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Has anyone here played chaturanga b4? I find it very different from chess...I don't see how playing it can affect your skills at "modern chess" (maybe there is no such thing) But write back once you've found an answer :)
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I play a bit (very, very poorly). I actually find it somewhat similar to chess in terms of some of its basic strategic aspects. Develop pieces. Create knight outposts and avoid square weaknesses. Control space. Castle early to connect the rooks (okay, so there's no real castling; you have to do it by hand). Push pawns to create open files for the rooks. And there's always tactics and calculation.
Elephants, I don't understand how to handle. I usually just sac them for pawns to damage my opponent's pawn structure if I don't see an obvious square that needs to be controlled by them.
Overall, I find it to be much more positional with a lot more slow maneuvering involved.