From Houses of the Blooded Wiki
The ven were notoriously competitive - for them, there was no such thing as a 'friendly game'. Rather than the way to relax with friends, as we understand games, the ven approached them as low-stakes tests. It was not uncommon for the players to make wagers on the outcome, with the loser offering a forfeit to the winner. Playing for fun would have been an alien concept to the ven.
Thanks in large part to the continuing research of Professor John Wick, the Shan'ri Research Institute has unearthed references to several ven games.
Evidence suggests what we now know as chess arose as medieval cultures attempted to replicate tivalti. While common parlance often refers to tivalti as 'ven chess', it is perhaps more accurate to refer to chess as 'modern tivalti'.
A potentially deadly game of both skill and bravery. The Game of Knives was often played in front of an audience - both as a chance to display one's prowess or courage, and to ensure that if a game went awry, charges of murder would be less likely to be levied. Often, parties which had not yet seen a formal duel would often resort to convincing two attendees to play the Game of Knives which each other.