Chaturaji (Chaturanga for four players)

Players 4-4
Length 10-180 minutes
Equipment Required one standard piecepack
Designer Traditional, adapted by TrevorLDavis
Version 2.1
Version Date2022-07-29
License CC BY-SA 4.0


Chaturaji aka Chaturanga for four players aka Choupat is an old four-person chess variant. The diceless version is playable with a single standard piecepack, the version with dice either needs an additional two dice (preferably four-sided) or alternatively 2-4 extra game pieces (i.e. pawn saucers) to free up two piecepack dice from game piece duty.


Chaturaji is played on an 8-by-8 board made with the backs of 16 tiles. Each player needs 8 game pieces of the same suit: 1 king (piecepack pawn), 1 horse (ace-valued coin), 1 boat (2-valued coin), 1 rook (3-valued piecepack die or pawn saucer), and 4 pawns (remaining 4 coins face down). Ownership of horses and boats are distinguished by orientation. The following diagram shows the recommended setup:

 Starting arrangement for Chaturaji
Starting arrangement for Chaturaji



There are many Chaturaji rule sets some of which meet the definition of free culture. A link is provided to a rule set under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. Since the game has been played for hundreds of years public domain rule sets likely exist.

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