I Want My Tri-Dimensional Chess Set!

Why, oh WHY isn’t this marketed?

In Star Trek: The Original Series, Kirk and Spock (as well as Spock and Charlie X) played tri-dimensional chess. This is one of the coolest things that ever came out of ST:TOS.

I have wanted a set since I was a child.

The ONLY set that I’ve seen marketed was by the Franklin Mint, which are known for their extravagantly priced crap…ishly resemblences to…authentically valuable things…(are there lawyers watching?)

I finally bought the Franklin Mint version, because it was the only one I could find. It is TOO SMALL and TOO EXPENSIVE!!!

Why can’t someone just make a good, full-sized version of this set? I suck at regular chess, but on this board, I am undefeated. It fits my brain better, for some reason.

Others have presented three regular flat chessboards as the “Star Trek” chess set, but this is a blatant lie. The set popularised by ST was three boards of 4x4 squares offset by two ranks each, and four more boards of 2x2 that mounted on the corners of the 4x4s, so that one square overlapped.


Not to be snarky, but why don’t you make one yourself? You can buy several inexpensive chess boards and cut them up for the basic components. Get it looking good enough and you could sell them yourself.

You can always try the 3d Chess Federation which has a link to instructions for building your own.

Or maybe you would like to play a computer version?

Go to a Star Trek convention. Official or not, does not matter. You will find one there. Bring a shitload of cash. I have seen one for sale at every convention I have ever attended, from the early 70s to last fall. As nitpicky as true Trekkers are, I doubt anyone would ever try to pass off a “fake” design, and I have never seen anything other than a very faithful reproduction of the TOS Tri D Chess Game.

Unless you’re from Iowa*, there will be a Trek convention somewhere near you, probably within the year. They may be sandwiched together with a generic sci-fi con, but even at those you can find one.

If you don’t see one at a convention, I would be very surprised and will kiss a Wookie.

  • He’s from Iowa, he only works in outer space.

ooooooooo…now I want one!

Bah! Wake me when you get an n-dimensional chess set.

I’ve got a bunch of branes and strings. Maybe I’ll build a 10 dimension chess set, being sure to include Neumann Boundary Conditions and perhaps even a Dirichlet Boundary Condition or two …


Damn, how much will this end up costing me?

I built one (well, mostly my dad) for a middle school project and it’s been my parents’ attic ever since. Want to buy it?

I tried playing this once.
It’s not easy. :eek:

3-D chess, Star Trek…Cafe Society.

Over it goes.

ebay - land of finding stuff

Actually, there are several different versions of 3-D chess.

Back when I was a kid there were several versions od 3D chess marketed. You ciould have your choice, and you didn’t have to go far to find them. I also recall several different versions of 3-handed chess on the market. Heck, I built my own Star Trek-like 3D chess board, but it seemed silly compared to other versions of 3D.

About 10 or 15 years ago I saw a lot of these games marketed in game/comics shops. Don’t know if they are still on the market, but they’ve been on the market in the past.

Dragon, issue 100, had E G Gygax’s rules for “Dragonchess”, a three-board version of three-dimensional chess. In my humble estimation, it was grossly over-complex and probably unplayable with any reasonable degree of skill. Most unlike the man. :dubious:

I like looking-glass chess, which you’ve probably heard of but the readers may not have. It goes like this: Begin with two boards, one of which is initially empty. Call these Board (i) and Board (ii). A man that moves on board (i) immediately vanishes and reappears on board (ii), and vice versa. A move must be possible and legal on the board on which it is made, and the destination square must be vacant on the other board.

In the following gamelet:

1. (i)e4  (i)d5
2. (i)Be2 (ii)dxe4
3. (ii)Bb5

Black is mated. There is no Black man able to capture the White Bishop that has reappeared on board (i) and is checking the Black King. Black’s King cannot move out of check on board (i) and so cannot conveniently vanish to board (ii), and any Black piece that tries to interpose immediately disappears from board (i). :smiley:

I once owned, & occasionally played, Cubic Chess, sometimes called Solid Chess.

It was hard to find anybody to play with.

Aha! Now I do understand Looking-Glass chess.
If anyone wants a game on a thread here, I’m up for it. :slight_smile:

What are the rules?

Unlikr the ST Chess, there are 3 stacked boards. White starts on the Top board, black at the bottom.

Play is the same, with piece movement logicaly strung out to 3 dimensions.

LINK to rules, with photos!


So, to be clear on this: Captures are resolved before the mirroring to the other board? So if you have a black knight and a white bishop on (i), in the appropriate places, the knight could take the bishop, and then mirror to (ii)? And the spot on the other board must be vacant of pieces of either color?

If I’m understanding this correctly, this would make a piece supported on the other board uncapturable… Except that it would be impossible for two pieces to end up on the same positions on both boards. Which means you could also play it on a single board, using some sort of two-state flag on each piece. At that point, it looks almost like regular chess, except that a piece may only capture another piece of the same flag, and a piece may jump freely over pieces of the opposite flag.