Kaissa and Variants

Information Posted by Lee Johnson on https://www.facebook.com/notes/gorean-lifestyle-teachings/kaissa-and-variants/2063187980382462/

WHAT IS KAISSA?

Kaissa or “the game” is taken from passages of the books of Gor by John Norman. Kaissa is played differently throughout the books. The books provide much information about the game, though they do not provide a complete set of rules for playing the game. It is at this point that PortKar Industries filled in the blanks. The three variations found here are the only official PortKar endorsed versions under US copyright law. Each in there own way partially supported by the books.

BASICS OF THE GAME

Kaissa though similar to chess, is played with more pieces on a larger board. There are ten different playing pieces, with twenty one or twenty two pieces per side depending on the variation played. Pieces represent warriors of cities at war, each attempting to capture the other’s Home stone. There are two sides Yellow and Red, Yellow plays first. The Home stone is the most important piece it represents the heart of your city. It is what you must protect and it is your opponent’s Home stone you must capture.

Merchants Kaissa

A variation chess built upon the information provided about Kaissa “the game” from the books of Gor by John Norman. In this variation the creator found at Kaissa.org fills in some piece movements where the story left off to provide a more complete and balanced game.

Ubar(UB)

The Ubar or King is the most powerful piece on the board. He can move, as far as he likes in any direction similar to the Queen in chess, so long as his way is not impeded by another piece. The Ubar is a back row piece and he can be taken anytime during play. His loss does not constitute the end of the game. That only occurs when the home stone is captured or an opponent resigns.

*See Below For Piece Placement*

Ubara(UA)

The Ubara, the Ubar’s mate functions pretty much like the, except that she is restricted to three squares in any one direction, so long as her way is not impeded by another piece . The Ubara is also a back row piece. The Ubara, at the start of the game, rests on a square of her own color, next to the Ubar.

*See Below For Piece Placement*

Tarnsman(TN)

The Tarnsman is represented by a man sitting on top of a giant hawk like bird. His moves are three squares up and two over in any direction; the only piece on the board that can go over or around another piece. There are two Tarnsman to a side.

*See Below For Piece Placement*

Scribe(SC)

The Scribe moves diagonally on his own color, forward or backward, but is limited to five squares in either direction, so long as his way is not impeded by another piece. There are two Scribes to a side.

*See Below For Piece Placement*

Builder(BD)

The Builder moves on the board, forward, backward and laterally in both directions, with no limit to the number of squares he can advance, so long as his way is not impeded by another piece. There are two Builders to a side.

*See Below For Piece Placement*

Initiate

The Initiate is a high priest, and not to be trusted. He too, like the Scribe, moves on the diagonal; except, unlike the Scribe, the Initiate has no limit to the number of squares he can advance, so long as his way is not impeded by another piece. He is also limited to his own color.

*See Below For Piece Placement*

Spearman(SP)

The Spearman is the first of the front row pieces. He moves forward only and captures only on the diagonal. On his first move, the Spearman has the option of moving one, two, or three squares forward. After that he advances only one square at a time, no matter which option he chose. Unlike a chess pawn a spearman cannot be redeemed for a lost higher piece by advancing him to your opponent’s back row. There are six Spearmen to a side.

*See Below For Piece Placement*

Rider of The “High Thalarion”(HT)

Flanking the six Spearmen in the front row, one on each side, is a Rider of the High Tharlarion, or lizard rider. He can move one square in any direction, so long as his way is not impeded by another piece. There are two Rider’s of The High Thalarion to a side.

*See Below For Piece Placement*

Assasin(A)

Flanking the two Riders of the High Tharlarion in the front row, one on each side, is an Assassin. An Assassin can move two squares in any direction forward, backward, laterally or diagonally, so long as his way is not impeded by another piece. There are two Assassins to a side.

*See Below For Piece Placement*

Home stone

The Home stone is what the game of Kaissa is all about. It does not start on the board, but must be placed on the board after the seventh move and on or before, but not later than the tenth move. The placement of the Home stone constitutes a move on it’s own. If the Home stone is not placed on or before the tenth move, the game is over by default. The object is to capture your opponent’s Home stone, without losing your own. When a Home stone is captured, or a Player resigns the game is over. The Home stone can move one square in any one unimpeded direction. It cannot capture other pieces. The placement of the Home stone on the board is yours and your opponent’s choice. The Home stone must be placed on the back row of your playing pieces. It cannot be placed on an already occupied square.

*See Below For Piece Placement*

Kaissa Red Piece Placement

Kaissa Layout

Kaissa Yellow Piece Placement

Northern Kaissa

This variation of chess is played by the savage Masters of the North, Northern Kaissa from the books of Gor by John Norman. In this variation the creator assembles piece movements referenced to in the books and compares the similarities to Merchants Kaissa and using this information the two are combined to fill in where the story left off providing a complete and balanced chess game.

Jarl(JL)

The Jarl of the Lodge, is the most powerful piece on the board. He can move, on the board, as far as He likes in any direction, as long as His way is not impeded by another piece. The Jarl is a back row piece His loss does not constitute the end of the game. That only occurs when the Lodge is captured or an opponent resigns.

*See Below For Piece Placement*

Jarl’s Woman(JW)

The Jarl’s woman, functions pretty much like her mate, the Jarl, except that she is restricted to five squares in any one direction, as long as her way is not impeded by another piece. The Jarl’s Woman, at the start of the game, rests on a square of her own color, next to the Jarl.

*See Below For Piece Placement*

Axe(AX)

The Axe moves three squares up and two over in any direction; it is the only piece on the board that can go over or around another piece. There are two Axes to a side.

*See Below For Piece Placement*

Singer(SI)

The Singer moves diagonally on his own color, forward or backward, but is limited to five squares in either direction, as long as his way is not impeded by another piece. There are two Singers to a side.

*See Below For Piece Placement*

Rune Priest(RP)

The Rune Priest like the Singer, moves on the diagonal; except, unlike the Singer, the Rune Priests have no limit to the number of squares they can advance, as long as his way is not impeded by another piece. He is also limited to his own color.

*See Below For Piece Placement*

Builder(BD)

The Builder moves on the board, forward, backward and laterally in both directions with no limit to the number of squares he can advance, so long as his way is not impeded by another piece. There are two Builders to a side.

*See Below For Piece Placement*

Spearman(SP)

The Spearman is the first of the front row pieces. He moves forward only and captures only on the diagonal. On his first move, the Spearman has the option of moving one, two, or three squares forward. After that he advances only one square at a time, no matter which option he chose. A spearman, unlike the pawn of chess cannot be redeemed for a lost higher piece by advancing him down to an opponents back row. There are six Spearmen to a side.

*See Below For Piece Placement*

Rider of The “High Thalarion”(HT)

Flanking the six Spearmen in the front row, one on each side, is a Rider of the High Tharlarion, or lizard rider. He can move one square in any direction, so long as his way is not impeded by another piece. There are two Rider’s of The High Thalarion to a side.

*See Below For Piece Placement*

Physician(PH)

Flanking the two Riders of the High Tharlarion in the front row, one on each side, is a Physician. He can move up to two squares in a straight line, forward, backwards or to the side as long as his way is not impeded by another piece. There are two Physicians to a side.

*See Below For Piece Placement*

Lodge

The Lodge is what the game is all about. It does not start on the board, but must be placed on the board after the second move and on or before, but not later than the tenth move. The placement of the Lodge constitutes a move on it’s own. If the Lodge is not placed on or before the tenth move, the game is over by default. The object is to capture your opponent’s Lodge, without losing your own. When a Lodge is captured, or a Player resigns the game is over.. The Lodge can move one square in any one unimpeded direction. It cannot capture other pieces. The placement of the Lodge on the board is yours and your opponent’s choice. The Lodge must be placed on the back row of your playing pieces. It cannot be placed on an already occupied square.

*See Below For Piece Placement*

Kaissa Red Piece Placement

Computer based Kaissa

GC Kaissa

A new type of chess built upon the information of Kaissa “the game” from the books of Gor by John Norman. In this variation the creator modifies some piece movements to more closely resemble chess and level the playing field of all the pieces involved making some slightly weaker and some slightly stronger but the goal is the same.

Ubar(UB)

The Ubar or king is the most powerful piece on the board, similar to the Queen in chess. He can up to nine squares in any direction, so long as his way is not impeded by another piece. The Ubar is a back row piece and he can be taken anytime during play. His loss does not constitute the end of the game. That only occurs when the home stone is captured or an opponent resigns.

*See Below For Piece Placement*

Ubara(UA)

The Ubara, the Ubar’s mate functions pretty much like the Ubar, except that she is restricted to six squares in any one direction, so long as her way is not impeded by another piece . The Ubara is also a back row piece. The Ubara, at the start of the game, rests on a square of her own color, next to the Ubar.

*See Below For Piece Placement*

Tarnsman(TN)

The Tarnsman is represented by a man sitting on top of a giant hawk like bird. His moves are three squares up and two over or two squares up and three over in any direction; the only piece on the board that can go over or around another piece. He can also make a positioning move, one square in any direction it can not take a piece during a positioning move. There are two Tarnsman to a side.

*See Below For Piece Placement*

Scribe(SC)

The Scribe moves diagonally on his own color, forward or backward, but is limited to seven squares in either direction, so long as his way is not impeded by another piece. There are two Scribes to a side.

*See Below For Piece Placement*

Builder(BD)

The Builder moves on the board, forward, backward and laterally in both directions up to nine squares, so long as his way is not impeded by another piece. There are two Builders to a side.

*See Below For Piece Placement*

Initiate

The Initiate is a high priest, and not to be trusted. He too, like the Scribe, moves on the diagonal; except, unlike the Scribe, He is limited to nine squares in either direction, so long as his way is not impeded by another piece. He is also limited to his own color.

*See Below For Piece Placement*

Spearman(SP)

The Spearman similar to the pawn in chess is the first of the front row pieces. He moves forward only and captures only on the diagonal. On his first move, the Spearman has the option of moving one, two, or three squares forward or one square diagonally if capturing a piece. After that he advances only one square at a time, no matter which option he chose. Upon reaching the opponents back row a Spearman can then be traded for either a Tarnsman or Rider of The High Tharlarion. There are eight Spearmen to a side.

*See Below For Piece Placement*

Rider of The “High Thalarion”(HT)

Flanking the six Spearmen in the front row, one on each side, is a Rider of the High Tharlarion, or lizard rider. He can move one square in any direction, so long as his way is not impeded by another piece. There are two Rider’s of The High Thalarion to a side.

*See Below For Piece Placement*

Physician(PH)

Flanking the two Riders of the High Tharlarion in the front row, one on each side, is a Physician. He can move up to four squares in a straight line, forward, backwards or to the side as long as his way is not impeded by another piece. There are two Physicians to a side.

*See Below For Piece Placement*

Home stone

The Home Stone is what Kaissa the game is all about. It does not start on the board, but must be placed on the board after the second move and on or before, but not later than the tenth move. The placement of the Home Stone constitutes a move on it’s own. If the Home Stone is not placed on or before the tenth move, the game is over by default. The object is to capture your opponent’s Home Stone, without losing your own. When a Home Stone is captured, or a Player resigns the game is over. The Home Stone can move one square in any one unimpeded direction. It cannot capture other pieces. The placement of the Home Stone on the board is yours and your opponent’s choice. The Home Stone must be placed on the back row of your playing pieces. It cannot be placed on an already occupied square.

*See Below For Piece Placement*

Kaissa Red Piece Placement

Kaissa Yellow Piece Placement

Origin

Kaissa was the name of the first Soviet chess computer, but it is also the name of the chess-like game played on Earth’s hidden “sister planet” Gor (orbiting opposite Earth on the far side of the sun) in the interplanetary fantasy novels of John Norman. Gorean Kaissa, sometimes simply called “the game,” was clearly inspired by Barsoomian Jetan. Like Jetan, it is played on a 10 x 10 square grid. The movement of individual pieces more closely resembles modern chess than Jetan, but the victory conditions are concerned with a home stone which is unique to this game, and symptomatic of Gorean culture and ethics.

The rules here are an attempt to be faithful to the game presented in the books. But Norman (unlike Burroughs) never gives a complete exposition of the rules of his game, and a certain measure of creative interpolation is necessary.

Rules

Play alternates as in modern chess, with characteristic moves for each piece type (see below), and captures made by moving into the space of the captured piece. Multiple pieces may not share a space. Yellow moves first.

Game resolution is as follows:

Victory – A player captures the home stone of the opponent.

Draw – Both Ubars have been captured.

Either player may resign to a loss. Both may agree to a draw.

Pyramid Pieces for Kaissa

Each side in Kaissa has twenty pieces plus a “home stone.” Customarily, one side is yellow and the other is red.

Attractive and effective Jetan pieces may be conveniently constructed from six monochrome 15-piece stashes: the side corresponding to Gorean yellow with yellow, white, and green; and the Gorean red side with red, black, and purple. In the following descriptions of individual pieces, the yellow-side pieces will be described. For the red side, simply substitute red for yellow, black for white, and purple for green.

Ubar

1 per side

A small yellow pyramid stacked on a medium yellow, on a medium white, on a large green

May move like a Builder or an Initiate (i.e. identical to a queen in modern chess).

Ubara

1 per side

A small green pyramid stacked on a small white, on a medium yellow, on a large green

May move like a Builder or an Initiate (i.e. identical to a queen in modern chess).

Tarnsmen

2 per side

A large yellow pyramid on a medium white, on a medium green for each

Move one space on a positioning move. In a capturing (“flight”) move, a Tarnsman moves one space orthogonally plus one space diagonally and can jump over intervening pieces (i.e. the move of a knight in modern chess).

Scribes

2 per side

A small green pyramid stacked on a medium yellow for each

Move diagonally one or two spaces.

Builders

2 per side

A medium white pyramid stacked on a large yellow for each

Move any number of unoccupied spaces orthogonally (identical to a rook in modern chess).

Initiates

2 per side

A small green pyramid on a white large pyramid for each

Move any number of unoccupied spaces on the diagonal (identical to a bishop in modern chess).

Physicians

2 per side

A medium green pyramid for each.

Riders (of the High Thalarion)

2 per side

A small yellow pyramid on a large green pyramid for one, a small white pyramid on a large green pyramid for the other

Move one space in any direction.

Spearmen

6 per side

A single small yellow or white pyramid for each (three and three)

An initial move option of one, two or three spaces forward; otherwise only one space at a time either forward, diagonally forward, or sideways. They may only capture diagonally, but (unlike pawns in modern chess) they may also move forward on the diagonal without capturing. A Spearman who reaches the tenth rank can be promoted to a Tarnsman or Rider.

Home Stone

1 per side

A large yellow pyramid

Moves one square in any direction.

The Home Stone is not a “piece,” strictly speaking, since it cannot capture. It is begins off of the board, and it must be placed on one of the squares in the rank nearest the player during the player’s first ten turns (some say seven). Home stone placement constitutes a turn.

Board and Setup

The customary Kaissa board is a 10×10 square grid with red and yellow squares. It is often printed on cloth (like a chessboard bandana).

As in modern chess, the pieces are initially set up in the two ranks closest to the player.

In the center of the nearest rank are the Ubar (right) and Ubara (left). These are flanked by the Tarnsmen, in turn flanked by the Scribes, in turn flanked by the Builders, in turn flanked by the Initiates.

In the center of the second rank are the six Spearmen. They are flanked by the Riders, who are flanked by the Physicians.

Information Posted by Lee Johnson on https://www.facebook.com/notes/gorean-lifestyle-teachings/kaissa-and-variants/2063187980382462/

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