This game for two players comes from Ghana. However, stones that were marked for this game in the third century AD have been found near Hadrian's Wall in Northern England.
Some puzzles requiring no knowledge of knot theory, just a careful
inspection of the patterns. A glimpse of the classification of
knots and a little about prime knots, crossing numbers and knot
Investigations based on an Indian game.
The jail is represented by a four by five rectangle as shown.
Starting with the square representing Khun Phaen and the rectangles
and squares A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, representing the guards in
the positions shown in the diagram, you have to slide the pieces,
keeping them all inside the jail at all times, to move Khun Phaen
past all the guards into the position at the centre bottom from
which he can escape to freedom.
The best way to try this challenge is to make yourself a model
in cardboard or wood with a rectangular frame to keep all the
pieces within bounds.