Makruk (thai หมากรุก) (or Thai chess) is a board game descended from the 6th century Indian game of chaturanga or a close relative thereof, and therefore related to chess. It is regarded as the most similar living game to this common ancestor of all chess variants.
The name makruk is expressed with a low-shaking tone while saying mak and a high-level tone when saying ruk. Makruk is popular in Thailand and Cambodia. In these countries the game is more popular than chess. There are around two millions Thais who can play Makruk, of which about 5000 also play chess.
The set-up is nealy the same as World Chess but the white Khun are facing the black Met.
Set the pieces up from left to right:
Rua, Ma, Khon, Khun, Met, Khon, Ma, Rua. The Bia will be on the third and sixth row unlike the World Chess.
The Khun(King) can move one square in each direction. Khun is the most important one, it can't die because that will be the end of the game.
The Met (Queen) can move diagonally in every direction, but only one square. Met is always used to attack the opponent and sometimes also used for protecting khun same as khon.
The Khon (Bishop) can move one square diagonally in every direction or one square straight forward. Khon is the one mostly used to protect khun. It is more useful than a knight (ma) at the end of the game.
The Ma (Knight) can move and be used the same as world chess knight.
The Rua (Rook) can move and be used the same as world chess rook. It's very powerful if you still have it near the end of the game.
The Bia (Pawn) can only move one square forward at a time (unlike the first move for world chess). When it takes another piece it does this diagonally. After moving forward three rows, a pawn is promoted to a queen. It doesn't have to reach the far end. Promotion is done by turning the piece over. Bia is always used for attacking the opponent, clearing the way and stopping the opponent from coming forward.
When neither side has any pawns the game must be completed within a certain number of moves or it is declared a draw. When a piece is captured the count starts again from scratch only if it is the last piece of one side in the game.
When neither side has any pawns left mate must be achieved in 64 moves. The one who is in disadvantage will be the one who will do the counting. He or she may stop counting whenever he or she favors. If the disadvantage side checkmates the advantage side and did not stop counting , the game will be declared a draw.
When the last piece that is not King of the disadvantage side is captured, the count restart from regular counting and the stronger side is now given a count value based on the pieces it has left:
At least two rooks: 8 moves
At least one rook: 16 moves
At least two bishops: 22 moves
At least two knights: 32 moves
At least one bishop: 44 moves
At least one knight: 64 moves
Only queens left: 64 moves
From these starting values, subtract 1 for each piece on the board. The resulting number is how many moves the stronger side has to win, otherwise the game becomes a draw. Once the players have reached this point, there is no count restarts unless one side had stopped counting and would like to start counting again.
For example, if white has two rooks and a knight against a lone black king, he has 3 moves to checkmate his opponent (the given value of 8 minus the total number of pieces, 5). If black captures a white rook, the count does not restart. Many players don't understand the rules and would restart.