Board game enthusiasts: Want to learn an ancient strategy game? Cobb Public Library presents Hnefatafl (aka Viking Chess)

Photo of South Cobb Regional Library in article about fall book sale

The following notice was posted to the Cobb County Public Library website:

More accurately called Hnefatafl, tafl, or tablut, Viking Chess is an ancient game of strategy. First developed over 1000 years ago, variations of this game are still played today. 

Visit South Cobb Regional Library or Sweetwater Valley Library to pick up a game kit available while supplies last starting on July 1. Each kit has the supplies needed to create your own game board and instructions on how to play.  

If you enjoy the game, an in person game night will be held on July 18 at 4:30. For more information, visit

For more information, contact Amanda Sanders at 678-398-5831 or

A little about the game

Hnefatafl means “fist table” in both Old Norse and modern Icelandic, and is one of a class of “tafl” (table) games that were played across northern Europe. By several accounts there were versions in both Norse and Celtic regions.

According to the British Museum gift shop’s web page (where boards are sold) the last written accounts of the game being played were in Wales in 1587 and Lapland in 1723.

The strategy is similar across all versions. The King is in the middle of the board with an army, surrounded on all sides by enemies, and has to reach the edge of the board or some other predetermined position.

About the Cobb County Public Library

According to the Cobb County Public Library website:

Cobb County Public Library is a 15-branch system headquartered in Marietta, Georgia, where its staff members serve a diverse population of over 750,000 people. Cobb is one of Georgia’s fastest-growing counties, and Cobb County Public Library is dedicated to being a resource center in the community by providing equal access to information, materials, and services.

History of Cobb’s library system

The first public library in Cobb County was opened in the home of Sarah Freeman Clarke in Marietta. The first standalone library building, opened on Church Street in 1893 and was named for Clarke.

Libraries were opened in Acworth and Austell in subsequent years, and in 1959, the city of Marietta and several other Cobb County libraries combined to form a countywide system that began the Cobb County Public Library as we know it today.

You can read more about the history of the Cobb County Public Library by following this link.