How to Make a Three-Player Chess Board

Three-player chess variants have been around for at least 100 years. There are several sets of rules that adapt the two-player game aspects for three players, and many types of three-player chess boards. One of the most popular set-ups is the three-sided chess board.

A traditional board has four sides and 64 squares; the three-sided board has six sides and 96 squares, thus preserving the sides-per-player and squares-per-player ratios.

Even though the standard three-sided board actually has six sides, it should not be confused with the hexagonal chess board, which is based on tessellating hexagons, rather than squares. Chess players usually use the hexagonal chess board for a two-player game variant.

chess board variants
You can easily design a three-player chess board with a ruler and protractor. In the pattern below, you only need to create one piece that contains 16 squares. With six copies of this piece, you can assemble the full 96-square board.

Step 1: Draw a quadrilateral that has angles of 90°, 60°, 90°, and 120° in that order going clockwise or counter clockwise. The two sides adjacent to the 60° angle have equal length; the two sides adjacent to the 120° are shorter and also have equal length. See image below Step 3.

Step 2: Divide each side into fourths and mark the divisions along each side. For example, if one side has a length of 6 inches, you would place markings at 1.5 inches, 3 inches, and 4.5 inches.

Step 3: For each pair of opposite sides, draw three lines connecting the quarter markings. You now have a quadrilateral divided into 16 "squares."
three player chess pattern
Step 4: With six such pieces, assemble them so that their 60° corners meet at the center. You now have the full three-player chess board.
three-player chess board

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