The Zanoba Rules Committee

"You want to do what!"


Each player who registers to play Zanoba® must abide by these Rules of Competition and the Rules of Play that are furnished with each game. Changes to either of these Rules may be implemented by the Zanoba Rules Committee, referred to as the “Z.R.C.”, from time to time and published on this website to take effect on the date specified. The Z.R.C.has the sole and final authority to decide or rule on any question or controversy that arises about these Rules of Competition or the Rules of Play.

Questions, suggestions or comments about Zanoba competition are always welcome and should be referred to the Z.R.C. by email through the Contact Us page on this website.


There are 7 levels of Individual competition―classes Ø through 6, with Class Ø being the novice class for new players.

To qualify for Class 1, a Class Ø player must win 6 official matches with 6 different Class Ø players. To qualify for classes 2 through 6, players must win 12 official matches with 12 different players in their class.

There are 3 divisions of group competition: school, county, and state. There must be at least 12 active players in the school division and 24 players in the county Division before formal competition for the championship of the division can begin. “Active players” means players who have played at least six official matches during the previous calendar year.



Players advance from one class to another by playing official matches of at least two games. A player can play an official match with a given player only once in each class in a 12-month period. Assume player A and player B are both Class Ø players and that they play each other on June 1, 2019. They cannot play each other again in an official match as Class Ø players before June 1, 2020.

Let’s say player A qualifies as a Class 1 player on October 1 and player B qualifies for Class 1 on December 1, 2019.They can play each other again in an official Class 1 match after December 1, 2019. Let’s say they play an official match as Class 1 players on January 1, 2020. They will not be able to play each other in another Class 1 match until January 1, 2021.

Let’s say neither one of them qualifies for Class 1 before June 1, 2020. They could play another Class Ø official match after June 1. If one of them qualifies for Class 1 while the other remains a Class Ø player, they will not be able to play each other again until the other player qualifies for Class 1.

To count as an official match:

(1)  Both players must be in the same class and agree in advance that a certain match will be an official match. Players can play practice games with anybody in any class, but only official matches count in qualifying for a higher class.

(2)  At least one witness who is at least 18 years old must be present during the match to certify the scores of the games played and the winner of the match by signing the Match Record Sheet

The witness may be a registered player or an unregistered observer as long as they are at least 18 years old. Only one witness is required but both players may have a witness present during the match.

(3)  Both players must declare in advance whether or not they will provide a witness. One witness must sign the Match Record Sheet of both players essentially confirming that both players agree on the outcome of the match.


The first player to win two games wins the match. Games can end in a tie, requiring a tie-breaker game to be played, but that does not happen often. The results of each official match must be recorded by each player on their Match Record Sheet and maintained as a permanent record.

The winner of the match is responsible for reporting the match results on the Report Match Results page of this website so the win can be credited to him/her to update his/her ranking. The Report Match Results page under the Play menu item of this website. 

Both players must bring to an official match their own Match Record Sheet on which they have recorded all previous official matches so two records of the match are available. Match Record Sheets are provided with the game. A blank copy of the Match Record Sheet should be kept as a master in a safe place so more copies of it can be made as needed.


Players in Class Ø do not have a time limit for completing each of their turns of five moves. Players in Classes 1 through 6 are allowed one minute to complete their turns of five moves. Timers must be used during all official matches except for those between Class Ø players.



Players are ranked by the number of official matches won within their class. There are seven classes from Ø (novice) to 6. Obviously, a player who has won two matches within his class will be ranked higher than a player who has won one match.

To check on your ranking within your class, go to the Find Other Players page under the Play menu item. Choose the appropriate search criteria to find your ranking for a division. Searching also gives you a way to find other players to challenge.


The Kuterin word Surjee means “exalted leader” and is pronounced “SUR-jee”. The Kuterin word Ahktah means “second in command” and is pronounced “AHK-tah”. In any given division − whether school, county or state − the player with the most wins in the highest class on January 1 will be the Surjee for that division for the following year. In any given division the player with the second most wins in the highest class on January 1 will be the Ahktah for that division for the following year.

Refer to the “Official Rules Book” for more details about determining the winner than this website.

Go to the Team page of this website to learn more about team play.



"There is NO conclusive proof that "brain fitness" computer games protect your memory. If you want activities — that are backed by solid evidence — to help protect memory, concentration and thinking ability, play board games, learn a language and engage in regular exercise.

From Consumer Reports On Health magazine. © Copyright 2015 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc., doing business as Consumer Reports.

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