3D Chess
('Chess - The Next Generation')

A set of Instructions or Rules

©1996 - 2013 Paul Glover

3D Chess('Chess - The Next Generation')

All movement of chess pieces on any one board level remains the same as in regular 2D chess. Those rules are briefly described on the last two pages with links.

The movement from one board level to another is as follows (see also diagrams on this website).

KING: Can move to or capture all squares one square away from it (either diagonally or straight up and down), one level below or above the square on which it is currently sitting.

QUEEN: Same as king
(If on Ad2, it controls 9 squares directly below it on B).

ROOK: Can move to or capture one square directly below or above the square on which it is sitting (eg. Aa1 controls/captures Ba1).

KNIGHT: Moves like an "L" dimensionally. Therefore, one square down or up from the square on which it is sitting followed by movement two squares forward, (sideways or backwards), (eg. Ab1 controls/captures Bb3, Bd1).

BISHOP: (opposite to a rook) Moves similar to the king except it can't move directly above or below the square on which it is sitting. Moves on an 'angle', to/or capture a white or black square (Opening: Ac1 -- Bb1, Bb2, Bc2, bd1, Bd2).


  • Pawns on original squares on level "A" have the option of advancing one or two squares on level "B". It mirrors a pawn's opening move in regular chess (Aa2 -- Ba3, Ba4, opening the rook file).
  • Can move to the squares directly below or above the square on which it is sitting. Down or up does NOT constitute a backward movement.
  • Can advance up/down diagonally straight-forward on the file. (Ba4 - Aa5)
  • Can capture diagonally forward, left or right of the square that it is on, one level below or above it. (Ba4 x Bb5, or Ab5)
  • Upon reaching the opposite side of the board on any level, can be promoted to Queen, etc., and is distinguished as such for eg., by putting a red checker piece underneath it.
  • Dimensional en passant capture is on the next page...



  • Dimensional en-passant capture eg. When a WHITE pawn (Ab2) has finally advanced three squares on level "A" (Ab5), and the BLACK pawn on level "A" (either Aa7 or Ac7) tries to pass by moving two squares forward (Ba5 or Bc5), then the WHITE pawn must capture or not at all on the next move (Ab5 x Ba5 & occupies Ba6 -or- Ab5 x Bc5 & occupies Bc6). Also: if (Ab2) has finally advanced three squares (Bb5) & (Aa7) tries to pass on level "A" (Aa5), then (Bb5 x Aa5 & occupies Aa6 etc.).
  • More information on en-passant

Setting up the Game
White choses which board level to put his/her pieces. Then, Black puts his/her pieces on the other board level. The game uses all the same official rules for chess. There is just another board added to the game.

Chess Notation See: wikipedia.org & chess-poster.com. However 3D Chess follows 'COORDINATE' Notation without the capitals. Instead of B4-C3 it is b4-c3. Therefore ...


3D Chess Notation
A White Rook on the top board (level 'A') moving to the bottom board (level 'B') would be written: Aa1-Ba1.
Knight: Ab1-Bb3, Ab1-Bd1
Bishop: Ac1-Bb1, Ac1-Bb2, Ac1-Bc2, Ac1-Bc1, Ac1-Bd2
Queen: Ad1-Bc1, Ad1-Bc2, Ad1-Bd2, Ad1-Be1, Ad1-Be2,
and the extra square: Ad1-Bd1
King: Is the same as the Queen.
Pawn: Aa2-Bb2, Aa2-Bb3, Aa2-Bb4
Pawn Capture: Aa2xBb3

What is the definition of 3D?
and / or . . .

What does Dimensionalized mean?
A photograph has length and width but there really is no height to the picture. It is really just flat! But if you could add or simulate depth and/or height, then the picture would be 3D or become Dimensionalized. So, to make something dimensional, is to add HEIGHT. Therefore, ...
2D = length x width.
3D = length x width x HEIGHT.

A Brief Outline Of The Rules For Chess

  1. The ultimate goal in the game of chess, is to trap your opponent's king.
    This is called checkmate and you win.
  2. White always moves first.
  3. Each player takes a turn (must move one piece)
  4. Each type of piece,
       (Rook, Knight, Bishop, Queen, King, Pawn)
       has its own method of movement.
  5. A piece may be moved to another position or may capture an opponent's piece
    • This is done by landing on the appropriate square with the moving piece and removing the defending piece from play.
    • With the exception of the knight, a piece may not move over or through any of the other pieces
  6. The other page briefly shows the movement of each piece.
  7. More Information: The Standard Rules Of Chess
    Visit: chessvariants.com/d.chess/chess.html
    Visit: chessvariants.com

Pawn, King, Queen

Rook, Bishop, Knight

More Information

Print a one page visual set of rules for 3D Chess. But while you're at it why not view a simulation how the game might look if you were to look directly down on both boards (but it will look busy on a flat screen). By click and drag, you can move the top board around.

I hope you enjoy the game as much as I have.

Here is a brief history of the game and Dimensionalized.com how it all came to be.

©2013 Paul Glover

This small booklet
is a quick overview of the
game '3D Chess' and
'2D Chess' (or regular
flat board chess). It has
links and pictures and also covers Chess Notation.
Great referance book.

Click right side of book.