How to play to 3 players chess?

Three-player chess

This kind of chess is a family of chess variants specially designed to be played between three people.

There are many variants for this game. Usually a special board is used, for example the board, which we try to clarify, was invented by the Pole Dr. Jacek Filek and designed by another Pole, Jerzy Luberda.

There are other exotic boards, like the hexagonal one or one with three sides connected in the middle by a special path or finally the circular chess.

The introduction of a third player drastically changes the style of play, although the pieces move just like in classical chess, it has nothing to do with the chess we all know. Many chess openings are useless due to the enlargement of the board and the introduction of the third player.

In addition the notion of the "turn" is introduced, one makes an attack towards the third player and he must wait first if the second player will take advantage of that attack for his benefit or if on the contrary he will make another attack for another flank causing the third player in his turn to have two problems instead of one.

Each player has to think twice about foreseeing the movements of the other two opponents, players should concentrate not only on their own attack and defense, but also on the attacks that the other players make on themselves. One player can take advantage of one of the opponents' positions to check the other, but he must be careful that the third player does not take advantage of that check to make the final thrust and checkmate, thus achieving victory.

Rules of chess for three players:

1. The player starts with the red pieces or it is determined at random which player makes the first move. It should be noted that while the black and white players place the pieces in the same starting position as in classical chess, the red player can choose where to place the queen to the right of the king or to the left, depending on which side or player he is more interested in.

2. The movement of the pieces is identical to in classical chess.The player who gives the first checkmate wins.


Movements of the pieces on the board:

In general, straight moves can be followed quite easily, you only have to make a 120º turn when you reach the middle of the board, but in the case of diagonals it is no longer intuitive.

The original instructions contradict a little the movements that bishops can make with the queen in her diagonals, so I decided to clarify these doubts, in a visual way and in the best possible way.

It is true that to move around the board you have to have a spatial vision, and if many times you lack it, it may seem to you that everything is possible in this world of Escher and that each time a different rule is applied for your benefit.

The Pawns

The pawns move forward, following this rule half of the pawns go to the right and the other half to the left. For example, the pawn on row E moves to the right, while the pawn on row D moves to the left.

There is one point which is confusion in person, I will call it "the central star", there therefore when the pawn on row E reaches E4, where it has to turn 120º, it could attack the pawn on row F9 and the pawn on row I9 but not the pawns on rows D5 and I5, I know it looks like a mess but if we divide the board into colored quadrants, the pawn goes from the red quadrant to the green one and once in the position of the central star it could move to the orange quadrant if it attacks another row but it would follow its route straight through the green quadrant.

The King

The movement of the king is in all directions advancing a single square but once again depending on the side that is in the position of the central star may turn to the third orange quadrant.

The Towers

The movement of the tower is the easiest to understand since it follows the orthogonal coordinates of the quadrant where it is located.

The Bishops

The movement of the bishops are the most difficult to intuit, moving diagonally and passing from one quadrant to another sometimes creates real confusion, but once again if we consider that only when it passes through the central star has the power to be in all possible quadrants.

The Queen

The queen's move, as in classical chess is a combination of a rook and a bishop, so in this case it behaves just like the above. Just to emphasize that once you are in any position of the triad is a very strong and vulnerable position on par.

The horse

And finally, the movement of the horse, this is the most creative of all by the initiated in this game, sometimes impossible jumps are invented especially when it is in the central star. Let's see how it acts, if we take into account the movement of the other pieces in the quadrant where they are and if we understand that the only places where it is possible to move are the green and orange, the horse is not an exception either, see the example above.

Conclusions: The Chess for three people has nothing to do with the classic chess, it's another kind of game where the three players create alliances to go against one and according to how the game advances those alliances are changing of characters and towards the end, everything is worth, even the betrayal, because in this game only one can win.

I think it is a great game because silence and seriousness do not reign but while one of the three players waits his turn he can dialogue and advise the other two, even if his words hide a hidden trap. A very recommendable game especially for those who are so afraid of chess.

Variation in Three-players chess rules:

 There is a variation I found of the rules of this game quite interesting, that when you give mate to one of them does not end the game but continues between the two that remain until only one is left. We will have to try it and see how it works with all the pieces of the opponent eliminated in the middle of the battlefield.

Leave a comment