1. ## The Thing You Don't Get About 3-D Chess

A word about the "real" 3-D chess, for starters: There is no such thing.

Gene Rodenberry and the people helping him create Star Trek were thinking, chess is two-dimensional. It was created to help people learn to think about earthly battlefields. But space is not two dimensional. So, wouldn't a theoretical Starfleet be interested in a game that could help its players think about three dimensions?

So, they ordered up a cool looking, three dimensional chessboard. And the prop people delivered. Nobody went to the trouble to think about how such a game might actually be played. There was no time; they were cranking out an hour long sci-fi movie a week with no CGI.

It was designed to look cool. Nothing more. And the actors hardly gave it any more thought. Leonard Nimoy moved one of the "satellite boards" to a different peg on a whim. Apparently he thought it would look cool. And I guess somebody agreed, because the scene didn't wind up on the cutting room floor.

Nobody has figured out a good way to play it. Years ago a friend of mine bought one. There was a sheet included saying so. Does a knight move over two, and down one? Can a rook move only vertically or horizontally in a turn? Can a bishop move either diagonally on the horizontal, or diagonally on both the horizontal and vertical? Doesn't that make it better than a rook?

The paper that came with the set avoided all that by suggesting considering all the squares directly above and below each other to be the same square. This doesn't create a three dimensional game. It's just a chess game which adds the headache of looking for pieces where they aren't, because technically, if they're in this square down here, they're in the square right next to your queen way up here. It also makes the board incredibly crowded. Depending on where the satellite boards are located, the board has between 40 and 44 different squares under these rules, even though it looks like 64 squares like a real chessboard. With all 32 men on it, there's hardly any place to move.

In short, 3-D chess has no rules. It isn't even a game. A 3-D chessboard is a TV prop. Nothing more.

This is what nobody gets about 3-D chess. There are no rules. You don't have to keep promises. You don't even have to make only promises that don't contradict your other promises. You can have as many pawns as you can sucker into standing on the board for you. You don't even have to actually be on the side you say you're on. You can fight for your alleged "opponent" the whole while.

The other thing nobody gets is, this is no game. The whole purpose of the game is to convince people there are rules, and that you're only playing. But neither is true.

Rodenberry figured Starfleet cadets needed a way to think in three dimensions. Well, that's not what we need to figure out how to deal with our current environment. We're not dealing with Romulans in spaceships, who might be above or below you. We're dealing with sociopaths. The game we need to study is Who's Line Is It, Anyway? They will say or do absolutely anything, people. Because the rules are all made up on the spot, and the points don't matter.

Only the money counts for anything. That, and brute force. The players are all on the same side, and only pretend to divide into teams because that keeps the audience coming back for more.

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3. Originally Posted by acptulsa

A word about the "real" 3-D chess, for starters: There is no such thing.

Gene Rodenberry and the people helping him create Star Trek were thinking, chess is two-dimensional. It was created to help people learn to think about earthly battlefields. But space is not two dimensional. So, wouldn't a theoretical Starfleet be interested in a game that could help its players think about three dimensions?

So, they ordered up a cool looking, three dimensional chessboard. And the prop people delivered. Nobody went to the trouble to think about how such a game might actually be played. There was no time; they were cranking out an hour long sci-fi movie a week with no CGI.

It was designed to look cool. Nothing more. And the actors hardly gave it any more thought. Leonard Nimoy moved one of the "satellite boards" to a different peg on a whim. Apparently he thought it would look cool. And I guess somebody agreed, because the scene didn't wind up on the cutting room floor.

Nobody has figured out a good way to play it. Years ago a friend of mine bought one. There was a sheet included saying so. Does a knight move over two, and down one? Can a rook move only vertically or horizontally in a turn? Can a bishop move either diagonally on the horizontal, or diagonally on both the horizontal and vertical? Doesn't that make it better than a rook?

The paper that came with the set avoided all that by suggesting considering all the squares directly above and below each other to be the same square. This doesn't create a three dimensional game. It's just a chess game which adds the headache of looking for pieces where they aren't, because technically, if they're in this square down here, they're in the square right next to your queen way up here. It also makes the board incredibly crowded. Depending on where the satellite boards are located, the board has between 40 and 44 different squares under these rules, even though it looks like 64 squares like a real chessboard. With all 32 men on it, there's hardly any place to move.

In short, 3-D chess has no rules. It isn't even a game. A 3-D chessboard is a TV prop. Nothing more.

This is what nobody gets about 3-D chess. There are no rules. You don't have to keep promises. You don't even have to make only promises that don't contradict your other promises. You can have as many pawns as you can sucker into standing on the board for you. You don't even have to actually be on the side you say you're on. You can fight for your alleged "opponent" the whole while.

The other thing nobody gets is, this is no game. The whole purpose of the game is to convince people there are rules, and that you're only playing. But neither is true.

Rodenberry figured Starfleet cadets needed a way to think in three dimensions. Well, that's not what we need to figure out how to deal with our current environment. We're not dealing with Romulans in spaceships, who might be above or below you. We're dealing with sociopaths. The game we need to study is Who's Line Is It, Anyway? They will say or do absolutely anything, people. Because the rules are all made up on the spot, and the points don't matter.

Only the money counts for anything. That, and brute force. The players are all on the same side, and only pretend to divide into teams because that keeps the audience coming back for more.
The entire OP is spot on, bolding what it comes down to.

Should be stickied, maybe the more people read it the more sense it will make.

4. The whole premise of the article is busted. Not only does 3D chess exist, but there are more chess-variants in existence than you can shake a stick at. Bughouse Chess and Chess-960 are two of the most popular -- true, they are not 3D but they are not classical chess, either. Strato Chess, or something similar, is what people generally mean by "3D chess" when talking about a game which might actually be played, the rules of Star Trek Tri-dimensional chess being a bit too... artistic. There is an entire sub-culture devoted to the creation and study of fairy chess pieces and chess variants.

And when you've grown bored of round chessboards, fairy pieces -- or even infinite chessboards! -- when you're ready to shed the limitations of time and space completely, the endless possibilities of 5-Dimensional Chess With Multiverse Time Travel await you...

Us nerds are more insane than you ever thought possible...

5. Originally Posted by ClaytonB
The whole premise of the article is busted... true, they are not 3D but they are not classical chess, either. Strato Chess, or something similar, is what people generally mean by "3D chess" when talking about a game which might actually be played, the rules of Star Trek Tri-dimensional chess being a bit too...

And when you've grown bored of round chessboards, fairy pieces -- or even infinite chessboards! -- when you're ready to shed the limitations of time and space completely, the endless possibilities of 5-Dimensional Chess With Multiverse Time Travel awaits you...

Us nerds are more insane than you ever thought possible...
Whatever you say, Clayton. *Pats head* I'll stand by what I wrote.

6. Originally Posted by acptulsa
Whatever you say, Clayton. *Pats head* I'll stand by what I wrote.

7. Wow,, I am a geek that can't math, (Mathematically Dyslectic),and I can separate Science from Fiction .

note, ,don't play chess with me.. I frustrate Masters, even when they beat me.

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