Channel One Russia: The pieces are ordinary, but the game is brand new - Belarusian chess

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A professor from Belarus has come up with a new and unconventional use for ordinary things. Using chess as the basis, he has created a fascinating game with its own rules and even a three-dimensional battlefield. A revelation came to him in a dream.

Ales Astrowski, a professor of Grodno University, does not play classical chess very often and jokes - he knows how to rearrange the pieces. All the more surprising was the dream in which he saw the new game.



"A team of bees and bumblebees fights against a team of hornets and wasps. And here was the victorious bumblebee who took the throne," said Ales Astrowski, MD, professor at Grodno State Medical University.

Astrowski remembered all the details. The size of the chessboard is 9 by 9 squares. The playing field is made in the form of a stepped pyramid. At the top is a throne. The task of the opponents is to seize the throne. Instead of a king there is a kniaź, instead of bishops there are harmatas, and pawns have become ratniks.

The author is convinced that there is no place for ladies on the battlefield. In this game the queen is replaced by a hietman. There is one more new figure: the kniažyč, the heir to the throne. Only they have the right to occupy the throne. It is enough to stay on top for one turn to win. And it is not necessary at all to kill the "alien" king now. Since Ales and his friends made the computer model, the game strategy has been enriched considerably.

"Whereas before we were just trying to attack or defend, now we are leading a kniaź or a kniažyč to the throne. And here we have more options, which means it's already a completely different game. It's not the same chess as it was before," says Mikalaj Tamaszevicz.

This chess has already been called historically "Belarusian chess". Two princely dynasties struggle for political power. Honestly, without coups and assassinations. An idyll, of course, but that's roughly how it was in the Belarusian lands in the 16th-17th centuries.

"In general, one can set an ideal task: how to seize the throne without killing any of the rival figures," says Ales Astrowski.

The rules of the game are still being specified - the opinion of professionals is important. Aliaksandr Paulovich has been collecting types of chess games around the world for 15 years. But he has not yet encountered one with a throne.

"It is very useful and very necessary for a child to know how to play not only classical chess, but also some other games," says Aliaksandr Paulovich, methodologist of the Children's and Youth Chess and Draughts School of Olympic Reserve.

However, sports success isn't the main thing, professor Astrowski said. It is much more important if children, having mastered unusual chess, become interested in the history of their country.

The project is in three dimensions

"Belarusian Chess" exists in digital, noble and gift versions. Get to know them.