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 original articles.

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 problem.

I have not built such a board. The samples of play were created "blindfold".

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.

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 3D Values.

Then we can have 3D Chess with Different Armies.

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 Variants.

3D Great Chess is more than just another variant.

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