Saturday, 5 August 2023

Burmese Chess Pieces on Vietnam Stamp

A previously undiscovered Vietnamese stamp featuring a Burmese chess piece has come to light. Back in 1983, Vietnam released a fascinating set of stamps showcasing chess pieces from around the world. The collection included seven stamps and one miniature sheet. These stamps were printed on watermark paper with a perforation of 12¾ and were issued on May 9th.  The stamp size is 31 x 46 mm and printed using offset printing method.  Total of 396,000 sets were issued.

Vietnam Stamp with Sit-ke piece

Among these stamps was one particularly captivating piece with a denomination of 30xu. It proudly displayed the sit-ke (general) and ya-hta (chariots) chess pieces from Burmese traditional chess, which bears a striking resemblance to the queen and rock in international chess receptively. The history of Burmese traditional chess dates back to AD 8, and it has its unique rules and playing style. The game is deeply rooted in the four warfare elements that were crucial to the ancient Burmese kings. These military elements consist of the Elephant division, Cavalry division, Chariot division, and Infantry division.

Miniature Sheet alongside with other chess stamps

It is fascinating to see how the stamp highlights a piece from this ancient and captivating chess tradition. The image of the stamp featuring the sit-ke and ya-hta chess pieces alongside the actual Burmese chess piece can be observed below. Additionally, the other stamps that depict various Burmese chess pieces have been meticulously documented in this post. This discovery captivates philatelists and chess enthusiasts, unveiling Vietnam's stamp history and the cultural heritage of Burmese traditional chess.

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