The Game Zanoba®

Zanoba® is unique. You’d better be quick-thinking and crafty. It's a fun game for gals and guys. The competition between good players is intense, yet it only takes about 30 minutes to play a game.

Beg, borrow or buy a Zanoba®game. You can order the game from this website, from or from a local game company, so you can learn to play together. Choose four friends you can count on and study the Rules of Play together. You will need to play four or five practice games with each other to get the hang of it.  

The Back Story

The planet Senoobis in the distant Karmut Star System has been destroyed by a collision with debris from the vast Orgrot Nebula. You are the commander of a small fleet of starships carrying the remaining survivors from your doomed planet. Your four cargo ships carry everything needed to preserve the Senoobian civilization. Your mission is to reach the blue planet Karyntis and deliver critical supplies to your colony.

First, you must defeat the powerful Peyrians who covet the same planet. Can you save the Senoobian race from extinction? This is the rough back story of Zanoba®. Two players compete to advance their four Mahtas, pieces representing their cargo ships, to their opponent’s side of the board so they can score points by delivering their cargo.


Two Ways to Play Zanoba

You can play games with friends or relatives without competing in the formal competition system that ranks players. This is a good option while you are developing your skills as a player. Most new players master Zanoba after playing around five games. It's helpful and more fun if you have a partner so you can learn together 



Once you've gained experience and confidence, you will probably feel the itch to take up the more rewarding challenge of playing formal matches to see how good you can be. The class competition system challenges you to advance by winning official matches that determine your class and ranking in different divisions. There are 7 classes of competition: Ø (novice), 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. There are 5 different divisions: School, City, County, State and Region. This website displays the rank of all registered players by class and division. You’ll find the top ranked players listed at the bottom of the HOME Page.

You will need to register for Class Competition by creating a Player Profile. First, decide on a nickname and create an avatar, a special image to represent you in the rankings and, if you wish, conceal your identity. Your avatar can be a picture of you or something else to represent you in the rankings. Only the city, county and state where you live will be revealed on this website. Your real name and personal information will never be used in the rankings or anywhere else. This adds a bit of mystery and allows you to be recognized for your progress while protecting your privacy. Then you can compete individually in the Class Competition that ranks players and recognizes those players who rise in the rankings to become the top players in their school, city, county, state and regional competitions. You will find a form and instructions about how to create your player profile on the Create Your Player Profile page.

As you compete against others in official matches, the competition will be tough but you will improve with practice and your progress will be reflected in the rankings displayed on this website.  In competition play, players are ranked within their class by the number of official matches they win. The highest ranked player in those divisions will be the Surjee (pronounced “SUR-gee”) for the division. The second-ranked player in each division will be referred to as the Ahktah (pronounced “AHK-tah”).


On A Team

Team Competition is really a subset of Class Competition. You may have a group of friends who like a challenge and want to develop their mental abilities. You can continue to play individually in the Class Competition and rise in the rankings. That can be satisfying but, at some point, you may want to take your Zanoba®experience to a new level by recruiting or joining a team of 6 players so you can enjoy the comradery and team spirit of playing on a team.

If you are a student in middle school, high school or college, this is an exciting opportunity to represent your school in a battle of brains.  It's also a great way for a team of gals to take on a team of guys and prove they're just as smart―if not smarter than the guys.

You can quickly and easily register a team by going to the Teams page.


Is Zanoba Like Chess?

Yes and no. In a general sense, Zanoba® is like Chess in that both are strategy board games that require planning, concentration, decisiveness and problem solving to win. And both are played by two players. Beyond that, the two are vastly different.

• The game boards look totally different: Chess has an old world, medieval look about it with its Kings and Queens and Knights while Zanoba® has a futuristic, science fiction look. Most experts say Chess was invented in India at least 1,500 years ago. Zanoba® was invented in America about 1999 although its origins can be traced back 25 years before that.

• The strategy required to win is different. In Chess you win by putting your opponent’s King in check, that is a position from which he cannot escape without being captured. In Zanoba®, you must score the most points to win.

• Chess players move one piece in their turn; Zanoba® players generally move, with rare exceptions, five pieces in their turn.

• Chess has six kinds of pieces while Zanoba® has three kinds that move differently from Chess pieces.

• Chess games between good players can go on for several hours while Zanoba® rarely lasts for more than a half hour.


How much does it cost to join the Class or Team Competitions?

At this time, playing in the Class or Team Competitions is FREE. We plan to keep the cost of competing in  Zanoba free hopefully until January 1 of 2020. Obviously there are costs associated with staffing and maintaining a website like this one so we may have to charge a small fee, perhaps $20.00/year for 2020. The actual fee will depend to some degree on how many players there are. The more players there are, the lower the fee will be.


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