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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2001-09-29
 Author: Hans L. Bodlaender. Makruk (Thai chess). Rules and information. (8x8, Cells: 64) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Anonymous wrote on 2010-06-06 UTC
Have makruk any historical (or at least invented by well-known thai player) 'grand' variants'? I asked it because not only western chess and shogi have large variants: shatranj have well-known large variants, xiang-qi hhave seven players variant, played on go-board, and even mongolian shatar have large variant hiashatar, so makruk probably may have large variant to. Yes, i know about makruk variants, invented by cv members, but there almost any game have it's variant, as i told above, i'm asking about 'historical or invented by well-known thai player'.

Anonymous wrote on 2010-05-16 UTC
Stalemate is draw?! does it become draw with influence of western chess or independently?

Charles Gilman wrote on 2010-01-17 UTC
Like WinBoard, ffendiag also has no distinct Gold or Silver symbol, so I have taken to using the symbols for the Wazir and Ferz of which they are enhancements. This is why I have made little reference to Makruk and Sittuyin in my own variant. It is also why my Shoxiang family of variants add only the outer-file Xiang Qi pieces to the Shogi set.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2010-01-15 UTC
Well, the consensus for Makruk seems to be Elephant. This causes a dilemma; Elephant might be best for Makruk, but in WinBoard I also have to take into account how well it fits with other variants. One of the purposes of WinBoard is to provide a unified platform for variants, where the user can easily switch from one to the other, because the pieces symbols always mean what he is used to, with perhaps a minor modification (such as the Chess Knight vs Xiangqi Horse). This is why I dislike the Elephant; it is really a completely different piece from the Xiangqi or Shatranj Elephant. And I would also dislike the Silver General to be different in Shogi and Makruk. So I will keep this under consideration; the alpha version of WinBoard now on my website still uses the German Helmet. Perhaps I should switch to that in Shogi too. Or perhaps I should indeed make an entirely new symbol for Silver.

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2010-01-15 UTC
In Shogi, I use the crescent moon for the Silver General, because that is the alchemical symbol for silver.

Jose Carrillo wrote on 2010-01-15 UTC

If you use the elephant, just call it a Burmese Elephant, which does move just like a Silver.

Sittuyin (Burmese Chess) is closely related to Makruk. And the Elephant piece is called a Sin in Burmese, so you can still use the initial S for the piece.

I actually use Seirawan Elephants for the Thai Bishops when I play Makruk OTB. Here is my western Makruk set:

Pornpong Petchrongrusamee wrote on 2010-01-15 UTC
I think use elephant symbolic should be good, because acient war is asia use elephant as main attacker and I think Silver move represents elephant move such as it can attack good in front of its but I hardly move backward and it weaks on side.

H. G. Muller wrote on 2010-01-14 UTC
OK, I will use S and M for Silver and Med. One more question. I saw in the playok link you gave a Thai Chess diagrams using non-standard pictograms (similar to the actual piece shape) for all pieces except Knight. In WinBoard / XBoard this can always be done by supplying external piece fonts or bitmaps, and for the built-in bitmaps i would definitely want to stick to the standard representation. E.g. a Thai 'Boat' would use the symbol of a Rook from western Chess, because it is the same pieces. The same applies to Pawn and King.

Unfortunately, WinBoard has no separate symbol for the Shogi Silver General, and uses the same symbol for it in Shogi as the Ferz (which is also used in Shatranj and Courier for Queen, and in Xiangqi for Advisor). After all, it is an augmented Ferz, like the Gold General is an augmented Wazir.

But this poses a problem in Makruk, where the Ferz and Silver both participate. I'd rather not make new bitmaps; WinBoard has so many already, and they would have to be made for each size separately, etc. So I wanted to represent the Med by the standard symbol in WinBoard for Ferz, and find an alternative for the Silver.

My first thought was to use the Elephant, (the WinBoard symbol used in Xiangqi and also for the Shatranj and Courier Alfil), although it moves nothing like the Afil. The only reason is that Shatranj uses Alfils in those locations of the array. So I wonder if this is the optimal choice. Alternatives would be to use the Lance symbol. But this is currently used in WinBoard as a wild-card piece, that can move in any way you want, and I would like to keep it that way. And I had rather only have pieces that WinBoard knows the moves of in not-so-well-known variants, so that people can use the -showTargetSquares option to be reminded of how the piece moves. (Which does not work for the wild-cards).

Yet another possibility is to use the WinBoard Commoner symbol, a 'german helmet' with a spike on top. Perhaps this would be best? The standard move of the Commoner is like a King, and the Thai Bishop is a subset of this. And the over-all shape of the helmet with a spike on top is not unlike the shape of the Thai pieces for Bishop, Ferz and King.

What do you think?

Pornpong Petchrongrusamee wrote on 2010-01-14 UTC
As I know now there is not standard Makruk notation in enlish This web has Makruk to play online that can save pgn it use chess notation with some adpation, all pieces use like chess, but only promotion pawn to Q they use e6=P and after that they use P and for this pieces which has same function as original Makruk queen. this web is Thai web to play online that can save pgn also, but all notation is on Thai charactor. Thai notation is like chess notation in full form, by example if we move N from b1 to d2 needs to write N, b1-d2 but all write in Thai charactor I would like to suggestion Makruk notation in English should write as chess in short form like doing, but should change something following 1. B to S as it moves like Silver in Shogi 2. Q to M as it was called Med in Thai and M is not in a-h file notation so it will easy to read 3. pawn after promotion should using as same as original queen notaion which may be like this 'e6=M'

H. G. Muller wrote on 2010-01-13 UTC
What would be the most logical choice of letters for representing the pieces of Makruk in the western alphabet, e.g. for writing down a game in PGN? How do the Thai do this? Do they use the letters for the Chess counterparts? Does there exist something like Makruk diagrams, and if so, what pictograms are used. I have seen stuff written about the 'Thai Elephant', and how its move pattern is supposed to represent an Elephant, with 4 legs and a trunk. But I understand that the Thai word for it does not mean 'Elephant' at all. How does Thai software for playing this game represent the pieces on the screen? I hope that someone from Thailand can help me with these questions, as I am currently adding Makruk as a standard variant in WinBoard, and want to know how best to do that.

John Smith wrote on 2008-11-28 UTCGood ★★★★
This game is similar to Senterej, Ethiopian Chess, in that you should not bare your opponent's King. In Senterej, however, there are no actual rules concerning bare King; it is merely etiquette.

Gary Gifford wrote on 2008-07-03 UTC
Excellent. The graphic that you just used is the one I had in mind. The 5 dots indicate the movement of a Silver General (from Shogi - which happens to move as does the Makruk Khon (Thon)and the moon is alchemy symbol for silver.

Very good. Now the brain doesn't have to make Bishop to Khon conversions. Many thanks.

Jose Carrillo wrote on 2008-07-03 UTC
No problem. I'll change it.

I found a piece with 5 dots in the direction of movement of the Thai Bishop (I think it may be a wizard?).

What's the graphic for a Silver?

Give me a game that currently uses it so that I can see it and change it again.

Gary Gifford wrote on 2008-07-03 UTC
Thank you very much for making a new preset. It looks nice, but it would be even better if the Bishops were replaced with Silvers (there is an Alfaerie (sp?) version of them).

Jose Carrillo wrote on 2008-07-03 UTC
I am looking to play a game of Makruk. Here is a new preset I just created: /play/pbm/play.php?game%3DMakruk+%28Thai+chess%29%26settings%3DAlfaerie Anyone interested?

Gary Gifford wrote on 2008-07-01 UTC
I just made a nice wood Makruk set over the weekend. Will try to get a photo of it in a day or two. Update: Jpeg images sent to CV on 1 July.

Jose Carrillo wrote on 2008-07-01 UTC
I found this link on Thai Chess: which explains the rules of the game, including the rule about how many moves does a player have to checkmate a lonely King before a forced draw.

Hikaru wrote on 2007-08-16 UTC
Hi, This is a Makruk software. Hope you like it.

FarangBkk wrote on 2006-03-21 UTC
To Thai Chess.

In my Books about Thai Chess is always White starting at first. That means that white/red moves first. The strongest players of Thai chess are all members in the Bangkok Chessclub which is a strong Western Chess Club. Irt is very likely that there are stronger Players as Mr. Tor from Samut Prakarn who is very likely the Number 5 in Thailand. The Club in Samut Prakarn is near the Shuttle Buses to the Crocodile Farm and they are playing there always in the Afternoon.

Cambodian Chess is identical to Thai Chess with one exception. The king can jump one time like the castling at the begin from his original field like a knight to th side. Everything else is identical .... as i know.

Nice greetings from Bangkok

×nath wrote on 2005-04-30 UTC
AFAIK, there is a way to decide who move first by guessing the colour of pawn. One player grab a pawn in his/her hand and the other guess its colour and the winner move first.

Poompat wrote on 2005-03-09 UTC
Because the arrangement of the pieces for both sides are 'mirrored', that is King on left, there should be no difference who moves first... Some old literatures put Black at the bottom (ie. move first) but the 'official' rules (probably written quite recently and followed the Int'l version) now is that White moves first. And, by the way, I would like to add that there is a new ThaiChess software with nice graphics etc. at Check it out! at about US$5, it's a great value and fun. (The program incorporated ALL drawing rules, the first one that I know of)

Rick Knowlton wrote on 2004-12-29 UTC
Hi! One more question for Poompat or any native (or thoroughly accustomed) player of makruk: It there a first move rule? That is, does black or white (or red) move first...or is there some other conventional way of deciding who has the first move? I've printed up a booklet of the rules of makruk...and someone asked me this question...but I can't seem to find any answer, on this site, or on any of the makruk sites, or in any of my books. Is there a first move rule?

suthee wrote on 2004-10-28 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

David Paulowich wrote on 2004-10-15 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Jean-Louis Cazaux has a page on 'Ouk Chatrang, the Cambodian Chess and Makruk, the Thai Chess' on his web site. Cazaux has a personalid page here, giving the current address of his web site.

Martin wrote on 2004-10-15 UTC
Does anyone know from which year the first written source mentions makruk? Does anyone know which is the oldest makruk piece or set found? Is there any other source to how old the game is?

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