A Conversation for Chess
Goatbag Started conversation Jul 18, 1999
Chess may be a complicated game, but it doesn't come close to the ridiculous complexity of Rithmomachia, a game popular among educated elite during the XIIth through XVth centuries which evolved into chess. It uses a 16 by 8 board of the same checkered pattern as chess, but the similarities end there.
There are three basic types of pieces: square, round, and triangular. Each piece has a number written on it. The shape of a piece determines it's style of movement, and one can make either a regular move or an irregular one -- the difference being that captures can only be made on regular moves. In addition to this, each side gets one stack of pieces, known as a pyramid, which is capable of acting as any of its components would.
Here's where the real fun comes in. First of all, all pieces involved in a capture must be within a regular move of the piece to be captured. In order to capture an opponent's piece, you must meet one or more of many conditions. If your piece's value times or divided by the distance to the opposing piece equals the opposing piece you may capture it. If your piece is the opposing piece to some root or power then you may capture it. If you have two pieces within a regular move of the opposing piece who add up to the opposing piece, you may capture it. There are many far more complicated captures that can be made as well involving right triangles and harmonic progressions. This still isn't the greatest part of the game though.
Depending on how the game is played, one can play until they capture a set number of pawns, a set value of them, or delve into something much more sinister. The aforementioned victories are referred to in the game as small victories. The next level is the mediocre victory, which involves making a geometric, harmonic, or linear progression with one's pieces placed in the proper pattern. The next level is the great victory -- also known as the blind luck victory. A great victory involves creating all three progressions at once. The only way I've found to do this is either to cheat horribly or play with my cat.
Anyway, it's very easy to see how much better a computer would be at rithmomachia than any human will ever hope to be. Luckily for the world, this game has remained obscure and almost completely ignored by the world. I wonder why...
26199 Posted Aug 6, 1999
You made that up!
Please, please, say you made that up... otherwise I shall have to forsake the world outside my computer, and become an Internetizen in a place where people have far better things to do.
Oh, I forget, I did that already. Which'll make it all the more difficult to do a second time...
Okay, I admit, I was perhaps being a little short-sighted when I claimed that chess was the most complex game ever invented. Certainly it seems that way to most first-time players...
Seven Crocodile Rain Posted Apr 3, 2000
Speaking of complexity, in the first ten moves of a chess game there are 169.5 octillion possible moves. That's 169,500,000,000,000,000,000,000 moves. That's complex, and that's only the first ten moves. I always thought how people beat computers, can't computers just see all moves? After finding this number I know better.
26199 Posted Apr 3, 2000
Right - computers rely on clever algorithms to cut out the really stupid moves without even considering them. This, of course, means that they're not perfect and they *can* be beaten...
...just not very easily.
Seven Crocodile Rain Posted Apr 3, 2000
Seven Crocodile Rain Posted Apr 5, 2000
Thank haiku for that
Alex v2.4 < I got more!!!
26199 Posted Apr 10, 2000
Seven Crocodile Rain Posted Apr 12, 2000
I'll tell you. Every time somthing happens that is a little importaint you get a .1. Lets say I make the tennis team, which ios why I got my last one. But if somthing really big happens, girlfriend, or a job or somthing you get a whole 1. you start an 1.0 try it it is fun.
26199 Posted Apr 13, 2000
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