Quadrochess Rules and Description

Quadrochess is a team game for four persons, each team consisting of two players. Two or three players could play the game as well without any change of the rules.

Despite the four players, the rules in Quadrochess are preserved almost unchanged compared to chess rules. This fact makes easy the introduction to the game of persons already skilful at chess. Nevertheless, the team nature of the game, the double-move sequence, the board shape, as well as a few new rules make Quadrochess not simply a chess variant, but rather a new game of complex strategy and with a possibility of conducting various new tactical operations with a major influence of the partners interaction.

Game Board

The game board consists of white and black squares arranged in a chess-board order thus forming a rectangular board of 9 rows (ranks) by 16 squares each. The first square of the first rank is black, the next square on the rank is white and the other squares alternating in such a black-white manner up to the end of the rank. The second rank begins with a white square, the third one - with a black square and so on. This game board may be arranged by the adjoining of two ordinary chessboards side by side and adding after the eighth rank, a new one, identical to the first rank. In such a way two zones of the board can be distinguished: zone A - the squares located on the first up to eighth files (columns), and zone B - the squares of the ninth up to sixteenth files.

It should be mentioned that the addition of a ninth rank makes the Quadrochess board asymmetric to its centre, unlike the chessboard. This means, that if it's turned around by 180 degrees the new position won't be identical to the initial one (i.e. the chessmen initial position has only one proper side of the board to be build on, the side being dependant of the set's colour). The two differing sides of the board may be differentiated by the corner squares - the end squares of the first file (file A) are of black colour, while those of the sixteenth file (file P) - of white colour. This could help in determining the zone locations. Zone A is the board half with the two black corner squares, while zone B resides on the opposite side - with the two white corner squares.

Chessmen and Their Initial Position

Two sets of chessmen take part in the game - one set for each of the zones. The chessmen initial position in each zone is as in chess - the whites reside on the 1 and 2 ranks. The pieces occupy the first rank (the back rank) and are set in the usual order - rook, knight, bishop, etc. The pawns are located in front of them. The black chessmen are set similarly on 8-th and 9-th ranks. The only difference compared to chess initial position refers to zone A, where the kings and the queens occupy reverse positions - the kings are situated on the fourth (D) file, while the queens - on the fifth (E) one. Thus a symmetry of the chessmen position is achieved as to the borderline between the two zones.

The lack of board symmetry to its centre makes the initial positions of the whites and the blacks dependant on board orientation. There is an easy to remember rule concerning its orientation, which states that board right corners squares are white for the whites and black for the blacks.

The Goal of the Game

Just like chess the Quadrochess game ends by a victory of either the whites or blacks or by draw. To win, the team must capture one of the opponents' kings. In other words, the checkmate rule does not apply; instead the king has to be removed off the board according to the rules, applied in capturing the other types of chessmen. Draw is achieved as is in chess. To achieve stalemate, however, is impossible, because of the specific rules applied for the king movement (see below).

Rules for Chessmen Movement and Capture

The rules for chessmen movement and capture, for pawn promotion at the edge rank, the en-passan rule, etc. are quite the same as those in chess. There are, however, a few but essential differences. As the board has two zones, each player of the team controls only the pieces located in his own zone. The chessmen may capture or be moved in either zone. The partner takes control over the chessmen transferred across the border to his zone. (The zone border lies between 8-th and 9-th, i.e. H and I, files.

Compared to chess, the king in Quadrochess is the only piece that has different rules for movement and capture. The specific rules are described below.

  • The king, unlike all the other chessmen, is not allowed to leave its zone. Thus, in the course of the whole game, there is only one white and one black king in each zone.
  • Another rule that makes Quadrochess king substantially different from the one in chess is that it can capture chessmen on and move through attacked squares.
  • As a consequence of the previous rule, castling may be fulfilled even when the king is currently checked and regardless of the presence of attacked squares in its castling area. All other restrictions for castling are valid as in chess. (To mention anyway, that only rooks from the corresponding king's zone may castle.)

Move Sequence

The players make subsequent single moves in the clockwise direction.

The play starts by a move of the whites in zone A. A move of the blacks follows in the same zone, then comes a new move of the blacks in zone B and the first round ends by a move of the whites in zone B. So the play proceeds by accomplishing a sequence of double-moves - two consecutive moves by the one team, followed by two consecutive moves of the other one.

An important Quadrochess rule is that a chessman may not be moved twice in the course of a single double-move. In other words, if, in the first of the two moves, a player gives the control of a chessman to his teammate by transferring it to the other zone, it is not allowed to use the same chessman to accomplish the second of the two moves.

Some Additional Regulations

As in most of the team games of this type, the discussion between the partners or the opponents may occasionally induce significant impact on the game progress. In view of this impact the players have to adhere to the "rule of silence", so no one of them should be allowed to exchange information in the course of the whole game. This rule, of course, may not be abided by if all the players wish to be so.