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Hindustani Chess DLP Game   

Period Modern

Region Southern Asia

Category Board, War, Replacement, Checkmate, Chaturanga


Hindustani Chess is the form of Chess played in northern India. It allows a special opening move for the king, and the opening position is slightly different from European Chess.


8x8 board, marked as in Chaturanga. Pieces move according to specialized moves, as follows: Pawns (x8): can move one space forward and capture one space forward diagonally; Elephant (or Chariot or Boat) (x2): can move any number of spaces orthogonally; Elephant (or Camel) (x2): can move any number of spaces diagonally; Horse (2): moves in any direction, one space orthogonally with one space forward diagonally; Vizier (x1): can move any number of spaces orthogonally or diagonally; Raja (x1): can move one space orthogonally or diagonally, but can also move like the horse on its first move, if it has not yet been checked. The pieces are arranged as in Chess, except the Vizier is place to the left of the Raja on both sides. Players capture pieces by moving onto a space occupied by an opponent's piece. When a pawn reaches the opposite edge of the board from where it started, it may be promoted to the more powerful piece that begins the game in that position, but only if one of these belonging to the player has already been captured. If this has not happened, the pawn cannot move to the final row. When a player can capture the opponent's Raja on the next turn, the Raja is in Check, the opponent's next move must free the Raja from check. If the opponent cannot, it is checkmate and the player wins. If a player captures all of the opponent's pieces aside from the Raja and pawns, it is declared a half-win, or Burd. When both players are left with only a Raja, it is a draw. Players are not allowed to stalemate the opponent. If check is given 70 times in succession, the game is a draw.

Murray 1913: 78-82



Ludeme Description

Hindustani Chess.lud


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

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