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This item is a reference work
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2001-09-29
 Author: Stephen  Leary. Xiangqi FAQ. Missing description[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
John Ayer wrote on 2010-03-26 UTC
According to Murray in his celebrated History, chess among the Malays has been heavily modified by the example of European chess. It is called Main (game) Chator (chaturanga). The markings on the ashtapada have been reduced to two lines marking the long diagonals. Actually other patterns are known, but this pattern, apparently brought from Burma, has influenced the pawn-promotion rules. The starting array has each king standing just left of the centerline, and each minister just right. The king moves one square in any direction, and on being checked for the first time (or, on other islands, only if he has not been checked) can leap to any square on the second perimeter (on yet other islands, he can never leap). The minister (or lord; the pieces have different names on Java) moves as the queen. The elephant (or minister; Dutch influence here) moves as the bishop. The horse leaps as the knight. The chariot or boat moves as the rook. The pawn moves one square forward, capturing one square diagonally forward, except on Java and Borneo, where it can make a double first move, with no capture en passant unless the capturing pawn is blocked from moving forward by another pawn. Among the Batak tribesmen there was no pawn promotion: on reaching the farthest rank the faithful little figurine spun on his heel and marched back toward his master's home-row, on reaching which he would turn again and march again toward the enemy's camp, and so indefinitely. The usual rule was that a pawn reaching a rook's home square promoted at once, usually to queen but optionally to any other piece. A pawn reaching any other square on the last rank had to retreat diagonally one, two, or three squares to the long diagonal before promoting. This could apparently all be done in one move, unless the pawn captured on reaching the last rank. The rules governing check, checkmate, stalemate, and bare king were quite varied.