FIELD OF THE INVENTION
- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to improvements in the game of chess related to making the traditional two dimensional game into a game played on two superimposed and spaced apart traditional chess boards.
The game of chess has a long history. It was about 500 years ago that the queen and bishop took their modern moves, thus creating the modern game. Although the other pieces had taken on their modern moves centuries before, the queen and bishop had been weak pieces that slowed the pace and reduced the tactics of the game. In medieval chess the queen moved only one square diagonally, so it could reach only 32 squares at a slow pace. The medieval chess bishop could leap over pieces like a knight, and like the knight moved exactly two steps; but unlike the knight, it moved its two steps diagonally. In the late 15th century, the queen suddenly gained a huge increase in power, as it was given its modern far-ranging move. The bishop trebled in power by receiving its modern move, thereby becoming the rough equal of the knight. Both these changes occurred at the same time, so that a dynamic new Renaissance chess emerged as a rival to the traditional medieval game.
Even more modern changes to the game have been suggested by recent inventors who have added a third dimension to the game by introducing additional game boards and additional chessmen. For example, a Military Game featuring upper and lower superimposed chess boards, conventional chessmen and a set of small airplanes positioned in the squares of the upper board was the subject of the 1932 patent to Weaver, U.S. Pat. No. 1,877,154. Brennan disclosed a Multiple-Board Chess Game with Additional Chessmen in U.S. Pat. No. 3,937,471 in 1976. In the Brennan game two sets of conventional chessmen were set up on a lower board while two sets of additional chessmen were set up on an opposing upper board. U.S. Pat. No. 5,031,917 to Greene for Three Dimensional Chess Game featured eight similar 64 square chess boards with one set of chessmen initially arranged in normal fashion on one side of the topmost board while the other set of chessmen was arranged in normal fashion on the lowermost board on the side opposite to the chessmen on the top board. A second row of pawns was provided for each set. The pieces are moved as in a regular game of chess except that moves can be made both vertically and horizontally with the proviso that a piece cannot be moved both fore or aft and up and down in the same move. Mardirosian's U.S. Pat. No. 5,556,099, issued in 1996 discloses a three-dimensional chess game with role-static pieces and role-altering pieces, including helicopters and planes. U.S. Pat. No. 5,826,880 for Multi-level Chess Game with Additional Chess Pieces, issued to Cooper in 1998, discloses a multi-level chess game with an odd-numbered plurality of chessboards and at least one pair of supplemental sets of chessmen in addition to the normal two sets.
While all of these games are challenging, the extra pieces required for their play represents a significant departure from the traditional game of chess, requiring a player to learn many additional rules and substantially altering the age old forms of play.
Accordingly, it is the object of the present invention to provide a chess game that incorporates the airborne aspect of modern warfare into the conventional ground based chess game, but at the same time preserving the traditional rules of chess with the established two sets of chessmen.
A second object of the invention is to provide the game of chess with an arial feature that requires only a minimal number of additional rules to those of the standard single plane chess game.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Other and further objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be apparent upon a reading of the following detailed description of the present invention, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The present inventive improvement to the game of chess involves a method for playing a two-level chess game on apparatus comprising upper and lower spaced apart congruent chess boards each having a grid of eight by eight alternating contrasting squares in files and ranks, with each square defining a playing piece position. A first force and an opposing second force is represented in the game by two conventional sets of chess playing pieces (chessmen), each set including a king, a queen, two bishops, two knights, two rooks and eight pawns. Each set of chessmen is initially positioned for play in the traditional manner on the first two rows of opposing sides of the lower chess board. The inventive aspect of the improved chess game involves the concept of optionally transcending one or more of the chessmen to the upper board or descending upper board pieces to the lower board. The transcending and descending moves require a small number of additional rules with respect to each of the chessmen, but the end game of checkmate of the opposing King remains the same, with the additional feature that check and checkmate of a King positioned on one board is possible by the opponent's chessmen on the other board.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the two chess boards that comprise the playing surfaces of the chess game of the present invention. The lower board is shown with chessmen set up for play in the traditional manner. The boards are shown as being interconnected, however no specific method of interconnection is part of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is similar to FIG. 1 and further illustrating a transcending move of a Queen from the lower to the upper board, shown by dashed lines. Possible transcending moves on the upper board are shown in solid lines with an arrow head to terminate the move. Dashed circles indicate possible positions of the Queen following the moves indicated by the solid arrow lines.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
FIGS. 3-6 are similar to FIG. 2 but simplified for clearer understanding by eliminating from the figures all chessmen except the ones involved in the moves being illustrated.
Referring first to FIG. 1, the two-level chess game apparatus 10 comprising upper and lower spaced apart chess boards 9 and 11 is shown. Each chess board has a grid of eight by eight alternating contrasting squares 12 and 13 in files and ranks 1-8, with each square defining a position for one of the chessmen. Files in the lower board 9 are designated with letters A-H. Files in the upper board 11 are designated with letter a-h. The squares of the upper board are preferably superimposed directly over corresponding squares of the lower board, that is, the squares of the upper board are congruent with the respective squares of the lower board. A first force 14 and an opposing second force 16 are represented in the game by two conventional sets of chess playing pieces, each set including a king 20, a queen 22, two bishops 24, two knights 26, two rooks 28 and eight pawns 30. In the following specification playing pieces of white force 14 will carry the above stated reference numerals while those pieces of the opposing black force are designated with similar reference numerals for the same piece, but followed with the letter B. Chessmen representing first and second forces are initially positioned for conventional chess play respectively on the first two rows of opposing sides of the lower chess board 9, as seen in FIG. 1.
The object of the improved game is to introduce a three dimensional element to the game of chess where the normal two sets (each set 14 and 16 representing one of two opposing forces) of chessmen are moved in their traditional manner on the ground (lower board 9) but may also may be made to move in the air (on the upper board 11). Movement of playing pieces on both the lower and upper boards follow the traditional chess rules including the restriction that, except for the Knight, a playing piece cannot jump over members of the same force or members of the opposing force. In modern warfare however it is expected that ground fighting elements such as infantrymen, tanks and guns will be airlifted over friendly forces on the ground, as well as the fighting elements of the opposing force, to go behind the line of battle. This concept is carried out in the two-level chess game of the present invention by permitting any of the chessmen on the lower board to transcend to the upper board where, after the transcending move, they can move traditionally. Playing pieces on the airborne board 11 may also descend to the ground battle on the lower board 9. As with traditional chess, capture of an opponent's playing piece is made by moving an opposing piece onto the square occupied by the piece to be captured.
The provision of transcending and descending moves requires only three additional rules to those already established for playing single board chess. First, the transfer of a playing piece from one level to another must be made at the beginning of the move. The transfer cannot be made at the end of the move, just as ground troops would not move across the battle field and then be transported into the air. The second rule is more arbitrary, but important to serve the necessary limitations on airborne moves. As part of the transfer move, either up or down, the playing piece is restricted in its further board movement to some fraction of the number of squares permitted by the standard rules of chess. In the preferred form of the invention that is disclosed in the following examples, the fraction is one half. Third, with the exception of a transfer move by a Knight, the transfer square cannot be occupied by a playing piece of the same force.
A first example is diagramed in FIG. 2. The maximum possible normal movement of a Queen 22 is eight squares, diagonally, in file or in rank (discounting possible limitations imposed by playing pieces that may be in her chosen lane). In transcending from the lower board to the upper board the Queen is first positioned on the transfer square T, on the upper board, that is, the square on the upper board 11 that is directly above, or congruent, to the one from which the Queen began her move on the lower board 9. In the preferred embodiment, the Queen would then be permitted to move four squares away from the transfer square in any direction, provided that the lane of movement on the upper board is clear of playing pieces and four squares are available for movement. The four squares of possible movement represent one half of the Queen's maximum normal movement capability under standard chess rules. The transfer square T is not counted as part of the four permitted squares of optional additional movement.
As shown in FIG. 2, the Queen 22 moves from her home square D1 directly up to the transfer square T on the upper board 11, then moves four squares diagonally to the maximum move ending square h5 where the black Rook 28B is positioned. Thus, the Queen 22 captures the Rook 28B that is positioned on square h5 of the upper board 11. While this exemplary move demonstrates the maximum possible transfer move, the Queen could optionally have stopped her move short of the maximum four diagonal squares on any one of the squares containing a dashed circle, either for tactical reasons or to capture an opponent's piece positioned on one of the intervening squares, such as f3 or g4. It should be noted that the transfer move of the Queen to the upper board 11 and to square h5 resulted in the Queen's passing over her own force's pawn on square E2 and the white Knight 26 positioned on square E3 of the lower board 9.
Similarly, as seen in FIG. 3, a Bishop 24 transcending from D4 to d4 can, but does not have to, move four diagonal squares from the transfer square T on the upper board 11. Like the above example of the Queen's transcending move, the transcending Bishop moves vertically to the transfer square T on the upper board 11 and than has three possible diagonal moves of up to four squares, provided the squares that define these possible routes are not occupied. In FIG. 4 the Bishop 24 moves to capture the black Rook 28B which has, in a previous move, transcended to square h8.
FIG. 4 illustrates the example of a transfer move of a Rook 28 from square H3 on the lower board 9 to the transfer square h3 (T) on the upper board and then to square h6 on the upper board. As a part of its transcending move, Rook 28 can optionally move a maximum of four squares in file or in rank, provided of course that the intervening squares in those lanes on the upper board are not occupied. If one of the intervening squares in the file of the Rook's possible move is occupied by an opposing force piece, such as the Knight 26B on square h6, the Rook may capture that piece, in which case the Rook's move terminates on the capture square h6. As a tactical choice the Rook 28 could have moved in any of three directions and stopped on any square short of the ultimate move possibilities, as shown by the solid line arrows moving away from the transfer square T and the dashed circles in FIG. 4. Optionally, It could have moved to square h1 that is directly above its home position H1 or it could have moved laterally in rank 3 to any one of the positions d3, e3, f3 or g3.
On their first move, pawns 30 can ordinarily move two squares forward in the file on which they were initially positioned, as shown in FIG. 5. Pawn 30, on its initial move may go from home square E2 to square E4. Optionally it could have stopped on square E3. If a pawn is transcended on its first move, as shown in FIG. 5 with pawn 30 a, it may move only half of the number of squares that would have been permitted on the lower board. That is, pawn 30 a transcends to the transfer square d2 and may then move only one square in file d to position d3 on the upper board. If Knight 26B was position on square e3 pawn 3 a could make the one square move in a diagonally forward direction to capture the Knight 26B. Similarly, if square c3 had been occupied by, for example, Rook 28B, pawn 30 a could capture the Rook 28B with a forward diagonal move. If a pawn is transcended after its first move on the lower board, also shown in FIG. 5 with respect to pawn 30 b, then the transcending move must end on the transfer square g3.
The King 20 may be transcended or descended at any time, for example from G1 to g9, as shown in FIG. 5, but the King may not move from the transfer square T in the transfer move. On moves following the transfer move the King may move one square in any direction, in accordance with traditional chess rules.
Under standard chess rules a Knight moves in an L direction one or two squares to a leg. On a transfer move the Knight still moves in an L direction, but only one square to a leg. As shown in FIG. 6, Knight 26 transcends to square f3 and, among other possible continuing moves, the Knight could move to either square e4 or g4. The Knight is the only piece that can transcend or descend to an occupied transfer square, since it cannot remain on the transfer square.
After a transcending or descending move, with its above stated limitations, the movement of the playing pieces are governed by the traditional rules of chess. For example, if a file, rank or diagonal is clear of playing pieces on the upper board an already transcended Queen may move any number of spaces in that lane even if the congruent spaces on the lower board are occupied with pieces representing either friendly or opposing forces, as already referred to with respect to the illustration of FIG. 2. A transfer, either transcending or descending, cannot be accomplished if a piece belonging to the same force occupies the transfer square unless the transfer is made by a Knight.
Except for transcending or descending moves of a Knight, an opposing piece occupying a transfer square may be captured on the transfer move. For example, as seen in FIG. 6, a transcending pawn 30 may capture an opposing piece 24B that is positioned on the pawn's transfer square. If a pawn is transcended on its initial move it could capture an opponent who is positioned on the transfer square T or capture an opponent located on the square diagonally forward from the transfer square, as shown in FIG. 5. If a transcending pawn had been moved previous to the transfer move, the pawn could only capture an opponent that was positioned on the transfer square, as shown in FIG. 6.
Any move of a playing piece after the transfer move, either on the upper or lower board, is governed by the standard rules of chess. The King of one force may be put in check or checkmate by the pieces of the other force on the same board as the one on which the King is positioned or by pieces of the opposing force positioned on the other board, or a combination of the two.
Any pawn which reaches the eighth row distant from its starting position, whether on the upper or lower board, may be exchanged for any playing piece except for the King.