The Chess Variant Pages




Multi-chess

Multi-chess is a four player chess variant, invented by Bert Meerman from the Netherlands. It resembles other variants for four players, but a few aspects are a little different from existing ones.

The description below is a liberal translation of a description by Bert Meerman in Dutch.

See also:

Multi-chess gives the opportunity to play the ancient game of chess in a modern setting with three or four players.

In this way, the game can evolve to a more social sport, and aspects like `teamspirit' can play a role. Besides the fact that the game can be played in teams, it is also possible for a strong player to play against two cooperating opponents.

The board

The board used has two sides. At one side, one can play Triple- Chess; at the other side, one can play Quattro-Chess.

One needs pieces in four different colours: one set for each player in a different colour: white, black, gray, and brown.

The rules are not very different from the rules of chess.

There are two variants:

The designer is very interested in suggestions with regards to the mentioned variants.

Design

Bert Meerman
Vredenoord 15
1852 WB Heiloo
the Netherlands
tel 072-5340159 Email: (email removed contact us for address) roup.com

Rules for `All Against All Triple-Chess and Quattro-Chess

N.B.: These rules are for situations where the three or four fighting players operate each individually. No teams are formed here! It is recommended to give in Triple-Chess the strongest player the West-position.

Triple-Chess and Quattro-Chess are played with more people. The basic rules are the same as those of traditional chess, with a few exceptions:

Rule 1: Players have turns clockwise

The players make a turn in sequence, following the principle: in the clockwise direction. White, who starts at the south-position, starts.

Rule 2: The king starts the game at a black square

All kings start the game at a black square. Diagonally, the queens, who are on the white square at the side of the king, are hence in each others line of sight (except for the pawns between them.)

Rule 3: Pawns can take each other `en passant'

Pawns still can take only diagonally forwards. The `en passant capture rule' is extended: also pawns that pass by vertically can be taken on the square that was skipped.

Rule 4: Pawn promotion

Pawns can promote when they reach the opposite side of the board. N.B. A square like c-11 is not a promotion square; a square like d-14 is. The left and right sides (seen from a players view) do not count as promotion squares (for that player.)

Rule 5: Checkmate and a Bonus for giving mate

A king is checkmated, when the player whose turn it is to move is in check, and cannot move to avoid the check. The consequence of this is that all pieces of this player are removed from the board.

When one of the players has been mated, the player that gave the mate gets a bonus. This is the player that was the last to give check to the mated king. (It may be possible that more players were involved in giving mate: only the player that was the last to give check is considered to be the mating player.) All pieces of the mated player disappear from the board; the mating player gets as bonus one piece to his choice (but not a king) on the square of the mated king.

Rule 6: Stalemate positions

There is a stalemate position, when the player whose turn it is cannot make a legal move, without being in check. In this `all against all' variant, this does not automatically lead to a stalemate. When there is a stalemate position with more than two players still on the board, then the player who is stalemated must `pass' (i.e., he does not move during his turn), as long as the stalemate is not lifted.

When there are only two players left, a stalemate position is a draw.

Rule 7: No discussions during official matches

When playing a friendly, inofficial game, one can agree whether to allow discussions between players. In an official match it is forbidden to give directions to other players.

The winner of the game is the last remaining player on the board.

Team-Chess

A very interesting and exciting variant of Multi-Chess is playing Quattro-Chess in two teams: the so-called `Team-Chess'.

The rules are identically to those of Triple and Quattro-Chess in the All-against-all variant, with a few modifications.

Rule 1: Players move in the order SWEN

When playing Team-Chess, partners are not sitting at opposing positions at the board, but next to each other. Team 1 is formed by South and East; Team 2 is formed by North and West. It is recommended to let Team 1 play with the light colours, and Team 2 play with the dark colours.

The order of movement is South-West-East-North, i.e., SWEN. This needs a little getting used to, but is absolutely necessary to have the teams move in the right alternating order.

Rule 2: The king starts the game at a black square

All kings start the game at a black square. Diagonally, the queens, who are on the white square at the side of the king, are hence in each others line of sight (except for the pawns between them.)

Rule 3: Pawns can take each other `en passant'

Pawns still can take only diagonally forwards. The `en passant capture rule' is extended: also pawns that pass by vertically can be taken on the square that was skipped.

Rule 3-A: Pawns can always move one or two squares forwards

As the game-board is bigger, pawns have always the opportunity to move one or two squares forward (of course, without going over or to an occupied square.) The en-passant capture rule is then applicable to any situation where a pawn has moved two squares in advance: the pawn is taken at the square that he would have occupied when he would have moved one square instead of two.

Rule 4: Pawn promotion

Pawns can promote when they reach the opposite side of the board. N.B. A square like c-11 is not a promotion square; a square like d-14 is. The left and right sides (seen from a players view) do not count as promotion squares (for that player.)

Rule 5: Checkmate

A king is checkmated, when the player whose turn it is to move is in check, and cannot move to avoid the check. The consequence of this is that all pieces of this player are removed from the board.

There is no bonus for the player that gives the checkmate. After at most three players are left, the game continues in clockwise order.

The game is won for the team that has mated both kings of the opponents team.

Rule 6: Stalemate

There is a stalemate position, when the player whose turn it is cannot make a legal move, without being in check. Stalemate is automatically a draw in Team-Chess.

Rule 7: Friendly pieces cannot be taken and do not give check

It is not allowed to take the pieces of ones partner. In addition, pieces do not give check to the king of the partner. One may not move in such a way that ones own king or the king of the partner gets into check (by a piece of an opponent.)

Rule 8: No discussions during official matches

When playing a friendly, inofficial game, one can agree whether to allow discussions between players. In an official match it is forbidden to give directions to other players.

Final rule

Removing pieces from the board after a king is mated may never result in a position where a player gets checked. If this would happen, then instead the piece whose removal would cause check is not removed but stays on the board as a neutral piece, as long as it can be removed without problems.


Dutch text written by Bert Meerman; somewhat edited English translation by Hans Bodlaender.
WWW page created: December 8, 1998.