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Publication numberUS3656755 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 18, 1972
Filing dateJun 26, 1970
Priority dateJun 26, 1970
Publication numberUS 3656755 A, US 3656755A, US-A-3656755, US3656755 A, US3656755A
InventorsRobert I Thompson
Original AssigneeRobert I Thompson
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Three-dimensional checker game apparatus
US 3656755 A
Abstract
A checker game having five identical vertically spaced game boards each shaped in the form of a pentagon which is divided into three groups of different sized triangles, each group having one of three visual characteristics different from one another and each triangle having a visual characteristic different from an adjacent triangle. The game boards are oriented in a manner whereby no more than two triangles on one board are coaxial with triangles on an adjacent board having the same visual characteristic. Play is conducted with three sets of pieces having visual characteristics corresponding to those of said groups, the pieces being initially placed on their corresponding triangles on the topmost, bottommost and middle game boards.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Thompson [151 3,656,755 [451 Apr. 18, 1972 [54] THREE-DIMENSIONAL CHECKER GAME APPARATUS {72] Inventor: Robert 1. Thompson, 7444 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, La. 70118 [22] Filed: June 26, 1970 [21] App]. No.: 50,262

{52] US. Cl. ..273/l31 AC, 273/137 R [51] Int. Cl. [58] Field of Search ..273/l3l [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS D200,l09 1/1965 Hirsch ....273/131 B UX 598,969 2/1898 Andertom. ..273/131 KN 2,652,255 9/1953 Rutz ....273/l31 B X 3,399,895 9/1968 Beach ..273/l3l B Primary Examiner-Delbert B. Lowe Attorney-Watson, Cole, Grindle & Watson [57] ABSTRACT A checker game having five identical vertically spaced game boards each shaped in the form of a pentagon which is divided into three groups of different sized triangles, each group having one of three visual characteristics different from one another and each triangle having a visual characteristic-different from an adjacent triangle. The game boards are oriented in a manner whereby no more than two triangles on i one board are coaxial with triangles on an adjacent board having the same visual characteristic. Play is conducted with three sets of pieces having visual characteristics corresponding to those of said groups, the pieces being initially placed on their corresponding triangles on the topmost, bottommost and middle game boards.

5 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures THREE-DIMENSIONAL CHECKER GAME APPARATUS This invention relates generally to games and more particularly to games played on boards arranged in different planes.

Various board-type games have been devised in the past which make use of a multi-planar arrangement of playing boards disposed in spaced planes with pieces or checkers used for movement on or between the boards. The rules for many of such games are similar to those used in the conventional checker and chess games except that the three-dimensional aspect of the game provides an additional challenge for each player. Nevertheless, many of these prior art games do not always appeal to the modern generation because the conventional rules of chess and checkers are, for the most part, simply enlarged upon for three-dimensional playing.

With the present invention, the challenge of the threedimensional type of chess game is preserved and, as with the ancient game of chess, is primarily a war game except that a neutral or mediating body is involved for rendering either or both opponents neutral whereby peace may be arrived at instead of a mere victory by one of the opponents. The mediating body, represented by a white or neutral color, follows the same rules as either opponent and plays in succession with them except that neutralization is its aim as opposed to capture. Peace may be declared if the mediator succeeds in either neutralizing one of the opponents or creating a stand-off situation between them. The game board structure of the invention comprises five identical playing boards vertically spaced from one another and each in the shape of a pentagon divided into three groups of different sized triangles with each group having a different visual characteristic. Each of the game boards is oriented in a manner that, as between a pair of game boards, the visual characteristics of similarly located triangles are substantially not the same. In each plane, triangles having different visual characteristics are adjacent one another along a common side and several triangles having the same visual characteristic are adjacent along a common apex thereby defining a path of movement for sets of playing pieces provided with indicia corresponding to each of the three groups. The pieces of a single set move successively on each plane or through a pair of adjacent planes along their designated paths.

Two sets of the playing pieces are designated enemies of one another while the remaining set represents a neutral or mediating body. If, during movement, adjacent triangles on a single plane become occupied, the piece moving into a trian gle adjacent a triangle occupied by an opposing piece thereby captures that piece, except that the neutral playing pieces can neither capture nor be captured, but serve to neutralize an enemy who occupies a triangle adjacent to that occupied by the neutral piece.

It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a three-dimensional checker board structure having five spaced planes.

Another object of this invention is to provide a three-dimensional checker game structure wherein successive movement of playing pieces is contemplated in a single plane along a designated path or between a pair of adjacent planes along said path for either capturing or neutralizing the playing piece of an opponent who has occupied a designated portion of the playing board.

A further object of the instant invention is to provide a game as characterized wherein each playing board is divided into a plurality of different sized triangles forming three groups each with different colors, adjacent triangles along common sides being of different colors and several adjacent triangles along a common apex being of the same color.

A still further object of this invention is to provide a game as characterized wherein there are provided playing pieces corresponding to each of the three different-colored triangles which pieces may either capture or neutralizeone another during their successive movement through their respective designated paths in the event that they come to rest adjacent a triangle having a common side and occupied by an opponent.

Other objects, advantages and novel features of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of the invention when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the game board structure in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of one of the game boards typical for all five boards used in the game structure;

FIG. 3 is a view taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2 showing the manner of securing the game boards together;

FIGS. 4 and 5 are top and bottom views, respectively, of a typical playing piece for one set of pieces;

FIGS. 6 and 7 are top and bottom views, respectively, typical of another set of playing pieces;

FIG. 8 is a top view of a typical one of the remaining set of playing pieces; and,

FIG. 9 is a sectional view taken along the line 9-9 of FIG. 5.

Referring now to the drawings wherein like reference characters refer to like and corresponding parts throughout the several views, there is shown in FIG. I the assembled game board structure 10 in accordance with the present invention which comprises five playing boards 11a through 113, each having five sides and each spaced from one another by means of rods 12 threaded at each end for engagement with an internally threaded aperture 13 provided centrally of each of the playing boards. Each playing board may be made of any suitable material having the required rigidity such as any of the well-known transparent plastic materials.

In FIG. 2, it can be seen from a typical showing of one of the boards 11 that each is divided into three groups of different sized triangles having different visual characteristics such as the color red, represented by vertical lines, the color blue represented by horizontal lines and the color white or clear represented by no lines. There are five red, five white and five blue triangles of three different sizes such as triangles 14 being the largest, triangles 15 being the next largest and triangles 16 being the smallest. These groups of triangles are formed by joining the alternate outer points of the pentagon by straight lines such as 17 and thereafter joining the outer points of the inner pentagon so-formed with straight lines such as 18 with the central point of the playing board. By arranging the different colored triangles in this manner, it will be evident that a path between triangles of a like color is defined for each group for movement through a common apex between two of such triangles. Also, it can be observed that no two triangles of like color are provided with a common side wall.

In order to stabilize each of the playing boards after they are assembled, a star-shaped element 19 having five legs is provided which may be partially embedded during molding, for example, within the undersurface of each playing board. Such an element is seen in FIG. 3 and in FIG. 2 with its legs extending to each point of the small inner pentagon. During assembly, the playing boards are oriented in a manner such that as between pairs of playing boards, the colors for triangles 14, 15 and 16 are substantially not the same in their relative locations. For example, triangle 14a, on playing board 11a, is blue, whereas triangle 14b, lying directly thereunder on board 1 lb, is red, and so on. There are, of course, instances where triangles such as 15d and l5e are the same color, even though they lie one above the other. Such orientation is achieved by simply rotating board 11b through an angle of 72 or a one-fifth turn with respect to board 11a, and so on, for boards 11c, 11d and lle with respect to boards 11b, 11c and 11d. In this way, each triangle lies in a different location at each of the five levels.

The playing pieces which are provided for the three-dimensional checker game also bear indicia which correspond to each of the three visual characteristics of the three triangle groups. For example, one set of playing pieces is shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 designated as 21 with a hammer and sickle insignia on the top face as seen in FIG. 4 and with a clove insignia on the bottom face of the playing piece, as shown in FIG.

5. The hammer and sickle and the dove are provided in relief form on the faces of the playing piece 21 in such a manner that, as shown in FIG. 9 of the drawings, theraised portions thereof lie slightly below the surfaces s of the playing piece. Playing piece 21 may be colored red and playing piece 22, shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, may be colored blue and is provided on its front face with a four-star insignia as shown in FIG. 6 and on its bottom face with a dove insignia similar to that shown in FIG. 5. The third group of playing pieces is typically shown by the piece 23 in FIG. 8 which is provided on its top face only with a peace symbol. Pieces 22 and 23 are likewise in relief similar to that described for piece 21.

The redand blue colors for the triangles on each of the playing boards are intended to be sufiiciently light so as to allow each of the players to detect the presence of the playing pieces which lie directly above or directly below the board they happen to be playing on. For simplicity, the white triangles may be left clear.

In accordance with the rules suggested for playing the threedimensional checker game in accordance with the present invention, there are provided five playing pieces 21, five playing pieces 22, and three playing pieces 23. The red pieces may be designated Commissars, the blue pieces may be designated Four-Star Generals" and the white pieces may be designated United Nations Mediators. Of course, designations other than these and symbols other than those used for the three types of playing checkers may be readily substituted if desired. At the start of the play, all five playing pieces 21 are placed on the topmost playing board 110, all five playing pieces 22 are placed on the bottommost playing board lle and all three playing pieces 23 are placed on the intermediate playing board 11c. Each playing piece may be placed in any manner on the designated playing board so long as it occupies only one of the triangles and providing no more than three playing pieces occupy the largest triangle 14, no more than two playing pieces occupy the next largest triangle l and no more than one playing piece occupies the smallest triangle 16. The game is one of strategy designed for three players each in command of one of the three groups of playing pieces, for two players if it is desired to not utilize the pieces 23, or for four players wherein two of them may alternate theplay for the pieces 23. The order of setting up and playing is one piece at a time by first red, followed by blue and then white except that any player may, if desired, move one of his playing pieces during set-up in lieu of placing his next piece if it becomes apparent after placement by one of the other players that his vantage position can be thereby improved. If the game involves four players, each of the two governing the white team may alternate during both placement and movement of the playing pieces 23.

After the play has been fully set up, the player of the red team moves one of his pieces first from one red triangle to another red triangle through the common apex between them,

' onetriangle at-a-time. Such movement may take place on playing board 110, or through a common apex to playing board 11b since the board at that level has been rotated through 72 or a one-fifth turn with respect to the playing board 11a. For example, piece 21 may be moved from triangle 31 to triangle 32 on board 110 or the piece may be moved from 31 to 33 on board 11b since the latter triangles apex is common with that of triangle 3] through the two planes.

Likewise, the player controlling the blue team moves one of his playing pieces 22 to an adjacent triangle through a common apex either wholly on playing board lle or up through the common apex to playing board 11d. The player for the white team then moves one of his playing pieces 23 in the same fashion to an adjacent triangle through a common apex again, either wholly on playing board 110, up to playing board 1 lb or down to playing board 11d. Each player must move one of his playing pieces during his turn of the play either on a single plane or between two adjacent planes up or down, the ob ject being to enter a triangle adjacent one having a common side with said triangle on the same plane and occupied by a member of either the red or the blue team. The piece neutralized by the white team. The white playing pieces 23 may not, however, be captured since the object of the white team is to neutralize any red or blue playing piece which it might otherwise capture. When such a playing piece has been rendered neutral, it is turned upside down on the triangle it has occupied so as to display the dove on the back surface and to thereby render that specific triangle out-of-bounds, i.e., it may not be entered by another playing piece and the piece that has been rendered neutral may not continue in the play of the game.

As stated above, capturing or neutralizing takes place when one of the red, blue or white playing pieces moves into a triangle having a common side with a triangle occupied by a playing piece of another color. The red or blue piece occupying such a triangle is thereby captured by its opponent or is rendered neutral by a white piece. The white playing piece occupying such a triangle can be neither captured nor rendered neutral and, should a blue or red playing piece move into a triangle with a side adjacent to the triangle occupied by the white playing piece, such blue or red playing piece would then be rendered neutral. Also, should one of the red or blue playing pieces be moved to a triangle having a common side with that occupied by more than one playing piece of its opponent, then the moving piece itself is captured by its enemy which has overpowered it by sheer force of numbers. If either the red or the blue team succeeds in capturing the last piece of its opponent before the white team of mediators has neutralized the last piece of either team, then the game is brought to a close and either the red or blue team is declared victorious. As an alternative, peace may also be declared if the play results in a standoff between one blue and one red piece remaining on the board. Also, if more than one piece of either opponent occupies a single triangle, a white piece alone is not capable of neutralizing these blue or red pieces unless a like number of whites are moved into the adjacent triangle. For example, if two or three reds or blues occupy a single triangle, then two or three whites must occupy the adjacent triangle before all the pieces of either opponent can be declared neutral. On the other hand, if two blues or two reds occupy a space adjacent a triangle occupied by a single white, for example. then should one of such blues or reds be thereafter moved, the remaining one is rendered neutral.

From the foregoing, it can be seen that an interesting and challenging game has been devised which can be played with either two, three or four persons and which requires a strategical move during the play on a single playing board or between pairs of planes assembled in five different levels through paths which present infinite possible movements since each of the playing boards is oriented differently with respect to its adjacent board. Also, other and different rules may be readily devised with the five playing boards and thirteen pieces disclosed by the present invention. It is, therefore, to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.

What is claimed is:

1. A three-dimensional game comprising: five game boards of identical shape vertically spaced from one another; each said game board being shaped in the form of a pentagon and each being divided into three groups of triangles, each group having a visual characteristic different from those of the other two groups, the triangles in each group having a common side with triangles in the remaining two groups and pairs of the triangles of each group having a common apex for each pair; and said game boards being so oriented that, as between pairs of said boards, no more than two triangles on one board being coaxial with triangles on the other board having the same visual characteristic.

2. The game according to claim 1 wherein each group is composed of five triangles with three different triangle sizes in each group.

3. The game according to claim 2 wherein triangles having different visual characteristics are adjacent one another along a common side and triangle pairs having the same visual characteristic are adjacent at a common apex.

4. The game according to claim 3 wherein three sets of play-

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US598969 *Feb 15, 1898 Stephen p
US2652255 *Sep 1, 1950Sep 15, 1953Charles D RutzThree-dimensional checker or chess game board
US3399895 *Jan 10, 1966Sep 3, 1968Alice L. BeachThree-dimensional checker game apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4082283 *Sep 7, 1976Apr 4, 1978Ferla Vivian RThree-dimensional board game
US4184685 *Feb 21, 1978Jan 22, 1980Wilson David A D JThree-dimensional game apparatus
US4333654 *Jul 5, 1979Jun 8, 1982Regina Gonsoulin AllainGame
US4391448 *Jan 19, 1981Jul 5, 1983Hermann 3Rd ConradMethod of playing a two-player board game
US5556099 *Mar 6, 1995Sep 17, 1996Mardirosian; RoubikThree dimensional chess game
US5794932 *Jul 20, 1993Aug 18, 1998Gastone; FioriDevice for a table game with multiple chess-boards superimposed one upon the other, and spatial movements
US6581933Mar 26, 2002Jun 24, 2003George ZivanThree-dimensional, rotatable, pyramid game
US7749058Mar 15, 2007Jul 6, 2010David John KershawRecursive team-oriented chess-like game for entertainment and training
US7832729 *Aug 21, 2006Nov 16, 2010Alexander C ParkOrbitraceóracing game
WO1998008580A1 *Aug 27, 1996Mar 5, 1998Christopher V Tucker3-dimensional chess games
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/241, 273/261, D21/336
International ClassificationA63F3/02
Cooperative ClassificationA63F2003/00189, A63F2003/00217, A63F3/00214
European ClassificationA63F3/00B3