Introduction: Ancient Version of Chess (6x5 Board)

About: Himalayan Hearts

Satranj is a ancient form of chess. There are hundreds of variants around the world. Infact Chess is an variant later developed in the european regions of our world.

This instructable is similar to satranj in its size (6X5 board) but played with chess movements, except for calling King check (you can if you want but loses alertness so... your call). This makes it easier to play with other chess players. Because of its size, you will notice that the very first move is crucial and placements later are very dependant on it. Playing it with total of 32 moves makes it intense for an attacker because he/she has to win within 32 moves otherwise a draw is called. So, if your opponent is not at your standing, you have quicker motive for conquest.

If you do not want to make board and pieces similar to this instructable, just sketch out a 6x5 board and play it with your chess pieces.

The GREEN twist.
A really fun past time than turning on a energy hog. Since its small it can be played fast with fun compared to chess which is a human energy hog. Teach your young ones so they have something to do thats not energy Dependant. Besides you need two players so thats double the energy saved. After a few games u know they'll want some air. I know i do. Which keeps all active physically and mentally. All without spending a single joule. So, lets get started.

Step 1: Making Chess Pieces

Thin wood strip @ 1 inch width was scored every inch. Since i need need twenty pieces. I scored about 25 just to have few extra.

then cut with saw to make 1x1 squares.

Step 2: Painting the Pieces

Paint used was iridescent copper and bronze acrylic. They gave them a nice shine.

Since I wanted to keep a Nepali / Tibetan aesthetic. I used designs that gave it that feel. For the motifs and piece symbols, I used henna (Leaf paste used for making temp tattoos). This gave it a contrasting beveled effect. You can print out actual figures from the internet and simply paste them on cardboard. Or laser etch them... That would be nice. Had a summer job cutting acrylic with a epilog laser cutter to make braille signs for hotels etc. Dont miss the job but the laser cutter still....


5 pawns x 2 = 10 Pawns
1 King x 2 = 2 kings
1 queen x 2 = 2 queens
1 rook x 2 = 2 rooks
1 bishop x 2 = two bishops
1 knight x 2 = 2 knights

altogether 20 pieces. As each set needs to be represented by the same color. I used copper for one set and bronze for the other.

Step 3: Making the Board


materials used = plywood

Since my chess pieces were 1x1 squares. Slightly larger placement squares were needed. To do this i just shifted my drafting ruler (which had a 1 inch width) a little and continued on till i got a 6 squares for length and 5 squares for the width. Then placed the pieces in row to check the fit. They work.

Made a once inch boarder as i wanted it paint it with designs.

Later... i felt i needed a safe edge so the pieces don't fall off . Cut a strip of thin wood to lenght then glued it on with superglue on the top corners. Painted it with the same copper coat. The pieces are now boxed in so an unwanted jolt or push does not leave you scrambling.

Step 4: Painting the Board.

Just the as pieces, painted the board with a base coat with the iridescent copper acrylic on the boarders then the scored lines. With the henna I proceeded to to give the board designs that would compliment the chess pieces.
As previously mentioned wanting a certain aesthetic, I did not want a black n white checkered pattern. Instead made Tibetan motifs for the black squares and simple nepali ones for the white. All hand done. Was quite meditative...

Step 5: Finished!

Now that the game is finished. You are ready to play. The placements of the pieces is much as a half board of chess. The blue set has little image notes which gives you the names and placements of all the pieces. Remember King on right from players perspective.

I shall take this to the Renfaire today and try it out with some chess wizards out there. I work there on the weekends This was all hand cut, sanded and painted so no grid energy was consumed.

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