In September 1997, I wrote a rambling stream-of-consciousness
multi-part rant on 3 dimensional chess. It became much larger than I
had expected, and needed its own directory and index and overview...
In October, I surveyed other people's previous work on 3D Chess, and
discovered many of the same ideas that I had developed; however, i
also discovered which of my ideas were new.
My New 3D Mapping
To play a simple game of 3D Chess, one must start by defining
3-dimensional versions of the orthodox chess pieces. Most people have
used the same old mapping. I also thought
of this same mapping, but I was very dissatisfied with it, and
devised a new one.
My mapping is less mathematically abstract,
but is easier to use. The difference is that I assume there is such
a thing as up and down, which will in fact always be the case until
you try to play the game in space station Mir; even then, the fact
that the players grew up under conditions of gravity should make my
mapping more natural.
The mapping I present here is slightly modified from that of the
My Design for a Board
The natural way to play 8x8x8 Chess is to stack 8 chessboards, with
pillars to hold them apart. The problem is that it then becomes
physically difficult to reach in and move something from e4 on level
4 to d5 on level 5.
I designed an 8x8x8 Chessboard that
should be fairly easy and cheap to build, but should solve this
I have not built such a board. The samples of play were created
Thoughts about the size of the board
The 8x8x8 board is very large, and a game is likely to take 8 times
as long (both in elapsed time and in number of moves) as a game of
FIDE Chess, perhaps even twice as long as a game of Go. In other
words, a "blitz" game may take more than an hour, a social-speed
untimed game will take up to four or five hours, and a
tournament-speed game could last as long as 40 hours, and an
international snail-mail correspondence game might well take more
than 10 years to play.
An hour or two isn't bad, so the game seems practical for
face-to-face fast play. However, it is only natural to think about
playing some sort of
3D Chess on Smaller Boards.
One must conclude, however, that the only real 3d Chess must be on
the 8x8x8 board, and that other 3D chess games are merely chess
variants. Chess with a capital C has the feel of FIDE Chess, the
depth, the variety (openings, endgames, middlegames, open games,
closed games, pawn chains, attacks, sacrifices, and so on).
Finally, there is an entire page discussing
board size, and another agonizing over
how the game play will work out.
Put it all together and we have the complete and perfect game of
3D Chess with Different Armies
In order to play a 3D version of Chess
with Different Armies, it is necessary to look at
3D pieces and how the
values change when they are
Then we can have 3D Chess with Different
3D Chess Variants
Of course, my design for 3D Chess is Chess with a capital C. Some
people like chess variants better than Chess. I provide a number of
discussions and sketches of 3D Chess
3D Great Chess is more than just another
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