Pip's Three-Handed Chess
Pip's Three-Handed Chess is the name of a chess variant for three players that I invented with my father-in-law and brother-in-law in 2008. The game is played on a standard chess board. The standard chess pieces are present, minus two pawns per side. It is played as a series of at least two games, in which the winner is the first player to mate each opponent in a game.
The illustration shows the starting setup. The middle player moves first and play proceeds clockwise around the board. The match "series" ends when a player has won a game (checkmated) against each of his opponents. Games are reset after each checkmate. Checkmate is official on the mated player’s turn, not when it is first made (if there is a player between the player mating and the player being mated, he may choose to undo the mate, if able). If a player puts an opponent in checkmate, then another opponent puts the same player in checkmate (either a different checkmate or "adding to" the checkmate), then the first player to put the opponent in checkmate gets credit for the win.
After the first game, players alternate the order of turns each game, starting clockwise, but with the middle player always starting. Players rotate board sides each game clockwise.
Standard chess rules apply, with the following exceptions or clarifications:
- Pawns must go forward in the direction they originally face.
- Castling is not allowed.
- Pawns only move one space at a time.
In an attempt to remove the unfair disadvantage to the middle player (observed through analysis of game-play data) and improve play generally, I created a modification to the game using a hexagonal board with hexagonal cells (similar to Gliński's Hexagonal Chess). The board has 109 total cells and introduces a third vector, which adds an extra vector to the movement of each of the pieces. Like the original rules of Pip's Three-Handed Chess, the match is still played as a series of games, with the starting player rotated, though players obviously no longer need to switch positions on the board.
- Pawns move straight forward and capture obliquely forward to an adjacent cell; the pawn's capturing move direction is not diagonal like the bishop's move, as is the case in standard chess.
- All pawns can make a double step from their starting cells.
- Knights move two straight spaces then one forward diagonal.
- Pawn promotion is allowed.
- Castling is not allowed.
- Given that the board now has not two but three vectors, a third of the spaces are not covered by any of the bishops. Therefore, it might make sense to introduce a third bishop, as Gliński does.
Lexiku is a letter game that combines Scrabble with the replacement-puzzle style of Suduko. The name Lexiku is a simple combination of Lexico (the original name of Scrabble) and Suduko.
The idea is fairly straightforward and, for Suduko fans, familiar. Given an empty or near-empty table of rows and columns, along with the letters that must fill the table, the player has to place the letters into the table in such a way as to create valid Scrabble words in each direction (down and right). Sometimes, as in Suduko, one or more cells may already be filled in.
In the following example, the player has to fit the letters -- I, O and S -- into the grid, in which the letter T is given:
So it would be solved as:
Four valid Scrabble words are formed -- IT, SO, IS and TO.