NRICH: Alquerque

This game for two, was played in ancient Egypt as far back as 1400 BC. The game was taken by the Moors to Spain, where it is mentioned in 13th century manuscripts, and the Spanish name Alquerque derives from the Arabic El- quirkat. Watch out for being ‘huffed’.

Age 5 to 18

Resources:
12 counters each.
A 5×5 board as above.

To start:

  • Place your counters on the board as in the diagram above.
  • You can move a counter from any point to any adjacent empty point along a line (the only points allowed being those occupied at the start and the centre point).
  • If an adjacent place is occupied by an opponent’s piece and the next point beyond is empty, then the player can capture the opponent’s piece by jumping over it and remove it from the board.
  • If another piece is then at risk it is taken in the same move by jumping over it, a change of direction being allowed.
  • If a piece can make a capture it must do so and if it does not do so it is ‘huffed’ and removed from the board.
  • If there is a choice of capture, the greater number must be taken in preference to the lesser, otherwise the capturing piece is ‘huffed’.

    The winner: is the player who captures the most counters from the other player.


Deductive Reasoning & Logical Thinking
K-6, Middle School, High School

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