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Episode 54 Connection Contest: Ta Yu & Samarkand

By sconway - Posted on 12 May 2008

Can YOU create a connection between Ta Yu and Samarkand?

Post your connections here and you could win a set of custom Spiel dice!

spiel dice

Guess as many times as you like. And remember, the mosre left of center your connection, the more likely you'll get our attention. :)

Spiel on!


Musti's picture

The connection is pretty straightforward: Coppertwaddle. 'Copper' is one of the resources in Samarkand, whereas Ta Yu has a strong 'historical' background not unlike 'Coppertwaddle'.

Or can it be the "Emam square" in Isfahan? Samarkand has an expansion called Isfahan and just like the Ta Yu board the "Emam square" is also located with its points pointing North and South. Also notice the criss-crossing fountains in the middle of the square which were the main source of inspiration for Ta Yu.

It can also be 'silk' since Samarkand is one of the cities on the ancient 'silk'-routes wheras Ta Yu is a Chinese game with China being the end of the silk-route.

Knowing you guys, more likely the connection is 'prostitution'. Samarkand was one of the earliest cities and in those days famous for its 'red light'-district. Ta Yu on the other hand is, according to Wikipedia, a Chinese prostitute.


J Moody's picture

I am so surprised that there are not more connections between Ta Yu and Samarkand :)

I was hoping to put in the only one and win by default, but Musti snuck in there.

I'll go bland - The importance of water. The river management in The Spiel's description of Ta Yu (as opposed to the more generic connections in other descriptions), and the oasissses (oasie?) in Samarkand.

Samarkand was one of the greatest and oldest cities of Central Asia, and conquered by no other than Alexander the Great in 329BC

And our friend Ta Yu, who would have guessed, is known as Yu the Great !!!

The story is very interesting and definitely inspired the game.

From Wikipedia:

During China's Great Flood, Yu's father was assigned the task of taming the rivers. He built dikes all over the land but ultimately, the project failed miserably.

King Shun executed Yu's father for this, and then assigned the task to Ta Yu, who instead of building more dikes, began to dredge new river channels, to serve both as outlets for the torrential waters, and as irrigation conduits to distant farm lands. Yu spent a backbreaking thirteen years at this task, with the help of some 20,000 workers.

Yu the Great, best remembered for teaching the people flood control techniques to tame China's rivers and lakes, was born on the year of the Tiger (2059BC)

The now extinct Caspian Tiger once ranged the humid forests, mangroves and grasslands of Samarkand !  As an important part in the culture of the people, the tiger’s image is represented on carpets and textiles and can be seen on the facades of mosques and other public buildings in Samarkand.


Steerpike's picture

Both Samarkand and Ta Yu are dishes on offer at my local Chinese restaurant.

Both games have been mistranslated from their original rendition in their native alphabets. Samarkand, when written in Sanskrit, literally means "sunshine" whereas Ta Yu shares the same Chinese character as the one for "overcast (with a small chance of precipitation)". Making the obvious connection - the Weather.


joeyhemlock's picture

(I'm sure the contest has been resolved by now, but that's okay since this idea isn't that good anyway. :)

In Ta Yu, you are trying to stop floods. Unfortunately, by the end of the game you have a lot of channels that end at empty spots on the board. If you're trying to stop floods, this method of open channels seems bizzare.

And, of course, Samarkand was originally released as Bazaar II.


It's a bizzare bazaar.

BigFriendlyDave's picture

but i kept thinking not of Ta Yu but of Yu Ta - that mysterious state of consiousness far out to the west.



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