hist-games: Gala

Mats Winther mwi9 at swipnet.se
Mon Jul 31 22:53:56 PDT 2006

Den 2006-08-01 02:13:05 skrev Jane & Mark Waks <waks at comcast.net>:

> Mats Winther wrote:
>> In my latest research on Gala I have found that there are, at least, two
>> different versions of Kampa (pawn) promotion. In my latest upload I
>> have included both these.
>> http://hem.passagen.se/melki9/gala.htm
> Question: which source(s) are you finding particularly informative on
> this game? The Bell book isn't very helpful, and I don't think I have
> the other sources; I'm curious which would be useful to pick up. In
> particular, I'm interested in primary-source information that would give
> me a better idea of where we know the game *from*, so that I can make an
> informed decision about when it's appropriate in an SCA context.
> (The only other source I have with a game by this name is Murray, and
> his descriptions seem to be talking about a different game entirely...)
> 				-- Justin


It was exactly this I was looking for: a source with a complete rules
description. Pennick (Games of the Gods) makes a fairly complete
description, but he omits the restricted capture rules for Horsas,
Kampas and Kings. Moreover, he describes the promotion rule for
"weak Kampas" (as I call them). But, It seems like immediate promotion
of th Kampas is better. Games become 30-60 moves, like in chess.
The capture restrictions I got from Chess Variants page
( http://www.chessvariants.com/historic.dir/gala.html ) and these rules are
very logical. It think Horsas become too strong without restricted capture,
and if the Gala's capture isn't restricted within the centre then an enemy
king can never enter there, and then the game would be dead. I myself
added the rule of lone Gala (like lone King in Shatranj) because otherwise
it's impossible to win if the enemy has a King in the centre, even if you
have captured akll the opponent's pieces, and this wouldn't be fair.

Pennick says that this game ought to be researched more, and this is
perhaps the problem. Perhaps there is no singular good source. I
understand now the rule I questioned about in my latest post. It simply
means that the diagonals between the arms of the cross are connected,
and this is self-evident.

In my implementation, the rules that I've added to the Pennick description
are the capture restrictions, and the lone king rule. I've implemented
Pennick's description of Kampa promotion, but I've also implemented
immediate (after the first move) promotion of Kampas, which seems
preferable and more logical. I also added the draw rule: when only two kings
remain and they are both in the centre, then it's a draw. This is logical, too.

Mats Winther

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