Counter-Picking

Each player will play with the usual 16 chess pieces + 2 new pieces, the new pieces are identical for both players. The choice of the new pieces is an agreement: white chooses the first piece and then black chooses the second piece.
There are 10 musketeer pieces: Leopard, Hawk, Chancellor, Archbishop, Elephant, Unicorn, Cannon, Dragon, Fortress and Spider.
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Pavanada
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Counter-Picking

Post by Pavanada » Sat Dec 05, 2020 6:17 pm

I enjoyed the review in Chess.com, https://www.chess.com/blog/Ebinola/an-i ... teer-chess. The author discusses counter-picking as a strategy. Does that really work when both sides receive exactly the same pieces? You will mutually counter each other, eliminating any advantage with the strategy.

Now, where you place the pieces in reserve can be strategic. Counter-placing is an important strategy.

musketeerchess
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Re: Counter-Picking

Post by musketeerchess » Sun Dec 13, 2020 7:29 pm

Hi
sorry for this late answer. Got almost 7 days without a reliable internet connexion and various other problems to deal with.

Counterpicking is among strategies the black side can chose to counter the choice of white's piece choice. Whether chosing the same piece twice is a sound strategy!? in my opinion yes. If you master a piece enough to create good tactics chosing it twice is for sure a good alternative. One of the ideas behind Musketeer Chess is to add new elements (tactics and strategies) to the game to avoid opening learning and let the game become again an over the board mind battle. So definitely it could be a good choice. But personally i would prefer complimentary pieces; For example after chosing an Archbishop (N+B) i will pick a Unicorn which adds another piece that can leap + an additional coverage of the squares hit by a knight like 3+1 move.

The Fortress is also a tricky and good combination with the Archbishop.

So in general, if you want to make the game more varied you would probably prefer playing with two additional different pieces. The initial idea was also to help people become more confortable with the new pieces. But definitely playing with your favorite piece twice is good. Probably this should be restricted to pieces like the Hawk, Unicorn and Leopard. The other pieces are too strong and more like Queens and that's one of the reasons i think it's better to stick to 2 different pieces to get the most varied game play.

H.G.Muller
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Re: Counter-Picking

Post by H.G.Muller » Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:10 pm

I think he means with 'the same piece' that black and white get the same piece, no matter who chooses it. Not that black chooses the same piece as white when his turn to choose comes up, so that each player has a pair of those. (Which I thought was not allowed by the rules anyway.)

And I agree with him that it should not be possible to derive any advantage from this. Game-theoretically, at least. There do not seem to be any choices available that would greatly affect the white advantage. So you might as well pick randomly. That is different for placing the pieces; where you will gate a piece can have significant effect on the evaluation, just like the location of any piece on the board can have a significant effect on how good your position is. And the optimal placement can depend on how the opponent has placed his pieces.

For humans the game-theoretical facts could be less relevant; they could master one piece better than another, relative to how their opponent masters it, and that would be a reason to pick that piece. Or they might have prepared openings for a piece X against a piece Y, and if they are so lucky that their opponent pick a Y, they would of course go for X. For well-tuned engines this doesn't seem to apply, though.

musketeerchess
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Re: Counter-Picking

Post by musketeerchess » Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:16 pm

H.G.Muller wrote:
Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:10 pm
I think he means with 'the same piece' that black and white get the same piece, no matter who chooses it. Not that black chooses the same piece as white when his turn to choose comes up, so that each player has a pair of those. (Which I thought was not allowed by the rules anyway.)

And I agree with him that it should not be possible to derive any advantage from this. Game-theoretically, at least. There do not seem to be any choices available that would greatly affect the white advantage. So you might as well pick randomly. That is different for placing the pieces; where you will gate a piece can have significant effect on the evaluation, just like the location of any piece on the board can have a significant effect on how good your position is. And the optimal placement can depend on how the opponent has placed his pieces.

For humans the game-theoretical facts could be less relevant; they could master one piece better than another, relative to how their opponent masters it, and that would be a reason to pick that piece. Or they might have prepared openings for a piece X against a piece Y, and if they are so lucky that their opponent pick a Y, they would of course go for X. For well-tuned engines this doesn't seem to apply, though.
Hi HG

I want to wish you a happy new year. Sorry this year i wasn't in a good mood and i barely just called my parents for the new year, didn't send any text message as i was working at the hospital christmas and at the 31st december night also.

Pavanada
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Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2020 1:46 am

Re: Counter-Picking

Post by Pavanada » Mon Jan 18, 2021 2:02 am

H.G.Muller wrote:
Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:10 pm
I think he means with 'the same piece' that black and white get the same piece, no matter who chooses it. Not that black chooses the same piece as white when his turn to choose comes up, so that each player has a pair of those. (Which I thought was not allowed by the rules anyway.)

And I agree with him that it should not be possible to derive any advantage from this. Game-theoretically, at least. There do not seem to be any choices available that would greatly affect the white advantage. So you might as well pick randomly. That is different for placing the pieces; where you will gate a piece can have significant effect on the evaluation, just like the location of any piece on the board can have a significant effect on how good your position is. And the optimal placement can depend on how the opponent has placed his pieces.

For humans the game-theoretical facts could be less relevant; they could master one piece better than another, relative to how their opponent masters it, and that would be a reason to pick that piece. Or they might have prepared openings for a piece X against a piece Y, and if they are so lucky that their opponent pick a Y, they would of course go for X. For well-tuned engines this doesn't seem to apply, though.
Exactly. I don't recognize counter-picking when both sides receive the same pair, but choosing a piece that either you are very familiar with, or your opponent isn't familiar with, is the way to go.

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