The objective of the game is to checkmate the opponent. A king denuded of all pieces (excluding pawns) cannot be mated; the game is drawn. A king with only a single piece supporting him (again excluding pawns) can only be mated before that piece has moved seven times, or else the game is drawn.

Movement of Pieces

We notice that the possible movements of the main senterej pieces, excluding that of the king and pawn, are complementary to one another, occupying, without any omission or redundancy, all available squares with regards to a central position inside a 5×5 grid, as shown in the figure to the right.


In Senterej both sides start playing at the same time without waiting for turns. The phase before first capture is called the “mobilization” or “marshalling” phase, or werera. Both players may move their pieces as many times as they like without concern for the number of moves the opponent makes. During this phase the players watch each other’s moves, and retract their own and substitute others as they think best. They only start to take turns after the first capture.