The IT company PRAS has launched Belarusian chess. The team has been working on the intellectual and patriotic game for 10 years and it just so happened to present the project on the longest night of the hardest year. You can play the game offline or online.
The Belarusians were known to have a passion for chess even before it became mainstream (thanks to Netflix): finds from the times of Polotsk and Turov principalities attest to this. And it's a fact that most chess pieces in Eastern Europe have been found in Belarus, with the oldest one at the site of ancient Minsk.
At the end of the 1990s Ales Astrowski, professor at Grodno Medical University, invented chess on the basis of classical chess, with a considerably deeper subject matter. In 2010 the director of PRAS Mikalaj Tamaszevicz finalized the rules of the game: political and cultural features from the history of Belarus and Eastern Europe were added and the ancient names of the pieces were restored: kniaź, hietman, vieršnik, harmata and ratnik. Interestingly, the aim of the game is not to kill a kniaź, but to gain power.
Mikalaj Tamaszevicz. Author of the idea, leader of the project:
"The new kind of chess is based on the historical features of Belarus, a country where the position of prince was an elective one. The ruler of the country was usually elected for life, but the nobility could express official distrust in one person or another and replace him. In turn, the prince had to either stand or leave.
It was such circumstances that gave "Belarusian chess" a fundamentally new purpose as compared with classical chess. With the new aim of the game the basic strategy and tactics have changed: now the players try not to destroy each other, but to take the throne - the symbol of supreme power - within the rules. At the same time in Belarusian chess it is possible to do this without blood and murder (there is a chance of winning with minimal losses).
It is noteworthy, that the work on the project lasted for ten years, and the result coincided with a rather complicated political situation in the country. And if you agree with the saying that history evolves in a spiral, then Belarusian chess can be called today's power transition simulator. The goal is clear, the rules are there, there is no dialogue - you just need to move the appropriate pieces competently and calculate your opponent's moves.
Within the project a computer game for Windows has been developed, in which you can compete with artificial intelligence and learn the rules as you play, as well as two offline versions of the new chess (beautiful!).