Animal chess

The first chess game I learnt was the animal chess. I was in pri sch at that time. In this game, each side would have 8 pieces representing 8 different animals (elephant, lion, tiger, leopard, wolf, dog, cat, and rat), thus the name animal chess. The 2 sides would compete to see who can reach the stronghold of the other side first, or capture all 8 pieces of the opponent. It was fairly easy and fun. We used to play a round or 2 during recess, or before the daily assembly. A typical round would last for around 10 minutes – we were playing for the fun of it, not for some grandmaster title. Usually there would be some spectators crowding around the 2 players. Some of the spectators were actually waiting for their turn because we used a “loser out” system. Somehow, to the best of my memory, the players and spectators were all boys. I cannot recall seeing girls playing this game back then. Perhaps they were too shy to join in the crowd.

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