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Cross3D Chess. 3D Chess game where pieces are arranged in a cross shape. (8x8x8, Cells: 512) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
stéphane burkhart wrote on 2006-03-08 UTC
Would it be possible to update the page with the stuff I sent to you (editors) the 20 february 2006, especially the CheckMates serie demonstration? Regards, SB (you may destroy this message afterwards !)

stephane burkhart wrote on 2006-01-24 UTC
As I don't have any further comment, apart from myself, I keep on with my
monologue (at least I hope someone will read it !).
The subject here is to mention that you can play the game with two sets
(real) pieces only: just take two chessboards and piece sets and revolve
one 90 degres, to make black squares on first board correspond to
on the second board.
Then, each square in the first board will be divided mentaly in four
corners, each representing 'odd levels' (1,3,5,7) mapped on this plane.
Do the same with the second board, but this time mapping the 'even
levels' (2,4,6,8) on each square corners. Finally, place the pieces as
indicated in the rules (easier to visualize with the 'side' variant);
course, small pieces on large squares would be advisable ! Then you're
I must admit it requires a bit of practice and abstraction view, but in
fact, it works ! Nevertheless, real 8 levels 'plateau' would be nice to
built, like the one Arni Thoroddsen did and commented in the

stephane burkhart wrote on 2006-01-12 UTC
The new release with double move variant is now available.
As I expected, Mating the King is much easier (and faster) this way, but
some new features appear that I didn't preview, and that I may have to
modify for the next release:
First, you can play 2 pieces (ex. 2 knights) of the same row or rank on
first turn, which introduce new kinds of openings compared to 2D, but
it matter ? there are new kinds of openings anyway !  
Second, Bishops and Queens can be protected by there relatives,
respectiveley Bishop and Queen, which is a new feature compared to 2D.
2 Queens are especially vicious and devastating, and the 2 Bishops of the
same color supporting each other is a bit strange. I wonder if I
shouldn't better restrict their move by letting them avoid each other's
way...or may be this feature will enrich the Game ?

Stephane Burkhart wrote on 2005-09-11 UTC
I will soon (after testing) deliver my next (and I hope last) variant of
Cross3D Chess named Cross3D2M. The acronym 2M stands for double move, as
got the clue from the new 'Extra move Chess' game by Fergus Duniho.
My main version looked first quite draw-ish, requiring to move 2 sets of
pieces each having relatively half-value compared to a 2D piece, thus
increasing the number of moves and decreasing chances to catch the King.
The Idea to solve this problem is now to allow a double-move for each
player, but restricting it to the same kind of pieces (2 queens for
instance), seeing them effectiveley as a single piece after the second
move. The full strength is recovered, and the number of turns to mate the
King should be reasonable.
A few remarks related to F.Duniho ones, but adapted to this game:
1/ the second move is optional to prevent not suitable stalemate and to
allow single piece move if no other piece of the same kind is available
(moving the same piece is forbiden)
2/ capture is permitted on first and second move, like an hydra would do
(the 2 heads of the 3D-type Queen) ! As the opponent King can't move two
times in a row, and can't call for help from another piece either, he
should't escape checkmate
3/ en passant is allowed on first and second move, because capture is
allowed, and double pawn move is also allowed for each move (first and
second) as they can both be captured (should be rare)
4/ the King may be captured by a double check, and the CheckMate advising
will appear on next move  

I hope to improve the game that way, and to appeal to 2D Chess players !

David Paulowich wrote on 2005-08-22 UTC
I spent the last 12 months looking at the weaker pieces in games like Shatranj Kamil and Dai Shogi. The idea of some sort of 3D-Shatranj (with a weakened King) on a 6x6x6 board appeals to me. As for the traditional 3D-King with 26 possible moves, it seems even more elusive than the Royal Queen in Caïssa Brittania.

Larry Smith wrote on 2005-08-22 UTC
Restricting the movement of the King has been tried in several games. And
this does increase the potential for mate, or at the least stalemate. But
this form of restriction has not been totally accepted by the entire 3D
Chess community, which often feels that such is anathema to the purpose of
of a 3D game.  In other words, why expand the potential of the playing
field then begin truncating the movement of the pieces?

The primary complaint of introducing more the powerful planar pieces to
the game is that they are much more difficult to visualize not only during
their single turn movement but to extrapolate their position several moves
into the game.  Some have even suggested that the human mind is just not
capable to properly calculate such vast potentials.

I have a better opinion of the human mind. Given the proper training and
familiarity with any subject, it is more than up to the task. Of course,
this may mean that the individuals who play 3D Chess in the future may not
be able to do anything else. Not much different than some of the current
FIDE Grandmasters. ;-)

David Paulowich wrote on 2005-08-22 UTC
Larry, perhaps we could adapt some ideas from Chinese Chess. Both checkmate and stalemate win the game. Kings have only the 6 orthogonal moves of a 3D-Wazir. Now consider a weak piece like the 3D-Ferz: 12 diagonal moves (moves changing all three coordinates are not allowed). Been a long time since I played any 3D games, but it seems to me that a stalemate position is possible with King and 3D-Ferz against King. The big question is: how many pieces are required to force your opponent's King to the side of the cube?

Larry Smith wrote on 2005-08-22 UTC
Chris Witham's '3D Chess, a different way of looking at it' is not the
first paper about planar pieces.  I suggest checking out 'Exploring the
Realm of Three-Dimensional Chess' by Dave Erick Watson, published in 1997
by The Oak Hill Free Press.

Watson discusses several ways to interpret planar pieces, including giving
particular patterns names(such as lace, gossamer, stairway, checkered,
etc.)  And he doesn't state that he was the originator of such potential
pieces.  Leaving open the possibility that someone else might have.

And he writes, 'If the chessboard is going to be kicked up a dimension,
then we had better kick the piece moves up a dimension too!'

Derek Nalls wrote on 2005-08-21 UTC
'The drawish-ness of 3D Chess is not predicated upon the turn order but
upon the material necessary to form a mating position.'

In this instance, I did not mention the white-black-black-white turn
due to concern over the first-move-of-the-game advantage (by white).

The material necessary to form a mating position is greatly reduced in
games where a double-move is commonplace since, for example, having 2
moves per turn (instead of 1 move) can enable a player to strike any 
space on a 2-D board (if not too exotic in its geometry) with a 2-D queen
(a linear piece) within 1 turn.  Using planar pieces, I ascertain that it
is likewise possible on a 3-D board (if not too exotic in its geometry)
with a 3-D omni-directional piece (a planar piece).

In light of what I know now, you Smith brothers (no relation) have
the only feasible and potentially, complete solution to the numerous
problems endemic to 3-D chess variants.  I wish you success in your

Larry Smith wrote on 2005-08-21 UTC
The drawish-ness of 3D Chess is not predicated upon the turn order but upon
the material necessary to form a mating position.  With linear pieces it
can take a larger number of pieces compared to 2D to accomplish this task.
 And with the potentially large number of moves to complete the average
game, any first-move advantage is almost imperceptible.

Some 3D Chess developers have introduced an extremely powerful piece which
could make a checkmate by it lonesome.  But this does not guarantee a mate
since this piece might not survive to the end-game or, if created through
promotion, might never appear.

Planar pieces solve this problem by reducing the overall number of pieces
on the field.

But this does not mean that linear pieces should not be utilized in 3D. 
But like the Ferz and Wazir in 2D, they may find themselves reduced in
value and application as minor pieces in 3D.

Derek Nalls wrote on 2005-08-21 UTC
Description- (Symmetrical Chess Collection)
section- '3-D chess variants'
page 25

Until recently, I was also passionate about 3-D chess designs and at
least, my prospects for creating games sometime in the distant future when
3-D graphics in a universal chess variant program (perhaps, ZOG) were
up-to-par.  Currently, I no longer intend to develope any 3-D games.

Nonetheless, you have mentioned (on a few forums) one method which may
acceptably, practically overcome my so-called 'fatal flaw':

'Planar pieces' (as opposed to 'linear pieces') with greatly enhanced
moving capabilities.

Personally, I am unwilling to admit 'planar pieces' into any games of my
creation as their movements supercede vision (much as the transporter in
Star Trek lore).  Obviously, you do not find this objectionable, though. 
This, in tandem with a white-black-black-white turn order, may be the key
to your dreams as it would insure that your resulting 3-D games are not
too drawish.

Larry Smith wrote on 2005-08-21 UTC
Stephane, you may be confusing planar pieces with the dynamics of my Planar
4x4x4 Chess.  Check out Gavin Smith's game for the dynamics of planar

I have recently began advocating that the moves of diagonal and triagonal
planar pieces should not contain voids within their planes.  This would
reduce their power but could make visualization of their moves a bit
easier and maybe more logical.  This is based upon the reasoning that a
linear piece might normally not be allowed to leap across voids in a

Forgive my rants about 3D Chess, it is one of the passions of my life.  I
hold out the hope that one day a 3D game will be developed which will
receive enough acceptance as to actually supplant the Mad Queen's

Stephane Burkhart wrote on 2005-08-19 UTC
In my viewpoint, planar pieces in 3D, supposing we could define their way
of controlling cubes, will not add anything new to standard chess. this
would be strictly 2D Chess, as you 'must' keep a prefered direction to
oppose black and whites !! If you insist, you get into sort of dead ends
(see for instance the article of Chris Witham : '3D Chess, a different
way of looking at it' on the site, like the Bishop plane with holes...)
I think my game avoids this (especially the 2nd variant with pieces
initially on board side) by giving more power to pieces so that you should
feel at ease in 3D to checkmate the King with just a few more pieces (for
example, you can generalize Anastasie Mate with 2 knights and two rooks).

As to the pawn structure, you should still get a positional game, as they
are still blocked in their extended movement whenever they encounter a
piece, and they are much more powerfull in attacks.

Larry Smith wrote on 2005-07-25 UTC
The difficulty of checkmating a 3D Chess King has been one of the banes of
3D Chess design.  I've actually come to the conclusion that simple linear
pieces are un-satisfactory to this task, and now opt for the use of planar
pieces.  But these pieces are quite difficult for most to visualize and
may take a few years for acceptance.

And the planar piece actually fulfills the necessary extrapolation into
3D.  In 2D, the linear piece being 1D in its actual move(whether or not
this involves a change of one or two axes) is quite sufficient to control
various aspects of the playing field.  In goes to follow that in 3D, the
planar piece being 2D in its actual move should accomplish the same

This would also mean that fewer pieces are necessary during the opening
set-up in 3D.  This may also make the 8x8x8 playing field seem a little

Then we eventually come to the problem of the Pawn in 3D.  This piece no
longer has the entire function that it served in 2D.  It is quite
difficult to build and maintain effective Pawn structures in 3D.  They
mainly end as simple speed bumps in the 3D game.  So the 3D power of the
Pawn needs much more research to create an effective piece.  What would be
the best extrapolation of the Pawn into the 3D playing field?

Stephane Burkhart wrote on 2005-07-24 UTC
Thanks Larry for your comments. It made me think it over, as I didn't
considered the game by this side. What guided me designing the game was
preserve the proportion of controlled 'squares' going from 2D to 3D, in
order to preserve the same interest (tactic, strategy, easyness to
Checkmate the King,...) while opening the game. According to me, it
appears that you need twice the number of pieces (in adding triagonal
movement) to perform 80% of 2D game. So doing, it's true that
the King, even on board side, would normally require to summon twice as
much pieces as in 2D. I've checked a few configurations, and for
instance, 2 rooks and 1 bishop (or 1 knight) seem to be sufficient to
checkmate if the bare King is on one side of the first(or last)level, and
the other pieces may occupy the 2 next levels.
You can check that 2 bishops and 1 knight works as well. Of course, a
thorough examination would tell what the minimum number of pieces would
for each situation (King protected or not, in the board side or not,
etc...) which I'm determined to pursue. It remains that as the game
proceeds, pieces can be missing...
As to adopting new rules (Shogi capture-and drop) I don't fancy it for
this game, except if the game prove unplayable as it is.

Larry Smith wrote on 2005-07-17 UTC
The hurdle of developing a 3D Chess game is the minimum number of pieces
necessary to mate an opposing King.

Have you determined this condition?  Does your initial setup offer a
sufficient force?

Whereas two 2D Rooks can push a 2D King into a mate, it takes more than
four 3D Rooks to push a 3D King.  The addition of the triagonal slide to
the 3D Rook's normally orthogonal movement may improve this(BTW, this
piece is known as a Narwhal), but by what factor?

Even with the presence of a 3D Queen, how many other pieces would be
needed to force a mate?

I think you may find that your game will be quite draw-ish.  You may need
to adjust it to reduce this potential.  Might I be so bold as to ask if
you've consider the use of the Shogi capture-and-drop rules(and
maintaining the FIDE Pawn promotions).  This would definitely liven this
game and assure a player of sufficient pieces.

If you haven't done so, may I suggest that you join the following Yahoo!

A lot of these topics have been covered in previous postings at this site.
 You may find the information very helpful.

Stephane Burkhart wrote on 2005-07-16 UTC
As I'm till now the only supporter of my game, I will keep on adding some
new features I hope will be improving the game. 
I added a new variant, 'Cross3DS', which preserves the rules presented
above, but put the pieces back on board side, black opposit to white
in 2D) to protect them from side attacks. I felt free to add a new piece,
the Dauphin (french Heir to throne), which is no more than a King without
stake of loosing the game.
This corrects the missing King influence going from 2D to 3D (see rules

Stephane Burkhart wrote on 2005-06-10 UTC
I have to precise a rule for the pawn: 
as in 2D, it will be blocked everytime it encounters a piece in the rook
like movement, even if there remains 4 more accessible positions (pawn
rule). This will prevent the pawn from promoting too easily and will keep
the knight useful !
The castling seems for the moment of no use, as the sides are opened, and
I don't go for adding more pawns, which would desequilibrate the game.

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