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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 1998-01-13
 Author: Hans L. Bodlaender. Oblong chess. Variant of Shatranj, played on a four by sixteen sized board. (4x16, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2006-05-10 UTC
Note to the editors: I've sent a first version of this comment anonymously, by mistake, sending too fast. Please don't take it and take this one instead. Thx and sorry for the trouble. Yes I'm sure of these rules. My main source is HJR Murray, who is also the source for most of further writers, including Gollon and Hans B nowadays. This variant of Shatranj is a mere adaptation of the regular Shatranj to a rectangular board which has a Nard table on the reverse side. All rules should follow Shatranj. In Shatranj, the Pawn is only promotted to Firzan. By its deeper sygnificance, in chess, the King cannot move into check. On the 1st point, you mention 4-Handed Chaturanga. The oldest rules we have for this variation are al-Beruni's. He didn't talk of such details as promotion. For that, we have to report to Tithitattva about 1500. Then, the rule is Indian fashioned and very late. Oblong Chess are first attested in al-Adli in 840. Murray, who made the fullest study possible, never said that promotion can be for something else than Firzan. He said that moves and rules follow regular Shatranj. For me it's clear. Promotion to Rook give another game, it is not Shatranj al-Tamula. You say that if not allowed to promote to Rook it is hard to win otherwise. I disagree: the most frequent win will be Bare King. It is also the case with regular Shatranj, it is even more frequent with Oblong Shatranj. This is why it is - I think - important to implement this victory in ZoG, so the program can incorporate this outcome in its strategy. Concerning King's move into check, I think, with your respect, that you mix 2 things. Playing with die, a King can come into check. If the player do not get a 6 to move his King away or another number to interpose a piece, his King remains in check. At his own risk. Murray, quoting the Arab manuscripts, is very clear: the player should wait for the 6 and can not play otherwise. If the checking player gets the expecting number he can then TAKE the immobilized King. So, yes, a King can stay under check and lose when is taken only. But nowhere it is written that he can move by itself into check. This would be contrary to all rules of all historical chess. Sorry to be so long. I hope I have clarified my views.