chess terminology

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nu skicu la tces. goi pe'i le se kelcrcaxmata

.ai troci lenu skicu le selkei ja menynundamba peme'e la tces. fo le lojbo

(I've been trying to describe Chess in Lojban.)

ni'o ca'e le xavomei cu se

selci gi'e ro selci cu se tcita lo pinta lijgri namcu ce'o lo sraji lijgri

namcu (Let the sixty-four squares be designated by a row number followed by

a column number.)

.ite'i le dizlo zunle selci cu me li pa pi'e pa .ije le

gapru pritu selcu cu me li bi pi'e bi (The lower left corner is "1:1" & the

upper right is "8:8".)

.i e'u skicu la'edi'u fo mu'a li .abu pi'e pa .e li dy. pi'e re .e li .ibu pi'e bi to lu ibu. li'u cu bimoi le'i lojbo lerfu toi (I suggest describing that with, for example, a:1, d:2, and i:8 "i" is the 8th letter in the Lojban alphabet.) -- mi'e rab.spir.

.i le fadni nuncfa cu mu'e benji fo le me li repi'emu

fi le me li vopi'emu (The common opening Pawn to King's Four would be

'"2:5" to "4:5"'.)

.ica'e le bi'unai blabi cu se tcita le prityjei .a le

pritu (Let White be "the Right Army";)

.ije lebi'unai xekri cu se tcita le

zuljei .a le zunle (Black, "the Left".)Why right and left? Chess boards are most commonly shown with white at the bottom. Is this an artifact of game theory? (No, cultural neutrality taken perhaps to a laughable extreme...)

.ica'e lei se muvdu cu se tcita le

gunro ce'o le pezli ce'o le sakli ce'o le vlispe ce'o le ralju ce lei sonci

(Let the pieces in order be called "Roller", "Leaper", "Glider",

"Mighty-Spouse", "Chief"; & "the Soldiers".)

pezli is leaf, not leap, which is plipe --phma

"Roller", "Leaper" and "Glider" are nice choices for cultural neutrality since they describe their movements instead of some abstract "role". But "Mighty-Spouse" strikes me as too culturally bound in an absurd way; I'd prefer "saljavgu'o" since this piece is a combination of a roller and a glider. I also prefer "crakla" over "sonci" to keep the movement-themed names. "Chief" (ralju) is fine to me though. --mi'e betsemes

ni'o te'i di'e cu selkei gau le

mibypre ce'e tu'i zoi .sy. [1] .sy. (Here is

a game of mine:)

  1. itu'e pamai benji le sonci lemeli vopi'exa .ice'o benji le sonci lemeli vopi'emu
  1. .iremai le sonci le sonci cu stulebna .ice'o benji le sonci lemeli xapi'evo
  1. .icimai stulebna .ice'o le sakli le sonci cu stulebna
  1. .ivomai benji le pezli lemeli cipi'exa .ice'o benji le sonci lemeli mupi'eze
  1. .imumai meli vopi'evo .ice'o meli vopi'eze
  1. .ixamai benji le pezli lemeli mupi'eze .ice'o meli mupi'exa
  1. .izemai meli vopi'emu .ice'o meli xapi'ebi
  1. .ibimai meli mupi'emu .ice'o benji le sakli lemeli zepi'emu
  1. .isomai benji le pezli lemeli cipi'ebi .ice'o le sonci le pezli cu stulebna
  1. .ipanomai benji le vlispe lemeli mupi'ebi ja'e lenu ralju kajde .ice'o benji le ralju lemeli bipi'exa
  1. .ipapamai benji le sakli lemeli vopi'eci .ice'o benji le gunro lemeli zepi'ebi
  1. .iparemai benji le vlispe lemeli xapi'eze .ice'o benji le gunro lemeli zepi'eze
  1. .ipacimai le sakli cu stulebna le sonci poi meli xapi'ebi .ice'o le pezli cu stulebna le sakli
  1. .ipavomai le vlispe cu stulebna le pezli .ice'o benji le sakli lemeli vopi'ere ja'e lenu ralju kajde
  1. .ipamumai benji le sonci lemeli cipi'eci .ice'o benji le vlispe lemeli mupi'eze
  1. .ipaxamai le vlispe cu stulebna le sonci poi meli cipi'ebi .ice'o .ue benji le pezli lemeli xapi'eci
  1. .ipazemai le ralju cu se marbi .ice'o .ue le pezli cu stulebna le sonci poi meli mupi'emu
  1. .ipabimai le sonci cu stulebna .ice'o benji le sakli lemeli mupi'evo ja'e lenu ralju kajde
  1. .ipanomai benji le ralju lemeli papi'ebi .ice'o .uesai meli vopi'exa
  1. .irenomai benji le vlispe lemeli cipi'exa .ice'o benji le sakli lemeli cipi'emu
  1. .irepamai benji le pezli lemeli cipi'epa .ice'o benji le sakli lemeli mupi'exa
  1. .ireremai benji le gunro poi meli papi'epa ku'o lemeli papi'emu .ice'o benji le ralju lemeli zepi'emu
  1. .irecimai le vlispe cu stulebna le sonci poi meli zepi'ere .ice'o .uecai benji le sakli lemeli xapi'ere
  1. .irevomai le vlispe cu stulebna le gunro .ice'o .uo.ui benji le gunro lemeli zepi'ebi
  1. .iremumai .a'onai le gunro custulebna le sonci poi meli vopi'exa .ice'o le vlispe cu stulebna le gunro
  1. .irexamai meli cipi'eze .ice'o le vlispe cu stulebna le sonci poi meli cipi'eze
  1. .irezemai benji le vlispe lemeli repi'eze .ice'o le vlispe cu stulebna le gunro poi meli papi'emu ja'e lenu ralju kajde
  1. .irebimai benji le vlispe lemeli papi'exa .ice'o benji le sakli lemeli vopi'emu ja'e lenu ralju darxi tu'u

I hope you used a script to generate that!

As a chessplayer myself, I have no use for this terminology. If I ever speak in Lojban about chess, I intend to adhere to the international standards of notation and naming. They are widely followed in every other language. mi'e jezrax


Going back to the origin of chess, chataranga or chatrang, makes the nicer word for chess la catran.

  • I think "la catran" should be the name of the original game instead of the current game. --mi'e betsemes

Using the historic piece figures gives the (rather nice) names (all gismu!):

pawn  
sonci (soldier)
bishop 
xanto (elephant)
knight 
xirma (horse)
rook  
karce (chariot)
queen  
gidva (counsellor, advisor)
king  
nobli (well, it sounds nice :)

In this case, how to differentiate chess pieces from the original gismu meaning?

maybe la sonci., la xantos.? mi'e ALbaros

  • I would think using "le sonci", "le xanto", etc. is sufficient. I seldom use "lo" anyway. mi'e LaNorpan

Also, what's wrong with using the notation, .abu.pa (=a1)...xy.bi (=h8, no h in lojban)?

So reading 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 ... in lojban will be something like this

.i pamai le labjafsoi cu klama li .ebu.vo. i le xekyjafsoi cu klama li .ebu.mu.

i remai le labyxirma cu klama li fy.ci. i le xekyxirma cu klama li cy.xa.

i cimai le labyxanto cu klama li by.mu.

you could drop the white and black prefixes , and maybe drop the "cu klama" when speaking rapidly. mi'e LaNorpan

  • Shouldn't that be klama la ebu.mub.? Obviously you can't go to a number---the number is just the name of a square. You could also use "la me li" ("le me li" above probably isn't wrong either). --mi'e .djorden.
  • "la .ebu.mub" may be better, but than again, there are many instances of the square, one for each chess board. "le me li .ebu.mu." has better meaning, but is perhaps to long to say. Another plan is to skip the letters altogether, and use 11 to 88 for the squares, this would give the e5 square the name "la mumus" or "le me li mumu". English or Swedish chess-speak is not very grammatical either, but you'd want to be grammatical here I suppose. mi'e LaNorpan
    • There's nothing wrong with having multiple things with the same name... I think "la me li" is better than le (as described in the book WRT acronyms), but just plain la with a cmene is fine too. --mi'e .djorden.
  • It should really be "le .ebumumoi", but in the context of chess "li .ebumu" is understandable. If the mover is a pawn, omit or replace with "zo'e". -phma
  • Perhaps one should try to translate the entire aws of Chess to Lojban. mi'e LaNorpan
  • I rather dislike the idea of using ancient naming schemes. Most everyone in the modern world uses Staunton, and there are no elephants or chariots in Staunton. How about {pawn: sonci, rook: dinju, bishop: djaja'a, queen: noltruni'u, king: noltrunau}? mi'e la bancus
  • Well, chess is a game played in many countries, and by players with many different languages, so I don't like that the English terms be used, that's why I think it's better to go back to the original terms. A very particular example, that also has christian bias, is bishop. I suppose you mean jdaja'a in lojban, but in Swedish the piece is called "löpare", which means "runner". Piece names vary wildly, see for instance http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Metro/9154/nap-pieces.htm