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Geodesic Chess. Variation of hexagonal chess on a geodesic sphere with a few new pieces added. (Cells: 279) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jay Burnette wrote on Wed, Sep 12, 2007 08:12 PM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★



I was wondering how a person can actually Make a #9 Geoboard, that has 272 cells/faces on it (like, from cardboard, or paperboard as I read in other comments). I've tried to find paper models of Geoboards on the Internet, but haven't had any luck finding any. If you know of any Web sites or something else that may help me make the Geoboard for Geodesic Chess, it would be appreciated. Thank you.

Neal Meyer wrote on Tue, Nov 29, 2005 07:45 PM UTC:

This is the first time since the 10x10 contest I have visited Chess Variants. I haven't gotten around to seeing (and downloading) your ZOG file on Geodesic Chess, but since it took me a good 2 months to master ZOG's directives so that I could write Magi, I can say that I tip my hat off to you (not to mention the ZOG creators!) for managing to create a Geodesic board. That's quite a feat!

From the one time I played you, I do remember that there is the issue of perfect information being available to both players. The very shape of a Geodesic board 'throws' the human mind off somewhat during play, unlike a standard flat board variant where perfect information is easy to grasp since it is easy to see all pieces and the board position.

For the rest of you variant fans out there, I met Jack about a year ago and played a single (incomplete) game of Geodesic chess against him. I was definitely on the losing end of that encounter. I also turned Mr. Cheiky on to the wonderful world of the chessvariants website.

Anonymous wrote on Sat, Nov 5, 2005 11:31 PM UTC:
A forward direction for a pawn is clearly definable and quickly becomes
intuitive (dare I use that word again?) after becoming familiar with the
board and its peculiarities.

A pawn cannot promote to a king or obelisk. Promotion, at least for this
variation, is mandatory. Sorry for the ambiguity. 

There are several points where the rules need clarification: 

A Templar can move either like a knight OR a Bishop on any given move:

Excellent question about null moves: No.

A king would be in exile any time it leaves it’s home territory; forced

jackcheiky wrote on Sat, Nov 5, 2005 05:12 PM UTC:
thomas, some of your questions are addressed in the 1st edition of the

the others i will consider and answer ASAP.

Thomas McElmurry wrote on Sat, Nov 5, 2005 04:50 AM UTC:
It's about time we had a spherical chess variant, and the 'GeoBoards' are certainly among the most natural choices. My intuition isn't good enough to tell me how playable this game is, but it would be fun to try.

There are several points where the rules need clarification:

  • What is the definition of 'forward' for Pawns and Squires? The definition that seems most natural doesn't satisfy the statement that a Pawn has three forward directions to choose from.
  • Regarding promotion, what exactly is meant by 'any higher-ranking piece'? My guess is Queen, Rook, or Templar. Certainly promotion to a second King would change the game drastically. But can a Pawn promote to Squire? Can a Pawn or Squire promote to Obelisk? If so, how does that Obelisk behave, given that it is outside of its Home Territory?
  • Is promotion mandatory when a Pawn or Squire enters the opponent's Home Territory? If not, is it mandatory when it reaches the opposing King's starting hex?
  • How does a Templar move? There seem to be two contradictory statements: 'The Templar is a combination of the traditional Knight and Bishop.... The Templar moves three spaces diagonally, or two spaces forward and one to the side.' Which of these is correct?
  • Can a Queen, Rook, or (maybe) Templar make a 'null move', traveling all the way around the board and returning to its starting space?
  • Is the King really in Exile only when forced out of its Home Territory?
And a comment: I tend to be suspicious of games that let Pawns take multiple steps but don't allow en passant capture. But it's possible that the geometry of this game is different enough from Chess that this won't be a problem. Does anyone have thoughts about this?

Christine Bagley-Jones wrote on Sat, Nov 5, 2005 01:04 AM UTC:
well this no doubt looks pretty amazing, amazing you put it to zillions too :) .. will be interesting to see how it plays .. geez, what's next, a square with a sphere in it? .. and the pieces can cross over at the 4 points where they would touch? he he .. it's a limitless crazy world :) oops there would be 6 points they would touch huh lol

jackcheiky wrote on Sat, Nov 5, 2005 12:19 AM UTC:
Larry Smith, YOU ROCK! I call first game!

If I understand the pawn/squire question correctly; yes, capture can be
made one space on a forward diagonal, of which there are 2.

Re; the templar and the pentagon; when moving as a knight, the templar is
in no way blocked or impeded by the pentagon space. This is true for two
separate reasons. the most pertinent is that if you look at how a knight
jumps, you can say it moves two forward and one to the side – which is
same as saying one forward and two to the side. Applying this same logic
the pentagon question, if it seems the knight move is blocked going 2
1, try looking at it backward, 1 then 2. if one is legal the reverse must
me legal too. A secondary reason is simply that a knight jumps and is not
meant to be blocked.

Feel free to contact me directly if you want access to my notes and

[email protected]

Larry Smith wrote on Fri, Nov 4, 2005 08:46 PM UTC:
Believe it or not, I've actually worked up a Zillions implementation to
play this game.  It is still in the beta-testing period.  But should be
ready in about a week.

Question: I understand that the Pawn and Squire can make multiple
non-capturing steps(some conditional).   But is the capture move of the
Pawn and Squire a single step?  I've coded for a single step.

I also coded that the pentagon restriction also applies to the Templar's
knight leap.

Gary Gifford wrote on Sun, Oct 30, 2005 01:32 PM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
The idea of playing on a sphere (composed of hexagons) is quite interesting. If I were to play this game I would like to try playing it on a 3D modeling-based program, such that I could click on the sphere and rotate it to view the various sectors. But maybe it is easier to use two 2D projection maps.

💡📝Jack Cheiky wrote on Wed, Jan 12, 2005 08:04 PM UTC:
This is the new Geodesic Chess home page.

[email protected] wrote on Thu, Jun 24, 2004 06:41 PM UTC:
Tony, I’ve used Dymaxion projection maps (though I didn’t know that was what they were called – had to look it up,) for sketching ideas and working out problems, but it’s not a great surface for playing on because it’s virtually impossible to see where pieces move. I’ve created another type of 2D map that is a bit convoluted, but works.

[email protected] wrote on Sun, Jun 13, 2004 06:36 PM UTC:
I am auctioning off one of the prototypes used during the creation and development of Geodesic Chess. The Auction is a promotion in anticipation of public release. Prototype “Alpha” was the first GeoBoard design to successfully conquer all the engineering challenges, including gravity. It is approximately 4” in diameter, made primarily from paperboard, and comes with a complete set of playing pieces. In addition to a manual/rulebook the set will come with a letter of authenticity. Also, the high bidder will have the opportunity to play me in the first ever tournament via email in a public forum. Opening bids and other inquiries should be sent to [email protected]. The auction will end July 31 2004 (midnight TX time.) The winning bidder will be responsible for shipping charges from Houston TX. All bidders must be 18 or older. Photos will be available soon.

Charles Gilman wrote on Wed, Jun 9, 2004 08:18 AM UTC:Good ★★★★
To be fair on Sue, 'there' could be interpreted as meaning 'in that place', i.e., on a Geodesic board, although if so it is oddly placed on the sentence: 'have noggins challenged there' would be more usual. As for 'elementry', that could be interpreted as a noun meaning a collection of elements (cf Jewry, legendry - note that the latter is distinct from the adjective legendary). It could even mean a regiment of elements (cf infantry, cavalry, artillery, camelry, yeomanry). After all, Shogi has pieces named after the elements Gold and Silver, and some of its variants have Copper as well. Perhaps Shogi is an 'elementry game'! The logical pronunciation would seem to be with the first syllable stressed.

[email protected] wrote on Tue, Jun 1, 2004 05:53 PM UTC:
Thank you all for your encouragement. Michael, perhaps we can play a game of GC at some point. You may find it more intuitive, fast-paced, and downright fun than you’d imagined. I am currently in the middle of a game of GC with another inventor from these pages. When we’re finished, I’ll see if I can get him to write a review. I will say, the game develops fairly quickly considering the number of pieces and cells. If you want a simpler version, the next size smaller GeoBoard (#6) has 122 cells vs. the 272 (#9) used in GC-Basic above (Tony, I think there is a typo somewhere listing the cells at 279.) Development of digital versions of GC are being considered. Anyone interested in participating feel free to contact me directly. [email protected]

Tony Quintanilla wrote on Tue, Jun 1, 2004 05:17 PM UTC:Good ★★★★
Jack, have you considered using a Dymaxion projection to project the geodesic sphere to 2D and make a Game Courier implementation possible? The geodesic sphere is a very appealing concept for a board.

Sue wrote on Tue, Jun 1, 2004 09:26 AM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
I think this game is Wonderful!!! I love a good challenge. To the guy who gave the game a poor rating because it seem to HARD or COMPLEX, Maybe you should go play elementry games. I think the concept of this game is fantastic! To the inventor of this game, You for you! I think Geodesic Chess is very interesting and will give those who like to have there nogins challenged a wonderful ride. Good luck!!!

Jack Cheiky wrote on Tue, Jun 1, 2004 06:26 AM UTC:
I believe the Templar and Obelisk are indeed original to this variant. Although the idea of combining a Bishop and a Knight are not original, the reason for combining them in GC was. Both Bishops and Knights were problematic for different reasons on the GeoBoard. Combining them solved the problems. The idea for the Obelisk came from Chinese chess, as did the idea of a “home turf” for the king. My original name for the Obelisk was Monolith, and originally I wanted to call my combined Bishop/Knight a Squire. Other pieces I’ve toyed with and come to recognize in various forms in other’s games were Assassins, Wizards, Dragons, Abbeys, Bombs, Etc.

Peter Leyva wrote on Mon, May 31, 2004 07:13 AM UTC:Good ★★★★
Interesting layout for a chess game.  The originalilty of the pieces I have
to question, they're to close to my pieces in 'Palace Revolution'
(Templar knight & Squire pawn).  Well , what can I say if my pieces
inspired your pieces, thats great!  After all their moves are different
from my piece movement.

dtj wrote on Mon, May 31, 2004 02:17 AM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
A lovely idea. I can imagine a virtual realisation of this game presenting itself on-screen rather like a hologram, where one keys in one's move on a keypad (which can also control the spin of the globe) and perhaps watches and waits as the computer analyses the position and works out its reply - perhaps showing its thought processes with coloured graphics whizzing across the cells. Once could also imagine implementations with vast numbers of cells and the 'earth' divided into continents, and one merely watches as a supercomputer plays itself using a fantastic variety of pieces and weaponry. Glass Bead Game eat your heart out. Magnificent!

Jeff Rients wrote on Sun, May 30, 2004 09:09 AM UTC:Good ★★★★
Although I'm not very interested in playing on a geodesic board, I like
the way the pentagons break up the playing field into sections.

Also, the Templar and Obelisk are interesting pieces.  Are they original
to this variant?

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