Re: Proposal to add standardized variation sequences for chess notation

From: Philippe Verdy via Unicode <>
Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2017 06:58:22 +0200

2017-04-12 6:12 GMT+02:00 Garth Wallace <>:

> On Tue, Apr 11, 2017 at 8:44 AM, Philippe Verdy via Unicode <
>> wrote:
>> 2017-04-11 15:04 GMT+02:00 Kent Karlsson via Unicode <
>> >:
>>> Den 2017-04-10 12:19, skrev "Michael Everson" <>:
>>> > I believe the box drawing characters are for drawing boxes
>>> Which is exactly what you are doing.
>>> > and grids on
>>> > computer terminals, which is not the same thing as scoring a line
>>> around a set
>>> > of 64 graphic images.
>>> No, that is why I put in variation selectors. The glyphic variation
>>> selected would in my judgement fall well within the "box drawing
>>> semantics"
>>> (if you like) of these characters.
>> Some Asian chess boards include also diagonal lines or dots on top of
>> their crossing (notably 9x9 boards are subdivided into nine 3x3 subgroups
>> by such dots). These chess boards do not alternate white and black
>> "squares" ; beside this, the cells may also be rectangular (longer
>> vertically than horizontally) however such metric is not so important, as
>> long as all cells have coherent sizes and can fit the pieces (which are
>> flat like domino tiles, but not laid vertically on top of the table, and
>> where pieces use symbols or sinograms instead of 3D head sculptures).
> Shogi and Xiangqi diagrams are very different from Western chess diagrams,
> and necessarily outside of the scope of this proposal. There is no unified
> solution because the problems to be solved are different.

They are not out of scope, given that both games have wellknown western
variants using pieces like in chess. And chess is also played in with Shogi
or Xiangqi boards and pieces. "Human pieces" are also used like in chess
with people playing characters on the ground. The form of Xiangqi and Shogi
pieces is also not necessarily using cursive serif sinograms; most plyaers
now use simplified non-serif sinograms, but there are also westernized
versions using letters or symbols. The traditional narrow pentagon form of
pieces (used with traditional board using rectangular cells) is frequently
replaced by squares, octagons or circle pieces (with symbols centered on
the sinographic composition squares). There are also triangular pieces
(played on board variants with a triangular grid, and with different moving

But what is important is that the pieces must only have a coherent size.
Then comes the insertion of the grid, necessary for rentering a full board:
you cannot use only the pieces., you need to also represent at least the
empty cells. borders of boards are optional, more related to presentation
(just like the use of colors for board cells and pieces, or styles of forms
for pieces and symbols).

> Shogi diagrams are uncheckered (as Shogi boards are), with grid-lines to
> separate the spaces; traditionally, chess diagrams use the contrast of dark
> and light squares to distinguish spaces with no grid lines. They may, but
> do not have to, have dots at some intersections (these mark starting and
> promotion zones). Graphical diagrams may show images of pieces (pentagonal,
> with names written in kanji), but typeset diagrams use abbreviations of the
> piece names as CJK ideographs or kana: e.g. the gold general is 金, and the
> promoted pawn is と. Instead of "black" and "white", the pieces belonging to
> the sente player are displayed upright and those belonging to the gote
> player are rotated 180°. Any proposal for Shogi would have to deal with
> that.
> Xiangqi diagrams are even less like chess diagrams, since Xiangqi is
> played on the intersections of the board grid, not the spaces. This (and
> the closely related Korean game of Janggi) is the one you're thinking of
> with diagonals. Pieces are represented by CJK ideographs in circles
> (sometimes octagons in the case of Janggi).
> The primary issue for typesetting Western chess diagrams is dark squares
> with and without piece symbols. This issue is irrelevant to East Asian
> chesslike games.

This is the same issue: there's the same ned to represent at least the
empty cells, and being able to count them, even if you don't need to
represent separation of cells (but there may still be a need for gaps where
you'll also find non-interecting horizontal, vertical or diagonal segments,
or space, with coherent width and heights that match the width and height
of cells they are bordering where you'll center the pieces).

This is the same problem. The same problem as crossword grids where we need
also empty cells (and "black" cells which are equivalent to an empty cell
with a black square symbol instead of letters).

> I've not seen any box drawing character with such dots or all the needed
>> diagonals.
> China included some extensions to the Box Drawing characters in an early
> proposal for Xiangqi characters <
> L2010/10368-n3910.pdf>. AIUI that was shot down <
>>. China seems to
> have dropped the matter. Later Xiangqi proposals by Andrew West focused on
> the circled ideographs and did not pursue new diagram drawing characters,
> and were eventually successful.

This does not solve the need of grids with black dots (or equivalent
star-like decoration) on some intersecting lines. box drawing characters
don't have such variants and still lack support for diagonals. This is also
needed for various classic games using digits. non-rectangular grids are
also needed : tringaular and hexagonal grids are common in various games
(for them you'll need "'half" cells to fit the alternating rows on the left
and right of diagrams).
Received on Tue Apr 11 2017 - 23:59:30 CDT

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