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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2017-10-20
 Author: Hans L. Bodlaender and Fergus  Duniho. Inventor: Andrew  Bartmess. Tridimensional Chess (Star Trek). Three-dimensional chess from Star Trek. (x7, Cells: 64) (Recognized!)[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Patrick Degan wrote on 2010-12-02 UTC
One problem with the Star Trek Tri-D chess game is that, essentially, all
it was really was a clever visual prop.  Wah Chang crafted a piece of
artwork which allowed the actors to simply move the pieces about without
actually knowing how chess is played and without the audience really
catching on, even amateur or inexperienced players of the real game, since
you can assume a different rule set works.  Hobbyists have attempted to fit
rule systems into what was seen on the TV series, which included the small
2x2 boards being moved around.  But all this is actually unnecessary if you
a) forget about moving the small castle-boards and b) consider the board as
a coordinate system.

In the episode 'Charlie X' when Mr. Spock attempts to explain to Charlie
Evans that the basic principles of chess are mathematical, I realised that
this applies to the algebraic notation used to define the chess space and
the whole picture of a rational Tri-D chess game fell into place for me.

Try this: the small castle boards remain fixed at the corners of the upper
and lower boards, permanently.  Their grids are identified as AB12, AB78,
GH12 and GH78 respectively.  The home boards have the grids CDEF1234 and
CDEF5678.  It's the middle board, the 'neutral field board' as it's
called in the Franz Joseph technical manual, which bridges the four small
'castle boards'.  It's coordinate grid would be ABGH3456.

This makes the challenge of the game a matter of tracking the coordinates
of the squares of the various boards in combination and understanding that
it distributes the traditional orthogonal chess space into a
multidimensional packet.  The players must be aware of where the moves for
the pieces require a shifting between boards and how attack lanes proceed
across and through this distribution.  Psychologically, it would model the
viewpoint of a spacefaring culture which has developed faster-than-light
propulsion and the techniques for navigating in three and four dimensional
space.  No special rules for play are necessary, only the capacity to think
in mathematical terms across multiple dimensions (the boards).