Wikipedia states that three chess sets are needed for Kriegspiel and dark chess. Is that actually true? I can see how having three sets would make things a lot easier, but couldn't the referee simply reconcile the two sets directly, without using a third set? Or am I missing something?

Are three chess sets strictly required in order to play Kriegspeil and dark chess (without having to keep permanent track of the game state in anyone's head)?

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    @bof I do consider that a good reason why it helps, but that is not the same thing as being a requirement to play the game. It also helps to have spare bats in baseball, but the instructions don't say "playing baseball requires three bats." My question is whether there is some aspect of the game that I was not understanding.
    – Tashus
    Sep 14, 2018 at 15:00
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    Then you agree that no boards or pieces are needed to play Kriegspiel or any other kind of chess?
    – bof
    Sep 14, 2018 at 21:58
  • @bof I'm not sure whether you don't understand my question, or whether you have other motives in your comments, but I will assume good faith. If you like, I can reword the question to be "what equipment is needed such that if the two players and referee died suddenly, but left clear indication whose turn was next, three new people could walk into the room and continue the game?"
    – Tashus
    Sep 15, 2018 at 5:03

1 Answer 1


I've never actually played Kriegspiel, but I've read a bit about it, and after what I understand it would be like this:

At a very minimum, two boards and one set of pieces are required. As the players only have access to the pieces of their own color, both players can share one set of pieces. However, they need a board each.

However, unless the referee is a very good player, he will probably have trouble detecting everything if he has to look back and forth between the two boards. Therefore, it's better he has his own with all the pieces on it. That adds up to three boards and two sets of pieces.

I can't see any reason to introduce a third set of pieces.

  • Interesting idea! Not sure if it's legal or not, though.
    – Mr. Eivind
    Sep 14, 2018 at 8:28
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    Actually, both players will need their own set of both colors for dark chess. They can't share a set because they need to represent any visible opponent pieces on their own board. For example, after the opening e4 e5, you'd need an extra pawn of each color from a second set since both players still have all their starting pieces and also need to represent their opponent's pawn.
    – ryanyuyu
    Sep 14, 2018 at 22:06
  • @ryanyuyu That would be great as an edit to this answer or as an alternative answer. Do you need a third set for dark chess, or would two suffice?
    – Tashus
    Sep 15, 2018 at 5:05

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