My First Ever Game of Chaturanga | How Chess was Played 1000 Years Ago

In this video, I play my first ever game of Chaturanga against IM Levy Rozman (@GothamChess).
This was originally streamed on our Twitch Channels:
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Chaturanga is an older form of chess with different rules that was played 1,000 years ago. Learn more about Chaturanga here:
Play Chaturanga (along with other variants) here:

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397 Comments

  1. King✅Raja✅Queen❌Minister✅Bishop❌Elephant✅Knight✅Horse✅Rook❌Chariot ✅

  2. So practically, knights and rooks ruled the board

  3. In Chaturanga, both Kings are placed to the right of their Ministers (in Chaturanga the piece is called a Minister, not a Queen) in the starting position – on e1 and d8.

  4. queens were very weak in chaturanga which made the game very boring,which was changed later on in europe to add more suspence to the game.

  5. Oh Nooo u dint. ER vs GC .. battle of the Titans. instant thumbs up~! 150k on the way~

  6. Eric, you should check out Hnefatafl. The game that was popular before chess

  7. This is so trippy to watch. The bishops jumping over pieces especially. Can tell why this isn't a thing anymore!

  8. I played this for myself its the most cursed thing I ever experienced

  9. You don’t have to checkmate to win, baring the king is also a win (taking all pieces except the king) so at the end you could have traded down and won!

  10. One Indian king died in a war.
    And one of his ministers decided to make a game out of it 😂
    That game is now called chess.

  11. two of my faves!! one is calm and the other is just edgy a mix of both!

  12. "The future is basically the future present moment, right."
    – Eric Buddha Rosen

  13. Thinking about it, perhaps trading the Bishop for one Queen would have been the way to win it, then he maybe could have pushed the King away from protecting the other Queen, and mate with 2 Queens. Just a random thought.
    Queens are probably more valuable than Bishops in the endgame.

  14. As the world became feminist, queens became overpowered

  15. Being an Indian am proud you Spread Chaturanga the Original Indian version of Chess

  16. 2:34 wait is there actually some way to get to g2? I dont think there is because you can only jump 2 squares

  17. You could mąkę this gamę instabetter by making bishops be Able to also mogę 1 Square, also either Queens moving like Kinga or ability to promote to room… Or both. And you get a fun gamę.

  18. This is a bad version of chaturanga.
    In another version,
    queens are a combination of horse & bishop & rook. (But, queen's range is only 2 sqs. Basically, queen can go to all squares within only 2 sq range… vertical, diagonal, horizontal, horse move). Bishops can jump 2 squares. But, also move one square. Range of bishop is 2 diagonal squares maximum. Rooks are the only long range piece. But, Rooks cannot jump over other pieces, while all other pieces (queen, bishop & horse) can jump over other pieces (but, they have limited range). King can make horse move once per game. That allows him to make artificial castle quickly. (The horse move of king is comparable to castling move in modern versions). Soldier can move only 1 sq forward (capture 1 sq diagonal). Promotion to the piece on which the soldier is. Eg: Rook pawns promote to rook only. Only central pawns (d & e) promote to queen.

    That version of chaturanga is more fun.

    Edit: I forgot to add a few points.
    1) In starting position: Queen is always to the left of the king. That means king faces opposite queen in starting position in Indian Chaturanga. (This makes the game more fast paced because both sides will castle on opposite sides normally). (White King starts on d1 square and black king on e1 square)
    2) dice was used to randomize the first few moves (like first 5 moves).
    3)The version played in this video is shatranj (Iranian version) where queen piece is minister (called wazir). That's why, the queen piece is so powerless because it is not military unit. The version I am describing is the Indian chaturanga where queen piece is the general of the army (most powerful military unit on the board).
    4) About the special knight move of king in Chaturanga: In Indian chess, there was no castling. But, there was a special move for king available only once. That move was, King couldmake a horse move once in the game. So, king could jump from e1 to g2. so, in Indian chess, players would create a castle by playing g3, Bh3, Nf3, Kg2, Rf1, Kg1, Bg2. This king side fianchetto setup was the common Indian castling setup. When Indians started playing against Europeans with the modern castling rule, they still used the kingside fianchetto setup as they were comfortable with it. so, it was known as Indian systems to Europeans. Today, many modern (or hyper modern) openings use bishop fianchetto (particularly kingside fianchetto). And they are called 'Indian' openings for this reason. Eg: King's Indian Defense, Nimzo Indian Defense, modern defense…. etc. So, modern openings are actually emulating the ancient Indian openings.

  19. It feels like checkers, in which the queen too is just an upgrade of the "pawn"/checker

  20. We call chess "cheturange" in Arabic nowadays..

  21. Rooks are the most powerful because of Indias elephant armies i guess

  22. I thought you were supposed to be able to move your king like a knight but only once per game

  23. haha thats how Indian played chess in ancient time
    proud moment

  24. So the trippy bishop movement is actually preserved in some other ancient chess's descendants. For example in traditional Chinese chess, the bishop (elephant/advisor) has this movement, but it cannot jump over pieces and is restricted to one own's side of the board, making it a definitively defensive piece.

  25. Favorite fact: the queen used to be called something mean "king's advisor," because all pieces on the board were male. Then, when she was added, she was the weakest piece on the board. It was only later that she was made so power, the most coveted target to trap or kill.

  26. The bishop has only 8 squares on the entire board that it can ever occupy or control, and the Queen is about as useful as a pawn for delivering a checkmate. How do you put any sort of attack together in this variation 🤔

  27. It may be well advised to play these variants with a bit more time on the clock. It would allow to come up with an actual strategy that makes use of the added rules instead of getting into a tactical time scramble.

  28. If you teach chess to someone, play a game of chaturanga before. Then you will understand why it takes the beginner so long to see if any of his pieces is attacked 😀 I'm playing chess for more than 15 years, but playing this game is just like you've forgot anyting you've learned about chess – i had literally no clue what was going on in game 1 😀 had to pause the video every 5 seconds haha

  29. The rules of this game are of the original "Shatranj" that was invented in india .. great to see some shatranj in action

  30. I remember playing this on an old chess pc-game and it was the only game where I could beat the Computer at high levels, because the CPU was hardwired to promote to (useless) queens, where I could promote to anything – So I essentially got outplayed, my opponent promoted to trash and I would promote to rooks and win cheap.

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