How to play Navakankari

About the game -

Just like Chess, Snake and Ladder, Navakankari is being played world wide though under different names and slightly differing rules. We can find the game board etched on the floors in several temples especially in Karnataka. Navakankari is a strategy board game for two players. The aim of the game is to remove opponent’s pieces by  forming ‘sequences of three’ pieces.

Rules of the game -

The RolltheDice Navakankari board is composed of three squares connected with bisectingl lines. The corners have discs, on which you can place pieces. There are 24 points on the board. There are 18 pieces – 9 orange and 9 coffee brown.

Playing the game

The game starts with an empty board.  The first player places her first piece on the board, followed by the opponent. Subsequently, the players place their pieces on vacant points in each turn. Players are not allowed to move their pieces until all the pieces are placed on the board.

The aim of this phase is to form a sequence of three pieces, placed on adjacent points joined by a line (either vertically or horizontally).  Whichever player manages to form a sequence may capture one opponent’s piece (freely chosen). The captured piece is removed from the board and cannot be brought back to the game. If a player manages to form two sequences, then two opponent pieces can be “captured”.

Once all the pieces are placed on the board and opponent pieces have been captured, if possible, the players can start moving their pieces turn-by-turn. In each turn, the player can move a piece to any adjacent vacant corner (marked by a disc). The objective is to again try and form a sequence of three pieces.

Winning the game

The game ends when one of the players has only two pieces left. The player is unable to form any sequences, so the opponent wins the game. The game can also end with a draw. Sometimes both players block themselves or repeat the same moves many times.