Three Player Chess is Just as Crazy as it Sounds! Here’s How It works.

If you think you’ve mastered the universally acclaimed brain sport — chess, here’s something that can make you level things up a notch.

Welcome to 3 player chess — the game that can singlehandedly destroy your chess grandmaster hubris with just one extra player.

To accommodate a third player, the board is shaped like a hexagon and the third army of chess pieces is in a different color like say, red. This game is not all about the last man standing. Instead, the winner is the first one to checkmate, the other is the second.

With each player having two opponents, one has to constantly be vigilant about an ‘attack’ from any side. With three players you are not only playing the game but are also watching it being played by the other two players.




Apart from the first person to checkmate, there are other ways to decide a winner, and there are certain complex rules to maintain chess-board decorum. In the mid-2000s, Russian chess player, Ilshat Tagiev introduced a neutrality rule in which one can only attack an opponent if he/she was attacked by him/her in a previous move. This is to prevent one player getting targeted by the other two.

While no one can pinpoint the history of its origins, some believe that a primitive version of it existed in India nearly 2 millennia ago. It was also popular in Europe around the 15th century and in China around the 19th century. It was finally invented, or reinvented in its current form, in 1972 by Robert Zubrin who popularised it in the USA and later the world over.

While it still has a niche audience, three player chess has a loyal following online through the website If you think chess doesn’t challenge your intellectual capability enough, you should definitely head over to the website and test your skills.



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