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Four-Player Chaturanga (al-Biruni) DLP Game   

Period Medieval

Region Southern Asia

Category Board, War, Replacement, Eliminate, All


Al-Biruni, a tenth century Persian scholar, wrote about this four-player version of Chaturanga as played in India during the tenth century.


Four players. Played with two six-sided dice. A throw of 5 is counted as 1, a throw of 6 is counted as 4.Throws move the pieces as follows: 1: Pawn or King, which move the same as in Shatranj; 2: Rook, which jumps to the second diagonal space; 3: Horse, which moves orthogonally one space and then diagonally another space, jumping over any intervening pieces; 4: Elephant, which moves orthogonally any distance. Kings may be captured. Pieces are assigned values, which award the players stakes at the end of the game: King=5, Elephant=4, Horse=3, Rook=2, Pawn=1. If a player captures all of the other Kings and is still in possession of their own King, the score awarded is 54. The player with the most points wins.

Murray 1913: 57-58.



Ludeme Description

Four-Player Chaturanga (al-Biruni).lud


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Murray 1913: 57-59.

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Murray, H. J. R. 1913. A History of Chess. London: Oxford University Press.

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