If you are a Chess player who wants to move outside your comfort zone try Makruk. This relative of Chess from Thailand is similar enough to chess to learn easy , but  requires  trying new tactics and strategies. 



8 x 8 chess board with no black or white squares
Thai chess pieces or you can use Western chess pieces and checkers to represent pawns

How to play

Initial setup is as shown in the photo above.

The pawn (called เบี้ย or Bia) moves forward one square and captures moving diagonlly on square A pawn that reaches the sixth rank it is promoted to a queen. to showthis the Pawn is flipped over.

The king (called ขุน or Khun) moves square in any direction. The game ends when the king is checkmated.

The bishop (called โคน kon or thon) moves one square in any diagonal direction or one square forward.

The Queen moves on square forward or backwards diagonally.

The rook (called เรือ or ruea): any number of squares  horizontally or vertically.

The knight (called ม้า or ma) moves two squares in one direction and then one squares perpendicular to that movement. It jumps over any pieces in the way.

All pieces capture by moving into the square of an opponent piece removing that piece from the board only the pawn has a special rule for capturing.

When a players King is threatened with capture the player must either move the king so that is no longer threatened, capture the threatening piece, or block the attack with another piece. The player cannot do this he or she loses the game if a player finds that any move he makes puts him in check but he is not currently in check the games a draw.


When neither side has any pawns the game must be completed within a certain number of moves or it is a draw. 

When neither side has any pawns left mate must be achieved in 64 moves.

 The player who is at the disadvantage will do the counting. He or she may stop counting whenever he or she decides. If the disadvantage side checkmates the advantage side and did not stop counting , the game will be declared a draw. 

When the last piece that is not King of the disadvantage side is captured, the count begins again at zero.  The stronger side is now given a count value based on the number and strength of pieces it has left on the board. 

 When the player has at least two rooks: 8 moves 

 When the player has at least one rook: 16 moves 

 when the player has at least two bishops: 22 moves 

When the player has at least two knights: 32 moves  

When the player has at least one bishop: 44 moves  

When the player has at least one knight: 64 moves 

When the player has only queens left: 64 moves 

 From these starting values, subtract 1 move for each piece on the board. The resulting number is how many moves the stronger side has to win, otherwise the game becomes a draw.



One thought on “Makruk

  1. Hello dear sir, do you know aobut database of games of the makruk championship thailand? It must be interesting with annotated games. THANKS.


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