Hnefatafl: the Game of the Vikings

Hull 2017 Round 1: Alty (K) vs. Lonsdale (S)

Alty (K) vs. Lonsdale (S), Hull, 2017
Alty (K) vs. Lonsdale (S), Hull, 2017

Kevin Alty vs. Steve Lonsdale, Hull, 17th June 2017.

Steve is a hnefatafl tournament veteran, while Kevin had some brief exposure to hnefatafl previously but had not been a regular player. Sides were chosen at random; Kevin took the attackers' side while Steve played the king and defenders.

This was an extremely short match. It taught a cruel but clear lesson: if the king has access to an open row, and the attackers fail to block it, then the king will win on the next turn. In this case, the king was able to move to the open G rank. Any of the moves 4. I5-F5, -G5 or -H5 would have stopped the immediate threat, as would any other move to block the G file, but a tempting capture was made instead.

1. E2-C2 G5-G8
2. H5-H8 F5-F8
3. F1-F7xF8 D5-D7
4. F9-F8xG8 E5-G5++


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