***Hnefatafl*** (*Ner-far-taff-all*) is a [*Tafl* Game](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tafl_games), though it is a lost art in the modern day. The aim of the game is either to capture the king, or get the king to a corner depending on which side you are playing on.

It is played on an 11 x 11 board:


Although this and the layout are the only rules that has survived to this day, another *Tafl* game, *Tablut*, had its rules recorded and it is assumed that the rules where the same except for board and layout.

The layout is as follows:

[![enter image description here][2]][2]

The rules and pieces are as follows:

>- The king (white with cross) starts on the *Konakis*, the central square

>- The *Konakis* can not be occupied by any other piece apart from the king

>- Once the king has left the *Konakis* he can not return to it

>- The 12 *Swedes* (white) or defenders surround the *Konakis* in a diamond formation

>- The 24 *Muscovites* (black) or attackers start in groups of 6 with one facing towards the *Konakis*

>- All remaining squares can be occupied at any point during the game by any piece

>- Pieces can move vertically or horizontally, but not diagonally (medieval Rook)

>- Pieces can't 'jump' over another piece, they will be blocked

>- If the king has an unimpeded path to a corner and isn't blocked by a *Muscovite*, he may escape and white has won the game.

>- If the king has a path to a corner, he must say '*raichi*' (check) to alert his opponent. If he doesn't say this and escapes then it is an illegal move.

>- If the king has multiple paths to corners and hence an inevitable victory, he must say '*tuichu*' (checkmate)

>- Any piece (except the king) can be captured and removed from the board if it is surrounded on two opposite sides by the opposing team

>- If the king is surrounded on 4 sides by the *Muscovites* he is taken capture and blacks win. If he is only surrounded on 3 sides he can escape

>- If the king is surrounded on 3 sides, and the 4th side is blocked by the *Konakis* he is taken capture

# What is the minimum moves that the king can be captured in by the *Muscovites* if the *Swedes* play optimally?

  [1]: https://i.stack.imgur.com/ACLVI.png
  [2]: https://i.stack.imgur.com/E8Frv.png