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Stevenson's Four-Player Chess


Jake Stevenson


Stevenson's Four-Player Chess is form of four-player partnership Chess where each player has a team of eight pieces to control, with two teams to a side, and goal is to capture all of the opposing pieces on both teams.


Each team starts with four Pawns and four pieces.

8 | r |:p:|   |:::| N |:B:| K |:R:|
7 |:k:| p |:::|   |:P:| P |:P:| P |
6 | b |:p:|   |:::|   |:::|   |:::|
5 |:n:| p |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |
4 |   |:::|   |:::|   |:::| p |:n:|
3 |:::|   |:::|   |:::|   |:p:| b |
2 | P |:P:| P |:P:|   |:::| p |:q:|
1 |:R:| Q |:B:| N |:::|   |:p:| r |
    a   b   c   d   e   f   g   h
White Team 1
Queen (Q): b1
Rook (R): a1
Bishop (B): c1
Knight (N): d1
Pawn (P): a2, b2, c2, d2
White Team 2
King (K): g8
Rook (R): h8
Bishop (B): f8
Knight (N): e8
Pawn (P): e7, f7, g7, h7
Black Team 1
King (K): a7
Rook (R): a8
Bishop (B): a6
Knight (N): a5
Pawn (P): b5, b6, b7, b8
Black Team 2
Queen (Q): h2
Rook (R): h1
Bishop (B): h3
Knight (N): h4
Pawn (P): g1, g2, g3, g4


The rules of Stevenson's Four-Player Chess are identical to those of International Chess, except when noted below.

  • The game is played by two sides of two teams each, each team having eight pieces. Pieces may not capture pieces belonging to the other team on their side. Order of play is: white team 1, black team 1, white team 2, black team 2.
  • There is no checkmate -- victory is by capturing all opposing pieces.
  • Kings are regular pieces, and may be captured like any other piece. However, they move like a regular Western Chess Queen, instead of the usual King move.
  • There are no special moves: no castling, Pawn double-move or en-passant capture.
  • Pawns move away from the piece in front of which they start. So Pawns of white team 1 move up the board, the Pawns of black team 1 move from right to left, the Pawns of white team 2 move down the board, and the Pawns of black team 2 move from left to right. All Pawns capture on the two diagonals surrounding their forward direction of movement.
  • Pawns promote upon reaching the far side of the board, but only to previously captured pieces of their own eight-piece team. If there are no pieces available for promotion, then upon reaching the far side, the Pawn is stuck and may no longer move. It may be captured.
  • A Pawn head-to-head with a friendly Pawn is stuck until one of them is captured. If the only pieces a side has left on either side are blocked or stuck Pawns, the game is a stalemate (draw).

The rules do not limit communications between players of a team.


This game can easily be played with a standard Western Chess set. It is necessary, however to somehow distinguish the pieces among teams. The simplest approach would be to place a rubber band or a piece of ribbon around the pieces of both side's team 2. Or, pieces from two different Chess sets could be used to distinguish teams.

Written by Jake Stevenson. HTML Conversion by Peter Aronson.
WWW page created: December 28th, 2001.