Turkish Great Chess, variation II,
known as Atranj or Qatranj
This game, called Atranj or Qatranj, is described by H. J. R.
Murray in A History of Chess. The
work from which Murray took it is actually Indian.
Variant: John Gollon, in mining A History of Chess for his Chess Variations,
inadvertently left out each player's two central knights.
The board is ten squares by ten, presumed uncolored. (The graphic is checkered
for clarity -- Ed.)
- The Padshah, or King, starts on F1 and E10, and moves as the King (there
is no castling).
- The Shahzadeh, or prince, starts on E1 and F10, and moves as Rook, Bishop,
- The Wazir, or Vizir, or Minister, starts on D1 and G10, and moves as
Bishop or Rook.
- The Kotwal, or police chief, (according to Murray, also called Bukhshi, or
paymaster) starts on G1 and D10, and moves as Bishop or
- The Fil, or Elephant, starts on C1, H1, C10, and H10, and moves as our
- The Ghora, or Horse. Each player has four knights, starting on B1,
I1, E3, F3, B10, I10, E8, and F8.
- The Rook starts on A1, J1, A10, and J10.
- The Urdabegini or Qalmaqini, or armed female attendant, starts on E2, F2, E9, and F9,
and moves one square at a time toward the opposing Padshah.
- The Pawns, which have no multiple moves, start on A2, B2, C2, D2, G2, H2,
I2, J2, A9, B9, C9, D9, G9, H9, I9, and J9. A pawn reaching the last
rank would probably be promoted to Vizir, but this is not explicit.
There is no castling. The stalemate rule has not survived; stalemate may not
have been permitted.
illustration made using the Play by Mail system, by Tony