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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]
William wrote on 2006-01-14 UTC
Comments and Questions: I have the 1994 Official Star Trek Tridimensional Chess Set in MINT condition with all of the appropriate certificate and other paperwork. I gave it to my father as a birthday present when they first came out. He has since returned it to me a few years ago saying that he had never taken the time to even take the pieces out of the box. As I am not an avid Trekkie I have no use for it myself. I do realize that this collectible does have a significant value, though. If you know of anyone that might have a serious interest in this please feel free to foward my e-mail address. I am also looking for an online venue to arrive at a true value of this item. My best comparison, as yet, has been ebay. I haven't seen any sold in Mint condition yet, though. Any suggested web sites would be greatly appreciated. William [email protected]

dale wrote on 2006-04-02 UTCGood ★★★★
hard-liners & trekites & trekers are very pleased with this. thank-you very much. all the best. dale.

Randy P. wrote on 2006-06-23 UTC
I like your page a lot, but am confused on the movement of pieces between levels. You say 'where going up or down a level always means going from a movable level to a fixed level or vice versa,' but in your diagram it looks like one of the options is to move the white queen up to the next fixed level, going from fixed level to fixed level. In the diagram, it also looks like a possible move would be to move the white queen to the space two towards the nuetral level while staying on the same level, going straight over the pawn or going onto the movable level, but then going to a space directly under the movable level. Could you please further explain these rules?

Steve wrote on 2006-08-26 UTC
Does anyone here use Parmen to play Star Trek chess? Looking for email play and I have questions about the Parmen program. Would like to read comments from other players.

Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2006-10-08 UTC
The editors received the following correspondance from Rainer Hecker: Dear Sirs and Madam’s, thank you for this fascinating Page about “Star Trek Chess”. But if my information is correct you have made two mistakes: No movable Level (or in Star Trek terminology “Attack Board”) is ever placed below, always above a corner! For some reasons: 1. Continuous use would wear the Boards and Pins so that the Attack Boards would hold any longer upside down. 2. I have never an Attack Board below a corner, neither in the original series nor in any of its following series. The position of the pieces at the start of the game is not correct. According to my sources the queen and king start the game on the Attack Boards occupying the places of the knights in your diagram. the knights start the game on the Main Boards on the outer lines occupying the places of the bishops in your picture. The bishops start on the inner lines occupying the places of king and queen in your diagram. yours sincerely Rainer Hecker

Abdul-Rahman Sibahi wrote on 2006-10-08 UTC
Personally I have to say : this makes more sense.

Amanda Ryals wrote on 2007-03-24 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Very helpful. I will be consturcting one of my own soon. Thank you.

Mike FItzpatrick wrote on 2007-06-13 UTCExcellent ★★★★★

Jea_Pet wrote on 2007-08-19 UTC

FYI...

According to the regulation tridimensional chess rules the board setup listed on this site were not correct. The setup of the board is: Black/Gold (lower levels going from the outtermost edges toward the 'middle' or towards White/Silver):

Attack board 1:

Outside: Rook | Pawn

Inside: King | Pawn

Attack board 2:

Inside: Queen | Pawn

Outside: Rook | Pawn

Main board lower level starting from attack board 1 side going toward attack board 2 side:

Knight | Pawn

White/Clear Bishop | Pawn

Black/Blue Bishop | Pawn Knight | Pawn

White/Silve (upper levels going from the outtermost edges toward the 'middle' or towards Black/Gold):

Attack board 3 (top of set in the same line as attack board 1):

Outside: Rook | Pawn

Inside: King | Pawn

Attack board 4 (top of set in the same line as attack board 2):

Inside: Queen | Pawn

Outside: Rook | Pawn

Main board upper level starting from attack board 3 side going toward attack board 4 side:

Knight | Pawn

Black/Blue Bishop | Pawn

White/Clear Bishop | Pawn

Knight | Pawn

In summary the knights go where the bishops are, the bishops go where the king/queen are, and the king/queen go where the knights are...in the sketch on this site.

This diagram can be found in the Star Trek Star Fleet Command Technical Manual, copyright 1975, ISBN: 0-345-34074-4, page TO:03:98:31

Thnx...

[email protected]


Gitimus wrote on 2007-11-09 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I Thought The Game Is Good Fun. I may have taken hours to play but at least the game is challanging(With a few minor modifications to the rules). My mate and I build one out of wood and now my most of my year like playing the game.

Zinab Fincham wrote on 2007-11-21 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Just come nto possession of the 3-d chess set ... thought I knew chess! Thank you so much for enlightening me!!!

Anonymous wrote on 2008-01-11 UTCAverage ★★★

Trek Girl wrote on 2009-03-15 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
I have a GENUINE STAR TREK Tridimensional Chess Set made by FRANKLIN MINT. I want to sell it. Does anyone know how much it is worth and where you can sell it. [email protected]

Anonymous wrote on 2009-09-17 UTC
The links to Andrew Bartmess' page are broken. They should be changed to http://www.yestercade.net/tactical.htm

Flowerman wrote on 2010-03-05 UTCGood ★★★★
I like this game, but it will be hard to make board... Isn't there game, created by 'Star Wars' fans? There also was shown chess variant: in 'Episode IV, A New Hope' C-3PO and Chewbaca played game on circular board, where some wild space creatures were pieces :). By the way, it would be interesting to remember different chess games, wich was showwn in films or described books, and when thinked up, like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stealth_chess

George Duke wrote on 2010-03-10 UTC
To Flowerman's Chess in films, Bill Wall has had since early days: http://www.chessville.com/billwall/ChessInMovies.htm. Far bigger topic is Chess in Literature, which can be found many places.

Kenneth Fourcell wrote on 2010-11-24 UTC
Do you play 3D chess? How would you like to join a club where you could meet, greet and compete with other play 3D chess players? I putting together an 3D chess club just for 3D chess player using a patented 3D chess set of my own design, which would be the exclusive property of the club. The only place one will be able to use it or see it will be at the club; or on my web site: www.3dchesstower.com. No computers! Tell me what you think. Visit my website: www.3dchesstower.com, and or email me: [email protected] Your most critical opinion is appreciated.

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).

Larry Smith wrote on 2010-12-04 UTC
Check out: http://webspace.webring.com/people/gi/interrupt27/ST3d/NotationST3DChess.txt

Jaymes wrote on 2012-01-30 UTCGood ★★★★
nice page & links ... but I just wanted to let you know that your diagram for the 'Starting positions' is incorrect, the K & Q need to exchange places with the K's and begin the game on the attack boards ( King & Queen's levels)

Norman Powell wrote on 2012-06-09 UTCExcellent ★★★★★
Clear explanations, excellent site with all the information I required. Congratulations and thank you. I think I have spotted one minor error. I think that there is an error with the last diagram which shows the moves: The path of the lower white castle should go over the far to squares of the movable/attach board, not the nearest two as shown. Many thanks, Norman

Fergus Duniho wrote on 2017-10-28 UTC

I have added a couple more pictures from the third episode of the well-done fan-series Star Trek Continues.


Greg Strong wrote on 2017-10-30 UTC

WOW.  I had never heard of Star Trek Continues.  I just watched the first episode and was blown away!  It's incredible that a compeltely ameture production was able to look that good and fit the style and feel of the original series so perfectly.  And the story was excellent.  If it continues at this quality level, it will definitely surpass the quality of the original series (which, although ground-breaking for the time, had a ton of very marginal episodes.)


Aurelian Florea wrote on 2017-10-30 UTC

Where can it be found? I could enjoy it, too no idea that people on this website like star trek but in retrsopective it seems likely :)!


Steve Linnell wrote on 2018-02-18 UTCGood ★★★★

Just a small update on the post by Jaymes. Taking the picture shown in the article for the starting position, the left hand side is the Queens side and the right hand side is the Kings side. The Kings and Queens should be on the movable levels next to the Rooks (or Castles). The back rank on the top and bottom levels should have the Knights at each side with the two Bishops on the centre ranks. At least, this is the setup shown in the pamphlet I got with my official Star Trek Tridimensional Chess Set almost 30 years ago.


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