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Publication numberUS3652091 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 28, 1972
Filing dateJan 6, 1971
Priority dateJan 6, 1971
Publication numberUS 3652091 A, US 3652091A, US-A-3652091, US3652091 A, US3652091A
InventorsRobert Zubrin
Original AssigneeRobert Zubrin
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Three player chess board
US 3652091 A
A game board for simultaneous play of chess or the like by three players. The board is in the shape of a hexagon and is divided by transverse and longitudinal lines into three discrete territories, each of which territories includes 32 play spaces. Each territory includes a base defined by a side of said hexagon, side borders defined by half of each of the sides of the hexagon adjacent the base and frontier borders defined by lines extending from the terminal ends of the sides remote from the base to the geometric center of the hexagon. Each territory is defined into 32 play spaces by longitudinal lines extending from the base to the frontier borders and transverse lines extending from the sides to an apex line running from the center of the base.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Zubrin 5] Mar. 28, 1972 54) THREE PLAYER CHESS BOARD FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS [72] inventor: Robert Zubrln, 3 Vista Drive, Great Neck,

NY H02 324,361 12/1902 France ..273/l3l L [22] Filed: Jan. 6, 1971 Primary Examiner-Delbert B. Lowe [2 1 pp No; 104,439 AttorneyMark T. Basseches and Paula T. Basseches [57) ABSTRACT [52] [1.5. CI "273/131 B A g board for simultaneous P y of chess or the like y three p y Thc board is in h: shape r hexagon and is I o are 273/131 136 vided by transverse and longitudinal lines into three discrete territories, each of which territories includes 32 play spaces. [56) References Cited Each territory includes a base defined by a side of said hexagon. side borders defined by half of each of the sides of the UNITED STATES PATENTS hexagon adjacent the base and frontier borders defined by 1,240,756 9/!917 Moore ..273/134 AB lines extending from the terminal ends of the sides remote 437.838 10/1890 Sperl .....273/13l AB 3,533,627 l0/l970 Deffenbaugh et al. ....273/l31 L 9/]967 Dykes ..273/l3l L from the base to the geometric center of the hexagon. Each territory is defined into 32 play spaces by longitudinal lines extending from the base to the frontier borders and transverse lines extending from the sides to an apex line running from the center of the base.

2 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures THREE PLAYER CHESS BOARD BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention is in the field of amusement devices.

THE PRIOR ART The game of chess has for centuries been played by two participants on a chess board including 64 squares. The infinite possibilities with respect to the series of moves which may be undertaken by participants have, in no small measure, contributed to the continuing popularity of this intellectual undertaking.

Heretofore the game usually has been confined to play by two participants. Where articipants of significantly disparate skills are pitted against each other, the superior player will win with monotonous regularity, unlike other games, such as card games, wherein the outcome is, in some degree, dependent upon the luck of the draw.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention may be summarized as relatlngto a chess board which will permit participation by three players. The board is so laid out that it is possible readily to trace and anticipate the complex moves of conventional chess pieces as they traverse the territory of one player and enter the territory of another. The board is hexagonal in plan, including three identical territories defining a total of 96 play spaces.

The principal advance of the invention relates to the design of the playboard whereby the play spaces which are closer to the boundary lines between territories are progressively distorted in such manner as to permit the players familiar with the moves of conventional chess pieces immediately to visualize the spaces which may be available for the movement bfthe various playing pieces so as properly to mount and defend against an attack.

Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to provide a chess board which is so configurated and arrangedasto permit the more or less conventional movements of three armies of chess pieces, thereby enabling the simultaneous participation of three players.

A further object of the invention is the provision of aboard of the type described wherein the play spaces are .distortedinsuch manner that the paths of movement available -to the chess pieces, particularly as they move from one territory to another, may be readily traced by the participants.

A further object of the invention is to provide a chess game which may be played with conventional chess armies by three participants, the pieces comprising the armies retainingtheir normal patterns of movement.

Still a further object of the invention is the provision of a game of the type described which may be played bythreepar ticipants and wherein the superiority of any given'player may be counteracted to a degree by the concerted efforts of, or alliance between, the other two players, whereby a participant, by a negotiating skill, may offset the superior chess playing skill of an opponent.

Toattain these objects and such further objects-as may appear herein or be hereinafter pointed out, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, forming a part hereof,in which:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a chess board in accordance with the invention;

FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 are views similar to FIG. 1 showing the paths of movement available to the various chess pieces.

Referring now to the drawings, there is shown in FIG. 1 a chess board which, in accordance with the invention, is an equilateral hexagon in plan. Three of the sides, arbitrarily ll, 12 and I3, are referred to as base portions. Each of the base portions ll, l2, 13 forms the rearmost boundary of a 32 space area which will be hereafter referred to herein as a territory. Thus, there are three territories, namely, 14, for convenience called the white territory; 15, called the red territory; and 16, called the black territory, of which the bases 11, I2 and 13 form the rearmost boundaries.

The side borders of each territoryare defined by one-half of each of the sides of the hexagon adjacent the ends of the time; Thus, the side borders of the white territory I4 aredefined by the portions l7, 18; the side borders of the red territbryl s'by the portions I9, 20; and the side borders of the black territory by the'portions 21, 22.

The frontier borders of each of the territories are defined by lines leading from the geometric center 23 of the boardto the terminal ends of the side borders remote from the'base. Thus, the line 24 forms a common frontier border between'tli'e black and white territories; the line 25, the common fi'ontier between the red and white territories; and the line Iti th'e common frontier between the black and the red territories.

As seen in FIG. I, a conventional chess army, in tliis-cas'e white in color to distinguish it from the red and'blacI-armies which will bearrayed'in the red and black territories, respectively, is set up on the rearmost two rows of theterritory in conventional position. The pieces in the play of the game move in the same manner as in the conventional two man play of the game. However, it will be understood that in the absence of the distorted and deformed nature of the squares or play spaces of the game board, it would be difficult; if not impossible, to trace the path of movement permittedto the pieces as the pieces traverse the boundary lines 24, 15, 26in moving from one territory to the next.

As shown in FIG. 2, the movement of a pawn PTroth one territory to another is in the direction of the line-Pewhen the space to which the pawn moves is unoccupied, and in the directions Pb, Pc, Pd if a piece is to be captured in anyofthe three noted squares'forrning the terminal ends of the lin'e'sFb, Pc, Pd.

As also shown in FIG. 2, the movements of the rook R in the space or position noted (namely King's fourthl is anywhere along the lines Ra, Rb, Re and Rd. Thus it will be seen"tliatthe movements of the rook are essentially identical withthe mdve ments in a conventional game, notably, either transversely or longitudinally, restricted to the column or row dcctrpietiby the rook at the beginning of the move. It should be noted that the rook R is not free to move to eitherof the spaces maikbd X or to any of the spaces in the column containirt'ga space-X:

In FIG. 3, there are -shown the movements of 'thebishbp lmi on a black space, and a bishop BW on a white space. Ii will be noted that the black bishop BB, as is conventional, must remain in ablack space, the paths of movement available to it beingalongthe continuous lines 880 and 83b. In like fashion;

the paths of movement of the white bishop. BW' are traced by In FIGJ there are shown the moves available to a 'k'night' The-knight, which is permitted to move two spaces in= one direction and then one space to the side, maybe shifted'into' any of the spaces marked with theletter S.

The King K, also shown in FIG. 4, is free to move one=space in any direction. Thus, as depicted in FIG. 4, the king'lK may be shifted into any of the eight spaces surrounding its illustrated position.

As also shown in FIG. 4-, the queen Q is enabled to movein directions which comprise, in essence, a combinatiowof the movesof the bishop and the rook. Thus, the queen Oisfreeto move in the directions Qa, Ob, Qc, 0d and Qe.

SUGGESTED RULES OF PLAY From the foregoing description it will' be'evident that-the play of the game may be effected with a minimum of modification of the conventional rules of 'the game of chess. The players move in sequence in a predetermined order white,

then red, then black. The player is the victor who is the one left after the other two have been eliminated. A player "is' eliminated when his king is captured by an opposing piece. He is not eliminated when his king is in check. The king must actually be captured. A stalemate is possible only after one player has been eliminated.

The players may deliberately move their kings into a state of check or leave them en-prise if they wish. Such a move may be tactically advantageous as a means of assuring that an ally performs in a promised manner.

When a player is eliminated, his pieces remain on the board but are not moved at any time. They may, however, be captured should it prove advantageous to a remaining competitor to occupy a space theretofore occupied by a piece of an eliminated player. When a player is eliminated, his turn is skipped.

An interesting aspect of three sided chess lies in the ability of the players to form alliances. The players may make contractual agreements to ally against a third player, although a player is not obligated to keep his word. Allies may not confer in secret.

STRATEGY 1n the play of three sided chess, it has been found advisable to act with caution during the initial stages, it being more important to have an ally than to have a strong position or extra pieces. As the game progresses, position and strength assume increasing importance. If a player sees that he can destroy an opponent and still retain sufficient material and satisfactory playing position, he should of course strike immediately. lt should be remembered, however, that it is useless to launch an attack with the intention of eliminating a player if thereafter the attacker is faced with a hopeless position against the mighty neutral. This may not be the case, however, if the neutral is considered by the attacker to be a sufficiently weak player who may be defeated by the attacker despite some numerical disadvantage on the part of the attacker.

Generally speaking, the two weaker players, in order to have any hope of winning, should ally against the strongest in an effort to preserve the balance of power. It has been found that one who is in the position of defending against an alliance is best advised not to defend against both opponents equally. Instead, it is advantageous strongly to attack one of the allies. Such attack, if effectively pursued, will put the attacked ally in a position where he can no longer continue the alliance since, if the defender is eliminated, the attacked ally will find himself in a greatly weakened position vis-a-vis his erstwhile partner.

The defender, by attacking one ally strongly, will in essence require the attacked ally to abandon the original alliance and form a new alliance with the defender against his former partner.

THREE SIDED VARIANT In accordance with a variant, the previously expounded rules are followed with the exception that when a player captures an opposing king, he gains control of the remaining pieces belonging to the eliminated player. After the elimination of the third player, the two remaining players move alternately, although the capturing player is free to move any of the pieces which he controls.

STRATEGY IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE VARIANT When the game is played under the rules of the noted variant, two players generally form an alliance against the third. The game becomes a race as to which of the allies will be the one to capture the king of the defender and thus inherit his forces.

lt is a proper strategy for a party to such an alliance who realizes that he will not be the heir to the remaining pieces of the defender, to abandon the alliance at the earliest possible time.

The defender, under the variant, has as his best hope the previously described tactic of diverting his entire defense a ainst one of the two allies so as to make it apfparent that the a tacked ally will not become the heir to the de enders forces.

A defender in an untenable position may threaten one of the allies, normally the weaker player, with permitting the defender's king to be captured by the stronger ally unless the weaker ally abandons the alliance.

From the foregoing brief description it will be evident that the three sided chess game incorporates all of the infinite variety and complexities of a conventional chess game, but with the added complicating psychological factors which inhere in the formation of alliances and the expedient breaching of such alliances.

Obviously, the two suggested methods of play are illustrative only and further modifications may be devised, without departing from the spirit of the present invention.

In actual practice, and through the play of a large number of games by players of disparate abilities at conventional chess, it has been determined that the instance of winning by the superior player will be somewhat greater than one in three times, the expected statistical percentage. The percentage of wins by the superior player, however, does not remotely approach that which would be expected in conventional chess games.

It has been found that the three sided chess game of the present invention provides a challenge for all players. The weaker player equalizes his lack of talent by availing himself of judicious de facto temporary alliances. The stronger player, of course, must match wits with two opponents who may ally themselves against him but who cannot necessarily afford to persevere in the alliance for fear of being themselves defeated.

Having thus described the invention and illustrated its use, what is claimed as new and is desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:

1. A game board having the peripheral configuration shown in FIG. I of the drawing and having on its surface the checkered game pattern shown in said FIG. 1.

2. An unobstructed game board for the play of chess by three participants comprising an equilateral hexagonal board member having its surface divided into three identical territories, each territory including 32 play spaces, each said territory including a base defined by a side of said hexagon, side borders defined by half of each of the sides of the hexagon adjacent the ends of the base, and frontier borders defined by lines leading from the terminal ends of the sides remote from the base to the geometric center of the hexagon, each said territory being divided into 32 play spaces by longitudinal lines extending from the base to the frontier borders and transverse lines extending from the sides to an apex line running from the center of the base to the intersection of the frontier borders, said transverse lines being three in number extending to each side of said apex line and running from points spaced onequarter, one-half and three quarters the length of said apex line from said base respectively to points on said sides spaced one-quarter, one-half and three-quarters the length of said sides taken from said base, said longitudinal lines in each symmetrical half of said territories dividing said transverse lines of said half into four equal increments.

* i i I

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US437838 *May 27, 1890Oct 7, 1890 Heinrich sperl
US1240756 *Dec 1, 1915Sep 18, 1917Arthur J MooreGame-board.
US3341205 *Jul 6, 1964Sep 12, 1967Reggie D DykesChess type game for three players
US3533627 *Nov 10, 1966Oct 13, 1970Harry B ShaeferThree player chess game board
FR324361A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3744797 *Nov 10, 1971Jul 10, 1973M HopkinsChess game apparatus
US3778065 *Apr 14, 1972Dec 11, 1973N HaleThree-player chess game apparatus
US3963242 *Feb 10, 1975Jun 15, 1976Modell-System-Beratung Dietmar Stegmann, Heinrich KollerChess game for three people
US4190254 *Jul 29, 1976Feb 26, 1980Leeds Winthrop M"Double-chess" game board
US4249741 *Sep 5, 1978Feb 10, 1981Uitgeverij Van der LakenBoard for three player draughts and the like
US5908193 *May 12, 1997Jun 1, 1999Houman; NaderGame board for chess, checkers, and the like
US6095523 *Jan 25, 1999Aug 1, 2000Lampman; Michael AlanMethod of playing modified chess game
US6170826Mar 8, 1999Jan 9, 2001Jeffrey A. JonesThree person chess game and method of play
US7270328Jul 12, 2005Sep 18, 2007As Majesty S.A.Two player gameboard apparatus
WO2007006240A1 *Jul 12, 2006Jan 18, 2007Majesty Sa AsBoard game apparatus for two players
U.S. Classification273/261, D21/348
International ClassificationA63F3/02
Cooperative ClassificationA63F3/00176
European ClassificationA63F3/00B1