Seega

Seega is an ancient Egyptian two-player game that is still played today in the rural Egypt. It is usually played on a 7 x 7 board but 5 x 5 and 9 x 9 boards are also used.

Seega board
Figure 1: Seega board

Rules

Each player has 24 pieces or Dogs and the goal of the game is to capture your opponent’s Dogs. The game is played in two phases; the first phase is considered the heart of the game where the most skill is needed. The game starts with each player placing two Dogs on the board as shown in Figure 1.

The first phase starts with the players taking turns beginning with white to place two Dogs at a time on any square but the center square. This is repeated until all the Dogs have been placed on the board and only the center square is vacant.

In the next phase of the game the players move one Dog at a time one square orthogonally but not diagonally beginning with black. The center square may be used in this phase. A Dog is captured and removed from the board if it is orthogonally sandwiched between two of the opponent’s Dogs (custodial capture). It is possible to capture several Dogs with a single move as shown in Figure 2. A Dog is not captured if it is moved between two of the opponent’s Dogs. In addition a Dog is not captured if it is between two opponent’s Dogs in the initial layout. A player that makes a capture plays again.

Seega capture
Figure 2: Seega capture

If a player is completely blocked and is unable to move, the blocked-in player is allowed to remove any one of the opponent's pieces to clear a path. This situation usually arises only within the first few moves of the game.

The winner is the player who captures all his opponent’s Dogs.