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The following rules have a 1971 copyright by Classic Games Company, Inc. Since we have been unable to contact the company, we are posting these rules. If anyone is aware of how we might contact this company, or if some other company now has the rights to this game, please contact us so we may ask permission to continue posting the rules.

Chess3

Chess-Cubed

3D Chess -- Regular Chess -- What's the Difference?

3D chess is played on three levels, not just one. The pieces can move vertically as well as horizontally, which totally maximizes their effectiveness.

3D chess uses three boards to play a game instead of one, giving you 192 spaces on which to play instead of 64.

Thirty-two chessmen are used in both forms of chess, conventional and 3D.

3D chess is played using the basic rules of chess which have been expanded to accommodate the additional dimension.

The object of the game of 3D chess, as in conventional chess, is to maneuver the opposing King into a position from which he cannot defend himself or ward off attack. When he is under attack and cannot interpose a piece or a pawn or cannot move to a safe position, that King is "checkmated," and the game is over.

The 3D Playing Field

The 3D playing field consists of three identical playing surfaces, each having 64 squares, or "cubes" The dark "cubes" are opaque and the light or "white" cubes are transparent,

Each surface is identified as follows:

Top-Level 3

Middle-Level 2

Bottom-Level 1

Since conventional notation cannot be used in 3D chess, an alpha-numeric designation has been given to each square or "cube" as shown.

The cubes on each level are identical to each other. In order to identify clearly which cube we are talking about, the alpha-numeric designation will be preceded by the level number. Please note examples: 3A1 -- Level 3, File A, Rank 1; 2D5 -- Level 2, File D, Rank 5; 1F7 -- Level 1, File F, Rank 7.

There are 32 chessmen, 16 black and 16 white. Each opposing side is composed of the following men:

Each chessboard (level) has 64 cubes, eight wide by eight long. Each cube alternates in color -- one dark, one transparent, called black and white for easy referral. Players sit at opposite sides of the board, making sure that there is a white (clear) cube at the right hand corner of each player.

With the boards positioned properly, the chessmen are placed as shown here:

NOTE: The Queen is always placed on the cube of her own color -- Black Queen on black cube. White Queen on white cube.

3D Chessmen

Moving and Capturing

THE KING

The King can move one (1) cube or level at a time in any direction: forward, backward, up, down or diagonally. He can never move into check; that is the King can never move to a cube where his opponent's next move could capture him. Since the King is limited to moving only one (1) cube or level at a time, he cannot move from level 1 to level 3 in one move.

Illustration demonstrates how the King would or could move if he were located on level 3. He can change to level 2 from level 3 anytime he wishes as long as he is not blocked by another piece of hisown color. The King captures in the same manner that he moves. The piece captured must be his opponent and in his line of flight. He cannot capture the opponent's King or any piece that is on a cube next to the opponent's King.

THE QUEEN

The Queen is very powerful and has a wide moving and attacking range.

The Queen moves in any direction forward, backward, diagonally, or vertically in a straight line as far as she wishes providing no other pieces block her path. In essence, the Queen's moves are the same as the Rook's or Bishop's moves. In addition to the Rook's and Bishop's moves, the Queen has a move of her own. The Queen can also move in a forward, sideways and backward diagonal when changing levels. When making the just mentioned diagonal moves, the same rule applies as it does to the Bishop's diagonal move; that is, when changing levels at a diagonal, the Queen must advance one (1) cube diagonally for each level that she changes If the Queen moves at a vertical diagonal, she must stay on the color from which she left. If the Queen moves at a forward, sideways or backward diagonal only one level, she will stop on a different colored cube than she left from, and if she changes two (2) levels she will stop on the same color of cube she left from.

The Queen, when changing levels in the same manner as the Rook, cannot make a linear move on the level that she changes to in the same move. When the Queen changes levels in the same manner as a Bishop she cannot make a diagonal move on the level that she changes to in the same move. For example: if the Queen was on 1D1, she could not move to 2A4, 2P3, 3A4 or 3H5.

It must be remembered that the Queen, when changing levels at a diagonal, must advance in a straight line diagonally one (1) cube for every level changed. Thus, the Queen cannot advance diagonally more than two (2) cubes in anyone move when changing levels. Learn this piece thoroughly and be able to move her to her maximum capabilities, as it is the Queen that can be the deciding factor in whowill win the game. Illustration demonstrates how the Queen would or could move if she were located on level 3. The Queen can change from level 1 or level 2 to level 3 anytime she wishes as long as she is not blocked by another piece. NOTE: The Queen, when located on level 3, has the same powers as when located on level 1. The Queen captures in the same manner that she moves. In other words, the piece that the Queen captures must be her opponent and in her line of flight. Again, the Queen must be on or move to that level and that cube to capture.

THE BISHOP

The Bishop moves along diagonals in a straight line as far as he wishes providing no other pieces block his path. The Bishop always stays on the same color of cubes that he originally starts on. When the Bishop changes levels, he must advance diagonally one (1) cube for every level that he changes For example: If the Bishop was located on level 1, cube C1 (1C1) he would move to the following locations: 1B2, 1A3, 1D2,1E3, 1P4,1G5, 1H6, 2B2, 2D2, 3A3, or 3E3.

The Bishop, when changing levels, cannot make a diagonal move on the level that he changes to in the sahne move. For example: If the Bishop was on 1C1, he could not move to 2F4, or 3D2. It must be remembered that the Bishop, when changing levels, must advance in a straight line diagonally on his color (1) cube for every level changed. Thus, the Bishop cannot advance diagonally more than two (2) cubes in any one move when changing levels.

The Bishop is limited In many respects hecaose he must move on his color; however, there are two Bishops, and each Bishop is on a different color. Because of this, the Bishop can trap or guard his own pieces or opponent's pieces with relative ease. Also, the Bishop's range of protection and attack is far reaching as far as changing levels is concerned. The Bishop is generally used to trap because he can lay in wait on a level two levels away and attack when not expected or seen. Learn this piece thoroughly as it is a very important piece in the game. Learn how he changes levels by practicing until you have no problems in seeing his potential.

Illustration shows how the Bishop would or could move if he were located on level 3. The Bishop can change from level lor 2 to level 3 anytime he wishes as long as he is not blocked by another piece.

The Bishop captures in the same manner that he moves. In other words, the piece that the Bishop captures must be his opponent and in his line of flight. Again, the Bishop must be on or move to that level and that cube to capture.

THE KNIGHT

The Knight is probably the most interesting piece on the board; however, he is also the hardest piece to learn, so study these rules carefully.

The Knight moves in the shape of an "L" Whenever the Knight makes a move, he must move two (2) cubes in a linear direction and one (1) cube at a right angle. The Knight may also move one (1) cube in a linear direction and two (2) cubes at a right angle. When the Knight changes levels, the same rule applies, if the Knight were to change only one level, he would move to the cube on that level that is directly above or below the cube that he left from, and then move two cubes at a right angle in a forward, sideways or backward direction. If the Knight were to change two levels, again he would move to the cube that is directly above or below the cube that he left from and then move one cube at a right angle in a forward, sideways or backward direction.

Example: The Knight is located on level 1, cube position B1 (1B1). From 1B1, the Knight can move to: 1D2, 1A3, 1C3, 2D1, 2B3, 3A1, 3B2 or 3C1.

When changing levels with the Knight, it is possible to stay on the same file as he left. In other words, the Knight could leave from file B of a level and stop on a different level but still file B. Example: If the Knight is on 1B1 and moves to 2 B3 or 3B2.

The Knight is the only piece that cannot be blocked from moving as he can lump over or around another man. either his own or his opponent's to get to the cube that he wants to go to.

Illustration shows how the Knight would or could move if he were located on level 3. The Knight can change from level 1 or 2 to level 3 anytime he wishes providing there is not a piece of his own color on the cube that he will stop on.

NOTE: When the Knight is on level 3, he has the same moving and attacking power that he has on level 1.

THE ROOK

The Rook moves in a straight line in any direction forward, backward or vertically, as far as he wishes provding no other pieces block his path. When changing levels, the Rook must move to a cube that is directly above or below the cube that he left from. For example, if the Rook is located on level l, cube position A1 (1A1), he can move to: 1A2, 1A3, 1A4, 1A5, 1A6, 1A7, 1A8, 1B1, 1C1, 1D1, 1E1, 1F1, 1G1, 1H1, 2A1, 3A1.

The Rook cannot, when changing levels, also advance in a linear direction in the same move. For example, if the Rook were on 1AI, he could not move to 2A8 or 2H1. From 1A1 the Rook can only move to those locations shown.

Illustration shows how the Rook could move if he were located on level 2. The Rook can change from level 1 or 3 to level 2 anytime he wishes as long as he is not blocked by another piece.

The Rook captures in the same manner that he moves. In other words, the piece that the Rook captures must be in his line of flight, and the piece must be an oppoent. The Rook must be on or move to that level and that cube to capture.

THE PAWN

The Pawns move in a forward direction one (1) cube at a time, unless when capturing which we will get into later. However, on the first move of the Pawn, he can move two (2) cubes or levels in a straight line if he is not blocked by another piece. For example: If the Pawn is on level 1, cube position B2 (1B2) he could move to: 1B3, 1B4, 2B2 or 3B2 on his first move.

The Pawn in 3D chess has a unique move, if you wish to call it that, that does not exist in regular chess because it is a two dimensional game. This move is that the Pawn can move in limbo; that is, the Pawn can change a level in one move and then return back to the level and cube that he just came from without advancing forward. It must be noted that the Pawn, when changing levels, must move to a cube that is directly above or below the cube that he left from. This same rule applies to the Rook when he changes levels. On the Pawn's first move. he can change two (2) levels or one level and advance two (2) cubes or one (1) cube, whichever is desired. However, after the first move, the Pawn can only move one (1) cude or change one (1) level at a time.

No Pawn may move in any other direction other than forward relative to their starting position. Black Pawns can only advance in the direction of the cubes A1, B1, C1, Dl, El, F1, G1 and H1. White Pawns can only advance toward A8, 88, C8, D8, E8, F8, G8 and H8. The only time the above rule does not apply is when they are changing levels. In this case, the Pawn does not actually advance. The Pawn may go back to the level that he came from anytime he wishes, providing he is not blocked by another piece. Example: If the Pawn is on 3B7 and moves to 2B7 and then returns to 3B7. This, of course takes two moves.

To capture, the Pawn MUST MOVE AT A DIAGONAL. In other words, the Pawn captures in the same way that a Bishop captures, if the piece to be captured is on the same level as the pawn that is going to do the capturing. If the piece to be captured is on a different level than the Pawn doing the capturing, then the Pawn can move at a forward diagonal up to capture the piece. Remember the rule for changing a level at a diagonal is that the piece must advance one cube for every level changed. With this in mind, the Pawn can only change one level; so consequently, the piece to be captured must be either on the level of the capturing Pawn or only one level and one cube away.

Illustration shows how and where the Pawn can capture from the various positions designated. Even when capturing, the Pawn must move toward the opposite end of the level he started on. THE PAWN CANNOT CAPTURE IN ANY OTHER DIRECTION THAN DIAGONALLY FORWARD, FORWARD DIAGONALLY UP, OR FORWARD DIAGONALLY DOWN.

The Pawn cannot capture sideways, backward sideways diagonally up or down, or at a backward diagonal up or down.

The Pawns are rather unique pieces. They are the guards in chess and are very instrumental in the protection of their own color. In the end game, in particular, they can be used to become power pieces, or they can become power pieces during the game for that matter by what is called Queening.

The above photo and rules were sent to us by James Trimm. James is interested in finding other players of 8x8x3 3D Chess. For his email address, please use our Contributors Page.


Rules and photograph from James Trimm. OCR and conversion to html by David Howe. Illustrations will be added in the near future.
WWW page created: 21 May 2001.