Hnefatafl - the Viking Game

An exception to the rule...

Article text
diagram by Mr. J. M. Haynes
There's an exception to the rule about danger squares. It concerns the central refuge square, or "throne" square, and the four danger squares right next to it. Now, a black warrior is ALWAYS in danger of being captured by a single enemy on these four danger squares, as well as the eight danger squares next to the corner refuges). A white warrior could trap it against the throne square and capture it, regardless of whether the king is on the throne or not (see first diagram - white captures black). However, it's different for white warriors. A white warrior is safe from this kind of attack AS LONG AS THE KING IS STILL PRESENT ON THE THRONE SQUARE (see second diagram - black does NOT capture white). When the king moves off the throne, a white warrior on one of these squares becomes vulnerable to attack (see third diagram - black captures white)