Lau kata kati
Lau kata kati is a two-player abstract strategy game from India, specifically from Lower Bengal, United Provinces, Karwi Subdivision where it is called Kowwu Dunki. The game is related to Draughts and even more so to Alquerque. Pieces are captured by hopping over them, and the board is composed of two triangle grids. It is the same game as Butterfly (game) from Mozambique, which suggests a historical connection between the two games. Lau kata kati belongs to a specific category of games called Indian War-games, and the other games in this category are Dash-guti, Egara-guti, Pretwa, Gol-skuish. All Indian War-games have one important thing in common, and that is that all the pieces are laid out on the grid patterned board, with only one vacant point in the center. This forces the first move to be played on the central point, and captured by the other player's piece.
It is important to realize that Lau kata kati's board is the basis of other games, in particular, Dash-guti and Egara-guti. In serves as a basis for other games in the same way that the Alquerque board and the draughts board is a basis for other games.
Lau kata kati is also known as Lau kati kata and Nau Keti Keta.
To capture all of the opponent's pieces, or be the one with more pieces when no more pieces can be taken by either player, or stalemate the other opponent's pieces such that they are immobilized.
The board is two triangles connected together at a common vertex. The triangles are divided by two lines across their breadth which forms the second and third ranks, and a single line runs down the length of both triangles through the common vertex. Pieces are played on the intersection points, and there are a total of 19 intersection points.
Each player has 9 pieces. One plays the black pieces, and the other plays the white pieces, however any two colors or distinguishable objects will do.
Game Play and Rules
- The 9 black pieces are initially placed on one of the triangles, and the 9 white pieces are placed on the other triangle. The only intersection point vacant is the one in the middle which is the vertex that connects each triangle to each other.
- Players choose which color to play, and who starts first. Players alternate their turns using one piece to either move or capture per turn.
- A piece moves one space per turn onto a vacant intersection point following the pattern on the board.
- Captures are done by the short leap as in Draughts and Alquerque, where the adjacent enemy piece is hopped over onto a vacant point on the other side. The captures must be done in a straight line following the pattern on the board. Multiple captures are allowed as long as there is one vacant point in between the enemy pieces, and a vacant point beyond the last enemy piece. Captures are compulsory. If there are several options to capture in one turn, the player may choose any one of them. Captured pieces are removed from the board.
- If a player cannot perform a move or a capture because its pieces have been blocked or immobilized by the other player's pieces, this is known as a stalemate, and the player loses; the other player wins.
- If neither player can capture anymore pieces, the player with more pieces wins. If both players have the same amount of pieces, then the game is a draw.