# Four-player Chess (need some help)

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If you do allow a player to capture another players army, he has two big disadvantages to offset his new advantage in army size.

1. The large player will become the instant target of a logical alliance between the other two players (due to both his percieved threat, and the gain of the reward of two armies for beating him). This becomes very bad for the large player, because:

2. The large player still only gets one move per turn. So he will be facing two moves from his opponents for every one move he gets. I'm assuming he will still only have one king. Wouldn't it be very easy to checkmate someone who gets one move for every two of yours, even if you do have a large (but possibly split into both corners of that board) army?

This isn't an rts, it's not like you could win through force of numbers. A huge army isn't that big an advantage if you can only move with one piece a turn.
But I'm not a chess buff, this is all supposition.

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get 4 people and play the game with realy chess - just make a board. Change rules after couple of games to see what is realy FUN. I dont think we can come up with idias for FUN based on logic becouse FUN is not logical. Just play the game with freinds 1st!

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CIJolly - That's kind of how I'm seeing it as well.

eiforall - Yeah I'm considering allowing the players on the site to specify the rules from a few pre-selectable options. And after the site's popularity grows and the community grows larger, I'll take some polls and start to remove some options slowly.

thundergunslinger - As for capturing the king outright instead of checkmate I think I agree there. As for fischer random (yes I'm quite familiar with it and have played it quite often), that would probably not happen (at least not for awhile). There is a website www.schemingmind.com that implements many chess variants. I'd be interested only in the logical extension of real chess into the four-player dimension.

Kazgoroth - inactive state is seeming to work it's way up to #1 in which option I choose.. but I still don't think it matters if a sloppy player happened to checkmate. You could win a game of chess by being a sloppy player and just lucking out against an incautious opponent. Why should it be any different in four-player chess? See CIJOLLY's post.

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Quote:
 Original post by CIJolly1. The large player will become the instant target of a logical alliance between the other two players (due to both his percieved threat, and the gain of the reward of two armies for beating him). This becomes very bad for the large player....

The reason I don't like this is because it does essentially force a 2 on 1 situation. Players might refrain from finishing off an opponent simply because the don't want to force the other two players against them. Keeping a neutral army on the field will give players freedom to develop their own strategies to eliminate either of the two remaining players. I would definitely opposed to a game where this 2 on 1 alliance is almost necessarily formed in every match--you're taking choices away from the player in how he wants to play the game.

Upon reflection, I think having pawns be able to move forward, right, or left is fine. At first I just thought it would be confusing, but then I realized (head slap) because of the different colors, it'd be easy to tell when a pawn is making an illegal (backwards) move.

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although kungfuchess.com sports a real time version of chess, it is definitely worth checking out how they handled the details of 4 player chess. I also believe there are various board games to that effect that you could seek out and reffer to.

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 Original post by sharpnovaRE: NumsgilVery insightful points I think.Except that 3d chess would not be the logical extension. 3d chess might have 6 players (one per face) or 12 (one per edge) or 12 (two per face) There is nothing symetrically four-esque about a cube. I have written a 3d-chess engine before. (Not a playing engine but an engine for human-human play.) It was difficult to figure out the logical way to extend chess into the 3rd dimension, but I feel I got all the details correct.

I was thinking, a 2D chess board has two sides that belong to two players, and two "neutral" sides. If you add 2 more players, that would give you four sides that belong to players. Now that I think of it, though, you'd want to add another 2 "neutral" edges as well. Maybe some sort of octahedron...

Probably too complex. The idea was to give each player a "side" that is surrounded by neutral "sides" (sides could mean faces in 3D). If you have 4 players playing on an octahedron, I think you could do this without too much effort. Wouldn't really be chess anymore though.

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Here is a different setup:

....AP....PB........AP....PB........AP....PB........AP....PB....AAAA________BBBBPPPP________PPPP....________........________........________........________....PPPP________PPPPDDDD________CCCC....DP....PC........DP....PC........DP....PC........DP....PC....

"." are blank spaces
"_" are impassable
"P" are pawns
"A" through "D" are the pieces of players A through D.

The board is now a circular loop -- each player has half of his or her army facing two other players.

The middle of the board is a no-mans land.

Behind each player's troops is a bunch of empty space -- this could be made impassable.

I will note that 4 player chess would probably work out better if it was two teams of 2 players -- there is a reason why there are very few 3 way wars. The players would naturally form alliances -- and unless there are predetermined alliances, it is quite possible that a 3 way alliance will form.

Once alliances are fluid, the game becomes more about the forming of alliances than it does become about the actual gameplay.

Yet another varient:
    AP....PB        AP....PB        AP....PB        AP....PB    AAAA////\\\\BBBBPPPP///  \\\PPPP....//    \\......../      \........\      /........\\    //....PPPP\\\  ///PPPPDDDD\\\\////CCCC    DP....PC        DP....PC        DP....PC        DP....PC

On this map, the topology of the map is strange. When you enter the center of the board, the diagonal lines indicate where you end up.

The above layout has the advantage that it allows N player chess -- any number of players can be connected together in the above way. It does get rather confusing -- like I said, the board topology is seriously wierd! :)

[Edited by - NotAYakk on October 3, 2006 2:25:53 PM]

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For the pawn rotation question, consider this:
Draw two diagonal lines on the center square of the board, from topright square to bottomleft and topleft to bottomright. When a pawn is on a square with a diagonal line through it, the player may choose to rotate it to face that direction(as if the line was a mirror or something.) This would prevent players from putting a bunch of pawns in the same row or column.

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Funnily enough, when chess started, it WAS 4 player (2 player teams, if memory serves). It was also played with dice until gambling devices were outlawed in Persia, at which point it turned into a deterministic 2 player game.

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