The Chess Variant Pages



Vierschach

A chess variant for 4 players from 19th century. Invented by Dr. G. Arthur Lutze (1813-1870), my description follows Theodor Müller-Alfeld. The game is also described by Heinz Machatscheck.

The Board

A normal chessboard is extended on each side by 3 x 8 squares, resulting in a + shaped board with 160 squares.

The Initial Setup

South White A
West White B
North Black A
East Black B
Black queens are on black fields, white queens on white fields (for both teams).














             +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
             |:r:| n |:b:| k |:q:| b |:n:| r |
             +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
             | p |:p:| p |:p:| p |:p:| p |:p:|
             +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
             |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:R:| P |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:p:| r |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 | N |:P:|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::| p |:n:|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:B:| P |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:p:| b |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 | Q |:P:|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::| p |:q:|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:K:| P |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:p:| k |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 | B |:P:|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::| p |:b:|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 |:N:| P |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:p:| n |
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
 | R |:P:|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::| p |:r:|
 +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
             |   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|
             +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
             |:P:| P |:P:| P |:P:| P |:P:| P |
             +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
             | R |:N:| B |:K:| Q |:B:| N |:R:|
             +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
This setup is different from similar variants described by Hans Bodlander in his essays on Four Handed Chess by the fact, that the allied armies are placed side by side. The pieces of the allied teams must be different.

The Batting Order

White A -- Black A -- White B -- Black B

Aim of the Game

To checkmate the second King of the other team (the first King can just be captured like any other piece).

Rules

The usual FIDE Chess rules apply. Capturing en passant is possible also from the side (Example position: White A pawn on l2, Black B pawn on m4. 1. l2-l4 .. .. m4xl3 ep). Castling in both directions is allowed, but usually one wants to castle only towards the friendly side.

Pawns promote on the following fields (here for White A) a11,b11,c11,m11,n11,o11; d14--h14.

If one King of a team is captured, the remaining forces keep on playing until the allied King is also taken.

References

Heinz Machatscheck, Zug um Zug: Die Zauberwelt der Brettspiele, Verlag Neues Leben Berlin, 6th edition, 1990, (pp. 65-66).

Theodor Müller-Alfeld, Brettspiele, Ullstein-Buch Nr. 417, Ullstein, Frankfurt/M und Berlin 1963.


Written by Jörg Knappen, additional information from Ralf Gering.
WWW page created: July 30th, 2002.