Initial positionShakti is one of the 'Atlantis Triplets' that employ different implementations of the 'atlantis effect', the gradual disappearance of the playing area, eventually leaving one king or the other without refuge.
The other two are Caïssa and Cyclix.

Shakti is without doubt the smallest chess game with a non trivial strategy.

In the initial position the board is covered with 45 tiles. During play this number is bound to be reduced due to the 'atlantis effect', a mechanism that lies at the core of this miniature, and without which no such reduction in material would ever be possible.

  • All play is on the tiles.
  • White begins. Players move, and must move (unless they cannot), in turn.

Initial position
  • The King, if not in check, may move to the first tile he sees in any of eight directions as shown in the diagram.

Initial position
  • If in check, the king is restricted to adjacent tiles. Anticipating on the warrior's move, the diagram on the right shows that pieces giving check from a distance therefore need no protection. It follows that the king can only capture an unprotected warrior on an adjacent tile.

Initial positionThe mutual check rule:
  • Kings may not see one another along the same rank, file or diagonal, with no tiles in between, so neither player may effectuate that situation.
    Thus a king may protect a piece against capture by it's counterpart. It follows that a king may protect a warrior it sees, as in the diagram, where the black king, in check, must move to the indicated tile.

Initial positionThe Warrior:
  • A warrior too may move to the first tile it sees in any of eight directions. If both are vacant, a warrior may also move to the second tile, removing the first. The removal is compulsory, but of course the player may not, in doing so, put his own king in check.
    The next diagram shows the warrior's options. If he chooses the second target-tile in any direction, the one jumped is removed. The black king is not in check because the vacancy-condition is not fulfilled.
    Warriors are strictly king oriented and cannot capture one another.

    Stalemate does not exist in Shakti: if a player cannot move, his opponent may move instead.

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How I invented ... Shakti
Using the Shakti applet
External links



Shakti © MindSports
Java applet © Ed van Zon