The Federation Standard 5.0
Tridimensional Chess Rules
By the Original Author
© 2009, Andrew Bartmess
The ealiest real info I could find on ST 3-D chess as a real game is from
1975 STAR TREK STARFLEET TECHNICAL MANUAL by Franz Joseph (c) 1975 .
page 03:98:30 and 03:98:31 give schematic "spec" drawings and info on:
REGULATION TOURNAMENT BOARD
This is the most complex form of the ancient game of chess yet devised.
It is normally studied and attempted only by persons with a master's skills
in the ordinary form of the game.
[Set consists of:]
Moveable Attack Boards (A) (4)
(24 possible positions)
Black's Defending Board (B) (top)
Neutral Field Board (N) (middle)
White's Defending Board (W) (bottom)
K P Kt P
Q P Kt P
Each piece moves exactly the same as
in conventional chess except that
such moves have tridimensional freedom
to the extent of available consecutive squares.
16 of the 64 squares are moveable in
4 groups of 4 squares each. They may
be move (sic) to one adjacent pin position
at a time provided they are either
vacant or occupied by only one of
the player's pawns, and such action
constitutes a move in regular turn.
An occupied attack board cannot be
moved to an inverted pin position.
Another set of detailed rules:
Tournament Rules for 3D Chess
Vulcan Standard Tri-D Chess
(Millennium Rules, True 3-D Movement)
Chess originated on Earth in ancient times. No one is quite sure how
old the game really is but most scholars believe that Chess in its
traditional 2D form stopped evolving and was standardized by the 15th
Shortly after Vulcan made first contact with Earth, the game of Chess
became the first major cultural crossover. On a planet with a love
for logic and the exercise of problem solving skills, Chess offered
the one thing Vulcan was in desperate cultural need for… recreation!
Chess took Vulcan by storm and within a few decades chess became more
closely associated with Vulcan than with Earth. (In a similar way
spaghetti which originated in China and tomato sauce which originated
in North America became most culturally associated with Italy).
Vulcans hungered for Chess, but traditional chess was becoming less
and less challenging to Vulcan players who found it a bit two-
dimensional. Many Vulcans began experimenting with various forms of
three-dimensional Chess which had developed on Earth during the 20th
and early 21st Centuries. Among 3D versions which became popular on
Vulcan were Rauschach (a 5x5x5 version), QuadLevel (a 4x8x4 version),
Exchequer (a 4x4x4 version), Millenniumtm Chess and Tri-Dimensional
As Vulcans began to make Chess their own game they developed their
own version of 3D Chess which they found to be the most challenging
yet playable version. The Vulcan variant involved combining two
versions of 3D Chess which had originated on Earth in the late 20th
and early 21st Centuries.
The first was Tri-Dimensional Chess which had a very challenging
playing field utilizing three levels of 4x4 boards which only
overlapped by two spaces and 4 mobile attack boards. The playing
field had been developed by an earthling named Gene Roddeberry and
the Rules had been developed by earthlings Franz Joseph Schnaubelt
and Andrew Bartmes in the late 20th Centurty.
The Second was Millinniumtm Chess which had used an 8x8x3 playing
field and had been developed by an Earthling named William D'agostino
in the early 21st Century.
Vulcans found that they preferred more challenging movement rules
than those of Tri-Dimensional Chess and a more challenging playing
field than the 8x8x3 field. In the end they grafted the Millennium
movement rules into the Standard Rules for Tridimensional Chess. The
result was officially known as Millennium Tridimensional Chess but
became commonly known as the Vulcan Variant of Tridimensional Chess.
In the Vulcan variant the Pawn may move 2D as in traditional chess.
In changing levels a pawn may move straight up or down one level, or
may slope up or down one level (but only moving ahead toward the
opposing rank. In its initial move a given pawn may choose to move
forward two spaces, or slope forward two spaces.
A pawn may capture only by making a diagonal capture-move. This
works 2D just as in traditional chess. A pawn may also capture by
moving one space triagonaly.
The Pawns at a1, f1, a8 and f8 may make their first move by moving
one or two spaces to the right or left so as to allow them to leave
their start positions on the Attack boards.
In the Vulcan Variant the Rook may move straight up or down or may
slope along the same rank or file.
In the Vulcan Variant the Knight may change levels by moving one
space up and two over, or by moving two spaces up and one space
over. Only the knight may move over pieces or through spaces that do
In the Vulcan Variant the Bishop may move diagonally on the same
level or may change levels by moving triagonally.
The Queen may move either as a rook would move or as a bishop would
The King may move just as the queen but may only move one space at a
SLOPING MOVE: A sloping move is a diagonal move which changes levels
within a single file or rank but which slopes diagonally at the same
TRIAGONAL MOVE: A triagonal move is a move which changes levels
diagonally passing through more than one rank and/or file.
ATTACK BOARDS: Unlike Standard Tridimensional chess the three 4x4
boards are seen as representing different spaces/cubes at different
levels. However Attack boards are seen as being on the same level as
that to which
they are attached, thus all attack board rules remain the same as in
Standard Tridimensional Chess.
CASTLING: Castling rules remain the same as in Standard Tri-D Chess.