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Chatrang

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Chatrang (pronounced, roughly, "shatranj") is an ancient Indian game which is presumed to be the common ancestor of chess, Xiangqi, Shogi, Janggi and Makruk[?]. Each descendant has modified the ancient rules in a different way, but for simplicity only the differences with chess will be listed.

  • Bishops, which were called elephants, moved exactly two squares diagonally, jumping over the intervening square. Note that the four bishops each could reach only one fourth of the squares on the board, and because their circuits were disjoint, could never capture one another.
  • The queen, which was called a vizier, moved exactly one square diagonally. This made it a rather weak piece.
  • Pawns in Chatrang did not have the option of moving two squares on the first move.
  • Pawns which reached the eighth rank were promoted, but only to a vizier.
  • Castling was not allowed.
  • Stalemating the opposing king resulted in a loss for the player delivering stalemate.
  • Capturing all one's opponent's pieces apart from the king (baring the king) was a win, unless your opponent could capture your last piece on their next move, when it is a draw.

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