Home Rudrata


An Unusual Chess Variant

Live Demo: https://oulipiansummer.github.io/rudrata/

Source Code: https://github.com/OulipianSummer/rudrata

I have been fascinated with solving the knight’s tour problem ever since I learned about it. Computer science students are commonly tasked with developing programs that will solve knight’s tour problems and computers are typically very good at finding solutions to it, but I wanted to experience what it was like to solve one on my own.

Of course, doing this with a real chessboard is a bit of a drag. How do you know what squares you’ve already visited? Pennies? Sticky notes? None of these solutions were all that satisfying, so I decided to try and build a program that could remember the move history. The end result was this game.

Talking Points

  • Built using React, Bootswatch, and a modified chess library
  • Hosted on Github pages
  • Allows players to solve the knight’s tour problem for themselves

What Is It?

Rudrata is a web-based chess game centered on the infamous knight’s tour problem. This puzzle challenges players to visit every square on the chess board exactly once using only a knight. The challenge comes from the fact that knights have the most unique and non-linear movement pattern in chess, leading to the player needing to come up with a strategy for how they will “tour” the chess board.

There are over 19 quadrillion solutions to the knights tour problem on an 8x8 chessboard, but that doesn’t always make them easier to find!

How Do You Play?

When the game starts, players are presented with a standard 8x8 chess board. Clicking any square will place the knight. Players must then navigate around the board using the knight’s standard moveset (2 squares in any direction, followed by 1 square in an adjacent direction). Players who are able to complete the tour may discover something mysterious.

Players can also adjust their preferred difficulty by changing the size of the chess board. 5x5 is the easiest setting, and 10x10 is the most challenging.

Who is Rudrata?

As far as we know, Rudrata was a 9th century Kashmiri poet who was the first person to record a solution to this puzzle. However, instead of using a chessboard or a diagram to showcase his solution, Rudrata wrote his solution as a Sanskrit poem.

से ना ली ली ली ना ना ली ली ना ना ना ना ली ली ली न ली ना ली ले ना ली ना ली ली ली ना ना ना ना ली

transliterated: se nā lī lī lī nā nā lī lī nā nā nā nā lī lī lī na lī nā lī le nā lī nā lī lī lī nā nā nā nā lī

From Wikipedia

How Was It Made?

Rudrata was created using the React JavaScript framework, Bootswatch, and a slightly modified chessboard library called chessboard.jsx. A live demo of this puzzle is permanently available on Github pages.

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.

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