Chess for three involves a different approach to board design, as well as playing
technique and strategies.
Particular attention should also be applied to the center
of the board, where knights tend to get tangled in a rather intricate web. The most
difficult concept to get accustomed to, is the introduction of another player, thus,
the 'extra' move by the third player. The moves in the center of the board may tend
to be confusing also, so, we'll discuss some of the possibilities of plays at the board's
center. Because the board for three players is made up of three halves, angled appropriately,
the Queen and bishop have the ability to traverse the board across the center on the diagonal.
The Queen may not, however, travel straight across from black to white in a diagonal move through
Late in the fall of 1975,
I was looking for a chess set in the BX of the air base I was stationed at.
I was amazed to discover an inexpensive, plastic and carboard rendition, of a
three player chess game! I do not remember the manufacturer or designer of the
game. I do, however, enjoy a still burning inspiration to explore the new
dimensionability this three player board presented to me.
I did not buy the three player game, rather, I built my own of ebony and ash on
an oak back-plane. Presenting the finished set to several friends, we tried many
variations of center-board methodology. After several months of play and experimentation,
we came up with two working sets of rules to manage the diagonal movement of the bishop
and queen through the center of the board.
Pass - Through
Moving diagonally, the queen or bishop pass through the center of the board unhindered
and can reach to either opponent's R1 position in one move.
Before passing diagonally thru the center, the queen or bishop must first stop before
passing into another tri-section, thus completing that move.
The first player to be check-mated is out of play, but the player who put the first player
in check-mate has one of three options:
1 - Leave the check-mated pieces as a "dead forest"
2 - Remove the check-mated pieces from the board
3 - Use the check-mated pieces as their own, using a move to actually capture
and remove the check-mated King before any of those pieces can be used.