Makruk (Thai: หมากรุก; RTGS: hmak ruk; pronounced [màːk rúk]), or Thai chess, is a board game that is descended from the 6th-century Indian game of chaturanga or a close relative thereof, and is therefore related to chess. It is classified as a chess variant. The word "ruk" (Thai: รุก) in Thai is thought to derive from "rukh" which means "chariot" in the Persian language (and is also the common origin of the name for a rook in western chess). The Persian traders came to the Ayutthaya kingdom around the 14th century to spread their culture and to trade with the Thai kingdom. It is therefore possible that the Siamese Makruk, in its present form, was directly derived from the Persian game of Shatranj via the cultural exchange between the two peoples in this period. This is because the movement of Makruk's queen, or the "seed" (Thai: เม็ด), is essentially the same as the ferz in Shatranj.
|English||king (1)||queen (1)||bishop (2)||knight (2)||rook (2)||pawn (8)||promoted pawn (queen)|
|Meaning||feudal lord||seed||nobleman||horse||boat||cowrie shell||overturned cowrie shell|
In starting position, pawns are placed on the third and sixth ranks. Queens are placed at the right side of kings. Pawns promote to (เบี้ยหงาย bia ngai) overturned cowrie shells, and move like queens when they reach the sixth rank.
When neither side has any pawns, the game must be completed within a certain number of moves or it is declared a draw. When a piece is captured the count restarts only if it is the last piece of a player in the game.
When the last piece (that is not the king) of the disadvantaged player is captured, the count may be started, or restarted from the aforementioned counting, by the weaker player, and the stronger player now has a maximum number of moves based on the pieces left:
The disadvantaged player announces the counting of his fleeing moves, starting from the number of pieces left on the board, including both kings. The winning player has to checkmate his opponent's king before the maximum number is announced, otherwise the game is declared a draw. During this process, the count may restart if the counting player would like to stop and start counting again.
For example, if White has two rooks and a knight against a lone black king, he has three moves to checkmate his opponent (the given value of 8 minus the total number of pieces, 5). If Black captures a white rook, the count does not automatically restart, unless Black is willing to do so, at his own disadvantage. However, many players do not understand this and restart the counting while fleeing with the king.
There are rules which do not apply to the standard, formal game, or have been abandoned in professional play. They are called sutras. The first free moves are similar to those in Cambodian Ouk.
The variety of chess played in Cambodia, called Ok (អុក [ʔok]) or Ok Chaktrang (អុកចាក់ត្រង់ [ʔok.cak.trɑŋ]), is virtually identical to makruk, with a couple of minor differences. The Cambodian name of Ok Chaktrang is similar to the Persian name of chess, Chatrang. If no pieces have been captured, the players have these options:
There is evidence that Ok has been played in Cambodia since the twelfth century, as it is depicted in several reliefs in the Angkor temples.
The first Ok tournament was held in Cambodia 3–4 April 2008, upon the completion of a standardized rule set by the Olympic Committee of Cambodia and the Cambodian Chess Association.
In a variant Ka Ok (also known as Kar Ok), the first player to put the other in check wins. Another variant of Cambodian chess was described by David Pritchard in the first edition of The Encyclopedia of Chess Variants, but this was later determined to have been included in error as no such game was played in Cambodia.