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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2016-05-03
 Author: Fergus  Duniho. Chaturanga. The first known variant of chess. (8x8, Cells: 64) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Christine Bagley-Jones wrote on 2011-08-09 UTC
Yudhishthira replied, 'Ye sons of the Kuru race, ye bulls among men, hear what I shall do on appearing before king Virata. Presenting myself as a Brahmana, Kanka by name, skilled in dice and fond of play, I shall become a courtier of that high-souled king. And moving upon chess-boards beautiful pawns made of ivory, of blue and yellow and red and white hue, by throws of black and red dice. I shall entertain the king with his courtiers and friends. And while I shall continue to thus delight the king, nobody will succeed in discovering me. And should the monarch ask me, I shall say, 'Formerly I was the bosom friend of Yudhishthira.' I tell you that it is thus that I shall pass my days. Now replaceing 'chess-boards' with 'boards' and 'pawns' with 'pieces', we still have a very interesting verse here! It is true there is not very much detail here, about the game, but that is to be expected. There is a drama going on in the life of Yudhishthira and his brothers, and he is explaining how he will disguise himself. That is the main purport of his talk. So, let's look at what we have about the game. We have a game, played with dice, on a board, with pieces of four specified colors. There is no mention of piece movements at all, but, this is to be expected isn't it, Yudhishthira is talking about how he will disguise himself, not talking really about the game, which is not the main point. Now John, you say .. 'So we have a gameboard, dice, and pieces of four specified colors but NO MENTION OF DIFFERENT TYPES. Not chess, probably pachisi.' I don't understand why you say 'not chess, probably pachisi', can you explain why you say this. It seems to me that a game with dice, board, and pieces of 4 different colors could be 'Chaturaji'.