Indian chess is the name given to regional variations of chess played in India in the 18th and 19th centuries. It is distinct from chaturanga. There are several such variations, all quite similar to modern rules, with variants regarding castling, pawn promotion, etc. These variants were popular in India until the 1960s. However, even today a mix of Indian and international rules and terminology are used in some parts of India.

Antique Indian chess set depicting elephants, horses and camels

Differences from Western chess edit

  • The king cannot move unless at least one check has been given.
  • When only the kings and pawns are left in play, the opponent may not give check, but they can win by stalemate. Alternatively, giving check is allowed, but the capture of the last pawn (which would result in a draw) is disallowed.
  • The pawn's two-step initial move is absent in Indian chess; thus, the en passant capture is also absent.
  • Normal castling with rook and king is absent. The king can make a knight's move once in a game, known as Indian castling.
  • On reaching the opposite end of the board, a pawn is promoted to a piece of the type that began on that square. If it is promoted on the king's initial position, it is promoted a queen.
  • If there is one piece remaining other than the kings, it may not be captured. Alternatively, it may be captured unless it is a pawn.

Names of the pieces edit

The following table describes one version of Indian chess terminology for the various pieces (including Hindi and Urdu pronunciations; orange indicates most common terminology in Hindi, green indicates that in Urdu):[1][2]

Standard chess piece Indian chess piece
English Hindi Urdu ISO 15919 Other Telugu Malayalam Tamil
king king राजा راجا rājā రాజు രാജാവ് ராஜா
बादशाह بادشاہ bādśāh
queen ferz/minister मन्त्री منتری mantrī మంత్రి മന്ത്രി
वज़ीर وزیر vazīr
queen रानी رانی rānī ராணி / அரசி
मलिका ملکہ malikā
general सेनापति سیناپتی sēnāpati
rook rook/chariot रथ رتھ rath തേര്
रुख़ رخ rux rukkha[3]
castle क़िला قلعہ qilā கோட்டை
elephant हाथी ہاتھی hāthī hattī[4] ఏనుగు யானை
knight horse घोड़ा گھوڑا ghōṛā గుర్రం കുതിര குதிரை
bishop alfil/elephant फ़ियला فیلہ fiyalā/fīlā ആന
camel ऊँट اونٹ ū̃ṭ
chariot శకటు
minister அமைச்சர்
pawn infantryman पैदल پیدل paidal കാലാള്‍ / പടയാളി காலாள்
प्यादा پیادہ pyādā
soldier सैनिक سینک sainik బంటు சிப்பாய்
सिपाही سپاہی sipāhī

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Cazaux, Jean-Louis. "Indian Chess Sets". Another view on Chess: Odyssey of Chess. Archived from the original on 6 November 2020. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  2. ^ "MCW নতুন লগইন বোনাস Bangladesh". Retrieved 17 August 2023.
  3. ^ Punjabi
  4. ^ Marathi

Further reading edit