In chess, attacking the centre and using major pieces to support minor pieces to support pawns are common tactics. In three-player chess the game is more complex. Should I be taking the centre, knowing I will be attacked from both sides, or should I try to flank opponents? If two players team up against one for a couple turns, how can I prevent my teammate from launching a surprise attack against me? There is little research into the mechanics of three-player chess and I find it very interesting.

three-player chess board

  • Curious question: How does the bishop travel across the center? How does any piece travel across the center? Aug 4, 2016 at 15:17
  • 1
    The 6 centre pieces act the same as the 4 centre pieces on a normal chess board. However, the 3 black pieces are all classed as diagonal from each other, and the same with the white pieces. This means if white moves the dark square bishop to B2, the bishop can attack black's queenside rook and red's queenside rook at the same time. This is because the bishop can choose which black square to move onto after passing through the centre of the board. Its really cool!
    – Aric
    Aug 4, 2016 at 15:33

1 Answer 1


Well, since an exchange between A and B is in the sole benefit of player C, your primary objective should be: avoid exchanges. How do you avoid exchanges in a normal chess game? Play an opening with a closed center (e.g. King's Indian, Ruy Lopez), or choose a modest setup (like the Hedgehog system). The less you're exposed, the better.

  • I also noticed that white's bishop on either B2 or G2 can attack two opposing rooks simultaneously. Against lower level players, this could go unnoticed and as soon as a pwn is moved on either side, the bishop can sweep in, take the rook, and retreat. Also, having a bishop on one of the centre 'squares' is beneficial, since it is covering 18 possible squares.
    – Aric
    Aug 3, 2016 at 8:11

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