Re: Proposal to encode dominoes and other game symbols

From: Andrew C. West (
Date: Tue May 25 2004 - 05:15:56 CDT

  • Next message: Michael Everson: "RE: Proposal to encode dominoes and other game symbols"

    On Mon, 24 May 2004 20:11:08 -0700, Patrick Andries wrote:
    > >> Proposal to encode dominoes and other game symbols
    > >
    > > This could get out of hand very quickly. Chinese and Japanese (shogi)
    > > chess pieces?
    > To complete U+2616 and U+2617 ?

    I've never quite worked out what purpose U+2616 [WHITE SHOGI PIECE] and U+2617
    [BLACK SHOGI PIECE] are intended for.

    The standard game of shogi (Japanese Chess) has 20 uncoloured tiles on each
    side, with a kanji inscription giving the piece's name on each tile. Each side's
    20 tiles are identical (differentiated by orientation not by colour) except for
    the "general". However, most of the tiles can be turned over to reveal a
    different inscription when the piece is promoted. This would mean that you would
    need (from memory, I may be wrong) a total of 28 Unicode characters to represent
    all possible tile patterns and orientations. However, there are a dozen or so
    historical and modern varieties of shogi, some played on a large board with huge
    numbers of tiles.

    And then of course there's Chinese Chess (xiangqi), which requires 14 Unicode
    characters to represent the different pieces. And it wouldn't be fair to ignore
    the infamous "seven states chess" (affectionately nicknamed "stinky chess"),
    that is a complex variation of Chinese Chess played on a go-board with seven
    players, each with an army of about twenty pieces (I can't remember the exact
    number offhand). That would require quite a few extra characters, and some way
    of representing the seven colours of the pieces.

    Oh, and what about Mahjong ?

    I had assumed that representations of games pieces were largely outside the
    scope of Unicode, but I am agnostic on this issue, and given that Western chess
    pieces are already encoded at 2654..265F, if Michael's proposal for dominos etc.
    does get accepted I do think that someone will need to propose a full set of
    shogi, xiangqi and mahjong characters.


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