David Parlett's Katarenga games


And Quartermaster: two nim games for two

This fast little game is played on just one quarter of the board, which starts empty. The first pawn may be placed anywhere, but each subsequent pawn must be placed en prise to the previous one. The last player able to place a pawn wins, and scores 1 point for each and every pawn on the board.

First pawn placed

The leftmost image shows White starting on a green square (1), requiring Black to reply on one of the squares a knight's move away (marked X). Black chooses a blue square (2), requiring White to reply a king's move away (marked X). The last image shows White winning with (9), scoring 9 points. But Black should have played (8) to the red square between (1) and (4), thereby, with correct play, eventually winning 15, unless White foresees loss and resigns earlier.

The first player tends to win more often, but the second scores higher for winning.

Play up to a target score of 15 points, which will usually take two or three games to reach (or more, if you tend to resign early).


In this variation the 16 playing squares are not necessarily those of one of the quarterboards. Instead, the first pawn may be placed anywhere on the full 8x8 board, and the "quarter" area of 4x4 squares is not established until it is defined by the two placed pawns furthest away from each other.

En prise


B is en prise to A if it could be legally captured by A. In the strip above the yellow 'bishop' pawn is en prise to the red 'rook'and the green 'knight' to the blue 'king'. A pawn moves from red like a rook, from yellow like a bishop, from green like a knight, from blue like a king. From red and yellow it can move any distance up to but not beyond the next square of the same colour in line of travel.) (Return).