Between Halatafl and Draughts: Pretwa, Gol skuish, Egara-guti, Lau kata kati, Kolowis Awithlaknannai

Among the games known India, there are many checkers-like games, that don’t resemble checkers at first glance. These games use interesting triangular or circular boards, and pieces move not through squares, but along the lines and their intersections. What’s more, one similar game was known to Native Americans who live rather far away from India. Pretwa, Gol skuish or Egara-guti are some examples of these games. You can learn their rules in a minute but you can play for hours.

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Chaturaji – chess-like game for 4 players and with a dice

When you hear “chess”, you think about the intellectual duel of two people. Therefore you may be surprised by the fact, that one of the Chess ancestors is a game for 4 players and with an element of luck. The goal of the game was no to checkmate but to score points, however, this old game is still “chessy” . The name of this game is Chaturaji.

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Nine Men’s Morris (Mill) – truly timeless game!

Is there really any timeless game? Some people say chess or checkers are timeless, but these games are not as old as they seem. Others talk about “timeless” computer games like Pac-Man or timeless tabletop games like Monopoly. But they are are still young. In my opinion there is one special game that deserves to be called “timeless”. It is Nine Men’s Morris also known as Mill. It is still popular, it can surprise next generations of players and many people have no idea how old this game really is!

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Chaturanga – progenitor of the chess family

I described many different types of draughts (checkers) stressing that draughts is not one game. It’s a family of games with common features! In compare to draughts Chess seem to be a single, complete and polished game. But… it only seems to be. In fact there are many chess games which grown in parallel with the so-called classical chess. Understanding the common characteristics of chess games will be easy if you look at the ancestor of these games – the Indian game of Chaturanga.

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