Playing 3-Player Chess: Things You Need to Know

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Chess – as many know it – is a game of two players. You expect to handle one opponent at a time. However, this aspect change in 1972 when Robert Zubrin borrowed an idea from a Chinese three-player game dubbed Sanguoqi. From it, he invented 3-player chess and promoted it in the USA and other continents.

3-player chess features a hexagon-shaped board with 96 squares. Each player has 16 pieces and can play against the other players or themselves. Unlike normal chess, the ultimate goal and secret to winning in this game are bringing one king down.

So, what do you need to know about 3-player chess to become a pro in it? Here are some 5 things you need to know:


Pawns promotions

Pawns promotions

When playing three-player chess, you have several options to promote your pawns. First, you can promote them to queens when you get them to the other side of the chessboard. Also, you have the option of back rank promotions. This happens when you bank rank either opponent.

You will as well get a promotion when your pawn is on the furthest rank and directly proportional to your opponent. Essentially, your pawn has the power to move in any direction upon reaching the fifth rank. This rank enables it to capture all pieces in any diagonal direction.


The en passant rule

In chess, en passant is a special rule that governs piece movements. En passant means in passing in the English language. The rule states that if your pieces move two squares out in the first move, land on your competitors, and beyond the ability to capture the pawn effectively, the other pawn can capture the first pawn as it passes over it.

The en passant rule is essential in determining your winning chances in the 3-player chess. You need to know how to utilize it in your favor. With an insightful idea of its application, you will successfully keep your opponents down.


Moving king while in check

Moving king while in check

As you know, you cannot move a king while in check. Taking such a step will make you lose him or go against the chess rules. In three-man chess, the rule is different. You have a right to move your checked king and still have the opportunity to move if there is a legal move available.

As a player, you can only win by checking and capturing a king. Checking them alone does not lower your opponent's chances to beat you. Remember, they will defeat you if they capture your king first.


It is hard to create a stalemate

One of the secrets to denying your opponent a chance to win is through creating a stalemate. You ensure that only kings remain on the board. Or else, no legal moves available. Stalemate creates a draw where you share the point with your opponent. Some chess players take advantage of this special rule to avoid defeat.

When it comes to 3-player chess, you have the right to create a stalemate. However, even the grandmaster-level players never succeed to develop one. So, it is hard if not impossible to create a stalemate in 3-man chess.


Wrapping up

Like other fields, you reach the climax of your game. The next step is trying something new or becoming a coach. Chess is no different. If you have been a two-player chess champion, you can try a new idea. Playing 3-player chess can be a perfect option.

This type of chess comes with an extra level of enjoyment and fun. You will likely find a new interest in it and become grandmaster on the same.

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