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Subject: The bodyguard in hiashatar rss

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Blue Mountain
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I've been trying to establish some clear rules regarding the powers of the bodyguard in Hiashatar (a 10x10 chess variant from Mongolia - it's not in the BGG database) but am finding inconsistent info online ...

some sources state that any piece is limited to one move if it starts a kings move away from the bodyguard ... other sets of rules say only enemy pieces are affected by the bodyguard.....

similar scenario for if sliding through the bodyguard's squares of influence .. friend and foe pieces must stop or only foe?

Do any of you guys know the answer ...?
 
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David Lame
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Huntington Woods
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After a bit of googling, I've come to the conclusion that no one knows the answer, even in Mongolia. It seems to me that Hiashatar was a poorly documented variant, rarely played. It's very likely that it was never codified in a universally accepted rule set, which means that the rule was probably determined by whoever owned the pieces being used for play.

However, it seems like a cool variation. I've never seen anything quite like the power of the bodyguard piece in a Chess variant, except maybe in Ultima. When I play, it will be assuming that the bodyguard only blocks enemy pieces. Otherwise, they would create four dead zones on a 10 x 10 board, which could result in slow games. If you assume that they only block enemy pieces, they could be used to set up very effective ambushes.
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Blue Mountain
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Meadmaker wrote:
After a bit of googling, I've come to the conclusion that no one knows the answer, even in Mongolia. It seems to me that Hiashatar was a poorly documented variant, rarely played. It's very likely that it was never codified in a universally accepted rule set, which means that the rule was probably determined by whoever owned the pieces being used for play.

However, it seems like a cool variation. I've never seen anything quite like the power of the bodyguard piece in a Chess variant, except maybe in Ultima. When I play, it will be assuming that the bodyguard only blocks enemy pieces. Otherwise, they would create four dead zones on a 10 x 10 board, which could result in slow games. If you assume that they only block enemy pieces, they could be used to set up very effective ambushes.
Thanks for your comment.

I agree .... it think it will be a better game if the bodyguard only restricts the enemy.

I have a relative going to Mongolia soon and she will be travelling all over the country .... I've asked her to track down a hiashatar set (new or antique) for me ..

If she gets the set I might email the nearest Mongolian embassy for a rule clarification
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hebetissimus
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Hi,

Did you ever get your hiashatar set and clarification on the rules about the bodyguard? I have played it where the bodyguard only limits enemy pieces and found that much more satisfying to play than when he limits friendly and enemy.

Here is a place where it is for sale in Mongolia, if you haven't gotten one yet. They replied in English when I last contacted them: http://iqmuseum.mn/product/show/id/146
 
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Luis Bolaños Mures
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The bodyguard in Hiashatar... I'd read that novel!
 
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hebetissimus
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Hi,

I don't know if there is a novel, but there is a Mongolian legend about the origin of this variant. Lev Kisliouk reports it here: http://history.chess.free.fr/mongeng.htm
 
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David Lame
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Huntington Woods
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hebetissimus wrote:
Hi,

Did you ever get your hiashatar set and clarification on the rules about the bodyguard? I have played it where the bodyguard only limits enemy pieces and found that much more satisfying to play than when he limits friendly and enemy.

Here is a place where it is for sale in Mongolia, if you haven't gotten one yet. They replied in English when I last contacted them: http://iqmuseum.mn/product/show/id/146


Interesting.

I noticed that it is a 10 by 10 board, and the title is simply "Mongol Chess" or "Mongol Shatar" (transliterated from Russian text). That would suggest that it is "normal" Mongolian Chess, as opposed to a variant. I had thought Shatar was the usual variant, and it is played on an 8x8 board.

I tried "download instructions", which I hoped would get me to a rules page, but it didn't work.

I did play a few games at a game gathering, and I did use the rule that the bodyguard only blocked enemy pieces. It makes for a very interesting game. The bodyguards really dominate the area they occupy.
 
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hebetissimus
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The updated website no longer has hiashatar sets on it, I am sorry to write.

This is a pity, but perhaps the museum store will accommodate a special request?
 
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