abcdefghijklmnop
16
a16 black rook
b16 black knight
c16 black wizard
d16 black champion
e16 black bishop
f16 black upside-down knight
g16 black princess
h16 black queen
i16 black king
j16 black empress
k16 black fool
l16 black bishop
m16 black champion
n16 black wizard
o16 black knight
p16 black rook
16
15
a15 black pawn
b15 black pawn
c15 black pawn
d15 black pawn
e15 black pawn
f15 black pawn
g15 black pawn
h15 black pawn
i15 black pawn
j15 black pawn
k15 black pawn
l15 black pawn
m15 black pawn
n15 black pawn
o15 black pawn
p15 black pawn
15
14
a14
b14
c14
d14
e14
f14
g14
h14
i14
j14
k14
l14
m14
n14
o14
p14
14
13
a13
b13
c13
d13
e13
f13
g13
h13
i13
j13
k13
l13
m13
n13
o13
p13
13
12
a12
b12
c12
d12
e12
f12
g12
h12
i12
j12
k12
l12
m12
n12
o12
p12
12
11
a11
b11
c11
d11
e11
f11
g11
h11
i11
j11
k11
l11
m11
n11
o11
p11
11
10
a10
b10
c10
d10
e10
f10
g10
h10
i10
j10
k10
l10
m10
n10
o10
p10
10
9
a9
b9
c9
d9
e9
f9
g9
h9
i9
j9
k9
l9
m9
n9
o9
p9
9
8
a8
b8
c8
d8
e8
f8
g8
h8
i8
j8
k8
l8
m8
n8
o8
p8
8
7
a7
b7
c7
d7
e7
f7
g7
h7
i7
j7
k7
l7
m7
n7
o7
p7
7
6
a6
b6
c6
d6
e6
f6
g6
h6
i6
j6
k6
l6
m6
n6
o6
p6
6
5
a5
b5
c5
d5
e5
f5
g5
h5
i5
j5
k5
l5
m5
n5
o5
p5
5
4
a4
b4
c4
d4
e4
f4
g4
h4
i4
j4
k4
l4
m4
n4
o4
p4
4
3
a3
b3
c3
d3
e3
f3
g3
h3
i3
j3
k3
l3
m3
n3
o3
p3
3
2
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
d2 white pawn
e2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
i2 white pawn
j2 white pawn
k2 white pawn
l2 white pawn
m2 white pawn
n2 white pawn
o2 white pawn
p2 white pawn
2
1
a1 white rook
b1 white knight
c1 white wizard
d1 white champion
e1 white bishop
f1 white upside-down knight
g1 white princess
h1 white queen
i1 white king
j1 white empress
k1 white fool
l1 white bishop
m1 white champion
n1 white wizard
o1 white knight
p1 white rook
1
abcdefghijklmnop
Chess on a really big board: initial position. As Betza did not specify icons for the unorthodox pieces, instead using letters to represent them in diagrams (as for the standard pieces), some Omega Chess symbols have been used to represent some of the unorthodox piece types, along with some relatively standard icons for the knighted pieces from Capablanca chess, and an inverted knight for the rose.

Chess on a really big board is a large chess variant invented by Ralph Betza around 1996.[1] It is played on a 16×16 chessboard with 16 pieces (on the back rank) and 16 pawns (on the second rank) per player. Since such a board can be constructed by pushing together four standard 8×8 boards, Betza also gave this variant the alternative names of four-board chess[1] or chess on four boards.[2]

Game description

The standard rules of chess apply except in the following cases:[1]

abcdefghijklmnop
16
a16
b16
c16
d16
e16
f16
g16
h16
i16
j16
k16
l16
m16
n16
o16
p16
16
15
a15
b15
c15
d15
e15
f15
g15
h15
i15
j15
k15
l15
m15
n15
o15
p15
15
14
a14
b14
c14
d14
e14
f14
g14
h14
i14 four
j14
k14
l14
m14
n14
o14
p14
14
13
a13
b13
c13
d13
e13
f13
g13 three
h13
i13
j13
k13 three
l13
m13
n13
o13
p13
13
12
a12
b12
c12
d12
e12 four
f12
g12
h12
i12 two
j12
k12
l12
m12 four
n12
o12
p12
12
11
a11
b11
c11
d11
e11
f11 two
g11
h11
i11
j11
k11
l11 two
m11
n11
o11
p11
11
10
a10
b10
c10
d10 three
e10
f10
g10
h10 one
i10
j10 one
k10
l10
m10
n10 three
o10
p10
10
9
a9
b9
c9
d9
e9
f9
g9 one
h9
i9
j9
k9 one
l9
m9
n9
o9
p9
9
8
a8
b8
c8 four
d8
e8 two
f8
g8
h8
i8 white upside-down knight
j8
k8
l8
m8 two
n8
o8 four
p8
8
7
a7
b7
c7
d7
e7
f7
g7 one
h7
i7
j7
k7 one
l7
m7
n7
o7
p7
7
6
a6
b6
c6
d6 three
e6
f6
g6
h6 one
i6
j6 one
k6
l6
m6
n6 three
o6
p6
6
5
a5
b5
c5
d5
e5
f5 two
g5
h5
i5
j5
k5
l5 two
m5
n5
o5
p5
5
4
a4
b4
c4
d4
e4 four
f4
g4
h4
i4 two
j4
k4
l4
m4 four
n4
o4
p4
4
3
a3
b3
c3
d3
e3
f3
g3 three
h3
i3
j3
k3 three
l3
m3
n3
o3
p3
3
2
a2
b2
c2
d2
e2
f2
g2
h2
i2 four
j2
k2
l2
m2
n2
o2
p2
2
1
a1
b1
c1
d1
e1
f1
g1
h1
i1
j1
k1
l1
m1
n1
o1
p1
1
abcdefghijklmnop
Rose (qN; single-letter symbol O). Makes any number of consecutive knight moves on an octagonal (almost circular) path. It may move either clockwise or counterclockwise: going along a sequence of numbers 1-2-3-4-3-2-1 in a circle on the diagram demonstrates one possible move of the rose. It may jump over pieces in each of its individual knight moves, but is blocked by pieces on its circular path (though it may capture an enemy piece thus placed).
By going all the way around a circle, it is allowed to return to its starting position. Thus a player with an unblocked rose may pass their turn.
The rose was invented in 1968 by Robert Meignant for chess problems.[2]

Betza included the rose in his initial setup because it is a piece especially suited for a large board: it cannot display its full power on boards smaller than 13×13. Furthermore, its already large move still cannot reach all the way across the board, contributing to the large feeling of the game along with the ability of the riders to attack from a large distance away.[1]

History

Chess on a really big board was created as an outgrowth of Betza's ideas on three-dimensional chess, after he noted that an 8×8×8 board for 3D chess would have 512 spaces, more than any large version of chess that had previously been invented; he then considered two-dimensional very large (or, in his word, "huge") chess games, mainly on the 16×16 board because such a board requires no non-standard equipment to construct, and while much larger than the 8×8 board, it was not so big as to make an unplayable game.[1] This idea eventually came full circle in the development of the 16×16×16 three-dimensional version of chess on a really big board, which he called "impossibly large".[4]

Gameplay

Betza described his choice of pieces as "a very basic and logical selection of the fundamental geometrical moves, except for my idiosyncratic insistence on including the Rose in the lineup of pieces. These are largely the basic units of chess, and anybody who designs a [16×16] game with 32 pieces is bound to come up with something reasonably similar, at least if they want it to be like chess but a bit less tactical." In fact, his original plan was to include the WA along with the complementary FD, but this leaves the c- and n-pawns undefended in the initial position. His final assessment was that the game was "rather chesslike".[1]

Betza divided the pieces into three classes: seven long-range pieces (the rooks, bishops, queen, archbishop, and chancellor), two mid-range pieces (the rose and superknight), and six short-range pieces (the knights, FDs, and WFAs). He opined that the short-range pieces, though the weakest, were crucial as they take time to get into the action, but are very important for opening up specific lines for attacks.[1]

Sample opening phase of a game

abcdefghijklmnop
16
a16 black rook
b16 black knight
c16 black wizard
d16 black champion
e16 black bishop
f16
g16
h16
i16 black king
j16 black empress
k16
l16 black bishop
m16 black champion
n16 black wizard
o16 black knight
p16 black rook
16
15
a15 black pawn
b15 black pawn
c15 black pawn
d15 black pawn
e15 black pawn
f15 black pawn
g15 black pawn
h15
i15
j15 black pawn
k15 black pawn
l15 black pawn
m15 black pawn
n15 black pawn
o15 black pawn
p15 black pawn
15
14
a14
b14
c14
d14
e14
f14
g14
h14
i14
j14
k14
l14
m14
n14
o14
p14
14
13
a13
b13
c13
d13
e13
f13
g13
h13
i13 black fool
j13
k13
l13
m13
n13
o13
p13
13
12
a12
b12
c12
d12
e12
f12
g12
h12
i12
j12
k12
l12 black queen
m12
n12
o12
p12
12
11
a11
b11
c11
d11
e11
f11
g11
h11 black upside-down knight
i11
j11
k11
l11
m11
n11
o11
p11
11
10
a10
b10
c10
d10
e10
f10
g10
h10 black pawn
i10
j10
k10
l10
m10
n10
o10
p10
10
9
a9
b9
c9
d9
e9
f9
g9
h9
i9 black pawn
j9
k9
l9
m9
n9
o9
p9
9
8
a8
b8
c8
d8
e8
f8
g8
h8
i8 white pawn
j8 white pawn
k8 black princess
l8
m8
n8
o8
p8 white pawn
8
7
a7
b7
c7
d7
e7
f7
g7
h7
i7
j7
k7
l7
m7
n7
o7
p7
7
6
a6
b6
c6
d6
e6
f6
g6
h6 white fool
i6
j6
k6
l6
m6
n6
o6
p6
6
5
a5
b5
c5
d5
e5
f5
g5
h5
i5
j5
k5
l5
m5
n5
o5
p5
5
4
a4
b4
c4
d4
e4
f4
g4
h4
i4
j4
k4
l4
m4
n4
o4
p4
4
3
a3
b3
c3
d3
e3
f3
g3
h3
i3
j3
k3
l3
m3
n3
o3 white queen
p3
3
2
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
d2 white pawn
e2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
i2
j2
k2 white pawn
l2 white pawn
m2 white pawn
n2 white pawn
o2 white pawn
p2
2
1
a1 white rook
b1 white knight
c1 white wizard
d1 white champion
e1 white bishop
f1 white upside-down knight
g1 white princess
h1
i1 white king
j1 white empress
k1
l1 white bishop
m1 white champion
n1 white wizard
o1 white knight
p1 white rook
1
abcdefghijklmnop
Position after 9...Ql12

The following sample game fragment was constructed by Betza.[1]

1.i8 i9
2.Qp9

The 16×16 analogue to the Wayward Queen Attack (in orthodox chess, 1.e4 e5 2.Qh5). On such a large board, this opening move becomes much sounder, as it is more difficult to attack the queen, and from this position it bears down onto the centre from a long distance.

2...h10
3.j8 Oh11

Black defends his i-pawn; White attacks it again (her j-pawn being defended by the chancellor on j1); Black defends it again, moving his rose from f16 via e14 and f12 to h11, where it defends the pawn on i9. Trading pawns would be disadvantageous and lead to the loss of a tempo by the initiator, but at some point White's chancellor must be developed.

Currently, White has no immediate threats. Attacks on Black's h-pawn with Bb4 (moving the d-pawn away first), or his rose with Bo4 (moving the m-pawn away first) are easy to counter. Hence she decides to bring a short-range piece to attack, though this will take several turns.

4.Ji4 Ai15
5.Jh6 Ak14

Attacking White's queen.

6.Qp10 Ji13
7.p8!?

Threatening to lift the king's rook to the h-file to contest the centre.

7...An11!?

Continuing to attack White's queen. This region could also be used as an advanced base: the n11 square can easily be defended by the rose or the m-pawn, and a natural follow-up would be 8...Qn10.

8.Ql6 Ak8

The White queen retreats and attacks the Black i-pawn again, but Black defends the pawn with the archbishop while attacking the queen again. The archbishop itself, though attacked by White's superknight, is protected by Black's rose.

9.Qo3

If 9.Qk7, then 9...Al9 may win a pawn.

9...Ql12

Threatening 10...Al6.[1]

Sample games

abcdefghijklmnop
16
a16 black rook
b16
c16
d16
e16
f16
g16
h16
i16
j16
k16
l16
m16
n16 black rook
o16 black king
p16
16
15
a15
b15 black pawn
c15 black pawn
d15
e15
f15
g15
h15
i15
j15
k15
l15 black empress
m15 black pawn
n15 black pawn
o15 black pawn
p15 black pawn
15
14
a14
b14
c14
d14
e14 black pawn
f14
g14
h14
i14
j14
k14
l14
m14
n14
o14
p14
14
13
a13
b13
c13
d13 black pawn
e13
f13 black pawn
g13 black pawn
h13
i13 black upside-down knight
j13
k13
l13
m13
n13
o13
p13
13
12
a12
b12
c12 black queen
d12
e12 black wizard
f12
g12 black knight
h12 black pawn
i12 black champion
j12
k12
l12
m12 black knight
n12
o12
p12
12
11
a11
b11
c11
d11
e11
f11
g11
h11
i11 black pawn
j11
k11
l11
m11
n11
o11
p11
11
10
a10
b10
c10
d10
e10
f10
g10
h10
i10
j10 black pawn
k10
l10 black champion
m10
n10
o10
p10
10
9
a9 black pawn
b9
c9
d9
e9
f9
g9
h9
i9
j9
k9 black pawn
l9
m9 black wizard
n9
o9
p9
9
8
a8
b8
c8
d8
e8
f8
g8
h8
i8 white pawn
j8
k8
l8 black pawn
m8
n8
o8
p8
8
7
a7
b7
c7
d7
e7
f7 white pawn
g7
h7 white knight
i7
j7 white pawn
k7
l7
m7
n7
o7
p7
7
6
a6
b6
c6
d6
e6
f6
g6
h6 white knight
i6 white champion
j6
k6 white pawn
l6
m6
n6
o6 black princess
p6
6
5
a5
b5
c5
d5
e5
f5
g5 white wizard
h5 white princess
i5
j5
k5
l5 white pawn
m5
n5
o5
p5
5
4
a4
b4
c4 white pawn
d4
e4
f4
g4
h4
i4 white fool
j4
k4
l4
m4 white pawn
n4
o4
p4
4
3
a3
b3 white pawn
c3
d3
e3
f3
g3
h3
i3 white pawn
j3
k3 white champion
l3 white wizard
m3
n3
o3 white pawn
p3
3
2
a2 white pawn
b2
c2
d2
e2
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white queen
i2
j2 white king
k2
l2
m2
n2
o2
p2 white pawn
2
1
a1
b1
c1
d1 white rook
e1
f1
g1
h1
i1
j1
k1
l1
m1 white rook
n1
o1
p1
1
abcdefghijklmnop
Final position of game 1 after 53.Kj2

The following are some of the only complete games of chess on a really big board played on The Chess Variant Pages, and are not intended as representative examples of good play.

Game 1
White: John Davis   Black: Georg Spengler
Game Courier 2015[5]

1.i8 k9 2.j7 Bd8 3.Ji4 Wk14 4.k6 j10 5.d5 Nn14 6.Of7 Ba11 7.Ci3 Bxi3 8.hxi3 l10 9.Wk3 Nm12 10.Ba15 Wf14 11.Wd3 g13 12.De1 h12 13.e6 Dn14 14.l5 Wf12 15.Nd2 Jj13 16.m4 Cl15 17.Bp5 f13 18.n7 Nc14 19.Bo6 Bg14 20.Bp7 Bn7 21.Bxj13 Ax13 22.Jl6 Ai12 23.Dm2 0-0 24.De3 Ag14 25.Nf1 i11 26.Dg3 Wh10 27.Ah3 Wj8 28.Ji4 Ne13 29.Wh5 Dc14 30.Dk2 e14 31.Nm2 Ng12 32.Nl4 Oi13 33.Nj5 Dd13 34.Nh6 De12 35.Dg5 Bj11 36.Ne3 Bxf7 37.exf7 Qa9+ 38.Qh2 Qxa5 39.Nc4 Qxd5 40.b3 d13 41.Af4 Qd12 42.Wi6 Ao6 43.Dl3 An4 44.o3 Ao6 45.Ah5 Wi12 46.Rd1 Qc12 47.Rm1 Dn12 48.Ne3 Dn10 49.c4 a9 50.Neg4 Dm9 51.Ni5 l8[a] 52.Nh7 Wl10 53.Kj2 1–0

Game 2
White: sxg   Black: Nick Wolff
Game Courier 2017[6]

1.f8 i9 2.Ci3 Ci14 3.k8 h10 4.Bc10+ g14 5.g8 Qc11 6.Bd9 Cl14 7.Qa8 An9 8.Ok3 Of10 9.Bi4 Axi4 10.Oxi4 Oxa8 11.g9 h9 12.Bm9 j10 13.Jl4 Jm13 14.Jk7 Jl11 15.l8 k11 16.Jxh9 Oc7 17.Jf12 Of4+ 18.Kj1 Qxf8 19.Aa7 Qxm1+ 20.Dl1 Jxm9 21.lxm9 Cl1+ 0–1

Mate is inevitable.

Endgame

The standard basic checkmates (queen, rook, two bishops, or bishop and knight) can all be forced on the 16×16 board, but they take a longer time to accomplish. For example, while bishop and knight can mate within 33 moves from any winnable position on an 8×8 board, it can take up to 93 moves on a 16×16 board. For example, if White has a king on a1, a knight on b1, and a bishop on c1, while Black has only a king on c2, White can force mate in 92:[7]

1.Bb2 Kb3 2.Bi9 Ka4 3.Kb2 Kb5 4.Kc3 Kc6 5.Kd4 Kd7 6.Ke5 Ke8 7.Kf6 Kf8 8.Kg6 Kg8 9.Bg11 Kf9 10.Kh7 Ke10 11.Kg8 Kf11 12.Bi9 Ke10 13.Kh9 Kd11 14.Kg10 Ke10 15.Bg11 Kd9 16.Kf9 Kc10 17.Ke10 Kc11 18.Ke11 Kc12 19.Nd2 Kd13 20.Ne4 Ke14 21.Nf6 Kf13 22.Kf11 Ke14 23.Ke12 Kd15 24.Kd13 Ke16 25.Ke14 Kd16 26.Nd7 Kc16 27.Ne9 Kb15 28.Kd15 Kb14 29.Bf10+ Kb15 30.Nd11 Ka16 31.Nc13 Kb16 32.Kd16 Ka15 33.Kc15 Ka16 34.Kc16 Ka15 35.Na12+ Ka16 36.Nb14 Ka15 37.Nd13 Ka14 38.Nc11 Ka13 39.Bc13 Ka14 40.Kc15 Ka13 41.Kc14 Ka14 42.Bd12 Ka13 43.Na10 Ka12 44.Kc13 Kb11 45.Nb12 Ka12 46.Kc12 Ka13 47.Be11 Ka12 48.Bf12 Ka13 49.Bc15 Ka12 50.Nd11 Ka11 51.Bf12 Ka12 52.Nc13 Ka11 53.Kc11 Ka10 54.Nd11 Ka9 55.Nb10 Kb9 56.Kb11 Ka9 57.Kc10 Ka10 58.Bg13 Ka11 59.Be15 Ka10 60.Nd9 Ka9 61.Bh12 Ka10 62.Nc11+ Ka9 63.Kc9 Ka8 64.Nd9 Kb7 65.Nb8 Ka7 66.Kc8 Ka8 67.Bg11 Ka9 68.Be13+ Ka8 69.Nd7 Ka7 70.Bh10 Ka8 71.Nc9 Ka7 72.Kc7 Ka6 73.Kc6 Ka7 74.Bd6 Ka6 75.Bc5 Ka5 76.Ne8 Ka4 77.Kd5 Kb3 78.Kd4 Kc2 79.Bb4 Kb3 80.Kc5 Ka2 81.Kc4 Kb1 82.Kc3 Kc1 83.Nd6 Kd1 84.Kd3 Kc1 85.Nc4 Kd1 86.Ba5 Kc1 87.Bd2 Kb1 88.Kc3 Ka2 89.Kc2 Ka1 90.Kb3 Kb1 91.Na3+ Ka1 92.Bc3#

A single archbishop, chancellor,[8] WFA,[9] or superknight (but not rose) can also force checkmate. Two FDs on different colours can force checkmate without their king's help.[10]

The endgame of queen versus rook is drawn on the 16×16 board. (In fact, it is generally won only on 5×5 through 15×15 square boards.)[11]

Sub-variants

Golden age chess on a really big board

abcdefghijklmnop
16
a16 black rook
b16 black upside-down knight
c16 black bishop
d16 black fool
e16 black knight
f16 black princess
g16 black upside-down queen
h16 black upside-down rook
i16 black king
j16 black upside-down queen
k16 black princess
l16 black knight
m16 black fool
n16 black bishop
o16 black upside-down knight
p16 black rook
16
15
a15 black pawn
b15 black pawn
c15 black pawn
d15 black pawn
e15 black pawn
f15 black pawn
g15 black pawn
h15 black pawn
i15 black pawn
j15 black pawn
k15 black pawn
l15 black pawn
m15 black pawn
n15 black pawn
o15 black pawn
p15 black pawn
15
14
a14
b14
c14
d14
e14
f14
g14
h14
i14
j14
k14
l14
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a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
d2 white pawn
e2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
i2 white pawn
j2 white pawn
k2 white pawn
l2 white pawn
m2 white pawn
n2 white pawn
o2 white pawn
p2 white pawn
2
1
a1 white rook
b1 white upside-down knight
c1 white bishop
d1 white fool
e1 white knight
f1 white princess
g1 white upside-down queen
h1 white upside-down rook
i1 white king
j1 white upside-down queen
k1 white princess
l1 white knight
m1 white fool
n1 white bishop
o1 white upside-down knight
p1 white rook
1
abcdefghijklmnop
Golden age chess on a really big board: initial position. (Note that the piece shapes in the diagram do not always correspond to their meaning in chess on a really big board.)

Betza also created a second 16×16 variant, which he termed golden age chess on a really big board. He wrote: "This game is designed to create an open position in which development, initiative, and attack are all-important, the positions are too complex to calculate so you must play by intuition, and you never count Pawns -- in other words, a return to the Golden Age!"[3]

The inverted knight in the diagram is the rose from chess on a really big board, and the superknight and archbishop remain the same. The other pieces are as follows:

The shortest possible checkmate is:[3]

1.Wa13 i9 2.Wi13 Ai15 3.Wi12#

The shortest game ending in quadruple check and mate is:[3]

1.Wa3 Np8 2.Wi3 Nxm2 3.Al3 Nk1 4.Bn5 Nxi2 5.Rxi2 i9 6.Rh3 i8 7.Bh5 i7 8.Wi2+ i6 9.Axi6 h14 10.Ad11#

Nine-board chess

Betza also proposed a 24×24 version of chess on a really big board, although he did not fully design it. His description of the game was "Push 9 boards together in a [3×3] square, symmetrically replicate all the unique pieces from the four-board chess lineup, add a W beside the K, two Fs flanking the K [and] W, and you have a game." The W and F are here the wazir and ferz. This description is however not unique: the positions of the roses, superknights, archbishops, chancellors, and queens are not determined, as some of them are equidistant to the king in the four-board chess initial position, and it is not clear if the king should be on the l-file or the m-file. The addition of such weak pieces was intended to balance the duplication of the more powerful pieces.[1]

Four-board Shatranj

Betza also suggested a version with even fewer tactics that would eliminate many of the riders, replacing bishops with alfils and queens with ferzes, turning archbishops into knight-alfil compounds, and turning chancellors into either rook-alfil or rook-ferz compounds.[1]

Rule changes

Betza remarked that the rules of most chess variants, such as cylindrical chess or avalanche chess, could be applied to chess on a really big board; nonetheless, he considered applying the rules of cylindrical chess to the 16×16 board "silly" because it made distances feel even larger, recommending Avalanche chess instead as it shortens the game. Betza also thought favourably of applying the rules of momentum chess to the 16×16 board.[1] Another possibility Betza mentioned is the rules of Viennese Kriegspiel, where the middle of the board (the line between the 8th and 9th ranks) is blocked by a screen and players can move their pieces freely up to their first six ranks. Once both players are satisfied with their arrangement (this can be enforced with a timer), the screen is removed and normal play resumes. It would also be possible to play without the screen, which Betza called "Sighted Viennese Kriegspiel".[1]

A further possibility Betza entertained was a 3D version of chess on a really big board on a 16×16×16 board, which brought its inspiration full circle. On each level, the 2D setup would be repeated, and the pieces' moves would be translated into three dimensions just as in his idea of 8×8×8 3D chess. Nevertheless, he commented on it: "What an awful idea. Each player has 256 Pawns and 256 pieces. The average length of a game is likely to be more [than] 2000 moves."[4]

Different starting positions

Betza also considered starting positions with 16 (one chess set) or 64 (four sets) pieces instead of 32 (two sets), but eventually rejected them. They are as follows:[1]