[Page 505] Related to the Arabian si·ga and to the Japanese go.
It is played on a checker of 5 X 5 squares drawn on the ground. Each of the two players provides himself with a set of 12 stones of distinctive colour, and places two stones at a time on whichever free square he chooses, with the exception of the center one (called dèh, "centre").
When the twenty-four stones are placed, the person who put the last couple has the first move. The stones are shifted to any adjacent square, but never diagonally. If by so moving a player can place one of his opponent's stones between two of his own, he removes it from the game, and can go on playing as long as he sees the possibility of taking pieces by single moves. The accompanying figure shows how three stones can be taken by a single move (by shifting [Page 506] white stone as indicated by the arrow). On the other hand, a player can safely place one of his own stones between two of his opponent's. A stone in the dèh cannot be taken.
When a player is unable to move, his opponent must give him an opening by making an extra move.
Last update January 7, 2010