I recently looked into chess.com's four player chess. Its fun but had little success until now. I usually try and play moves to open my diagonal pieces but centre queen rushes always bring trouble. I am trying to adapt to a new style now. Any idea what sort of opening/strategy I should go for? Also any tips involving captures or trading pieces would be helpful.
1700+ 4-player chess rating here (solid, but not amazing). A few tips:
A solid foundation and well-developed pieces quite often beat out a successful queen rush. At higher rated games you see rushes less and less, because even when successful you're sacrificing a lot of development. Just learn to live them.
Be extremely careful of checks from your left opponent. Since the other two players essentially get two free moves against you, a single check can decimate your position.
Play conservatively. Trading pieces is very seldomly the right choice (especially don't trade bishops for rooks, as they're worth the same amount of points and have fairly equal use with the diagonals being so much more important now). Be sure to leave as few weaknesses in your position as possible, as players tend to pounce on the weakest player.
Most games have elements of end-game pawn rush. It's good to be in the best position for this.
Practice spotting mates. There are some rather silly-looking ones, especially involving double-checks. As long as your position is reasonably solid, giving up your queen to get a checkmate on your left or right opponent is usually worth it. It's usually best if your opposite opponent survives, as end-game in the middle is difficult.
There's fairly wide range of viable opening moves and strategies. As long as your pawn-structure is sound, you have a lot more leeway to play around than in normal chess.
Knights are mostly defensive units used to hold your position together. As games are much more fluid and dynamic in 4p-chess attacking is mostly done using pieces that can get in and out fast. Knights should usually not be a priority in your openings.
I have never played 4 player chess but by analogy with other multiplayer games, I would try to avoid committing too early, and try to profit from opportunities that appear, above all avoiding being the “biggest threat” that all players will concentrqate on.
Line pieces are incredibly flexible and can attack out of nowhere. But knights and pawns take a long way to get anywhere and are not very frightening so early moves can be with these, although not enough pawn moves to weaken the structure.
A knight may then be able to mount some kind of a raid, and this is best when the opponent is already distracted.
A tip that I have is to build a great defensive in the beginning. When they start to fight each other, use line pieces to take out other opponents.
One tip that I have learned is to establish your knights. Since these pieces can't have their checks blocked, you could use this to your advantage when trying to get an opponent's queen and other pieces. Knight forks are probably the best way to win the game.