Chess is a popular game of skill and intellect. In Punjab, the Punjabi’s have modified the game to incorporate their love for good whiskey and rum.
Playing Chess is popular all over the world. Its an ancient game and mention of this game is found in the Mahabharata, which was written in about 5000BC. The Greeks also played chess and by all accounts, it was a popular game.
The game has not changed much over the last 7000 years, except for the addition of some rules and regulations. The game for long was the preserve of Royalty and the elite, but now its played by all and sundry.
The game is played on a chessboard and consists of a total of 32 pieces known as soldiers and knights. It also has a king and queen and the game involves making a plan to checkmate the king. Anyone who checkmates the king is the winner.
I have been playing chess for ages. Earlier I used to play as a child with my maternal grandfather. The game has however been given a welcome twist by the Punjabi’s. They are robust people with a penchant for the good life including good whiskey. The chessboard has been transformed by some robust and energetic people from Punjab with various shades of Scotch whiskey replacing the traditional players on a chessboard
Playing Chess the Punjabi way
On my visit to my village in Punjab near Hoshiarpur, I often play this “Whiskey Chess” as it is popularly called. The players on the chessboard are replaced by delicate glasses containing Scotch whiskey. the pawns or soldiers are replaced by glasses containing ordinary scotch like 100 Pipers, Vat 69, Old Smuggler or similar brands.
The warriors like Knights and Horse and Castle are represented by glasses containing good whiskey like Johnny Walker Black Label, Chivas Regal, etc. The king and queen have glasses filled with a peg of rare scotch like Royal Salute.
The game is played the normal way with the exception that when any player wins an opponent he gets the chance to gulp the scotch peg. The winner who checkmates the king is awarded with the rare scotch. It’s a wonderful game and not for anyone with a weak disposition. I will say its a real macho game and the host will also keep supplied with an endless quantity of Chicken and meat kebabs.
Its great fun and one must play it to relish the flavor of ” Punjabi Chess”. I for one love it and whenever I go to my village in Punjab at Hoshiarpur I make it a point to play Punjabi Chess with my friends. I don’t think even Omar Khayyam can better THIS!