Guide

How to play Bao by mail

This page is for people who never thoght that it is possible to play Bao by mail and who never heard about the possibility of writing down a match. [Read How to play Bao through this site, too]

The follosing picture is a board used to play Bao:

If we want to represent it by a diagram we can draw it in this way:

OOOOOOOO
OOO[ ]OOOO
OOOO[ ]OOO
OOOOOOOO


Now let's "seat" by the board sides.
You "seat" by the north (kaskazini) side
I "seat" by the south (kusini) side

KASKAZINI=YOU
OOOOOOOO
OOO[ ]OOOO
OOOO[ ]OOO
OOOOOOOO
KUSINI=ME

Let's give now a name to each row of pits.
Your rows are a - b
My rows are A - B

KASKAZINI=YOU
bOOOOOOOO
aOOO[ ]OOOO
AOOOO[ ]OOO
BOOOOOOOO
KUSINI=ME

and to the pits:
KASKAZINI=YOU
87654321
bOOOOOOOO
aOOO[ ]OOOO
AOOOO[ ]OOO
BOOOOOOOO
12345678
KUSINI=ME

So, your front pits are: a1 - a2 - a3 - a4 - a5 - a6 - a7 - a8
while, your back pits are: b1 - b2 - b3 - b4 - b5 - b6 - b7 - b8

My front pits are: A1 - A2 - A3 - A4 - A5 - A6 - A7 - A8
the back ones are: B1 - B2 - B3 - B4 - B5 - B6 - B7 - B8

KASKAZINI=YOU
b8b7b6b5b4b3b2b1
a8a7a6a5a4a3a2a1
A1A2A3A4A5A6A7A8
B1B2B3B4B5B6B7B8
KUSINI=ME

So your house (nyumba) is called a5, while mine is called A5 (Read more at Notational system).
Now we start playing.
KASKAZINI=YOU
87654321
b00000000
a022[6]0000
A0000[6]220
B00000000
12345678
KUSINI=ME

I start to play, because I am 'south' (kusini).
I start from the pit A6 and I sow them leftward, that is I take a seed from my reserve and I put it into the sixth pit from left pick up the three seeds and I sow them into the pits 5, 4 and 3.
How can you know what I have done?
In the mail I'll write: A6<, that is I start from pit 6 in the row A and I sow leftward < (read more at Notational system).
You'll know that the new situation on the board is:
KASKAZINI=YOU
87654321
b00000000
a022[6]0000
A0011[7]020
B00000000
12345678
KUSINI=ME

You'll capture my seeds from the pit A4, and maybe you'll sow them from your first pit on your left, so in the mail you'll send me you'll write: a5> (read more at Notational system).
I'll know that the new situation is:
KASKAZINI=YOU
87654321
b00000000
a122[7]0000
A0010[7]020
B00000000
12345678
KUSINI=ME

Our web site allow you to do all above explained much easier and it will check the validity of your move. Read more at How to play through this site]

Now you are ready to read How to take part in a tournament by mail!

Following the same method you can play Bao by mail against a friend who lives very far.