Harley: thanks for the interesting reply. It seems to me that black has no equivalent way to force a draw by repetition(?) and thus it contravenes the spirit of the game for white to have that advantage. As a parallel example, in shogi a draw by voluntary repetition is fine but if one side forces the other to accept the draw by continually checking it is a loss for the checking side. I dont know how much accurate information is available about how tablut type games were played but as they existed for several hundred years I think it's reasonable to assume that they had fully satisfactory rules. I'm not complaining just philosophising.