Shakti

Overview
Shakti is a Chess variant invented by Christian Freeling in 1982.

Board

Shakti is played on a 7x7 board. Initially each cell of the board is covered with a tile. Both players have 1 King and 2 Warriors. The initial position of the pieces is shown on the following picture:

 

Objective

The objective of Shakti is to checkmate the opponent's King (i.e. to attack the opponent's King in such a way that the opponent cannot escape from the attack and cannot capture the attacking piece).

Stalemate is bypassed in Shakti (meaning, a player who puts his opponent in a "stalemate" position will immediately get another move). A draw is possible by 3-fold or mutual agreement.

Play

Players alternate moves, starting with the player controlling the white pieces. A player must move on his turn, unless he has no legal moves, in which case he passes his turn to the opponent.

A piece can only move on tiled squares (during a game some tiles are removed as the result of particular moves).

A King is said to be "in check" if there is an opponent's Warrior on the same horizontal, vertical or diagonal as the King and there are no tiles between them (even if the attacking Warrior cannot move for some reason).

A player may never leave his King "in check" at the end of his move. Check can be eliminated in one of the following ways:

  • The King can be moved to a cell that is not under attack.
  • The attacking opponent's Warrior can be captured by the player's King (if doing so does not put the King in check).

It is forbidden to cause a "mutual check" situation when both Kings are on the same horizontal, vertical or diagonal and there are no tiles between them.

All possible moves for each type of the pieces are explained below.


A King, if not in check, may move to the first unoccupied tile in any of eight directions. The example of King's moves is shown on the following picture:

The light King can move to any of the highlighted tiles.

If in check, a King is restricted to adjacent tiles. In this case the target tile may be either empty or occupied by an opponent's Warrior (if by capturing the attacking piece the King does not move in check). The example of King's moves is shown on the following picture:

The light King is attacked by the dark Warrior on B7.
It can move to adjacent tiles only.


A Warrior can make two kinds of moves:

  • a Warrior may move to the first unoccupied tile in any of eight directions as shown on the following picture:

The dark Warrior can move to any of the highlighted tiles.
It cannot move to D4 because that cell is not empty.

  • If both tiles are vacant a Warrior may jump over the first tile in any of eight directions and land on the second tile in the same direction. In this case the first tile is removed from the board. The removal of the first tile is compulsory. So if making such a move puts the player's King in check then the move is illegal. The example of such a move is shown on the following picture:


The dark Warrior can jump to any of the highlighted tiles.
The corresponding transparent tiles will be removed after such jumps.

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