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This item is a game information page
It belongs to categories: Orthodox chess, 
It was last modified on: 2004-07-02
 By Jonathan H Rutherford. Three Handed Chess. Three handed Chess with special rules to promote 3-way play. (Cells: 96) [All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Jonathan Rutherford wrote on 2007-09-29 UTC
I am going through a spurt of invention.  I plan on updating these rules. 
I've never really been sure of how workable they are, but to me the
concept made sense.  The point of the game is to encourage diplomacy and
temporary alliances, but maintain caution as well.  Alliances should fail
without careful planning or simply if they last too long.

Thank you for all your comments.  I will consider everyone's thoughts.

Arak Leatham wrote on 2006-11-11 UTC
I hope to clarify the pawn moves, on the three-handed hexagon board (the one where all squares are diamond shaped). IF you consider the starting rows as the 'base' for each kingdom, Forward motion for your pawns on the left, go toward the opposing base for the kingdom on the left. Your Pawns on the right go toward the kingdom on the right. If a pawn from the left attacks accross and ends on the right, it now orients forward motion toward the right. Obviously this re-orientation can only happen inside your own kingdom. Then the 'rose' cneter has to be considered. Inside it's own kingdom, if a pawn happens to attack to one of the pettal squares at the 'rose' center, it now has a choice for attack only. These are the two ajacent same color squares on the 'rose'. if it crosses the centerline, as before, it's orientation changes too. It's normal forward move is still based on the side of the board it is on.

Tony Quintanilla wrote on 2006-11-11 UTC
Arak Leatham wrote to the editors:

'I wish to state a variant based on the current listed variant called 'Three Handed Chess'. My version is exactly the same layout, conditions and reasoning as 'Three Handed' except for the variation rules to eliminate ganging up on the third man.

'My method is that when attacking the man on the right and removing a piece, you get to remove the same piece from the man on the left as well. This has two effects; it shortens an otherwise very long playing game, and it means no player can afford to ignore his best chance of winning, i.e. attacking his '2 for one target', the man on the right. Also you can never trust the man on your left to leave you alone for very long. You are just too good of a target.

'Notice also that attacking is of higher value than defense. But at some point, you must try and slow your attacker down. This is a fast, aggressive game.

'However, there is one more rule; after a check, if a possible check-mate exists and the third player has not had a turn between the check and the failure of the victim to escape, the third player is guaranteed one last move to break the check-mate. If he succeeds, play continues in the normal direction from the 'third' player.'


James Spratt wrote on 2006-07-30 UTC
Ha-ha!  One of my old Navy buddies and I were playing Chess for Three on
the corner of Hannah's bar one afternoon with somebody's 12-year-old
daughter who had wandered over to see what we were doing, and wanted to
play the game.  Not only was she a cutie, she was quick, resolute, and
absolutely brutal, and we two old fools, initially falling all over
ourselves to help her out, never even had a chance. Worst stomping I've
ever gotten. But ain't that life for ya?
  We played with three separate third guys, all named Brian, the same
afternoon. Blew 'em away.

James Spratt wrote on 2006-07-30 UTC
Hi, Jaan:  I made a Chess for Three game on a triangular board (in the
alphabetical index here) some years ago and had to deal with the same
issues, of course, especially what to do with a dead King's remaining
men.  I've found that the two weaker players tend to gang up on the
strongest anyhow, as a matter of survival, until one King falls, at which
point, in my game, his pieces become inert and may be taken by either
player as required to get them out of the way. My thinking was that for
the capturer to be able to recruit the captured King's pieces would
constitute an overpowering advantage which would preclude further fair
play, although a subsequent victory by the (now) weaker player would be a
very satisfying 'David vs. Goliath' feat.  So how often does the
disadvantaged guy win in your game?
 The shape of the board may affect the practicality of a rule requiring
mutual assistance; on a triangular board a moment sometimes occurs when a
Queen has both of the opposing Kings lined up in such a way that she can
take them in sequence, taking one and 'checkmating' the other. I think
that would be less likely on a board with square cells because it's
easier for a targeted King to duck to one side.

Jaan wrote on 2006-07-30 UTC
I am researching the 3-player chess rules out there for use with a 2/3/4 player chequered board I've patented. My idea to get over the 'petty diplomacy problem' as you call it is to simply allow King captures at which point the capturing army 'recruits' all the captured King's remaining pieces. This is such an advantage to the capturing side that the third side, rather than allow this to happen, must come to the threatened King's aid. I've played many many games with these rules and they work really well. Tension and material tends to be maintained for long periods regardless of player's respective strengths. Have you come across rules like this before? best wishes Jaan

Jonathan wrote on 2005-10-01 UTC
Yeah, I am not too sure how clear I made the rules. I actually authored them more than two years before submitting them, and never really took the time to review them for clarity. They obviously make sense in my mind, but without some help from others, I can't see where it falls short. I will tell you that since there are two apparent options in the central diagonals, for the purpose of the game, the only one that could be used is the one to the right. Therefore, a bishop in kingdom A passing through the center could only go to kingdom B, or a pawn in kingdom B could face two pieces in the diagonals of A or C, but could only capture the piece in kingdom C. I hope this is clear for now, but I will probably revise my rules. I've not tested them with anyone besides myself, truthfully, so any other feedback or problems are more than welcome.

Helen Burbridge wrote on 2005-09-24 UTCGood ★★★★
As a novice to 3-way chess, I would appreciate more detailed rules - especially regarding moving pawns through the middle of the board. The rules that came with the game are not particularly helpful in this respect.

Jonathan wrote on 2004-07-03 UTC
Any time player A moves his pieces into player C's kingdom, it is considered a double attack for player C, regardless of what direction from which A's attack comes. As far as the central diagonal, I was trying to handicap the attack to the left to give another slight advantage to the double defending player. however, if one wants to give the option of which direction to move when passing through the central diagonal, he is free to try it and see if he enjoys it better. I am very open to comments and suggestions, and am willing to make rule alterations, so please give feedback to this and any other questions. As far as only allowing one player to attack one specific other player, though it may be a simple solution to the petty diplomacy problem, I actually wanted to encourage a little diplomacy to add a dimension to this game. Thanks for your comment.

Charles Gilman wrote on 2004-07-03 UTCGood ★★★★
What happens if e.g. player A moves a piece already in player B's kingdom
to player C's? Also, how does e.g. player A move through the centre
diagonal from player C's kingdom, or is that not allowed?
Another possible variant would be one where player A can only
capture/check trhe pieces of player B, player B those of player C, and
player C those of player A. Has that ever been tried? Threats would always
be non-mutual, and it could make for some interesting blocking moves.

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