The Chess Variant Pages Menu

  • Our Favorite Variants
  • Home
  • What's New?
  • Play
  • Chaturanga
  • Chaturanga
  • Chaturanga
  • Chaturanga
  • Chaturanga
  • Shatranj
  • Shatranj
  • Xhatranj
  • ▸ Game Courier
  • Home
  • Games
  • Game Logs
  • Invitations
  • ▸ Computer Programs
  • Zillions of Games
  • ChessV
  • Other Programs
  • Java Applets
  • Games
  • Our Favorites
  • Game Courier's Top 50
  • Recognized Variants

  • ▸ FIDE Chess
  • The Rules of Chess
  • Chess pages
  • Historic
  • ▸ Oriental
  • Xiang Qi (China)
  • Xiang Qi variants
  • Shogi (Japan)
  • Shogi variants
  • All Oriental variants
  • ▸ With a Chess Set
  • Different Moving Pieces
  • Moving Opponent's Pieces
  • Multi-Move Variants
  • Rules About the Board
  • Winning in a Different Way
  • Different Opening Setups
  • Capturing in a Different Way
  • Other Variants
  • Modest Variants
  • Small
  • Large
  • Multi-Player
  • Unequal Armies
  • ▸ Boards of Unusual Shapes
  • Three-Dimensional
  • Hexagonal
  • Round Boards
  • Other
  • Themed Variants
  • ▸ Other Variants
  • Wargames
  • Chess with Cards
  • Chess with Dice
  • Crossovers
  • Incomplete Information
  • Miscellaneous Other
  • Commercial Games
  • Random game page

  • Alphabetical Index
  • Advanced Search
  • Info
  • Topic Index
  • Piececlopedia
  • Piece Articles
  • ▸ About the Chess Variant Pages
  • Membership/Registration
  • People
  • More About the CVP
  • Contact
  • Contribute
  • How You Can Help
  • Post Your Own Game
  • Comments
  • Related
  • ▸ Primary
  • 恰圖蘭卡 Chaturanga
  • Chaturanga
  • Chaturanga
  • A Chaturanga Problem by Bas de Haas
  • Chaturanga
  • Chaturanga
  • Chaturanga
  • ▸ Secondary
  • Ninth Century Indian Chess
  • Shatranj
  • Shatranj Kamil I
  • Shatranj Kamil II
  • Shatranj
  • Ninth Century Indian Chess
  • Shatranj
  • Chess Problems of 1001 years ago
  • Chess problems of 1001 years ago: A modern exercise?
  • Chess problems of 1001 years ago: Check!
  • Chess problems of 1001 years ago: The right way to check
  • Dilaram's Legacy
  • Dilaram's problem
  • Water wheel
  • Mat-al-magnun
  • Shatranj
  • Shatranj
  • Xhatranj
  • ▸ Remote
  • Atlantean Barroom Shatranj
  • Atlantean Coffee House Shatranj
  • Grand Shatranj
  • Great Shatranj
  • Lemurian Shatranj
  • Modern Shatranj
  • Opulent Lemurian Shatranj
  • 3D Great Shatranj
  • Atlantean Barroom Shatranj
  • Atlantean Coffee House Shatranj
  • Grand Shatranj
  • Great Shatranj
  • Lemurian Shatranj
  • Modern Shatranj
  • Opulent Lemurian Shatranj
  • Shatranj Kamil (64)
  • Shatranj Kamil X
  • ▸ External
  • Chaturanga
  • 4-handed Chaturanga with dice
  • 4-handed Shatranj
  • Modern Shatranj
  • Oblong Shatranj with Die
  • Shatranj Plus
  • ▸ Categories
  • 2d
  • Historical
  • Web
  • Shop Amazon
  • Chess Variants Wiki
  • Chessvariants Subreddit
  • External Links

  • Recognized Variant Logo.
    This is a Chess Variant Pages Recognized Variant!


    Scientists generally assume that Chaturanga, played in India, in or before the 7th century after Christ, is the oldest known form of chess. Resemblances, both with the current chess, and with Chinese chess are remarkable. The rules below are after Murray and Gollon.

    Opening setup

    The game is played on an uncheckered board of eight by eight squares.

    King e1; Counsellor d1; Rook a1, h1; Knight b1, g1; Elephant c1, f1; Pawns a2, b2, c2, d2, e2, f2, g2, h2.

    King d8; Counsellor e8; Rook a8, h8; Knight b8, g8; Elephant c8, f8; Pawns a7, b7, c7, d7, e7, f7, g7, h7.

    Moves of pieces

    The king moves as usual king, but additionally has the right to make one knight-move during the game, provided that he hasn't been checked before he makes his knight-move. Castling doesn't exist.

    The counsellor moves one square diagonally.

    The elephant moves two squares diagonally, but may jump the intervening square.

    The knight moves as a usual knight.

    The rook or chariot moves as usual rook.

    The pawn or soldier moves and takes as a usual pawn, but may not make a double step on its first move.


    Pawns can promote when they arrive at the last rank of the board, but only to the type of piece that was on the promotion-square in the opening setup, e.g., a white pawn that moves to b8 can only promote to a knight. Additionally, promotion is only possible when the player already lost a piece of the type, so the pawn moving to b8 will only promote to a knight, when the white player already lost a knight during the game. A consequence is that pawns never promote on e1 or d8.

    Mate and stalemate

    Object of the game is to mate the opponents king. The player that stalemates its opponent loses the game.

    Play It!

    Use Zillions of Games to play this game! If you have Zillions of Games installed, you can download this game and play it.
    Version with ASCII board.
    WWW page created: 1995. Last modified: June 23, 2000.

    For author and/or inventor information on this item see: this item's information page.
    Created on: 1995. Last modified on: January 04, 2001.

    See Also

    There are other pages that are related to this item. See Also.


    This item has comments. View all comments for this item.

    Provide feedback on this page! | View older feedback!

    [info] [edit] [link]

    Your OWN email service! Get free web-based email with POP access!

    Last modified: Sunday, April 1, 2012