Traditional Board Games

Bagh Chal

Bagh Chal is an ancient hunt board game from Nepal. Its name means "moving tigers", and is played by two players, one controlling four tigers, the other controlling twenty goats. The four tigers must eat five of the goats, but the goats must trap the tigers. Some have called bagh chal the national game of Nepal.

History of Bagh Chal

It is said that the game is a thousand years old. Some sources say the game originated in the Himalayas, and others that it came from further south in India, where similar games have been played for centuries. Whatever its antiquity, the game is still popular today, with traditional brass sets with cast pieces still being made and sold across the world by Nepali craftsmen.

Rules for Bagh Chal

Rules for Bagh Chal
Bagh Chal is played on the alquerque board by two players. One has four tigers, while the other has twenty goats. Henceforth they will be called the tiger player and the goat player.

1. The game begins with four tigers on the board, one in each corner, as shown in the diagram.

2. The twenty goats are kept in hand by the player who has taken their side.

3. The goat player takes the first turn.

4. If the goat player has goats in hand, he must use his turn to place one on any empty point on the board.

5. If the goat player has placed all the goats, then he must instead use his turn to move one of the goats from its current position, along a marked line in any direction, to an adjacent empty point.

6. The tiger player in his turn may move a tiger from its current position, along a marked line in any direction, to an adjacent empty point.

7. Only one piece may occupy a point at any one time; stacking of pieces is not allowed.

8. A tiger may sometimes capture, or eat, a goat, instead of moving as described in rule 6.

9. To eat a goat, the tiger player must jump with one of his tigers along a marked line, over an adjacent goat, to an empty point beyond. The goat is then removed from the board and takes no further part in play.

10. The tiger may not change direction in the middle of its jump. A goat is only in danger of being eaten if on one side it has a tiger, and on the other an empty space.

11. Only one goat may be eaten in any one turn. Multiple jumps are not allowed.

12. The tiger player wins when his tigers have eaten five goats.

13. The goat player wins if the tigers are trapped and the tiger player has no legal move.


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