The Chess 
Variant Pages
********************************DISCLAIMER******************************
Direct quotes from "The Chessmen of Mars" by Edgar Rice Burroughs
are utilized within this document.  Since all are noted and there
is no attempt to profit directly by them and that work has become
public domain and it was totally necessary, unavoidable and just
plain needed, I apologize in advise for their use and beg forgiveness
of all those who feel wronged and beg humbly their indulgence, promising
to render all due homage to ERB, the master storyteller.
*************************************************************************

The Game of Jetan or Martian Chess

Introduction

Ever since Edgar Rice Burroughs (ERB) presented his concept of Jetan to the world of his fans, there has been much argument, speculation and outright assumption concerning the rules. This will be an attempt to completely explain and demonstrate all the different versions.

It did not help that ERB wrote two versions of the rules within the novel "The Chessmen of Mars". One was within chapter II of the text and the other in the appendix. During the course of this explanation, each rule will be noted as to its source.

There is also problems with each of the set of rules themselves. There is both strict and loose interpretations. During this explanation, both will be presented. The advantages and disadvantages of each will be discussed. There is a legend that the original cause of the war between the Yellows and the Blacks was caused by an unresolved argument over the rules of Jetan. Thus the pieces now represent these ancient extinct races of Barsoom. In the novel, gambling is at the heart of Jetan. Forms of wagers will be presented and discussed. So, without further ado....

The Rules of Jetan

The Board

"...which is played upon a board of a hundred alternate black and orange squares." (Chapter II of the text)
"Square board consisting of one hundred alternate black and orange squares." (Appendix)
There is no difference between the text and appendix descriptions, thus this is taken as a strict rule.

The board is placed with the black square to the left. This does not give either side an advantage but eliminates the potential of argument. (This is not mentioned in either the text or the appendix but is presented here as a rule.)

The Pieces

In order, as they stand upon the board in the first row, from left to right of each player: Warrior(WA), Padwar(PW), Dwar(DW), Flier(FL) or Odwar, Chief(CH), Princess(PR), FL, DW, PW, WA.

(The Chief and Princess do not directly face their alternates, such as the king and queen of Terran European chess.)

And in the second row from left to right: Thoat(TH), Panthan(PA), PA, PA, PA, PA, PA, PA, PA, TH.

(The term Odwar is used in connection with the Flier in Chapter XVII during the climactic game of the book. This may be only a recognition of rank and not actual title but is presented for clarity.)

Here is presented the overall appearance of the initial setup:

[WA][PW][DW][FL][PR][CH][FL][DW][PW][WA]  ORANGE
[TH][PA][PA][PA][PA][PA][PA][PA][PA][TH]
[  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ]
[  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ]
[  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ]
[  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ]
[  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ]
[  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ][  ]
[TH][PA][PA][PA][PA][PA][PA][PA][PA][TH]
[WA][PW][DW][FL][CH][PR][FL][DW][PW][WA]  BLACK
There is no difference between the text and appendix descriptions, thus this is taken as a strict rule.

The Orange pieces are given the northern ranks while the Black are arranged on the southern. This is done in memory of these ancient races of Barsoom.

Movement of the Pieces

Here is where the majority of the various interpretations diverge. Throughout the explanations, all will be discussed and denoted. (O will represent the starting position of the piece and X will represent the potential move.)

The differences between the text and the appendix, and the strict interpretation and loose interpretation of each, will be discussed in full.

Beginning with the...

Panthan

"...may move one space in any direction except backward..." (Chapter II of the text)
"...1 space, forward, side, or diagonal, but not backward." (Appendix)

Strict interpretation (Chained Panthan)

This interpretation does not allow any backward movement, including diagonally. Since there is no promotion of the panthan, upon reaching the tenth rank on the board, it becomes highly ineffectual in the game.
         
BLACK PANTHAN        ORANGE PANTHAN
           
[X][X][X]             [ ][ ][ ]
[X][O][X]             [X][O][X]
[ ][ ][ ]             [X][X][X]
This version forces the player to carefully use the Panthan.

Loose interpretation (Free Panthan)

This interpretation allows for backward diagonal movement. Since ERB specifically notes the term "forward" as the forward orthogonal movement in the appendix, it is taken that the term "backward" refers only to the backward orthogonal movement. This allows for greater freedom of movement of the Panthan without raising its power significantly. This also eliminates the problem of the tenth rank stranding.
           
BLACK PANTHAN      ORANGE PANTHAN
             
[X][X][X]          [X][ ][X]
[X][O][X]          [X][O][X]
[X][ ][X]          [X][X][X]
When the backward diagonal "retreat" movement is used, this opens the file for the opponent. This gives the game a more strategic flavor.

Warrior

"...straight in any direction, or diagonally, two spaces..." (Chapter II of the text)
"...2 spaces straight in any direction or combination." (Appendix)
Here is the first piece which offers one of the most difficult to interpret. Not only is there a strict and loose interpretation but now, there is a difference between the text and the appendix versions.

First........

Appendix Interpretation

This is the least complicated rule, dealing only with orthogonal movement.

Strict Appendix Interpretation (Chained Warrior)

The warrior must move two spaces orthogonally.
              BLACK and ORANGE WARRIOR

                 [ ][ ][X][ ][ ]  
                 [ ][X][ ][X][ ] 
                 [X][ ][O][ ][X]
                 [ ][X][ ][X][ ]
                 [ ][ ][X][ ][ ]
Note that the first orthogonal square which the warrior passes through must be vacant. The warrior then continues with the next orthogonal square in the same direction or changes direction but not return to the original square.

Loose Appendix Interpretation (Free Warrior)

The warrior may move up to two spaces orthogonally.
              BLACK and ORANGE WARRIOR

                 [ ][ ][X][ ][ ]  
                 [ ][X][X][X][ ] 
                 [X][X][O][X][X]
                 [ ][X][X][X][ ]
                 [ ][ ][X][ ][ ]
This interpretation increases the power of the warrior and reduces the opponent's opportunity of the unchallenged block or attack.

Strict-strict Text Interpretation (Chained Civil Warrior)

This interpretation involves both strict movements and strict combinations. The warrior must move two squares. If the warrior starts with an orthogonal move, its second must be an orthogonal move. If the first move is diagonal, the second must be diagonal.
              BLACK and ORANGE WARRIOR

                 [X][ ][X][ ][X]  
                 [ ][X][ ][X][ ] 
                 [X][ ][O][ ][X]
                 [ ][X][ ][X][ ]
                 [X][ ][X][ ][X]
This version offers the increased reach to the warrior but maintains the opponent's opportunity to approach or block.

Strict-loose Text Interpretation (Chained Wild Warrior)

This interpretation involve strict movements and loose combinations. The warrior must move two squares. If the warrior starts with an orthogonal move, its second may be either orthogonal or diagonal. If the first move is diagonal, the second may be orthogonal or diagonal.
               BLACK and ORANGE WARRIOR       
                 [X][X][X][X][X]  
                 [X][X][X][X][X] 
                 [X][X][O][X][X]
                 [X][X][X][X][X]
                 [X][X][X][X][X]
This version increases the power of the warrior dramatically and practically eliminates the opponent's opportunity to approach or block. There is still the possibility of the warrior being blocked effectively by its own color.

Loose-Strict Text Interpretation (Free Civil Warrior)

This interpretation involves loose movements and strict combinations. The warrior may move up to two squares. If the warrior starts with an orthogonal move, its second must be orthogonal. If the first move is diagonal, the second must be diagonal.
              BLACK and ORANGE WARRIOR

                 [X][ ][X][ ][X]  
                 [ ][X][X][X][ ] 
                 [X][X][O][X][X]
                 [ ][X][X][X][ ]
                 [X][ ][X][ ][X]
This version offers the increased reach to the warrior. It eliminates the opponent's possible block but not all of the possible approaches. The warrior may still be blocked by its own color.

Loose-loose Text Interpretation (Free Wild Warrior)

This interpretation involves both loose movements and loose combinations. The warrior may move up to two squares. If the warrior starts with an orthogonal move, its second may be orthogonal or diagonal. If the first move is diagonal, the second may be orthogonal or diagonal.
              BLACK and ORANGE WARRIOR

                 [X][X][X][X][X]  
                 [X][X][X][X][X] 
                 [X][X][O][X][X]
                 [X][X][X][X][X]
                 [X][X][X][X][X]
This version offers the most powerful of the interpretations. The warrior effectively controls all twenty-four of the surrounding squares. There are no approaches or potential blocks for the opponent. There is still the chance of block by its own color.

Padwar

"...two diagonal in any direction, or combination..." (Chapter II of the text)
"...2 spaces diagonal in any direction or combination." (Appendix)
Here, at least, the text and appendix both agree on the direction of movement of the Padwar. There is still open interpretation of the movement itself.

Strict Interpretation (Chained Padwar)

The Padwar must move the entire two squares.
              BLACK AND ORANGE PADWAR

                 [X][ ][X][ ][X]
                 [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
                 [X][ ][O][ ][X]
                 [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
                 [X][ ][X][ ][X]
This version allows for both approach and blocking by the opponent.

Loose Interpretation (Free Padwar)

The Padwar may move up to two squares.
              BLACK AND ORANGE PADWAR

                 [X][ ][X][ ][X]
                 [ ][X][ ][X][ ]
                 [X][ ][O][ ][X]
                 [ ][X][ ][X][ ]
                 [X][ ][X][ ][X]
This version allows for approach but eliminates the opponent's ability to block. The Padwar may still be blocked by its own color.

Thoat

"...may move one straight and one diagonal, and may jump intervening pieces..." (Chapter II of the text)
"...2 spaces, one straight and one diagonal in any direction." (Appendix)
Here, again, there are two versions of movement. In the text, the thoat is given the ability to jump but no such ability is denoted in the appendix. Some would offer that "that which is not specifically denied is accepted".

Also, there is opinion as to the order of the orthogonal and diagonal moves. Since the order appears the same in both text and appendix, some would argue for strict adherence to this order. This gives the opponent the ability to easily block the non-jumping thoat.

Loose interpretation would allow these moves to be made in either order. This increases the number of attack paths for the non-jumping thoat.

The ability of jumping renders this movement argument moot.

Strict, Loose or Jump interpretation (Chained Thoat, Free Thoat or Wild Thoat)

No matter which interpretation is adhered to, the destination squares are the same.
              BLACK and ORANGE THOAT

                 [ ][X][ ][X][ ]
                 [X][ ][X][ ][X]
                 [ ][X][O][X][ ]
                 [X][ ][X][ ][X]
                 [ ][X][ ][X][ ]
The only difference is the ability to block the non-jumping thoat's movement. This varies between the strict and loose interpretation. Whereas the strict interpretation offer the potential of four paths, the loose interpretation has eight.

Dwar

"...three spaces straight in any direction, or combination..." (Chapter II of the text)
"...3 spaces straight in any direction or combination." (Appendix)
Again, both the text and appendix agree on the direction of movement. Still, the number of squares may be open to interpretation.

Strict Interpretation (Chained Dwar)

The Dwar must move the entire three squares.
                 BLACK or ORANGE DWAR

                [ ][ ][ ][X][ ][ ][ ]
                [ ][ ][X][ ][X][ ][ ]
                [ ][X][ ][X][ ][X][ ]
                [X][ ][X][O][X][ ][X]
                [ ][X][ ][X][ ][X][ ]
                [ ][ ][X][ ][X][ ][ ]
                [ ][ ][ ][X][ ][ ][ ]
This version offers several opportunities for the opponent to approach and block.

Loose Interpretation (Free Dwar)

The Dwar may move up to three squares.
                 BLACK or ORANGE DWAR

                [ ][ ][ ][X][ ][ ][ ]
                [ ][ ][X][X][X][ ][ ]
                [ ][X][X][X][X][X][ ]
                [X][X][X][O][X][X][X]
                [ ][X][X][X][X][X][ ]
                [ ][ ][X][X][X][ ][ ]
                [ ][ ][ ][X][ ][ ][ ]
This version increases the attack power of the Dwar and reduces the ability of the opponent to approach and block.

Flier or Odwar

"...There be no Fliers in Manator and no piece in their game of Jetan bearing that name. Instead they call him who stands next to the Chief or Princess, Odwar. The piece has the same moves and power that the Flier has in the game as played outside Manator...."(Chapter XVI of the TEXT)
This should end all argument as to the origin of the term 'Odwar'. This was used by ERB to distinguish citizens of Manator from the rest of Barsoom and to place a stigma upon the hero who was passing himself off as a Manatorian.
Some have denied the Odwar the ability to JUMP, no reference to this restriction could be found. But if both players agree to this restriction, no attempt will be made to prevent this. Remember that the game of Jetan is a game of wager and handicapping is an acceptable aspect of any wager.
"...three spaces in any direction, or combination, diagonally, and may jump intervening pieces..." (Chapter II of the text)
"...3 spaces diagonal in any direction or combination; and may jump intervening pieces." (Appendix)
At least, both the text and appendix agree upon the direction and the jump ability of the Flier. The following will discuss the strict and loose interpretations of the amount of movement.

Strict Interpretation (Chained Flier)

The Flier must mover the entire three squares.
                BLACK and ORANGE FLIER

                [X][ ][X][ ][X][ ][X]
                [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
                [X][ ][X][ ][X][ ][X]
                [ ][ ][ ][O][ ][ ][ ]
                [X][ ][X][ ][X][ ][X]
                [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
                [X][ ][X][ ][X][ ][X]
This version offers the opponent the greatest ability to approach the Flier but its jumping ability eliminates any chance of a block.

Loose Interpretation (Free Flier)

The Flier may move up to three squares.
                BLACK and ORANGE FLIER

                [X][ ][X][ ][X][ ][X]
                [ ][X][ ][X][ ][X][ ]
                [X][ ][X][ ][X][ ][X]
                [ ][X][ ][O][ ][X][ ]
                [X][ ][X][ ][X][ ][X]
                [ ][X][ ][X][ ][X][ ]
                [X][ ][X][ ][X][ ][X]
This version increases the Flier's ability to attack and reduces the opponent's approach.

Chief

"...three spaces in any direction, straight, or diagonal..." (Chapter II of the text) "...3 spaces in any direction; straight or diagonal or combination." (Appendix) Once again, there is conflict between the text and the appendix about the ability of the Chief to use the combination rule. The following interpretations will account for this

Strict Text Interpretation (Chained Chief)

Here the Chief must move the entire three squares and may not change direction during the move.
                BLACK and ORANGE CHIEF

                [X][ ][ ][X][ ][ ][X]
                [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
                [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
                [X][ ][ ][O][ ][ ][X]
                [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
                [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
                [X][ ][ ][X][ ][ ][X]
This is the weakest version of the Chief. It offers few squares to attack, a higher ability for the opponent to approach and block.

Loose Text Interpretation (Free Chief)

Here the Chief may move up to three squares but may not change direction during the move.
                BLACK and ORANGE CHIEF

                [X][ ][ ][X][ ][ ][X]
                [ ][X][ ][X][ ][X][ ]
                [ ][ ][X][X][X][ ][ ]
                [X][X][X][O][X][X][X]
                [ ][ ][X][X][X][ ][ ]
                [ ][X][ ][X][ ][X][ ]
                [X][ ][ ][X][ ][ ][X]
This version offers more opportunities for the Chief to attack while giving the opponent significant ability to approach. It also eliminates the opponent's ability to block but not by the Chief's own color.

Strict-strict Appendix Interpretation (Chained Civil Chief)

Here the Chief must move three squares. Once it begins to move orthogonally, it must continue to move orthogonally. If it begins moving diagonally, it must continue to move diagonally.
                BLACK and ORANGE CHIEF

                [X][ ][X][X][X][ ][X]
                [ ][ ][X][ ][X][ ][ ]
                [X][X][X][X][X][X][X]
                [X][ ][X][O][X][ ][X]
                [X][X][X][X][X][X][X]
                [ ][ ][X][ ][X][ ][ ]
                [X][ ][X][X][X][ ][X]
This version offers a high number of attack opportunities for the Chief while continuing to giving the opponent several avenues of approach and block.

Strict-loose Appendix Interpretation (Chained Wild Chief)

Here the Chief must move three squares. But, if it begins with an orthogonal move, it may continue orthogonally or diagonally on both the second and third moves. If it begins with a diagonal move, it may continue diagonally or orthogonally on both the second and third moves.
                BLACK and ORANGE CHIEF

                [X][X][X][X][X][X][X]
                [X][X][X][X][X][X][X]
                [X][X][X][X][X][X][X]
                [X][X][X][O][X][X][X]
                [X][X][X][X][X][X][X]
                [X][X][X][X][X][X][X]
                [X][X][X][X][X][X][X]
This version gives the Chief the greatest number of attack opportunities. It greatly reduces the ability of the opponent to approach and virtually eliminates the opponent's ability to block.

Loose-strict Appendix Interpretation (Free Civil Chief)

Here the Chief may move up to three squares. But, if it begins with an orthogonal move, it must continue with orthogonal moves. If it begins with a diagonal move, it must continue with diagonal moves.
                BLACK and ORANGE CHIEF

                [X][ ][X][X][X][ ][X]
                [ ][X][X][X][X][X][ ]
                [X][X][X][X][X][X][X]
                [X][X][X][O][X][X][X]
                [X][X][X][X][X][X][X]
                [ ][X][X][X][X][X][ ]
                [X][ ][X][X][X][ ][X]
This version gives the Chief an extremely high attack ability while eliminating the opponent's blocking ability. It offers few safe avenues of approach.

Loose-loose Appendix Interpretation (FreE Wild Chief)

Here the Chief may move up to three squares. During its move it may free change from orthogonal to diagonal and from diagonal to orthogonal moves.
        BLACK and ORANGE CHIEF

                [X][X][X][X][X][X][X]
                [X][X][X][X][X][X][X]
                [X][X][X][X][X][X][X]
                [X][X][X][O][X][X][X]
                [X][X][X][X][X][X][X]
                [X][X][X][X][X][X][X]
                [X][X][X][X][X][X][X]
This version is the most powerful. It offers the maximum attack opportunities. It eliminates all approaches and blocks by the opponent.

Princess

"...same as Chief, and can jump intervening pieces." (Chapter II of the text)
"...same as Chief, except may jump intervening pieces." (Appendix)
"The Princess may not move onto a threatened square, nor may she take an opposing piece. She is entitled to one ten-space move at any time during the game. This move is called the escape." (Appendix)
Refer to the Chief for the interpretations of the normal move potential. Keep in mind that the Princess "can" or "may" jump. Therefore, it is impossible to block its movement.

The following will concentrate on the escape move. Keep in mind that the Princess may not move onto a threatened square or capture. This may be interpreted that the Princess may not move "through" a threatened square. A Princess which can move through a threatened square is considered brave and the one who cannot is frightened.

Strict-strict Escape Interpretation (Chained Civil Escape)

The Princess must move the entire ten squares. Once it begins orthogonally, it must continue orthogonally. If it begins diagonally, it continues diagonally.

Since the Princess may jump, there are no blocking of movement.

Strict-loose Escape Interpretation (Chained Wild Escape)

The Princess must move the entire ten squares. It may change between orthogonal and diagonal moves as desired.

Loose-strict Escape Interpretation (Free Civil Escape)

The Princess may move up to ten squares. Once it begins orthogonally, she must continue orthogonally. If it begins diagonally, it continues diagonally.

Loose-loose Escape Interpretation (Free Wild Escape)

The Princess may move up to ten squares. It may change between orthogonal and diagonal moves as desired.

Order of Play

"The first move may be decided in any way that is agreeable to both players; after the first game the winner of the preceding game moves first if he chooses, or may instruct his opponent to make the first move." (Appendix)
There is no reference within the text of how the native players decided this. Dice throw or coin toss is recommended, with the winner choosing the order of play.

General Movement Restrictions

"Two pieces may not occupy the same square except in the final move of a game where the Princess is taken." (Appendix)
This rule is considered strict and not open to further interpretation.
"When a player, moving properly and in order, places one of his pieces upon a square occupied by an opponent piece, the opponent piece is considered to have been killed and is removed from the game." (Appendix)
This rule applies specifically to a game played without wagers. See Dueling in Rules of Wager.
"The moves explained. Straight moves mean due north, south, east, or west; diagonal moves mean northeast, southeast, southwest, or northwest. A Dwar might move straight north three spaces, or north one space and east two spaces, or any similar combination of straight moves, so long as he did not cross the same square twice in a single move. This example explains combination moves." (Appendix)
This is where the area of open interpretation of the combination move is derived. Since ERB only mentioned the orthogonal move, it is often taken that the orthogonal and diagonal moves were to be considered seperate. Since ERB did not specifically restrict such moves, the ability to switch between orthogonal and diagonal moves can be considered possible.

There will be no attempt to establish an orthodox opinion to this rule. This will be left to the players to determine.

Winning the Game

"The game is won when a player places any of his pieces on the same square with his opponent's Princess, or when a Chief takes a Chief." (Chapter II of the text)
"The game is won when any piece is placed on same square with opponent's Princess, or a Chief takes a Chief." (Appendix)
Since both the text and appendix agree with the conditions of the win, it will be taken as a strict rule and not open to further interpretation.

Drawn Game

"It is drawn when a Chief is taken by any opposing piece other than the opposing Chief; or when both sides have been reduced to three pieces, or less, of equal value, and the game is not terminated in the following ten moves, five apiece." (Chapter II of the text)
"The game is drawn when either Chief is taken by a piece other than the opposing Chief, or when both sides are reduced to three pieces, or less, of equal value and the game is not won in the ensuing ten moves, five apiece." (Appendix)
Once again, since both the text and appendix agree with the conditions of the draw, it will be taken as a strict rule and not open to further interpretation.

Game Record Notation

Here, ERB offers a few hints in Chapter XVII of the text. Those are applied to the Descriptive Notation section. The Technical Notation is offered as a simpler version.

Technical

The ranks, beginning with the southern or Black end, are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0. The files, beginning with the southern left, are A-J. (J for Jetan ;))

Descriptive

Descriptive notation of the files follow:
BLACK ORANGE
A Chief Warrior CW Princess Warrior PW
B Chief Padwar CP Princess Padwar PP
C Chief Dwar CD Princess Dwar PD
D Chief Flier CF Princess Flier PF
E Chief C Princess P
F Princess P Chief C
G Princess Flier PF Chief Flier CF
H Princess Dwar PD Chief Dwar CD
I Princess Padwar PP Chief Padwar CP
J Princess Warrior PW Chief Warrior CW
Descriptive notation of the ranks are the same as the technical except each player begins the count from their side of the board.
Technical Name Tech. Abbr. Descriptive Name Descr. Abbr.
STRICT PANTHAN SPN CHAINED PANTHAN CPN
LOOSE PANTHAN LPN FREE PANTHAN FPN
STRICT APPENDIX WARRIOR SW CHAINED WARRIOR CW
LOOSE APPENDIX WARRIOR LW FREE WARRIOR FW
STRICT-STRICT TEXT WARRIOR SSW CHAINED CIVIL WARRIOR CCW
STRICT-LOOSE TEXT WARRIOR SLW CHAINED WILD WARRIOR CWW
LOOSE-STRICT TEXT WARRIOR LSW FREE CIVIL WARRIOR FCW
LOOSE-LOOSE TEXT WARRIOR LLW FREE WILD WARRIOR FWW
STRICT PADWAR SPW CHAINED PADWAR CPW
LOOSE PADWAR LPW FREE PADWAR FPW
STRICT THOAT ST CHAINED THOAT CT
LOOSE THOAT LT FREE THOAT FT
JUMP THOAT JT WILD THOAT WT
STRICT DWAR SD CHAINED DWAR CD
LOOSE DWAR LD FREE DWAR FD
STRICT FLIER SF CHAINED FLIER CF
LOOSE FLIER LF FREE FLIER FF
STRICT TEXT CHIEF SC CHAINED CHIEF CC
LOOSE TEXT CHIEF LC FREE CHIEF FC
STRICT-STRICT APPENDIX CHIEF SSC CHAINED CIVIL CHIEF CCC
STRICT-LOOSE APPENDIX CHIEF SLC CHAINED WILD CHIEF CWC
LOOSE-STRICT APPENDIX CHIEF LSC FREE CIVIL CHIEF FCC
LOOSE-LOOSE APPENDIX CHIEF LLC FREE WILD CHIEF FWC
STRICT TEXT PRINCESS SP CHAINED PRINCESS CP
LOOSE TEXT PRINCESS LP FREE PRINCESS FP
STRICT-STRICT APPENDIX PRINCESS SSP CHAINED CIVIL PRINCESS CCP
STRICT-LOOSE APPENDIX PRINCESS SLP CHAINED WILD PRINCESS CWP
LOOSE-STRICT APPENDIX PRINCESS LSP FREE CIVIL PRINCESS FCP
LOOSE-LOOSE APPENDIX PRINCESS LLP FREE WILD PRINCESS FWP
 
The symbol "-" means "moves to".
The symbol "x" means "captures".

Example

Each game should begin with the list of the piece types which were agreed to be played. Such as:
Black Orange
FPN CCW FPN CCW
CPW CT C[W CT
CD CF CD CF
CCC BCCP (FCCE) CCC BCCP (FCCE)
 
Both Black and Orange have chosen to play with Free Panthans, Chained Civil Warriors, Chained Padwars, Chained Thoats, Chained Dwars, Chained Fliers and Chained Civil Chiefs and Brave Chained Civil Princesses with Frightened Chained Civil Escape.

Although this example shows that both players have agreed to play with similar piece rules, it is not necessary that both use the same rules as long as both have agreed to the differences and adhere strictly to the rules.

Black is to move first. If Orange was the first, the notation would read:

1.  ...   ??-??      1. 
  ...   ?-?
TECHNICAL NOTATION          DESCRIPTIVE NOTATION

1. D1-C4  A9-B5      1.  CF-CD4  PWT-PP4

The Descriptive Notation reads Chief's Flier to Chief's Dwar Four as the first move by Black. Then Orange responds Princess Warrior's Thoat to Princess Padwar Four.

Black can then make the first capture.

2.   C4xB6  ...      2.   CFxPWT  ...
This should be sufficent explanation.

The status of the end game should be notated thusly: If ended with draw, the last move will be followed with a "d". If ended with win by Chief capture of Chief, the last move in the Technical Notation will be followed by a "C". Obviously, the Descriptive Notation will read CxC. If ended with win by Princess capture, the last move in the Technical Notation will be followed by a "P". Obviously, the Descriptive Notation will read ?-P.

If the dueling rules are applied (see Rules of Wager), there is no direct capture of a piece (except for the Princess). So the symbol "x" will not used, but the winning color of the duel would follow in parenthesis, such as:

2.  C4-B7(B)  ...   2.  CF-PWT(B)  ...
Please keep good record of your games. I am collecting up various examples in order to compile a large reference work. If you submit these games with full and complete notation, they may be published along with your and your opponent's name as title. See How to Contact me at the end of this work.

Value of the Pieces

Here ERB offers few clues to the value of the Jetan pieces, except for brief references within the text.

Value will be calculated as to the number of potential moves. With the panthan assigned the value of one and the other pieces assigned values respectively.

The following chart will be used to assign value to each piece according to which movement rules are applied.

Name of Piece # of potential moves Value
STRICT PANTHAN 6 1
LOOSE PANTHAN 8 1
STRICT APPENDIX WARRIOR 8 2
LOOSE APPENDIX WARRIOR 12 3
STRICT-STRICT TEXT WARRIOR 12 3
STRICT-LOOSE TEXT WARRIOR 24 4
LOOSE-STRICT TEXT WARRIOR 16 4
LOOSE-LOOSE TEXT WARRIOR 24 4
STRICT PADWAR 8 2
LOOSE PADWAR 12 3
STRICT, LOOSE or JUMP THOAT 12 3
STRICT DWAR 16 4
LOOSE DWAR 24 4
STRICT FLIER 16 4
LOOSE FLIER 24 4
STRICT TEXT CHIEF 8 10
LOOSE TEXT CHIEF 24 10
STRICT-STRICT APPENDIX CHIEF 32 10
STRICT-LOOSE APPENDIX CHIEF 48 10
LOOSE-STRICT APPENDIX CHIEF 40 10
LOOSE-LOOSE APPENDIX CHIEF 48 10
PRINCESS (Regardless of the number of moves) 0

Rules of Wager

"Gambling: The Martians gamble at Jetan in several ways. Of course the outcome of the game indicates to whom the main stake belongs; but they also put a price upon the head of each piece, according to its value, and for each piece that a player loses he pays its value to his opponent." (Appendix)
The following is merely suggestive and not to be considered orthodox rules. The players of each game are advised to establish these values before play and stick to them throughout the tournament.

Price suggestions: (use tokens as currency)

Panthan 1
Warrior 2
Padwar 2
Thoat 3
Dwar 4
Flier 4
Chief 10
Princess 0
Total-48 tokens.

Ransom

At the start of the game, each player puts up the value of the pieces. If the player does not have the full value, a truncated force may be played. (For example: a player only has 40 tokens and may opt to play without Dwars) The player must have the Chief, the Princess and least two other pieces to play.

As the game progresses, a player may withdraw from the ante the amount equal to the value of the piece which the player captures. Upon winning, the player claims the remainder of the ante. Upon a draw, the ante is combined with the next game's ante. There are potential situations where a player my lose the game but claim the most from the ante.

Dueling

There is no ante at the start of the game. When a player moves the piece onto a square occupied by one of the opponent's, they proceed to the duel.

Dueling of pieces can be simulated by the throw of dice. Each player throws the dice and adds the value of their throw to the value of their piece. The player with the highest value wins and takes the square and prize.

The Play: The attacker antes the value of the piece and rolls the required dice, paying the ante of the dice value. The defender antes the value of the piece and rolls the required dice, paying the ante of the dice value.

This may be a single throw of a die, a single throw of two dice, best two out of three, etc.

Pay to Move

There is no ante at the start of the game but there is bounty for captured pieces. Each player must pay 1 token to move a piece on the turn. The player may opt to pass.

The game ends in the normal way or when one player passes twice in a row. If the game ends with passing, the non-passing player is considered the winner and the pot.

(This type of wager game is fast and furious. Since the moves are limited by the players tokens, captures assure future moves. Dueling can be combined with this version to further spice the play.)

Since Jetan is a game of wagers, it is highly recommended that the players treat it in such way.

Afterword

I hope that this explanation of the game of Jetan has assisted the player with the enjoyment of the game. It is best if the opponents thoroughly discuss these options before play and make their decision of the rules known to each other. Remember the Yellows and the Blacks. Learn by their mistake.

I offer my choice of playing pieces:

I am not advocating this as a standard. I believe that in order to make the gambling aspect of the game most interesting, there needs to be several ways to move each piece. This is similar to the wild card and draw restrictions in poker.

Of course, I do not advocate the actually forfeiture of real currency but the use of an agreeable amount of tokens. The use of real currency can cause much animosity between players and lead to unresolvable conflicts. Remember the Yellows and the Blacks.

I have designed a Jetan set. It includes a cloth playing field, all forty playing pieces, four four-sided throwing sticks for dice and faux jewels as gambling tokens. It comes with a carrying pouch and a full printout of these instructions. I think that anyone would be proud to own it.

Please contact me if there is interest in obtaining this beautiful set. I hope to offer it for $40 plus shipping and handling, if enough people are interested.

Special orders will be negotiated.

I hope that one day, I will see Jetan tournaments being played and Jetan players achieving the status of Grandmasters. ERB would be proud.

How to Contact me

Please e-mail me at: llsmith@ev1.net

Links

For more information, see
Written by Larry L. Smith. Webpage posted and html-markup by Hans Bodlaender.
WWW page created: January 11, 2000.