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Evidence for Shatren

1 pieces of evidence found.

Id DLP.Evidence.1481
Type Ethnography
Location 6°55'33.58"N, 79°51'29.14"E
Date 1909-01-01 - 1909-12-31
Rules 8x8 checkered board. Pieces move according to specialized moves, as follows: Piyatha (x8): can move one space forward, and one space forward diagonally to capture. When they reach the final rank, they may be promoted to the piece belonging to that rank, as long as it has already been captured by the opponent; Rukh (castle), (x2): can move any number of spaces orthogonally; Fil (elephant), (x2): can move any number of spaces diagonally; Ghoda (horse), (2): moves in any direction, one space orthogonally with one space forward diagonally; Farthir (x1): can move any number of spaces orthogonally or diagonally; Shah (x1): can move one space orthogonally or diagonally, and can also move like the horse if it has not yet been checked. The pieces are arranged as in Chess. Players capture pieces by moving onto a space occupied by an opponent's piece. When a player can capture the opponent's Shah on the next turn, the Shah is in Check, the opponent's next move must free the Shah from Check. If the opponent cannot, it is Checkmate and the player wins. Stalemate is allowed.
Content "Chess. The game is practically unknown to the Sinhalese...but some of the Tamil and other Indian residents in Colombo understand it well...The only form of it which I have seen is the one known in Upper India by the Arabic name Shatren...Shatren is played by two persons on a diagram of sixty-four squares, alternately red and white, embroidered on cloth or velvet. The pieces are cylindrical pieces, plain green and red in color, and of different heights and thicknesses...The only variations from the English game are, (1) the absence of 'Castling'; (2) the additional power of the King to jump at any time as a Knight, until he has once been in check; (3) the limitation of the first move of the Pawns to a single square; and (4) when any Pawns reach one of the last squares they can become only the piece that was in the same column or line of squares originally, provided such piece has been previously captured by the enemy, so as to be available for replacing on the board. The pieces and their Indian colloquiual names are as follows: - The King is Shah, the Queen is Farthir...; two Elephants, Fil; two Horses, Ghoda; two Castles, Rukh; and eight Pawns called Piatha...or Paithal, 'Footman.'" Parker 1909: 587.
Confidence 100
Source Parker, H. 1909. Ancient Ceylon. New Delhi: Asian Educational Services.

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