better and more fluidly for further expansion. What I wanted to do, and might still come if I work on it soon is:
1) Bare King rules. At the moment, the Shatranj built in game allows for a form of Bare King rule, but that isn't working to the full rules and was in the old version before anyway. I want to change this to include the typical Bare King rules especially the one where you can force a draw if you bare the other king after they have bared yours, and automatic win for baring a King (that is, to rid the opponent of all their pieces other than the King).
2) Recognition of Check. Because of lazyness, I never did include an internal Check rule, the game still has none. Naturally I expect my next version to actually do this, automatic Check, Checkmate and Stalemate situations for games using a King, and all the win-lose-draw scenarios as additional editable rules.
3) Improving the graphics. I know my icons are ugly, I might start over, or include different versions. The Shogi tiles in particular are worth doing as traditionally they are simply small tablets pointing their side rather than being different coloured pieces. The ability of changing tiles from black and white and pieces away from my brown and red is also something I'm looking into.
4) Drops. While I've made Heian Shogi, the first Shogi to be accurately repeatable in LotB, the vast majority of Shogi variants allow for "dropping" captured pieces. Drops will therefore be the next groundbreaking part I need to do for LotB.
5) Helpfile. My greatest love and hate, a decent helpfile to explain how to edit and play your Chess variants.
After this is done, and released I can look into broadening out even more to different shaped boards, such as ones which are not strictly square or rectangle in shape, special boards to incorporate Chinese and other Eastern forms of Chess, and perhaps even Hexagonal and Triangular Chess boards too.
The actual updates for this version is as follows:
Triple Pawn Move: Same as double move, but for three spaces instead (Duke of Rutland's Chess specifically).
Promotion rule change: Change Pawn promotion rules so that they can do any of the following:
-Counsellor: Counsellor only
-Queen: Queen only
-Knight: Knight only
-Duke of Rutland's: As International, plus Crowned Rook and Marshall.
-Heian Shogi: Peasant > Tokin; Lance, Honourable Knight, Silver General > Gold General.
Added Interface, including new commands regarding view/pixel size and moving verbs across.
Can change the the size of squares/pieces in order to fit larger games on screen at once. View is now automatic, so that previous feature has been removed.
Jump moves are now displayed in green, to seperate it from the current yellow for all moves.
Marshall: Knight + Rook.
Crowned Rook: Rook + Councellor.
Paladin: Knight + Bishop.
Empress: Queen + Knight.
Dabbabah: 0,2 Jumper.
Honourable Horse: Knight move, but forward only (Shogi).
Silver General: Diagonal 1 space + Peasant (Shogi).
Gold General: 1 space hos+vert + 1 space diagonally forward (Shogi).
Tokin: same as Gold General, is supposed to act as a promoted peasant (Shogi).
King Piece has been changed to make it look more unique.
"Attack Strength" should now only work while a game is running, and can be cancelled by the player by clicking cancel rather than having to click a piece and then cancel.
During points setup, player2's points input would be listed as if it were player1's.
When changing the map size, the game will move the players if they are beyond the new boundaries.
When a game was in session and the first player left, the game would not automatically reboot.
New possible Games:
The Duke of Rutland's Chess is now available, thanks to the Triple pawn move and the new pieces; Marshall and Crowned Rook and Duke of Rutland's Promotion rule.
Great Chess (Indian/Turkish variant) is now available, thanks to the Paladin, Crowned Rook and Empress pieces and Queen only promotion rule.
Indian Chess (19th century variant) is now available, thanks to the Dabbabah piece.
Heian Shogi (10th century variant) is now available, thanks to promotion rules for Heian Shogi and its pieces, Honourable Horse, Silver General, Gold General, Tokin.
Its quite possible other versions of Chess are playable, or fairly playable (Indian Chess does not include the full rules in LotB) which aren't included in this list. You can try playing these variants too, which I've setup beforehand by visiting this page:
The previous version of LotB had 290 downloads.