Sacrifice of a Kniaź

Leaving the throne at one's own free will was not a widespread practice in our lands at all times. And it was only possible to ascend the throne in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania with the consent of the feudal lords, who formed rada or sojm. In other words, the supreme power in the duchy was elective. However, the new ruler was usually chosen from the sons or close relatives of the previous one.

Сойм 1622 часоў Жыгімонта III Вазы. Гравюра Джыякама Лаўра.
The 1622 Sojm during the reign of Žyhimont III Waza. Engraved by Giacomo Lauro.

In ordinary chess, the king's power does not require confirmation: the king is the king from the beginning to the end of the game, victory is guaranteed by his permanent and secure position. The Belarusian and Litvin chess offers options: on the part of white and black pieces - two contenders for power, a kniaź and a kniažyč. Accordingly, the kniaź may voluntarily leave the chessboard, leaving the heir on the field. And the game will not end there.

Every unexpected, daring, bold move is a chance to upset the opponent's balance, disunite his forces, move on to a decisive offensive and eventually win. Implementing an interesting combination, sometimes you need to make sacrifices, if they are, of course, justified. It is possible to sacrifice even the kniaź, understanding, however, that you will have to pay for this by the loss of one move at the least.

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