The present issue of Board Games Studies covers fewer games than previously.
Broadly speaking there are two: tâb and chess. If chess history has a wide
coverage, tâb games have been little studied. It is a fortunate opportunity
that we can present in this issue four contributions dealing entirely or
partially with tâb games. We first have Alf Næsheim's article on the
Norwegian game daldøsa, followed by a set of rules that are common to both
the Norwegian and Danish games. Peter Michaelsen, who has been studying
daldøs for many years, had published his first conclusions in the Danish
journal Ord & Sag (Michaelsen 1999) and gives here a revised version of his
work. Alan Borvo, an ethnologist by training and an old (French) friend of
the Sámit, offers a fascinating account of the Sámi (Lapp) game sáhkku from
his own experience. Thierry Depaulis then publishes a corpus of tâb and sîg
games from the Arab-Muslim world which he has been collecting for years from
rare or hard-to-find, mostly French sources. He also offers some hypotheses
about the strange travels of these games.
Chess is now the subject of many renewed studies. Even if some students are
reconsidering the role of India as the birthplace of chess it is crucial to
have as many materials as possible at hand. The HariharacaturaÙga chapter on
'Grand Chess' is of great importance for the understanding of Indian chess
variants, and we are grateful to Andreas Bock-Raming for his meticulous
edition of this rare text and for his translation into a European language.
The Fribourg (Switzerland) IVth 'Board Games in Academia' colloquium has led
to new approaches in board game studies which will no doubt appear in our
forthcoming issues. One of the decisions we took in Fribourg was to hold a
colloquium once a year and not every two years as previously. The next and
Vth one will be held in a few months in Barcelona, Spain. These meetings not
only are good opportunities to hear learned contributions, but they also
provide a venue where ideas can be freely exchanged.