you notice that the king, queen and bishop are essentially the
same shape, but different in size? Even the rook is similar,
but a more squat figure. It may be confusing at first, but you
will get used to distinguishing them.
pieces capture by moving onto the square of an enemy piece and
removing that piece from the board. Only the pawn has a special
move for capturing; all others use their normal moves to capture.
a player’s king is threatened with capture (in check),
he must move in such a way that the king is no longer threatened.
If he can not, he is in checkmate, and the game is lost. If,
however, the player finds that any move he makes will put his
king in check, but he in not in check at the moment, this is
a stalemate, and the game is a draw.
games of makruk end in draws, and this is because of special
rules in the endgame which permit the disadvantaged player to
claim a draw in very peculiar, and sometimes rather complex,
ways. The back panel of this brochure explains the special drawn
Drawn Game Rules
you find yourself with a less powerful group of pieces than
your opponent, there are two special rules which may draw the
The Board’s Honor Rule
there are no unpromoted pawns on the board, and you are at a
distinct disadvantage, you may begin counting your moves aloud
up to 64 (the number of squares on the board). If you are able
to make the 65th move and you haven’t been checkmated,
the game is a draw.
The Pieces’ Honor Rule
for the situation in which (1) you have a lone king with no
remaining pieces and, at the same time (2) there are no unpromoted
pawns on the board. At that moment (when your last piece is
taken, or your opponent’s last pawn is promoted), you
must stop and do some figuring. Follow this system carefully,
and you may be able to claim a draw.
Find the move count number in this way. First ask,
(1) Does the opponent have 2 rooks? If so, the number is 8.
If not, go to the next question:
(2) Does he have 1 rook? If so the number is 16.
Continue to ask, in this order, until you get an affirmative
(3) 2 bishops? If so, it’s 22; (4) 2 knights? If so, it’s
(5) 1 bishop? If so, it’s 44; (6) any pieces at all? If
so, it’s 64.
Now that you have the move count number, count all of the pieces
on the board, including all of your opponents pieces, his king
and your king. For instance if he has 1 rook, 2 bishops, 2 promoted
pawns and a king, against your lone king, you count up to 7.
(In this example the move count number is 16.)
Now, as you make your move (finally, after all that calculating),
begin counting from where you left off. In the example above,
your move will be counted “8.” You continue to count
all of your own moves (in this example, ...9, 10, 11…)
up to the move count number (in this example ...16). If you
reach the move count number without being checkmated, your opponent
has one final move to deliver checkmate. If he can not —
congratulations — you’ve drawn the game!
older traditional Thai chess sets used cowry shells as pawns,
which come naturally in lighter and darker varieties. When they
promoted, they were flipped over to show their openings.