The Chess Variant Pages

Four-handed Chess III

A modern variant of Four-handed Chess, where every player plays for himself, i.e., no teams are formed, was described by Daniel Loeb.

The following description was made by Daniel Loeb. GenCon is the name of a gaming convention. Daniel Loeb wrote:

I played this game at GenCon in 1983 (?) where it was a quite popular game being playtested. Since then I've been looking for it. I happened to come across "Foray" last summer, and thought this was what I was looking for given the box illustrations. Actually, Foray's rules (copyright 1986, Jack Quinn) are quite different (inferior, IMHO) but you can buy Foray and use these rules instead of those that come with the game.)


1. Board is like this

Each player sets up normally in his 2x8 sections.

2. Squares such as C2,B3 are NOT considered diagonally adjacent.

3. Pawns move away from their starting sides and promote when they reach the opposite end. (e.g. white promotes on row 12 and A10, B10, K10, L10).

4. You must move out of check if possible (even if other player is in check). Move king, or eliminate "threat", or block.

5. If you can not move out of check, then you must PASS.

6. If you may not move, you must PASS.

7. If a player A takes player B's king. B loses. The 2x8 section of board belonging to B is removed. All pieces on it are removed. (if there are kings on it, other than A's, then they lose as well, and remove their 2x8 sections, and so on ...). Player A can replace any missing pieces in a starting square of his for such a piece. B's remaining pieces remain on the board as inert obstacles. They do not move, nor do they threaten check, but they may be captured.

8. En passant captures are possible by any of the 3 following players after a player advances a pawn 2 spaces. Thus, after

pC2-C4, pB3-D3, nB5-C3 ...

the move

... pD4xC3

takes both pawns and the knight!

9. Play is clockwise. Last remaining player wins.

See also:
Written by Daniel Loeb. WWW page made by Hans Bodlaender.
WWW page created: May 4, 2000, based on text from 1995.