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Evidence in Ancient India

3 pieces of evidence found.

Id DLP.Evidence.1983
Type Contemporary rule description
Game Chaturanga (al-Adli)
Date 0840-01-01 - 1140-12-31
Rules 8x8 board. Played on an 8x8 board. 8 Bhata (or Padati; move like Chess pawns but without being able to move two on the first turn); 2 Ashva (horses; move like Chess knights); 2 Gaja (elephants; two spaces in any orthogonal direction, jumping over the first square); 2 Ratha (chariots; moves like a rook in chess); 1 Mantri (counselor; moves one square diagonally in any direction); 1 Raja (king; moves one square in any direction). These are set up along one edge of the board: Gaja-Ratha-Ashva-Mantri-Raja-Ashva-Ratha-Gaja, with the eight Bhata lined up in the row in front of these. Players take turns moving. When one piece lands on the space occupied by another piece, it is captured. When a Raja can be captured by an opponent's piece on the next turn, it is in check. The Raja must not be in check at the end of the player's turn. When this is unavoidable, it is checkmate and the opponent wins. A Raja that is stalemated wins. A player who reduces their opponent to only the Raja wins.
Content Manuscript 560 'Abd al-Hamid I library, Istanbul. Written by Abu Ishaq Ibrahim bin al-Mubarak bin 'Ali al-Mudhahhab al Baghdadi in 1140. Contains portions of al-'Adli's Kitab ash-shatranj: "Of the Indian rules of chess...If there be with the King two pieces, and the King can take a piece, then which ever first takes, so that the other is left with nothing, wins...Another indian rules is that when the King cannot find a square into which to move, and the other King has nothing therewith to checkmate him, the first has won...Another Indian rule is that the Elephant is placed in the corner, and omits one square in a straight line to jump into the second in a straight line. And this is does on all squares of the board." Murray 1915: 57.
Confidence 100
Ages Adult
Social status Elite
Genders Male
Source Murray, H. J. R. 1913. A History of Chess. London: Oxford University Press.

Id DLP.Evidence.2016
Type Contemporary text
Game Dasapada
Date 0400-01-01 - 0499-12-31
Rules 10x10 board.
Content Passage from the Brahmajala Sutra, one of the Dialogues of the Buddha: "Or, he might say: "Whereas some recluses and Brahmans, while living on food provided by the faithful, continue addicted to games and recreations; that is to say, 1. Games on boards with eight or with ten rows of squares" (ashtapada or dasapada), Rhys Davids 1899: 9.
Confidence 100
Source Rhys Davids, T. 1899. Dialogues of the Buddha Translated from the Pali of the Digha Nikaya. Delhi: Low Price Publications.

Id DLP.Evidence.2050
Type Ethnography
Game Ashta-kashte
Date 1892-01-01 - 1892-12-31
Rules 7x7 board. The central square, as well as the central square on each edge of the board, is marked with an X. Two to four players. Four pieces per player. Four cowries used as dice, the values are equal to the number of mouths which land face up; when all mouths are down the value = 8 and a "grace," all mouths up = a grace. Throws giving a grace also allow the player to throw again. Players are not obliged to play their throws if they do not wish to. Pieces enter the board with a grace on the marked square on the edge closest to the player. Pieces move along the outer squares of the board in an anti-clockwise direction. Upon reaching the square before the marked square where the player enters their pieces, the track proceeds in the left corner (respective to the player) of the next concentric track of squares, and proceeds in a clockwise spiraling track toward the central marked square. When a player's piece lands on a square occupied by an opponent's piece, the opponent's piece is removed from the board, and the player gains another throw. Pieces cannot be removed from the board if they are resting on a marked square. Players may enter their pieces onto the board when an opponent's piece is resting on their starting place. This first player to move all of their pieces to the central square by exact throws wins.
Content Ashta-Kashte One-Eight. The game can be played by two, three, or four players. Each player has four men which he enters in castle in front of him. The men move according to the numbers shown on the diagram. When the outer circuit is completed against the sun, to square 24, the course is reversed till they arrive at the centre 49, when they are taken off. PIeces occupying a castle cannot be taken. Pieces may enter on their entering castle, even though occupied by an opponent. If doubles are made on any other square, they can only be taken by doubles. The moves are regulated by four cowries; all mouths down reckon as 8 and a grace, and throw again; all mouths up reckon as a grace, and throw again; all other numbers reckon by the number of mouths up. On throwing 8 and a grace, they may be played separately. A player is not obliged to play his throws. On taking an opponent, you throw again." Falkener 1892:265-266.
Confidence 100
Source Falkener, E. 1892. Games Ancient and Oriental and How to Play Them. London: Longmans, Green and Co.

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