Let me be very honest here, I hadn’t heard about Three Man Chess until very recently. But after hearing about it, I’ve been hooked to the game. We usually play chess and one of my friends will always be waiting for the game to get over so that he can play the next one. He is so elated now that he can also join in. A three man chess board is basically a chess board for three people to play at once and it is a hexagonal board. Instead of the conventional 48 cells, there are 96 quadrilateral cells.
The starting position of the game is similar to that of normal chess. We have 8 pawns in the second row. Then we have the rook, knight, and bishop on either side of the king and the queen. Even most of the standard moves from chess are present in three man chess as well. This includes white starting first, the two-step option for the pawn, castling, en passant and promotion. The game ends when as soon as any one player is under the checkmate condition.
But there are some rules that are special to this game. This is due to the fact that the board has three pentagonal sections that join at the center. So, the moves for the rook, bishop, and knight have to be monitored when approaching the center. The movement is similar to real chess, only that we’ve to check which cell to move in to.
Let’s summarise the special moves:
1. If a queen or bishop moves along the long diagonal, they will change colors.
2. A knight has the conventional (2,1) jump, but it happens in an orthogonal fashion. First, two steps are taken orthogonally in the same direction and then one step orthogonally to the side.
3. The king or queen on the fourth promotion can move diagonally to one of the three possible cells. A pawn can move to the same color only.
4. A pawn that is in its fifth promotion has the ability to move to any diagonal direction as well as orthogonal direction. But the pawn cannot re-enter its home section of the board.
5. A player can be a stalemate, and he loses his turn. But he is still subject to checkmate by his opponents and his other pieces can be captured.
We have a video below that can help you get along with the rules of the game. If you have any previous experience in playing chess, it wouldn’t be much of a learning curve. For the others, it’ll be a fun adventure to learn the rules and play it out with your friends. Here are some of the best three man chess boards that you can buy right now and start playing.
1) 3 Man Chess Board – 19 inches, Circular
This board is just named 3 Man Chess on Amazon and it is not the conventional hexagon, but a circle. It comes with 48 pieces that are plastic with a felt bottom to give better grip. The three available colors are black, gray and ivory. The best thing about three man chess is that it opens up a lot of new moves and takes away all the traditional advantages that chess purists have. The board is 19-inches in diameter and 3mm thick. The king is 2.5-inches tall and the pawns are somewhere just above an inch.
2) Husaria Wooden Three Person Player Chess, 11 Inches
Husaria’s 3 man chessboard follows the hexagonal design. It folds right at the halfway mark and all the pieces fit inside perfectly. We also have the three playing colors: white, dark brown and red. The pieces are all carved out of hornbeam and beech. The bottom has felt which gives it better grip. The entire board is handcrafted in Poland and we believe this is one of the best three man chess boards that you can buy. It also has a tiny footprint at just 11-inches, so you can easily carry it around anywhere you go. The king is 2-inches in height, the queen measures 1.6-inches and the pawns measure 1.3-inches.
3) Husaria – Wooden Three Man Chess Board, 18.5 Inches
This board is the exact same one as the one we saw above. But the only difference is that this one is much larger at 18.5-inches. The king itself is massive at 3.46-inches, the queen measures 2.76-inches and the pawns are 1.73-inches long. This makes it the biggest chessboard on our list. Due to its sheer size, the pieces look majestic and you can see the carvings on them and the attention to detail that has gone into each of the pieces. Like the previous board from Husaria, this one too is made in Poland.
4) Wooden Chess For Three Players Set – Small Size 12 inches
This is a small chess board measuring just 12-inches and it also has the same colored pieces: dark brown, white and red. This board is handcrafted in Poland. The board has a nice glossy finish over the wood, to protect it from natural wear and tear. The shiny gold latches look nice with the dark brown color of the wood. The set comes with a booklet that explains the rules of the game. The rule book is available in 7 languages, so you don’t need to worry about understanding the rules. The king’s size is 2-inches and the board measures: 12.75”x10.75”x0.8”.
5) Three Man Chess Board Set, Wooden chessboard wood table
Each of the chessboard sold by BeautyUkraine is handcrafted in the design studio Shkura in Ukraine. If the board is available, it will be shipped in 3-5 days, otherwise you’ll have to wait for 1-2 weeks. The board follows a different color scheme from the ones that we’ve seen so far. There’s green, red and blue. The sides of the board have a reddish-brown color and the latches are golden. The king’s height is 1.8-inches and the pawn’s height is 0.9-inches.
I’m pretty sure that you will be hooked to this game as soon as you get yourself one of these boards. With a little bit of preparation, you can build up some crazy moves and strategies that will definitely wow the traditional chess players. What are you waiting for? Go get yourself one.