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 Tablut

Discuss about tablut game or find new opponents.

There is a fellowship dedicated to tablut, its called tablut reborn and can be found here;

http://brainking.com/en/ShowFellowship?fid=397


for all paying members of BrianKing.


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26. Maj 2003, 12:10:57
WhisperzQ 
Emne: Black or White
Not sure if you were meaning me when you talked about players with better black records than white, but I can add that I have only ever played black (except for a two gamer with Harley) as this is all that has been offered in the Waiting Games arena.

Still haven't been in a tablut tournament as these never seem to attract enough players to form a quorum ... so I have made a new tournament for all to try out ... come join the fun

Tablut - Black + White #1

26. Maj 2003, 12:51:29
ughaibu 
Emne: Whisperz
Because it's tiresome to go through the multiple game matches sorting out the results of individual games by colour I only looked at the 18 players with established ratings, perhaps this has given me a distorted picture. I would like to join your tournament but cannot at present, hopefully I'll be clear by the sign-up deadline.

2. Juni 2003, 16:24:28
WhisperzQ 
Emne: New Tournament starts tomorrow
You see that there are no tournaments of a particular type and so decide to make then suddenly off they go ... well here is the one that started the trend ... this is your last day so sign up now at:
Tablut - Black + White #1 (Tablut)

13. Juni 2003, 18:27:14
Pawn Reaper 
Emne: Captures
I was just wondering if a king may participate in capturing a black piece.

13. Juni 2003, 18:54:21
harley 
No, cm5127, the king cannot participate in capturing a black piece. :o)

16. Juni 2003, 11:34:46
WhisperzQ 
Emne: Re: Captures
Unfortunately I would say :(

16. Juni 2003, 12:30:46
harley 
No, because a black piece could never get next to the king if he was to be taken every time!

16. Juni 2003, 18:17:41
ughaibu 
Emne: Draws by repetition
What I dont like about the draws by repetition is that they can only be forced by white, the concept of 'draw' implies equallity and in this situation where the resource is available to one side but not the other there is inequallity. If white has no possibility of winning it seems fair enough that they can escape by repeating moves but I suggest that rather than this being a draw the consequence be that the players play again with reversed colours.

20. Juni 2003, 20:19:50
eggman 
doesn't the white king have to escape to a corner in the original game?also it is taken like a normal piece and can participate in captures?at least that is how i played it on a scandinavian website.

20. Juni 2003, 20:39:11
ughaibu 
Emne: Eggman
The rules of the original game aren't fully known but Linnaeus says the edge not the corner. He doesn't mention whether or not the king can take part in captures but evidence from references to other tafl games suggest he couldn't.

21. Juni 2003, 16:02:33
eggman 
The game here seems to be quite evenly balanced anyway.well if your not playing ughaibu that is!

6. September 2003, 04:17:53
runningwolf 
Emne: I have two questions
I have played only a few times and got beat badly so here are my questions
What are some of the Biggest Mistakes Beginners make at this game??

My other question is What are some of the Mistakes Experienced players Make ??

6. September 2003, 11:56:05
harley 
LMAO runningwolf!!!

I think one of the biggest mistakes made when playing black is to take your eyes off the king. Its easy to be distracted by other things happening, so the king sneaks away!

As white, probably one of the biggest mistakes is to lose too many pieces early on. You have less pieces than black so have to use them strategically.

Maybe one of the better players can go into this in more depth?

6. September 2003, 20:09:14
runningwolf 
Emne: Re:
Thanks harley!!
I will try and remember thet I found the answer that Does Guarantee that i will get Lots of wins for now on I will just have ughaibu make my moves for me LOL
It will just take time and a lot more games i guess

17. December 2003, 10:57:49
ughaibu 
Emne: Repetition
The aim of the game is for the white king to escape, in a position where the king continually attacks the edge and black continually blocks it, the king doesn't escape. "Well", you might say "neither does black capture the king in such a situation". That's true enough, but the logic of the situation suggests that if the king doesn't escape, ie is restricted to the hostile environment of the board indefinitely, he will die from either starvation or exhaustion. Does nobody else feel that there is something flawed in this rule? Is there any reason why a game should have draws? Even if all draws had been considered to be white losses, of the total games played at BrainKing white would still have won 60%, this is a much bigger skew than exists in pente, a game in which a member recently objected to tournaments with only one game between participants because the bias is so strong.

18. December 2003, 01:40:59
rod03801 
Emne: Re: Repetition
I recently asked about this on another board. It puzzled me, because it didn't seem to be a "real" draw. Being the expert player that you are, How should someone handle this situation as either white or black? As one color, do you say to the other color that they are obligated to make a different move? And which color is the one who would be the more appropriate one to stop repeating?

I am VERY new to tablut, and absolutely LOVE it... I am determined to get better at it..

18. December 2003, 06:55:51
ughaibu 
Emne: Rod03801
Thanks for the reply. The problem is that what is known of the rules of tablut comes from one diary entry of Carl Linne during a brief stay with Sami people in the mountains of Sweden. Naturally, in that time, he wouldn't have come across every situation that can occur and some situations wouldn't have come to his attention precisely because the Sami players would be familiar with the rules. Tablut and similar type games have existed from around 2000 years ago so I think we can be confident that fully satisfactory rules also existed. There is no reason to believe that repeating position is legal and constitutes a draw. There's a tendency for people with a chess background to feel that chess is a species of senior game and to make decisions about rules in quite different games by observing chess, there's no justification for this. Among other considerations chess is a game plagued by draws and it would be better, under the influence of other games, to remove the draws from chess. In an earlier discussion on this page stalemate was being discussed yet even in chess stalemate doesn't make sense, the king is as dead as if checkmated. I accept the logic that the king (in tablut) can move onto a surrounded square next to the centre but if the king can not then leave that square because black occupies the opposing adjacent square and white has no other pieces that can move then, it seems obvious to me, this is a white loss (Linne even says that white loses when the king has no power of movement), likewise if white has several pieces left and black surrounds them such that none can move it is clearly a black win according to the spirit of the rules. These are rare situations that it's usually possible to avoid by taking care with the move order but it would still be nice to have something in the rules. Repetition, on the other hand, is not rare, in fact in almost ever game black has to not only try to win but also has to avoid the possibility of repetition. As black has no mechanism to force a repetition, white doesn't need to pay any attention to the possibility. This in itself is unsatisfactory, further, I suspect that white may be able to acheive repetition by force from the outset, if such is the case then it makes no sense to allow repetition. My suggestion is that repeating moves with continuous threats to the edge should be a loss for white. There exists an organisation called the Tafl Gild, they have some bizarre aims to be brought about by a resurrection of Viking culture primarily their version of tablut. Although I dont agree with their general interpretation of the rules of Linne and think their variant is a rather poor game I do recognise that they have one of the largest bodies of contemporary playing experience (the same can now be said of BrainKing) and it is noteworthy that they have elected for repetition to be a loss for white.

18. December 2003, 10:07:21
Fencer 
There are many variants of Tablut. I've just implemented the one I've found in a Slovak book of board games.

18. December 2003, 10:21:59
harley 
I don't mind the rules about repeating. Sure its frustrating, and most people feel that white has the advantage anyway, and this is just one more plus for playing as white. But if the black player is good enough I think it can probably be avoided in most games.
But then again, I had never heard of tablut before I came here, I haven't really studied it and ughaibu is definitely a far superior player to me!

18. December 2003, 12:57:12
Fencer 
Yes, ughaibu could write a handbook for players of all levels :-)

23. December 2003, 01:43:36
Jason 
if we had the older version (not sure of its true name) the one which i belive is on a bigger board and something about the corners (maybe for trapping pieces ) would this version help for getting less draws ?

23. December 2003, 11:03:33
ughaibu 
Emne: Jason
The rules for other versions are mainly derived from tablut and there's no reason to think they're necessarily accurate. The rules Fencer uses are pretty much exactly as they were recorded first hand by Carl von Linne, this is the only "full" recording of rules for a tafl-type game that exist. The problem is that he only spent a few days with the Sami and couldn't speak their language, also he was primarily interested in plants not board games so it's unlikely that he would have tried to ask about the possibility of repeating moves. If repeating moves had been legal there's a possibility that he would have observed and recorded the fact, as he didn't do so is a slight negative evidence that repeating was not legal. I've tried contacting various university departments and Sami journals, cultural organisations, etc in the hope that somebody would be able to clear this question up but I've had no success so far. The main point is that there is no reason why repeating moves should be legal and a draw, it's likely that as this point wasn't originally covered later authors simply transfered the idea from chess. You mention versions with escape to the corners, hostile squares, etc, these restrictions were introduced by players who after some experience felt that the bias was too strong and that white's aim should be made more difficult. I think the bias is an illusion and that the game was of sufficient antiquity that the rules recorded by Linne should constitute a game worth playing for 2000 years. However, the question of repetition isn't covered by those rules and we now have the experience to make a ruling on this question which, from lack of any clarification from Sami sources, might be a good idea. How about a poll of the opinions of members with established tablut ratings?

23. December 2003, 12:44:06
WhisperzQ 
Emne: To draw or not to draw
I have no preference ... having followed the arguments to date I can see merit in declaring black the winner if white cannot move or if white brings about a repeat of a position board say 3 times.

I was once (when I was not quite so busy) going to check how players of equal standing faired black vs white but alas time has run away. At the time I was not fully convinced that white has a decided advantage, but with over 2000 completed games it seems reasonably certain ... all I certain of is that Ughaibu always has the advantage! :)

23. December 2003, 12:55:16
ughaibu 
It's not clear just from the results whether or not white has a significant advantage. The difference is much greater among lower rated players than among higher so I still think that white is easier rather than "better" in a theoretical sense. When I have some time I'll run through the results of all completed tournaments comparing results by colour, it may transpire that black's results will have improved over time with the aquisition of experience.

28. December 2003, 02:45:41
LongJohn GZ 
Emne: About to Start
I am about to start learning this game and I just browsed over a couple of your games ughaibu. A very incredibly impressive set of stats you have there. Unfortunately, you cannot join my game as I set it for 1500 and down I think LOL. But, if you would like to play me and let me be White, send me an invite and I will have a go. (and lose)

28. December 2003, 12:22:49
WhisperzQ 
Emne: Re: About to Start
Have fun LJ

5. April 2004, 17:31:40
ughaibu 
Emne: Whisperz
As said below there was no mention of repetition by Linnaeus but if repetition was illegal he wouldn't have seen it or commented on it. I agree it's tough on a player to have the rules changed mid-game but to say the king hasn't been captured is like saying suicide avoids death. What happens in chess is irrelevent, I could equally say in shogi perpetual check loses and a stalemated king also loses, the problems should be considered in the spirit of tablut not other games. As white wins the majority of games at BrainKing why should they be given two drawing resources as well? Black has no drawing resource so there is no equality and the concept of draw implies equality.

5. April 2004, 23:34:28
WhisperzQ 
With regard to the perpetual check I do not agree ... this takes two players to repeat the moves ... why should it be white who is responsible for resolving the situation ... therefore here I think there is an equality.

With regard to the "no more legal moves" scenario I can see the logic in what you say but I think this was just poor man management on the part of black ... there were other paths of play which would have lead to a win for black.

As for the black vs white, I think you are right although (discounting games against you) I think my win:loss for black and white are similar.

6. April 2004, 05:24:27
ughaibu 
Voluntary repetition takes two, perpetual check does not. I agree Lythande could have played and won that game in accordance with the rules in force at the game's start, if his opponent objects to the result maybe Fencer should void that game(?)

6. April 2004, 10:13:59
Lythande 
Trust me, it wasn't clever. She knows less about what she's doing in Talbut than I do, and that's not much. We are both very new to the game, and not espacially strong chess players. She is my daughter. :)

6. April 2004, 11:34:05
WhisperzQ 
Sorry, you are right, again you find out my lack of precision (LOL) ... there is little scope for a perpetual trap in Tablut (though not impossible) but voluntary repetitious movement is certainly a possibility (but how is it voluntary if any other movement would result in a loss - a scenario which might apply to equally to either black or white).

6. April 2004, 11:38:38
ughaibu 
Good point. If the only non-losing moves available to both sides result in repetition a draw would seem to be the fair result.

6. April 2004, 11:53:19
ughaibu 
Take the opening move 1.d5-d8, on the face of it black has four natural looking responses: 1....d1-d5, 1....d1-d7, 1....e8-g8 and 1....f9-f8, in reply to any of these except 1....d1-d5 white can play 2.e5-d5 threatening an immediate draw by repetition. I dont know if the draw can conclusively be defended but in any case this typifies an opening situation in which black is struggling to avoid the draw never mind trying to win. If it turns out that black can only prevent the draw by choosing 1....d1-d5 the number of possible styles of subsequent middlegame is enormously reduced, something that I cant see as being good for the game.

6. April 2004, 12:36:30
WhisperzQ 
2. e5-d5? Okay, where does the forced draw by repetition occur (you know how slow I am LOL).

6. April 2004, 12:50:05
ughaibu 
After 2.e5-d5 it's only a threatened draw, there may be a defense. From the beginning 1.d5-d8, f9-f8 2.e5-d5 white's king has five open squares on the d-line from which to attack the a-edge but black only has four pieces to defend that edge so white can draw. Of course I've been in this position as black without the game ending in a draw but only because white tried to win, what would you suggest as black's 2nd move?

6. April 2004, 13:48:09
WhisperzQ 
Hmmm, shall have to think more about this ... my first reaction would be 1. .. f9-f8, my memory tells me both d1-d5 and d1-d7 tend to lead to losing positions but not with the white response 2. e5-e4. If you assume 1. d5-d8 f9-f8 2. e5-d5 then I guess d1-d2 is required to end up with the 5 open squares for the white King as you say. Shall have to try this out in a couple of games and see how it pans out. I think the trump is the white pawn at c5 which white would want to lose to open up even further this side of the board and black will be hard pressed to not capture it.

6. April 2004, 13:59:34
ughaibu 
If you play 2....d1-d2 and white replies 3.c5-c1 how can black add the extra piece needed to block the five edge squares?

4. Juli 2004, 19:14:57
songbird 
Emne: Tablet
This game is done. And, it wen't go away.

4. Juli 2004, 19:26:11
harley 
Songbird, when you go on the game, go below the board and it should have a button there for you to submit your move.
The problem is that it is your turn, yet you have no pieces to move, so you must pass your move to your opponent so they can make the final move.

5. Juli 2004, 09:37:47
ughaibu 
There is a fellowship devoted to tablut: Backoff's Little House of Tablut Horrors, anyone who'd like to join please send me a message.

16. Juli 2004, 00:22:14
harley 
In game number 390199, my opponent moved her king to an empty space. The square turned green, and its showing at the top as though she took one of my pieces, which shouldn't be possible.
I've never seen a green highlighted square before! Whats going on?

16. Juli 2004, 00:36:49
ughaibu 
It happened to me in a game this week, it didn't effect things just looked a bit funny. Have you been getting incorrect numbers of captured black pieces too?

16. Juli 2004, 00:55:25
harley 
Yes, I have! Thats what happened in this game.

I thought the green square may be because she moved to a position where she was surrounded on 3 sides? Can you recall what move prompted your green square? I'm wondering if its like a warning that capture is possible on the next move.

16. Juli 2004, 00:59:24
ughaibu 
I think it did happen when the king went within three blacks although there was no immediate capture possible. I'll replay the game and see how it looks in the archived version.

16. Juli 2004, 01:02:13
ughaibu 
It looks like you're right about that. If you look at my most recent games, it's the one with Mongoloid, the square still turns that peculiar colour.

16. Juli 2004, 01:11:54
harley 
When I look at that game I see 2 green squares. C5 and D4. I also notice it shows your opponent has captured 2 of your pieces on that move, which wasn't possible.
In fact, you have 16 pieces on the board, but it shows 4 captured.
Apart from that, great game!

16. Juli 2004, 01:21:28
ughaibu 
I'm getting incorrect numbers of captured black pieces in lots of games, even old archived ones but as it doesn't effect what happened on the board I'm not too bothered.

16. Juli 2004, 01:45:01
ughaibu 
I'm playing a game at the moment in which my opponent just actively surrounded my king on the third side but the square didn't change colour. Even if I make a pawn move allowing the king's capture the square doesn't change colour, at least not without submitting the move (and I dont want to lose the game just to see if there's a colour change).

16. Juli 2004, 10:04:23
harley 
Maybe its only if you move a king into a square where you would be surrounded on 3 sides?

4. August 2004, 23:02:51
frs 
Emne: game end "nearby the throne" rule question
A question to more experienced players:

It states in the rules that if the king is surrounded on 3 sides, and the throne is on the fourth side, Black wins.
But what if the king has an opening behind him, over the throne and to safety? It is still a legal move, and I'm not sure whether or not Black has to block that exit for the king too ...

For an example see game 406190. Does Black require the piece at E6 to win the game?

harley raised a similiar question on 2003-March-20 15:28, but it remained unanswered. (Except for the tip to resign the game if there's a gap between rules and implementation.)

As far as I understand a very early discussion in this board, the implementation of "moves over the throne" have been modified (a long time ago), but the rules haven't been updated ...?

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