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Brax is a two-player abstract strategy board game. It was invented in 1889 (or shortly before) in America by Frederic B Denham of New York City. The board design is unique. There are several marked paths on the board where a player moves their pieces. A piece can move one or two spaces in a turn depending upon the color of the path. Players attempt to capture each other's pieces.
Brax was featured in the book by Klutz Press "The Book of Classic Board Games" (1991) which ranked it among the top 15 board games in history. The game is also known as Jinx. A unique feature in Brax and Jinx is that players can call out "Brax" or "Jinx" if their piece threatens the other player's piece(s). This forces the other player to move the threatened piece on their next move (no other piece may be moved), and the threatened piece is jinxed; hence the name of the game Jinx.
There are three-player, four-player, and "fox and geese" (hunt game) versions of Brax.
A player wins when they have captured all their opponent's pieces.
The board is an 8 x 8 square board with pieces played on the intersection points. Equivalently, the board is a 9 x 9 square grid. The board is further designed with marked lines of two colors (e.g. blue and red). Each player has seven pieces of the same two colors as the marked lines (e.g. blue and red).
1. Players decide what colors to play and who starts first.
2. Each players pieces are placed on the inner seven positions of each player's first rank.
3. Players alternate their turns. Only one piece may be moved in a turn.
4. A player's piece moves orthogonally in any direction on the marked lines or segments between the intersection points. A player piece may move one or two spaces depending upon the color of the marked line(s). If it is of their own color, then the piece can move one or two spaces provided the piece travels within the line of their color. However, the piece cannot, for example, move one space forward, and then one space back in one turn, and thus repeat the previous position.
If the line is the color of the other player, then the piece may only move one space.
5. A piece captures an enemy piece by displacement as in Chess. A piece moves into the same space as the enemy piece, and the enemy piece is removed. It is possible that one player's piece can capture two enemy pieces in one turn. This happens when the player's piece is able to move two spaces on its own colored line, and displacing the two enemy pieces on those two spaces.
6. A player may call "Brax" after moving its piece, and that same piece threatens at least one of their opponent's pieces. A piece threatens an enemy piece if on its next turn, the piece can capture it. By calling "Brax", the other player is forced to move that piece on their next turn (no other piece can be moved). The other player may decide to capture the threatening piece if it can reach it. The player who called "Brax" cannot call "Brax" on their next turn; he or she must wait for at least one turn before they can call "Brax" again. "Brax" can only be called immediately after the player has moved its piece, and that piece threatens at least one enemy piece. If two or more enemy pieces are threatened, then the other player can decide whichever piece to move.
A player does not have to call "Brax", if they do not wish to, however, the other player is not forced to move the threatened piece(s) on their next move.
7. When one player has only one piece left on the board, and the other player has only two pieces left on the board, then "Brax" can no longer be called by either player.