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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2001-01-04
 Author: Hans L. Bodlaender. Gala. Medieval game of German farmers. (10x10, Cells: 100) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
George Duke wrote on 2005-02-22 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
'GHI,LargeCV': 4 Armies only superficially copies this array, because that one has the six FIDE piece-types; in Gala, also a decimal form, there are only four piece-moves to learn. The informed previous comment calls the deflection lines 'mounds'. Getting both Kings to a central-four square wins; the alternate win condition is to capture the opponent's two Kings. King is its now 1400-year-old counterpart and may also teleport from those holy-site squares. Sometimes Rook turns forty-five degrees to Bishop-direction in move after crossing a mound; the same comment clarifies that in fact two changes of direction are possible in one single move. Correspondingly, Bishop can start as Bishop, switch to R-direction, and back, all in the same move. Pawns are Berolina-like within corner fields and omni-directional in 'central board' area. The T-shaped, or plus-shaped, region is notionally derived from ancient Viking board game Hnefatafl. This CV has more striking originality than Courier Chess. Today Big Outer Chess changes piece ranges based on position. What other variant than Gala, or Pagan Chess, even 500 years later provides for combined Bishop and Rook movement in transition by square pattern?(Differently Gryphon has not been used with such board partitions.)

Arnold Mayer wrote on 2003-08-10 UTCGood ★★★★

The Gala-Game is (in my opinion) an development out of  Hnefatafl. The
board of Hnefatalf and the Gala-board are very similar (crosslike division
of the gameboard). In my opinion the name 'farmer's chess' is an
translation from the latin words 'pagan chess'. Pagan meens both
'farmer' and 'pagan' (non-christian). The old vikings believed in
there old godesses and gods and played their old games (Hnefatalf,
Halatafl and Gala). The christian monks called their chesslike Gala-game
'pagan chess'.
The following rules are testeted several times with different
gamepartners, they works.

The four great corner fields which are seperated by coloured lines,
symbolizes the Vikings castles. The lines are the walls / mounds of the
castles. Therefor this mounds (lines) are an hindrance for the movement of
the gamepieces.

Game goals:
- to capture both of the enemy Galas (kings) and
- to move both own Galas to the four central squares (these squares are an
'holy site', only the Galas are able to entre this four holy squares in
the centre of the board).
This goal of the game creates a similarity of Gala to Hnefatafl and it
seems to be very familiar to the way of thinking and gaming of the old
There are different stages of winning the game:
- Great victory
  a player placed both Galas in the holy centre
- Minor victory
  a player placed one of his Galas in the holy centre and eliminated both
enemy Galas
A game is finished when all Galas are placed in the holy centre or
captured. As long as one Gala is moving on the board outside of the four
centre squares, the game isn't finished.
- Draw
  both players have one Gala in the holy centre

Any piece capture by entering a square which is occupied by an enemy
piece. There are some restrictions in capturing while crossing a
mound-line (for the Kampas and the Horsas).

Diagonal moves between castleedges and the edges of the holy site (D 6 - E
7, F 7 - G 6, E 4 - D 5, F 4 - G 5)
If a piece moves diagonaly between an castle and the holy site there is no
crossing of an mound, the piece moves between the mounds.

Kampa (means 'warrior')
Moves from his one square in diagonal direction forward, after this first
move the Kampa moves 1 square in any direction (orthogonaly, diagonaly,
forward, backward), until he comes back to the line from where he started.
From this line he can only move 1 square diagonaly forward again.
The Kampa can cross the mounds, but he can't capture while crossing a

Korna (means 'bersekerlike warrior', a korna is an type of scandinavian
Moves inside the castles orthogonaly (like the Rook in chess).  He can
move (rookwise) over the mound-line to the first square behind the mound.
Then he may move 1 square diagonaly in the same move. If the Korna crosses
the mound with the first square he moves, he can move any number of free
squares in diagonaly direction (like the Bishop in chess). The Korna moves
outside the castles like the Bishop in chess. When he crosses a mound
again he moves like the Rook in chess again. From outside of the castles
he cross the mound in diagonal (bishoplike) direction. When he crossed the
mound from outside of the castle with the first square he moved, he may
move any number of free squares in rookwise directions in the same move.
If he crosses the mound from any higher distance, the additional move is
restricted to 1 square orthogonaly (rookwise). Its not allowed to cross
more than one mound in one move. The Korna can capture while he is
crossing a mound (it is possible to capture a piece on an square adjectant
to an mound-line).

Horsa (means 'horseman', mounted warrior)
He moves inside the castles in diagonaly direction any number of free
squares (bishoplike). Outside the castles he moves in orthogonaly
direction (rooklike). From inside the castles he crosses a mound in
diagonaly direction, from outside the castles he crosses the mounds in
orthogonaly direction. If the Horsa crosses a mound from inside a castle
with the first moved square, he may add an orthogonaly (rooklike) move
over any number of free squares. If the Horsa crosses a mound from outside
a castle with the first square he moves, he is may add an diagonally
(bishoplike) move over any number of free squares. If there were more
squares moved before crossing a mound, the additional move is restricted
to one square (orthogonaly when crossed from inside a castle, diagonaly
when crossed from outside a castle). The Horsa is allowed to capture while
crossing a mound. With one exception: he can't capture a piece which is
placed in orthogonaly direction on an adjectant square on the other side
of a mound-line.

Gala (means 'king')
He moves 1 square in any direction (orthogonaly, diagonaly), inside and
outside the castles. The Gala can capture while crossing a mound. Only the
Gala is allowed to enter the 4 squares in the center of the gameboard. The
Gala can capture an enemy Gala inside of the 'holy site' while he is
jumping over the mound-line of the holy site. Inside the holy side there
is no capture possible (capture is only possible while entering the holy
site). A Gala inside the holy site can jump to any free square on the
board (an holy site is a magical place), except to one of the 40 squares
from where the pieces started. A Gala is not able to capture while he is
leaving the holy site.

B.T.W.: I beg Your Pardon for my B.S.E. (bad simple english).
You can buy an very nice Gala-set at the web-site of VARIOPLAY

Anonymous wrote on 2002-08-20 UTCGood ★★★★
From the german Book by Theodor Müller-Alfeld I can add some
more information: The pieces of Gala have special names:

Gala (King), Korna (Rook), Horsa (Bishop) and Kampa (Pawn).
Historical games have bigger pieces for the Galas, Kornas 
have green heads and Horsas have red heads, while Kampas are 
left unmarked.

The pieces are represented in Theodor Müller-Alfeld by simple
geometric shapes: Gala by octothorpe (#), Korna bei square,
Horsa by cross (x) and Kampa by circle (o).

Unfortunately, I cannot answer the open questions about the movement
of the pieces from my source either.

--Jörg Knappen

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