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Hiashatar Photos. Photos of some hiashatar sets from Mongolia.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
bukovski wrote on 2016-02-05 UTC
A propos the approaching lunar new year celebrations, do the "queens" of this set represent fire dog and tiger from the Mongolian zodiac?  If yes, are they alternates of the usual iconography to commemorate significant year(s) for the carver or owner, or is just that the red of the base has migrated to the whole lion dog to become more flashy?  Shatar and hiashatar's rich symbolism seem to integrate so well into the patterns of a game adopted in Mongolian culture in the middle ages.  The idea of the opposition of the players expressed in chromatic, thematic, and even cosmic detail is impressive.

bukovski wrote on 2016-01-26 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
The added photos of a hiashatar set bring to mind a question for others who play this game: which version of the move for the hia do you prefer?  There are two mentioned on this site, one by Mr Kisliouk and the other by Mr Winther -- I much prefer Mr Winther's suggestion, even if it is not historical.  There is a third choice: Mr Cazaux has synthesized a set of observations from Mongolia into a move.

I wonder if the different iconographies of the piece -- advisor or warrior -- could match variations in the way the piece moves when Mongolians play the game.

Ed wrote on 2014-01-21 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Well, I prefer the painted pieces to the stained, and, while there are
certainly aesthetic and historical reasons for the monochromatic board, I
think it makes seeing the moves along the diagonal more difficult -- at
least for me.

The hia is an interesting piece: I like the move suggested by a number of
commentators here, i.e., that the hia's zone affects only opponents.  I
know the material of Mr. Kisliouk says that K+Hia is a draw against bare K
because of the Hia's inability to deliver checkmate.  I wonder if the
power is like the N in shatar, the curious ability to check but not
checkmate, or if, because completely unable to threaten the opponent's K,
the Hia has two "predators" on the board the K and N.

Since these are modern, I wonder if this game is moribund in Mongolia and
if these sets are meant only for export as curios.

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