The Chess Variant Pages

Check out Cylindrical Chess, our featured variant for March, 2023.

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Three-Dimensional Chess

If you had a Java-capable browser, you could play Three-Dimensional Chess here.
Keys "s"=save "l"=load "b"=back once

Here is the most common form of 3D chess. Ferdinand Maaack, 1907.

The object is to checkmate the king.

The king moves to any square not removed more than one in any of the three dimensions. There is no castling.

A pawn moves one square forward as in ordinary chess, or to the same square on the next level (up for white, down for red.) A pawn captures forward as in ordinary chess, or to either adjacent file or the next rank on the next level. There are no double pawn moves, or en-passant capturing. A pawn promotes on the farthest level and rank.

A rook moves orthogonally in any single dimension.

A bishop moves diagonally in any two dimensions.

The new piece moves one or two spaces across all three dimensions. I've used a pegasus; other people call the piece a unicorn or whatever.

The Queen combines the moves of bishop, knight, and unicorn.

Checkmating this very mobile king is difficult, and the unicorns are very weak. Richard Goode's 3D chess, Jim Aikin's Five Up, Tim's 3D Chess (two kings), and Tim's 3D Chess with superpawns, are variants which seems more playable.

Raumschach is another name for this variant.

3D Chess Federation. James Trimm is a cyberfrield.

Chess Variants

3D Chess

These are simple illustrations rather than strong opponents.

Chess Variants

Bug Reports -- Thank you! Keep them coming!

Written by Ed Friedlander

WWW Page Added: Sunday, December 30, 2001