Re: Proposal to encode dominoes and other game symbols

From: Andrew C. West (
Date: Tue May 25 2004 - 08:01:03 CDT

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    On Tue, 25 May 2004 13:00:51 +0100, Michael Everson wrote:

    > At 03:27 -0700 2004-05-25, Andrew C. West wrote:
    > >On Tue, 25 May 2004 10:23:19 +0100, Michael Everson wrote:
    > > >
    > > > Now that you mention it, it could well be that Chaturunga and Chinese
    > > > Chess both could be considered extensions to a unified Chess
    > > > repertoire:
    > > >
    > > > WHITE CHATURANGA COUNSELLOR (-> white chess queen)
    > > > WHITE CHATURANGA ELEPHANT (-> white chess bishop)
    > > > BLACK CHATURANGA COUNSELLOR (-> black chess queen)
    > > > BLACK CHATURANGA ELEPHANT (-> black chess bishop)
    > > > WHITE XIANGQI MANDARIN (advisor, assistant, guard)
    > > >
    > >
    > >I don't think that a unified chess repertoire would be useful. Although
    > >individual pieces in chaturanga, chess, xiangqi and shogi may
    > >correspond to each other in function, they are represented
    > >differently (Western chess pieces are represented by pictures,
    > >xiangqi pieces by ideographs in a circle, shogi pieces by kanji
    > >inscriptions in a five-sided figure), so that I do not believe that
    > >there would be a single character of the "unified chess repertoire"
    > >which would be common to any two chess families. You would, I think,
    > >have to encode each set of characters used to represent games pieces
    > >separately for each chess family.
    > Andrew, if you look at the links in my original posting about
    > Chaturanga you will see that "generic" Chess pieces are indeed used
    > for these.

    True, for that particular site for Chaturanga, and to a more limited extent for

    I can't speak for chaturanga, but in Chinese books on xiangqi and Japanese books
    on shogi, generic chess images are not used to represent xiangqi and shogi
    pieces. Although in some beginner-level books written for an English-speaking
    audience the Chinese or Japanese text on the various pieces is replaced by
    pictural representations, I imagine that the native representation of xiangqi
    and shogi pieces should have priority if symbols representing xiangqi and shogi
    pieces were to be encoded.

    I would suggest that any proposed encoding of an extended set of generic chess
    symbols for use with all varieties of chess should be based on recognised
    international usage, not the ad hoc usage of individual web sites and books.


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