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"Each piece exists in service to one other piece—the Imperator. All the pieces of the demesne are here to protect the Imperator. If the Imperator falls, the game is over. That is true no matter how many pieces remain on the board."
―Darth Sidious[src]

Shah-tezh was an abstract strategy game for two players, each beginning with an identical contingent of pieces that were moved on a board called demesne according to individual rules. The objective was to place an opponent's most important piece, the Imperator, under an attack from which it could not escape, thus ending the game. Over the course of history, it spawned many variants, including dejarik, chess, and Moebius.


"In the game of Shah-tezh, the board is called the demesne, and each piece upon the demesne has its own special role and its own special maneuvers. Each player is afforded one of each kind."
―Darth Sidious[src]

Shah-tezh was played on a demesne, a square game board etched with smaller black and white squares. At the beginning of the party, both players got the same contingent of at least nine kinds of pieces pieces, which included the Beast, the Counselor, the Craft, the Disciple, the Dowager, the Imperator, the Knight, the Outcast, and the Vizier. Each kind of piece had a distinctive appearance. The Imperator, for example, was shaped like a tall, bent man wearing a hooded robe. The Knight was a hulking hooded figure holding a long weapon, and the Vizier was a thin man wearing a large, pillar-shaped hat. The pieces that belonged to each player were distinguished by color: one player had black pieces with white highlights, and the other white pieces with black highlights.[1]


"The Vizier can only move along the diagonal, but has no limit to how far he may travel. This is the Knight. He is versatile and can move two steps in any direction at all. Limited distance, but freedom of movement."
―Darth Sidious[src]

The object of Shah-tezh was to make an inescapable and indefensible attack upon the enemy Imperator, while protecting one's own. Each piece upon the demesne had its own special role and associated moves. For example, the Vizier could only move along the diagonal of the demesne, but had no limit to how many steps it could take. However, the Knight could only move two steps at a time, but in any direction at all.[1]


"Do you know this game, Galli?"
"I don't."
"No, I suppose you wouldn't. It's a very old game. Shah-tezh, in this iteration, though over the eons I have seen it spawn many variants. Dejarik. Moebius. Chess. In most of the iterations the core mechanism remains."
―Darth Sidious and Gallius Rax[src]

The game of Shah-tezh was created eons before 19 BBY. Over time, it spawned many variants, including dejarik, chess, and Moebius. Darth Sidious, reigning Dark Lord of the Sith and Galactic Emperor, liked to play Shah-tezh, and used it as a powerful political analogy when he taught Gallius Rax the role that was intended for him.[1]



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