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Evidence for Tsatsarandi

2 pieces of evidence found.

Id DLP.Evidence.1929
Type Ethnography
Location 12° 2'25.97"N, 13°55'1.13"E 11°49'55.84"N, 13° 8'58.20"E
Date 1936-01-01 - 1936-12-31
Rules 8x8 board. Pieces have specific moves, as follows: Mai (x1): moves one space in any direction; Chiroma (x1): Moves one space diagonally; Bintu (x2): moves exactly two spaces diagonally, jumping over the first square; Fer (x2): moves orthogonally one space and then diagonally another space, jumping over any intervening pieces; Kaigamma (x2): moves orthogonally any distance; Gollo: (x8) move one space forward orthogonally, or one space diagonally forward to capture. Pieces capture the opponent's pieces by moving onto the spot they occupy. No en passant; no castling. When the Mai can be captured at the beginning of the opponent's next turn, it is in check and must be removed from this state on the player's turn. If this is not possible, it is checkmate and the player who threatened the Mai wins.
Content Letter from G. H. Betts, who lived in Maiduguri, Nigeria: " As regards the Bornu game of Chess (Tsatsarandi) I should like to make it quite clear that the moves of the pieces are not identical with our way of playing the game. The moves of some pieces correspond, but others do not. " In 1936 I ascertained that there were only two men left alive in Maiduguri, who knew how the game was played, and one of them has since died. The sole survivor was formerly an Ajia (headman) of a village east of Dikwa and is now quite an old man. I learnt from him exactly how the pieces moved. " The King (Mai) the Knight (Fer), and the Castle (Kaigamma) move exactly the same as in our game. The Queen (Chiroma) can only move one square at a time and so moves like a King, except that its movement is even more restricted as it may move diagonally only. It has therefore the choice of only four squares for any one move and so, having to remain perpetually on its own colour, cannot threaten the opposing Queen. The Bishop (Bintu), like our own piece, moves diagonally only, remaining on its own colour; but even when placed on the centre of an unoccupied board, it has only four possible moves and they are the four diagonal squares next but one to itself. If another piece is situated on one of the diagonal squares adjacent to it, the Bishop may 'jump' that piece to reach the next square. The first move in a game, therefore, might be King's Bishop to R.3 or Q.3. " Pawns (Gollo) move as in our game except that the "initial double-move is unknown. " Castling is not played, nor is the ' pawn-en-passant' move. All the details of mating, discovered checks, etc., are the same as played in our game." Harris 1939: 31-32.
Confidence 100
Ages Elder
Social status Elite
Genders Male
Source Harris, P. 1939. "Chess in Bornu: Nigeria." Man 39: 31-32.

Id DLP.Evidence.1930
Type Ethnography
Location 11°49'55.84"N, 13° 8'58.20"E
Date 1926-01-12 - 1926-12-31
Rules 8x8 board. Starting position. Moves "the same as Chess."
Content " In 1926 I obtained for the British Museum a chess set from Bornu Province, Nigeria (P1. C. 1). The game is known to the Kanuri as Tsatsarandi, an obvious corruption of the Arabic term Shatranj. It is said to have been a court game at the old Bornu capital of Birni Ngasr Gomo. The pieces are named and arranged as follows: Captain Lloyd Carson and I witnessed a game being played at Maiduguri. The moves were the same as our own." Meek 1934: 33.
Confidence 100
Source Meek, C. 1934. "Chess in Bornu, Nigeria." Man 34: 33.

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