Thai Chess

October 22, 2017

It is common to see groups of men playing ‘Makruk” or Thai chess on any given day in our village. This game is much like the chess wars I grew up playing. Most of the pieces move in the same way but different rules apply. For example each side will begin to count their moves when their pawns are gone. If there is no winner after reaching 64 moves, a draw is declared and the game begins again. I think.  I don’t understand the rules but it seems the Thai men do, as they talk loud and long about them.

 

Thai chess originated in India over 1000 years ago. The king, queen and bishop are about the same shape, but a different size. Even the rook is similar, but fatter. Thais know that castles don't move in a battle. But it can with a boat.

 

The older traditional Thai chess sets used cowry shells as pawns. When the pawns were promoted, they were flipped over to show their lighter sides.

 

Thai Chess? Good luck! 

 Thai men playing chess outside the local barber. 

 Look for my farm truck/side car. Had a wreck the first time I took it out. Now, it is one of the best tools I have ever owned.

 Many Thais will have callouses on their ankle bones from sitting for long periods in this position. For example, even if they have dining tables at home, many Thais will sit on the floor to eat.

 If a person came up to me and said "I can see your soul". That person would probably be a nut. I am not a nut. Because, I could say "I see the soles of two people".

 In the background there is a cement block wall enclosing the living room of the house next to the barber shop The wall was built 2-3 years ago. The house has been around for donkey years. Each generation inherits the property and usually does an upgrade.

 Many Thais will wear a yellow ribbon signifying respect towards the Thai Royal family.

 And now I can truthfully say that "I have seen the soles of four people". And so can you...

 

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