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Chaturanga for four players.. Oldest multiplayer chess variant. (8x8, Cells: 64) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Greg Myers wrote on 2019-01-23 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Thanks for the response, that is kind of what I thought but wasn't sure. 

Kevin Pacey wrote on 2019-01-23 UTC

My guess would be to 'win a stake' means to win the cash value (if any) for 'winning a single game' against a given player, who then pays up on the spot. Also, if e.g. a player 'wins a double stake' by having the only king left on the board after taking all the other kings with his, all three of the other players at that point pay him twice the value of 'losing a single game' to him.

In the case that the players are not playing this [basic] 4 player Chaturanga variant for money, they could write down each time any of the players wins one or more stakes, so that at the end of the play of the variant, an overall winner (if any), plus 2nd and 3rd place finishers could be determined.

Greg Myers wrote on 2019-01-22 UTC

Pardon my ignorance, but what does it mean to "win a stake" in this game? Thanks. 

Steve Nichols wrote on 2012-04-03 UTCBelowAverage ★★
The simplest proof that two-sided variants evolved from four-handed
Chaturanga is to examine Pachisi, and evolution of pachisi board into the 8
x 8 board, and how its pieces (4 teams) became Chaturanga pawns.

In answer to the question about strength of my software,
answer is that is almost unbeatable at the higher/ slower levels. I have
recently refined some of the endgame algorithms. Over 10 million variants
are playable within the software! Book on Chaturanga out soon .... maybe
2013, and busy on Zenet project currently

Jose Carrillo wrote on 2009-06-29 UTC
I've created a 4-player Chaturanga variation (with two 6-side dice) which is simpler to play, and has proved to be a lot of fun for my wife (a non chess player) and my two young kids (7 & 5 years old).

Partnership Chaturanga:

M Winther wrote on 2006-03-23 UTC
4-handed Chaturanga with dice (weird game, not to be confused with 4-handed Shatranj). I fixed a serious bug concerning promotion. Playing strength is improved.

M Winther wrote on 2006-03-16 UTC
Regrettably, there were some bugs, but today I uploaded the final(?) version of 4-handed Shatranj.

M Winther wrote on 2006-03-12 UTC

4-handed Shatranj (zrf)

M Winther wrote on 2006-03-04 UTC

If you downloaded my 4-handed Chaturanga then you should download it again because I have fixed a bug where one can never throw a double-three.

M Winther wrote on 2006-03-01 UTC

4-handed Chaturanga with dice (zrf)

Christine Bagley-Jones wrote on 2005-07-29 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
that program is great that at .. default variant is 'double mate' where red/yellow play against black/green, winning by checkmating both enemy kings, or reducing them to lone king. red can say mate black, but that doesn't mean it is permanent, just that black does not move every time it is blacks move .. green can release black by attacking etc, or it may be in red/yellow's interest to actually release black, it is pretty amazing!! another great variant is 'rajah capture, which can be played with teams or everyone against everyone. kings can be taken in this variant, there is no mates. all these games are brilliant, always lots of action.

Anonymous wrote on 2005-07-27 UTC
someone asked about this site and the program for playing this game, it is brilliant oh, and they people who make that cd, believe it is the first chess. if you buy it, ask about getting the option with the pieces all standing upright, if you prefer that look. it contains 'forbes's book', and really, i can't understand how anyone who reads that can think chess did not begin in india, and this 'variant' here, is not the first chess. the idea that this came after 'shatranj' is laughable. he makes murray look like .. well, look bad to say the least. it is obvious when you read it, that murray didn't know too much about this game, did the guy actually play chess? and the last post about chess in mahabharata yes i agree, but even further back in the ramayana it is mentioned, though this book was not written down till after christ, it was considered 'ancient' in mahabharata times, it was orally transmited. even the vedas, when written down, existed long before that. mahabharata was written by vyasa, who wrote the vedas. in mahabharata, vyasa describes clearly this game. how could this game come after shatranj. even the persians say they got it from the indians, but anyway, just my opionion :)

Pallav Nawani wrote on 2005-07-13 UTC
There is insufficient information to determine with _complete certainty_
where chess originated. But it is sufficiently clear that chaturanga is
the most likely predcessor of chess. If the first description of chess is
what you are looking for then you need not go further than the game of
chaturanga (with dice) played between Duryodhana and Yudhishthira which
detailed in the Indian religious epic, Mahabharata. That description (and
Mahabharata)  is (conservatively) dated approx 1000 BC!

One crucial thing is that Chaturang has many variants. Obviously,
develop over a period of time, and of popular games only. Chess peices
still bear a striking resemblance to the Chaturanga played in India, etc.
Chaturanga must have had _some_ relation to the original chess, and may
well be the original itself, Murray notwithstanding.

Jean-Louis Cazaux wrote on 2005-07-10 UTCGood ★★★★
I strongly disagree with the anonymous reader who rated this page:
Curiously, he is making History going the wrong way, against the time
direction. Murray wrote in 1913 and his book is an impressive work, even
today. If few points are now outdated, he can not be outdated neither by
Forbes writing in 1860 nor Cox writing in 1801. The Cox-Forbes theory has
never been confirmed and nodody gives credit to it in 2005 ! It is against
all evidence, even though several mis-informed authors do continue to copy
each other and repeat the mistake saying this game was the ancestor of
Chess. But you can believe what you want, maybe Martians or Venusians did
invent 4Handed Chaturanga and brought it to India, maybe Cullen was a
Venusian too as I do not know any Cullen. I know a Stewart Culin, who was
a great ethnologist in the begining of the XX c., who wrote a lot about
games, but Chess was not his speciality at all. 
This page is Good.
Jean-Louis Cazaux

Andreas Kaufmann wrote on 2005-07-09 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Are there a ZRF on this game? Does anybody already tried out how strong
plays software sold on ? From screenshot is
looks quite professionally made.

David Paulowich wrote on 2005-03-17 UTC
How difficult would it be to [1] follow the link to the Chaturanga page [2] Click on 'View all comments for this item' and [3] run a search for the name Cullen? I found two COMMENTS, dated 2002-08-04 and 2002-08-05. Here is the current address for Jean-Louis Cazaux's page: <p>

Anonymous wrote on 2005-03-17 UTCPoor ★
Selective, inaccurate, and limited to Murray, ignoring the much more authorative authors such as Cullen, Forbes & Cox.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2004-01-19 UTC
Rukh is Persian for chariot. See for full details
of the Rook's names, many of which still mean chariot, and for full details
of the piece most widely known by names meaning Elephant. Chariots,
elephants, cavalry, and infantry (the last two are the modern Knight and
Pawn) made up the 'fourfold army' that was Chaturanga's literal

Derek Bowers wrote on 2004-01-11 UTC
Gilman queries the link between 'rook' and 'elephant' as having
erroneously derived from the 'elephant and castle' (though his
explanation for the origin of this is highly questionable). I had always
thought that the link was from the Hindi word for elephant, which I
believe is 'Rukh'.
If not, what is his explanation for use of the word 'rook'?

Charles Gilman wrote on 2003-04-12 UTC
Surely the qualification 'or Elephant' should apply to the Boat rather than the Rook. This would be consistent with the fourfold army described in the two-player version. The Rook as elephant is a modern misconception derived from public houses called 'Elephant and Castle', a corruption of Infanta de Castile, a Spanish princess. Fittingly the royal lady of modern chess (Queen) reflects reality by combining the latter-day Elephant (Bishop) with the Castle (Rook)!

Rabbitlord wrote on 2002-08-20 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Very nice, useful summary, although I'm not sure where I stand on the issue of which version existed first. There's bound to be some disagreement, of course, and I hardly think that because someone disagrees with you, their view on the subject is 'appalling.'

Alyce Turner Edge wrote on 2002-07-13 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
My father purchased a game of Chaturanga from an estate sale and we have been looking for interpretation of the game rules (written in Spanish) and now you have solved our problem! Thank you!

Jared wrote on 2002-06-16 UTCGood ★★★★
I have to agree here. 2P was a variant of 4P, not the other way around. Ref: R. C. Bell, 'Board and Table Games from Many Civilizations.' With regard to the actual content of the page, though, the page is fine.

Steve Nichols wrote on 2002-06-16 UTCPoor ★
Murray's notion that 2-sided Chatrang predates the 4-sided Chaturanga is patently wrong. Where is any evidence? What about previous chess historian Prof Duncan Forbes proof for the priority of the 4-sided game? No mention of Stuart Cullen either. An appalling summary of Chaturanga that should be removed from the web!

maria Schetelich wrote on 2002-04-22 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

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