Throughout history Chess has been a popular game among all ages. Along the way many people have tried to create different variants of the classic game in hopes to provide new challenges to not only their opponent but to themselves. At the same time, many chess players have sought to play on teams or in larger groups than simply one vs one. Welcome to Four Player Chess (on the same board).
When people hear the idea of four player chess they say “You mean on two different board right?” or “Oh! I’ve heard of that but doesn’t that take a special game board?” Nope! It is on the same board making this one of the most fascinating and balanced version of the concept. This game has been tested hundreds of times over its life and every player has asked to play again! But what about having it on the same board really makes it special?
First, it gives the players a feeling of similarity. There is still check, checkmate, stalemate, castling, en passant, and most importantly, you are playing on a 8X8 grid board!
Second, the game is faster than other four player chess games since players start with half the pieces and are on a smaller board. This makes for more fast, exciting pace games!
Third, because players start with half the normal army, you are forced to work together when you are on a team, or you are forced to play more strategically when playing free for all. This creates that greater challenge many players are looking for in Chess. Not to mention it forces your traditional chess player to come up with new openings!
Finally, the weakest player won’t kill your team. In some variants of chess players play on two separate boards and your game greatly relies on your ally taking your opponent’s pieces, but if your ally is losing the game will turn quickly no matter how good you are. Four Player Chess helps balance this difference so the game is more fun for beginners and experts alike!
So if you are a master of chess or just want to play with a friend on a team instead of always as an enemy, take a shot at Four Player Chess.
Easy right? It might look confusing at first, but it is simpler than you think. Also, it is set up this way for a reason, more on that later.
Pawns moving forward:
Pawns still move forward and can only take pieces that are
diagonally in fount of them. But what does that mean when
the pieces are arranged as they are? Think of it this way;
each player sits on the side of the board that their King is on,
then their Pawns move ‘forward’ from where they are sitting.
Here is a picture to help show this:
“Castling” Does Exist:
Castling is still a unique strategic move inside Four Player
Chess; however, there are some changes on how and when
one can Castle.
To ‘Castle’ just switch the spaces the King and Rook are on.
Restrictions on Castling:
They are the same as in regular chess (Cannot castle if the
King or the Rook have already moved, cannot move while in
Check, cannot castle through check, cannot castle into
There are some additional rules:
1) Cannot Castle on your first turn.
2) Can only Castle while you have two ‘ally’ pieces in front of
the King and Rook. This means you need either your own
pieces (typically they will be the two pawns already in front of
the King and Rook), or you can have a partner’s piece occupy
that space so to allow you to Castle on your next turn.
Check means only one thing: “Your King is in danger. You
have to protect your King during your next turn” With this in
mind Check works differently depending if you are playing
with teams (2 v 2) or free for all (1 v 1 v 1 v 1).
In teams, as soon as you are in check, you will have to
protect yourself during your next turn. If your ally ends the
check for you (such as blocking, or killing the opposing
piece) then you will not have to worry about the Check any
longer on your next turn.
You can never move into a check.
Free for All Check:
In Free For All, sometimes you won’t want to threaten a player
because you see them defeating a different opponent. Or
perhaps you would rather make a deal with the player to
perform a particular move for you in exchange you spare
them. No matter the reason, whenever you move a piece that
would normally put a King into Check, you must announce
that you are, in fact, threatening that particular King.
If you do call Check, then the player must treat it as such.
If you do NOT call Check, then the player is free to move as
normal, and once it is your turn again, you cannot take that
player’s King no matter what.
Only on your turns can you change your mind about
threatening a King or not. When it becomes your turn again,
and you are still threatening that King, you can declare
Check. However, you still have to move a piece for the turn.
In Free for All, players may move their Kings into threatened
spaces as long as the opposing player allows it. If a player
doesn’t catch that he/she could declare Check on an
opponent’s King, then after the next player moves it will be
too late to declare Check on that King, and it will be a legal
Someone is only defeated when they are in Checkmate
during their own turn. Until then a player may block the
Checkmate, or take a piece causing it.
If a player is defeated by Checkmate, then that player must
spend their turn removing their pieces from the board,
except for up to two pieces. These two pieces may be placed
under the control of any player(s) the defeated player
wishes. These pieces would then function the same way as
all other pieces function under that player’s control (for
example, if a Pawn is given, that Pawn now moves in the
same direction as the new owner’s Pawns move)
All rules for Stalemate are the same as in regular chess. Only
difference is that when it is a stalemate, everyone draws
(even those already out of the game)
Players may communicate however they wish, and make
deals in any fashion they want to with only three rules.
1) Players wishing to communicate can only do so while
sitting in their seats
2) Cannot communicate in writing (however, speaking, body
language, etc. is allowed)
3) Cannot be in a way that takes up too much time, or is too
distracting to other players (such as hitting the table, yelling,