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Pawn is then called Gadhāvați,' and is not subject to any restriction on the score of becoming a Shatpada."
Before we conclude this Chapter it may be proper to explain more fully the nature of the situation called Vrihannauka which is best done by means of a diagram, thus:
Let the letters g, y, b and r, represent the green,
1 The term Gāḍhāvați means "strong" or "secure" Pawn. This privilege seems to have been a species of chivalrous courtesy that was shown towards the losing party; of which some traces remain, though of a different kind, in the modern Indian game at this day. It is a rule observed among the natives of India, when playing their own game, that, when the weaker party has only one piece left, that piece cannot be taken so long as he acts merely on the defensive, in protecting his own King. It would further appear that some such rule also prevailed in the Levant during the middle ages, as may be inferred from Twiss, Vol. ii. p. 14, where he states-"Piacenza mentions that in the Levant it is sometimes customary to play with a Pezzo di Tregua (Piece of Truce), which Damiano calls Pezzo Fidato (Trusted Piece) to which is given the privilege of not being liable to be taken except when it actually attacks the enemy." In Latin Chess Manuscripts of the middle ages we also find a piece similarly privileged,-Per Fiduciam, as it is termed.
yellow, black and red ships respectively; then we see at a glance the respective squares on which each of them acted. Let each ship make two moves towards the centre, and the result is a Vrihannaukā, or concourse of ships, which we here represent by the four Bishops. This done, suppose each ship to make one move more in the direction of any of the four corners, we get four additional Vrihannaukās, where it may be observed the ships always fall into the same relative position, so that altogether there is a possibility that this situation may occur in one of five different parts of the board in the course of a game.
It may be further observed that exactly one half of the squares on the board were altogether inaccessible to any of the ships; but in the ancient game, when dice were used, the Ship, though in general the weakest of the pieces for attack, yet from the probability of the occurrence of a Vrihannaukā, was of greater importance than it more recently became in the Shatranj. He who had the good fortune to bring up his Ship last, so as to complete the concourse, destroyed the two hostile ships, and applied that of his ally to his own use. This Oriental alliance, then, seems to have been rather of a passive kind, and certainly not over cordial; for we have seen two instances. in which a player might be coolly plundered by his ally, first of his throne, and secondly of his Ship.
Theory and Practice of the Game.
In the last chapter we gave the reader as full and complete a description of the game of Chaturanga as our original materials would permit ; and although sundry minute points have necessarily remained unexplained, yet the account, on the whole, is far more satisfactory than that of any of the Grecian and Roman games of a sedentary nature that has come down to us. In the Chaturanga we have before us all the elements of the game of Chess, for every individual piece has precisely the same move and the same power which it continued to have in the mediæval game of Asia and Europe. The transition of the Chaturanga into the latter modification is of the simplest and most natural kind, being merely a step in advance on the high road of improvement, similar to the change from the medieval into the common game of the present day, which took place near the time of Damiano, in the early part of the sixteenth century.
Let us now examine a little into the practical working of this primæval game. Its elements are so few and simple, that almost any four persons may play it, provided one of the four be acquainted with the moves of our own game, so as to guide the others.
Hence it is admi
rably adapted for a social family game, being, like backgammon, a mixture of skill and chance-the choice of the move being greatly restricted by the turn of the die. Whoever is already in possession of two sets of common chessmen-one of wood, and another of bone or ivorymay easily convert the same into two complete sets for the Chaturanga, in this wise,-the wooden set will furnish the King, Rook, Knight and Bishop, together with their Pawns, for the Yellow and the Black; whilst those of bone or ivory will furnish the armies of Red and Green— or, instead of Green, White will do equally well. Thus we have got one set for the Chaturanga, but the convenience of it is that we have still another set in reserve, by making the four Queens, who never had any place in either of the Oriental games, whether Chaturanga or Shatranj, act the part of Kings. As to the die, nothing can be easier; any ivory turner may make it by slightly rounding the two faces of the common cubic die, now marked six and ace respectively; or, in fact, a common teetotum with the numbers two, three, four and five marked thereon, will be quite sufficient. The board and men being thus prepared, I shall suppose myself addressing the player of the Green (or White, as the case may be,) with a view to inculcate, in the simplest manner, the principles of the game, as far as my imperfect knowledge of it extends.
"Your main object is, in the first place, to convey your two centre Pawns to the opposite ends of the board, in order that they may be promoted to the rank of Knight or Rook, which will nearly double your strength. Another object, of equal, if not superior, importance, is to convey your King, by a series of careful moves, to the square of the Black King, your trustworthy ally. This gives you the command of the allied forces, which now become identified with your own, and your power is there
by vastly increased, owing to the entire unity of action which will thenceforth prevail in your camp; a point of the utmost consequence in warfare. In the meanwhile, you are to avail yourself of every safe opportunity in order to damage or exterminate the hostile forces; and this, for your own sake, if not for that of your ally; for, as I already mentioned, the alliance in this case is not altogether free from selfishness. Having gained your ally's throne, and consequently the command of his forces, the main point then is to capture the hostile Kings, thus, gaining the Chaturājī, or, in other words, completely winning the game.'
These appear to me to be the general principles of the game of Chaturanga; but, as I have already stated, there are a number of minor points, not touched upon in the text, which are open to mere conjecture; at the same time, it is my belief, that if four intelligent Chessplayers were to play over, and carefully observe a few of these primitive games, they would soon be able to provide fixed laws for every contingency that might occur. The points I allude to do not in the least affect the nature of the game, which is simply Chess in its oldest and rudest form. They are mere matters of detail, which the ancient poet (supposed to have been Vyasa himself) did not deem it necessary, or becoming his high dignity, to enter upon. I may here mention a few of those doubtful points, and I have reason to believe that several others may present themselves in the course of play.
Cases of Uncertainty.
In the first place, we shall suppose a player on his first throw turns up four; the text says, in such case, "the Elephant must move." Now we see clearly that