The Chess Variant Pages

Makruk: a match: Gralla - Mendel

Dr. René Gralla sent a match of Makruk, (Thai chess). This match has been played quite recently at Hamburg/Germany, among a new and - up to now - informal group of Makruk enthusiasts who are gathering from time to time at the Luk Tung Thai Imbiss, Kleiner Schäferkamp 14, 20357 Hamburg/Germany

White: Dr. René Gralla, Hamburg/Germany

Black: Torsten Mendel, Hamburg/Germany

Training match having been played on June 18th, 2003, Hamburg/Germany

The interesting aspect of this match is the fact that White is winnning a Queen by a central Pawn thrust - starting with move no. 14 - that cannot be stopped. But since the extra-Queen that White is marshalling since that moment because of that combination is sitting on the wrong kind of black coloured squares there is no way for White to translate that material plus into victory. The end of a the game is a draw.

The Queen of the Heart - does not turn out to be real smart


 1) B c 1 - c 2     B f 8 - f 7
 2) N b 1 - d 2     N g 8 - e 7
 3)   f 3 - f 4       c 6 - c 5
 4) N g 1 - f 3     N b 8 - c 6
 5) Q e 1 - f 2     Q d 8 - c 7
 6)   e 3 - e 4       e 6 - e 5
 7) Q f 2 - e 3       e 5 x f 4
 8)   g 3 x f 4       g 6 - g 5
 9)   f 4 x g 5       f 6 x g 5
10) R h 1 - g 1     . . .

White wants to stop any try by Black to go ahead with the g-Pawn.

10) . . .             B f 7 - f 6
11) B f 1 - f 2       R h 8 - g 8
12)   d 3 - d 4  (!)    d 6 - d 5  ?
13)   e 4 x d 5  !?   . . .

White is winning a Queen in the end - but that extra-Queen does not help: since that piece will rest stuck, like a lame duck, on the wrong-coloured black squares. So it would have been better to gain terrain instead of a marginal material plus: 13. e 4 - e 5 B f 6 - g 7 14. h 3 - h 4 .

13) . . .             N e 7 x d 5
14)   c 3 - c 4 !     N d 5 - e 7
15) N d 2 - e 4 !     R g 8 - f 8 !
If 15. ... B f 6 - f 5 ??, then the fork 16. N e 4 - f 6 +.
16)   d 4 - d 5 !     N c 6 - e 5
17)   d 5 - d 6 = Q   Q c 7 x d 6
18) N e 4 x d 6 +     K e 8 - d 7
19) N d 6 - e 4 (!)   . . .

The Knight has to return hastily - otherwise that squadron gets encircled and annihilated.

19) . . .             B c 8 - c 7
20) K d 1 - e 2       K d 7 - e 6
21) N f 3 x e 5       K e 6 x e 5
22) N e 4 - g 3       R f 8 - g 8
23) B c 2 - d 3       R a 8 - d 8
24) B d 3 - e 4 +     K e 5 - e 6
25) B f 2 - f 3       B c 7 - d 6
26) R a 1 - d 1       B d 6 - e 5
27) B f 3 - g 4       B e 5 x e 4
28) N g 3 x e 4       B f 6 - f 5
29) N e 4 - g 3       R d 8 x d 1
30) R g 1 x d 1       R g 8 - f 8
31) R d 1 - f 1 !     R f 8 - f 6
32) B g 4 x f 5 + ?!?    . . .

The following exchanges are the result of a dramatic miscalculation by White - because of the wrong assessment that the endgame will be won, because of the extra-Queen. That kind of calculation could have been true in international chess - but not in Makruk where the radius of a Queen is too short to be decisive in a situation like that.

32) . . .             N e 7 x f 5
33) N g 3 x f 5       R f 6 x f 5
34) R f 1 x f 5       K e 6 x f 5
35) K e 2 - f 3       K f 5 - e 5
36)   b 3 - b 4         c 5 x b 4
37)   a 3 x b 4         h 6 - h 5
38)   b 4 - b 5         a 6 x b 5
39)   c 4 x b 5       K e 5 - f 5
40) Q e 3 - d 4         g 5 - g 4 +
41)   h 3 x g 4 +       h 5 x g 4 +
42) K f 3 - g 3       . . . 

White and Black are agreeing upon a draw. Black will finally conquer the Queen and the left-wing Pawn of White, whilst gaining a Queen on the right wing of Black. White will conquer the left-wing Pawn of Black - so Black can not check-mate White.


Written by Dr. René Gralla. Webpage made by Hans Bodlaender
WWW page created: June 25, 2003.