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This page is written by the game's inventor, Steffan O'Sullivan.

Three Player Chess variant by Steffan O'Sullivan

Copyright 1996 by Steffan O'Sullivan


White has twelve pieces: six Pawns, two Bishops, one each of Knight, Rook, Queen, and King.

Red and Black each have ten pieces: four Pawns, two Bishops, one each of Knight, Rook, Queen, and King.

Board, with starting positions

King d8; Queen e8; Rook b8; Knight g8; Bishop c8, f8; Pawn b7, c7, d7, e7, f7, g7.

King a1; Queen b1; Rook a2; Knight b2; Bishop c1, c2; Pawn a3, b3, c3, d2.

King h1; Queen g1; Rook h2; Knight g2; Bishop f1, f2; Pawn e2, f3, g3, h3.

The game is played on an 8 by 8 board, but the four squares a7, a8, h7, and h8 are not used. In the middle of the board there is a horizontal line (yellow in the picture: the Equator. The board is vertically divided in two by the mid-line: a line dividing the board between Black and Red starting positions. The part of the mid-line between d1 and e1 is an impassable barrier: no piece may cross this barrier or check across it. Diagonal movement is allowed through the corner, however. That is, a Bishop could move from e2 to d1, for example.


Normal chess rules apply except where noted.

Black and Red Pawns move towards White's position, not toward each other.

All of White's Pawns may move two squares on their first moves. Black's and Red's pawns on d2 and e2 may also move two squares on their first moves. En passant rules apply. Other Black and Red Pawns may only move one space each move.

Only White may Castle - move the King one space, and place the Rook on the King's starting space. Neither may have moved beforehand, and the King must not be in check at the time of castling.

Note that in order for the Black and Red pawns on a3 and h3 to promote, they must somehow be moved over at least one lane.

The Black pawn that starts on d2 may not capture the Red pawn that starts on e2 until one or both are across the Equator. Likewise, the Red pawn that starts on e2 may not capture the Black pawn that starts on d2 until one or both are across the Equator. However, these pawns may capture any other piece across the mid-line in a normal pawn capture, and then is free to move and capture without restriction. No other Black or Red piece has any restriction regarding the mid-line or equator. White's pieces have no mid-line or equator restrictions at all.

When a player is checkmated, remove his King from the board but leave the rest of his pieces where they are. They may be captured by moving into their spaces, but you may not move through them. They may not move and do not exert a check - an opponent's King may move right by them with impunity.

Steffan O'Sullivan, (email removed contact us for address), Plymouth, NH

Written by Steffan O'Sullivan ((email removed contact us for address)
Version with ASCII board.
WWW page created: March 1996. Last modified: February 7, 1997.