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Wed 26 Apr 2017
How to Play Thai Chess
Written by Panrit "Gor" Daoruang   
Tuesday, 13 February 2007 17:25
Thai Chess is one of the most popular hobbies for Thai people. Any age of Thai people can play it. Thai chess is a little more complicated compared to word chess. I used to play it in my freetime with my friends at my old school. It has been more than 3 years since I have played. I think I have lost all of my chess skills but I can still remember how to play. Lots of people have been asking me about Thai chess so I have made this page for them.
English Thai
1. Rook rua (boat)
2. Knight ma (horse)
3. Bishop khon
4. King khun
5. Queen met
6. Pawn bia
1 2 3 4 5 6

The pieces for Thai Chess are mostly different from World Chess. There is only one you will recognise. That is the "Knight". We called it "Ma" which is Thai for "Horse".


Board Size: 8 x 8

Board Set-up:
The set-up is nealy the same as World Chess but the white Khun are facing the black Met.

Set the pieces up from left to right:
Rua, Ma, Khon, Khun, Met, Khon, Ma, Rua. The Bia will be on the third and sixth row unlike the World Chess.


How to move:

Khun (King) = can move one square in each direction. Khun is the most important one, it can't die because that will be the end of the game.
Khon (Bishop) = can move one square diagonally in every direction or one square straight forward. Khon is the one mostly used to protect khun. It is more useful than a knight (ma) at the end of the game.
Met (Queen) = can move diagonally in every direction, but only one square. Met is always used to attack the opponent and sometimes also used for protecting khun same as khon.
Ma (Knight) = can move and be used the same as world chess knight.
Rua (Rook) = can move and be used the same as world chess rook. It's very powerful if you still have it near the end of the game.
Bia (Pawn) = can only move one square forward at a time (unlike the first move for world chess). When it takes another piece it does this diagonally. After moving forward three rows, a pawn is promoted to a queen. It doesn't have to reach the far end. Promotion is done by turning the piece over. Bia is always used for attacking the opponent, clearing the way and stopping the opponent from coming forward.

Counting Rules

When you or your opponent only has a khun left, it's time to start counting. You have to count your chess pieces and your opponent pieces altogether then start counting the next number. For example: you have three pieces and your opponent has one piece, you have to start counting from five. You have to checkmate the opponent before the counting finishes. If you can't, that means "draw".

Chess pieces Moves
No Ma, Khon, Rua 64
Ma (1 piece)
Ma (2 pieces)
64
32
Khon (1 piece)
Khon (2 pieces)
44
22
Rua (1 piece)
Rua (2 pieces)
16
8