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3D Chess, a Different Way of Looking at It

By Chris Witham

Introduction

To start off with this is not a game, but it could very easily be used as one, however I do not know much about the value of pieces and so forth, nor have I tested it, so I can't promise that it would be a good game. What this is, is a geometric translation of the 2d pieces into 3d, an approach, which has not been tried before.

Premise, Reasons and Such

Many people have tried to make 3 dimensional chess variants, and have created games of varying degrees of worth some have been very good, others have sunk to previously unknown levels (I hope that what I'm writing now won't join them). Some of these games have said to be true 3-d chess, and in one sense they are, Three Dimensional Eight Level Chess is a good example of this. But there is more than one way to look at things, and the way that I think it should be done has not been tried, as far as I know.

Although you can make a good argument that the pieces should move the same way on a 3d board that they do on a 2d one. However this is not an accurate translation of a 2d piece into a 3d one, geometrically speaking. For example most 3d variants that I've seen have the rook move as it does in 2d, in stright lines forward, back; left, right; and up, down. But this is not a translation of the piece, because if we changed the board from a square to a cube the only way to maintain the relationship the board has to the piece is to change its move from a line to a plane.

I am surprised that no one has tried this before as it seems the natural and correct way in which to make 3d chess, however it could be that I am simply young and stupid, not to mention arrogant. And I'm not even that good of a chess player.

Moves

The rook, bishop, and queen are sliding pieces, they may only move through empty squares. All pieces capture by displacement as in normal chess. Also when I say square I know that they aren't technically squares.

Rook

As said before the rook's movement should be a plane. The reason for this is that the rook because moved in a line in one less dimension it should geometrically speaking move in a plane. Further the rook is like a wall that the opposing king can't cross on an empty board, the only way to maintain this is to have it move as a plane in 3d space.

The way that this will be done is to have it move any number of squares in a normal rook direction (up-down, left-right, forward-back) and then optionally in another direction at a right angle up to the same number of squares. The reason it can only move up to the same number of squares in the second direction is so that the number of squares a rook can reach from multiple directions is minimized.

Bishop

The bishop also moves in a plane, but this plane must be a) colorbound, b) crossable, without threat, by a piece that can only move one square at a time. This is because a single bishop can't contain a king in normal chess, and therefore a single bishop shouldn't be able to in this chess.

The bishop moves as a rook does, i.e. it moves any number of squares in any diagonal direction (there are 12), and then, optionally, again in another direction, however it not perform the second move in such a way as to stay on the same plane (rook wise). I know that's complicated but it works out much better that way.

The bishop should also be limited to make it reach a minimum of squares from multiple directions, but I couldn't figure out what, the lines it moves across are too complex. If any one does figure out please email me.

Queen

Moves as both bishop and rook.

King

Moves like a queen, but only one square.

Knight

Jumps to every square that a queen doesn't in a 5x5x5 box with it as the center. This move is a bit hard to describe, it can move one or two squares obliquely, 1 square obliquely is the same as moving one square in all three orthogonal directions, or move one square obliquely followed by one diagonally outward.

Pawn

Moves one forward orthogonal or captures one forward diagonally.

Rules

I said in the beginning that this wasn't a game, it is just the movements of pieces translated into three dimensions. However it could be one, simply set the pieces up on the middle level of an 8x8x8 board, as you would in Usual Chess, castle the same way, and give pawns the initial double step option as well as en-passant, and any other rule I forgot.

Also it shall be known as Witham's Three Dimensional Chess from now on. The reason for this is that this is probably the only chance I will ever have to put my name on something. I do not know if this would play well.

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Written by Chris Witham HTML Conversion by Peter Aronson.
WWW page created: May 1st, 2002.