You are on page 1of 12


qxd 12/28/04 1:50 PM Page 1
CD122304-02040RLBK-AC01.qxd 12/28/04 1:51 PM Page 2
CD122304-02040RLBK-AC01.qxd 12/28/04 1:51 PM Page 3

For 2 to 4 playe r s

Somewhere in India, locked behind a dusty vault, is an ancient document called the
Chatrang-namak. Written in the seventh century A.D., this faded parchment tells the
story of an Indian Vizier who was sent by his Raja on a pilgrimage to the court of the
great King Nushirwan of Persia. The document reports that the Vizier took with him a
fabulous chess-like game called Chaturanga as a test for the Persian king. If King Nushirwan
could intuitively explain the nature of Chaturanga, then he would be worthy of the
vast riches the Indian Vizier had brought with him in tribute to the Persian court.
If King Nushirwan could not ascertain the nature of the game then he would return
the tribute to the Raja of India, and in turn pay tribute of his own. Much to his
dismay, King Nushirwan was unable to decipher the game and thus prepared to
forfeit his tribute. Fortunately for the king, his wizened sage Buzurjmihr
recognized Chaturanga as a game of war. He quickly worked out the function
of the pieces and the objective of the game and challenged the Vizier to a contest.
Buzurjmihr went on to beat the Indian Vizier 12 games in a row, thus securing the
vast riches in tribute for Persia and King Nushirwan.

Nearly lost to the sands of time, Front Porch Classics proudly presents to you
this ancient chess game from the land of India.

CD122304-02040RLBK-AC01.qxd 12/28/04 1:51 PM Page 4

The following rules were compiled from various texts and have been combined to provide the most entertaining and enjoyable game
playing experience while staying as true as possible to the original nature of this ancient game. Chaturanga is the earliest known form
of chess and you will find many of the piece movements correspond to modern chess.


2 Four-sided dice 4 Ships
4 Rajas 4 Cavalry
4 Elephants 16 Infantry
Cloth Playing Surface


The object is to capture your opponents’ game pieces and have the last Raja
remaining on the board.


Armies are set up as shown. (See illustration 1.)

The Red player begins the game and turn proceeds clockwise – Red, Green,
Yellow and Black.

Front Porch Classics Chaturanga is played on an 8 x 8 grid of 64 squares called an Ashtapada board. There are four separate armies –
Red, Green, Yellow and Black. Each army consists of the following pieces, which are listed with their corresponding modern chess piece:

CD122304-02040RLBK-AC01.qxd 12/28/04 1:51 PM Page 5

Chaturanga Piece Movement Chess Piece

Raja One space in any direction, King
like a King.

Elephant Forward, backward or side to side Rook
any number of unoccupied squares.
Elephants cannot jump over occupied
squares. Movement is like a Rook.

Cavalry One space forward, backward or side Knight
to side, followed by one space diagonally;
The Cavalry piece moves exactly like the
L movement allowed by the Knight in chess.
Cavalry can jump over an occupied square.

Ship Ships always move exactly two squares Bishop
(no more or less) diagonally and can jump
over any occupied square. A ship cannot
capture a Raja.

Infantry Infantry pieces move one square forward Pawn
but capture other pieces by moving one
square diagonally, similar to a Pawn.
An Infantry piece cannot capture a Raja
and cannot move two squares off its
opening square.

CD122304-02040RLBK-AC01.qxd 12/28/04 1:51 PM Page 6

Front Porch Classics Chaturanga can be played with two, three or four players. With two players, each player will take two armies.
One player will command the Black and Green armies; the other will command Yellow and Red. If there are three players, one player takes
two armies and the remaining players, who are allies, each take a single army. With four players, each player takes a single army. If you are
controlling more than one army you can only move one army at a time. For example, if you are playing both Red and Yellow you may only
move the red pieces; you must wait until after the Green army rolls and moves before you can roll and move any of the yellow pieces.

Armies are loosely allied with one another: Black is always allied with Green, Yellow with Red. Allies may consult with one another
throughout a game, but ultimately will battle against one another.

A player determines which piece he or she can move based upon rolling two four-sided dice. If you roll a Raja and an Infantry (which are
both shown on one side of the dice) you may move either the Raja or the Infantry piece, but not both. (See illustration 2.)

After rolling the dice you may move one piece,
two pieces or none at all. For example, if you
roll a Cavalry and an Elephant, you may move
only the Cavalry, only the Elephant, both pieces,
or you may choose not to move at all. You
cannot move onto a square already occupied
by one of your own pieces.

If you roll doubles, you may move the related
piece twice, or if you have more than one of
the corresponding pieces (e.g. two Infantry)
you may move two separate pieces.

If you roll a piece that has already been
captured you may move an Infantry piece
in its place. For example, your Elephant
Illustration 2 and Ship have been captured. On your

CD122304-02040RLBK-AC01.qxd 12/28/04 1:51 PM Page 7

turn, you roll an Elephant and Cavalry. You may move your Cavalry and an Infantry piece. If you are unable to move the piece indicated,
your turn is over and play passes to the next player.


Your goal is to deplete your opponents’ strength by capturing their pieces. Captures occur by moving one of your pieces onto a square
occupied by an opponent’s piece. Remember, Infantry and Ships may not capture a Raja. A Raja may be captured by an Elephant,
a Cavalry piece or another Raja. If your Raja is captured, then the remaining pieces in your army become immobile and you may not
move them. However these pieces may still be captured by other players.

If your Raja has been captured, you may re-enter the game if your ally captures one of the opposing player’s Rajas and offers to make an
exchange. For example, you are commanding the Black army and your Raja has been captured. All of your pieces are frozen and you may not
move. However, your ally (the player commanding the Green army) captures the Red army’s Raja before all of your pieces have been removed
from the board. Your ally may ask the person that captured your Raja if an exchange can be made. If the other player agrees, then both
Rajas re-enter the board. A player does not have to accept the offer to make an exchange. If the offer is accepted, the Rajas re-enter
the board on their respective throne squares. If the throne or thrones are occupied, then the Rajas re-enter the board on the nearest
unoccupied square. This type of exchange may occur only once in a game. A Raja that is captured a second time is lost for good and
cannot be exchanged.

You may assume command of your ally’s army if your ally’s Raja has been captured and you move your Raja onto your ally’s throne square.
If this occurs, you may move either army under your command during your dice roll.

If you lose all of your pieces except the Raja, then you may honorably withdraw from the game.


If an Infantry piece reaches an unmarked square on the opposite side of the board and you have already lost one or more Infantry pieces,
you may exchange the Infantry piece for any piece that has been captured. You are not allowed to have a promoted piece and three

CD122304-02040RLBK-AC01.qxd 12/28/04 1:51 PM Page 8

Infantry pieces on the board. If an Infantry piece reaches an unmarked square on the opposite side of the board but cannot promote,
then that piece must remain immobile until it can be promoted.

If an Infantry piece reaches a marked square on the opposite side of the board, it becomes frozen and cannot move.


The game ends when there is only one player with an active Raja on the board. This player has successfully built an empire and
wins the game.


• Protect your Raja. The only pieces that can capture your Raja are your opponents’ Cavalry, Elephant and Raja. The Elephant is the
biggest threat to your Raja. The Elephant cannot leap over other pieces, so protect your Raja from the Elephant with an Infantry piece.
• Mobilize your Infantry into promotion position as soon as possible. Promotion is a very desirable technique to reverse bad fortune.
• Be a loyal ally . . . at least until the time is right to begin moving against your ally. If your Raja is captured, your only chance of getting
back into the game is via your ally. If you move against your ally too early, you may find yourself defending against three armies
instead of two.
• Front Porch Classics Chaturanga may be played without dice or with standard dice. If using standard dice, game pieces move
as follows:

Roll Move

1 or 6 Pawn
2 Ship
3 Cavalry
4 Elephant
5 Raja

CD122304-02040RLBK-AC01.qxd 12/28/04 1:51 PM Page 9

History and Lore from the Land of India

– In around 1500 B.C. a strange tribe of fair skinned people called Aryans migrated into India to begin what is called the Vedic Age.
They were warriors, farmers and also practitioners of nature worship. No one knows for certain who these people were or
where they came from. It is certain, however, that they were behind one of India’s greatest ancient works – a collection of
sacred mystical hymns called the Vedas.

– India is the world’s largest, oldest continuous civilization.

– Legend has it that deep within the Himalayan Mountains of Northern
India there exists an underground city called Bhagavati. Its streets
are paved with sapphires, rubies, emeralds, and diamonds, and its
palaces are cut from brilliant marble. The inhabitants of Bhagavati are
the mythical Naga. Said to be spirits of water and land and to possess
arcane powers, the Naga often appear as half-human, half-snake.
Although generally indulgent of humans, stories tell of some dark
Naga that would like nothing better than to enter a person’s dreams
and torment them.

– For many years in pre-colonial India, the countryside lived in
fear of a secret society called the Cult of the Black Mother.
Worshippers of the Hindu goddess of destruction, Kali, this
cult of assassins forbade the spilling of blood and thus strangled
their victims. Our word “thug” is derived from another name for
these dreadful assassins – The Thuggees.

CD122304-02040RLBK-AC01.qxd 12/28/04 1:51 PM Page 10

Quick Facts on India
• Population total: 1,049,700,118 (estimated 2003)

• Local Name: Bharat (Hindi)

• Government: Republic

• Date of Independence: 1947

• Capital: New Delhi

• Religion: Hindu (80%), Muslim (14%),

Christian (2%), Sikh (2%), Buddhist (1%)

• Official Languages: Hindi and English

CD122304-02040RLBK-AC01.qxd 12/28/04 1:51 PM Page 11
CD122304-02040RLBK-AC01.qxd 12/28/04 1:51 PM Page 12

All right, title, and interest (including all copyrights, trademarks, and other intellectual property rights) in the game and concept play for FRONT PORCH
CLASSICS CHATURANGATM is the exclusive property of Front Porch Classics, Inc. In addition, the names, images, pictures, concepts, game play and logos
identifying Front Porch Classics, Inc. products in many countries are proprietary marks of Front Porch Classics, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries or affiliates. Nothing
contained herein shall be construed as conferring any license or right, by implication, estoppel, or otherwise, under copyright or other intellectual property rights.

Listed Below are trademarks for Front Porch Classics, Inc. Nothing contained herein should be construed as granting any license or right to use any trademark
displayed in the game FRONT PORCH CLASSICS CHATURANGATM without the express written permission of Front Porch Classics, Inc.

Front Porch Classics, Inc.® is a trademark of Front Porch Classics, Inc.

FRONT PORCH CLASSICS CHATURANGATM is a trademark of Front Porch Classics, Inc.

The FRONT PORCH CLASSICS CHATURANGATM game concept, play, board, pieces, packaging design and related indicia are trademarks of Front Porch Classics, Inc.