How Keibot is played:

The board has 49 squares arranged in 7 rows by 7 columns. Each player gets 4 Moai and 10 beads.


There are 3 ways to win:

  1. Get at least 3 of your beads in a row, horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, with no spaces between them.
  2. Capture 3 of the opponent’s Moai.
  3. Place all ten of your beads on the board.


At the beginning of the game, the players’ Moai are set up in one of the following configurations:

setups 1 and 2


Closed Rank

setups 1 and 2

Split Rank

Open Rank


Players take turns moving their Moai in the same manner as knights in chess.

NOTE: for those unfamiliar with this move, it consists of moving 2 squares horizontally or vertically and one square perpendicularly as shown.

A player can move only one Moai per turn, and he cannot move onto an occupied square except to capture. He can, however, move over occupied squares.


Beads are placed on the board by landing a Moai in line horizontally, vertically, or diagonally with an opponent’s Moai with one square between. The bead is placed in that square:

setups 1 and 2



More than one bead can be placed at a time:

setups 1 and 2



A player cannot place a bead by moving out of a square between opposing colors:

setups 1 and 2



Once a bead has been placed on the board it cannot be moved.



In this example, the blue moai
shown was the last to move,
so he is safe from capture.

An opponent’s Moai is captured simply by landing on it. However, the Moai that was moved last cannot be captured.

A bead can be placed and an opponent’s Moai captured on the same move.

Moai that have been captured cannot be re-entered into the game.


Though it is unlikely to happen, a draw can occur 3 ways:

  1. A player’s remaining Moai are trapped so they cannot move anywhere.
  2. Opposing Moai are isolated from each other, unable to interact in any way.
  3. Opposing Moai are limited to chasing each other in circles or moving back and forth, unable to capture, place beads, or break the cycle.

Rules © 1985 Glen Solosky

Download Keibot for Windows

The History of Keibot

(pronounced key-boe)

While the details of Keibot’s origin remain unknown, it definitely has roots in the Sruvius family. The earliest known precursor was a much more complex version called Kei-iboltka, which means game of the desert valley. It was played on a 10 x 10 board, and each player began with six Moai: three for placing beads, two for capturing, and one which could do both. Bead number was unlimited. There was also a rule for removing beads from the board which varied with venue.

Elaborately crafted Kei-iboltka sets were prized possessions of Sorlahn’s nobility, demonstrating the intellectual prowess of their owners. Needless to say, most games went untouched for generations. In fact, the rules of the game were all but forgotten except by members of the Sruvius family.

As they spread out across Parafirma, the Sruviuses took Kei-iboltka with them, eventually introducing it to the small island of Sudrahios. The inhabitants of the isle, known to be obsessive gamblers, took to the game instantly, but adapted it to suit their tastes by simplifying it to be played quickly. Where a game of Kei-iboltka might last hours, the version played in Sudrahios, renamed Keibolte, could be played in a matter of minutes.

It was during this time that the rules of Keibolte evolved into what we know today.

Years later, when Keibolte found its way back to Sorlahn, the new, simplified version was easy to learn and flourished quickly.

During the reign of King DeHonsvot VII, it was fashionable for names to end in silent ‘t’. So it was only natural for the name of Sorlahn’s favorite game to be changed accordingly; Keibolte became Keibot.

Where to
buy a copy

The Abominable Sruvius is available as an ebook or in paperback. If you don't have an ebook reader, you can get a free reader for Mac or PC at Adobe Digital Editions.

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