3 Man Chess runs rings around the classic game

Chess between two people is tricky enough, but add a third player and the classic board game takes on a whole new – circular – dimension. 3 Man Chess takes the original pieces, moves and rules of chess and throws in a third, gray set of pieces and transfers play to a round board: despite the extra manpower and the unusual shape, all of the core tenets actually stay the same.

Six concentric ranks of 24 squares are arrayed around an empty "no man's land" and pieces move as normal, though there are "moats" between the rooks to prevent them from taking each other on the very first turn. The full set of slightly modified rules can be found here.

The curved lines overlaid onto the board are, in fact, trajectory lines to help you figure out how pieces move diagonally; because of the shape of the board, pieces like bishops can in fact circle all the way around and back to their origin point, assuming the path is clear. You can buy 3 Man Chess for $39.95 plus shipping.

Of course, what it doesn't have is the catapults, gorillas, time machines and popes – among other things – of the Big Bang Theory's own esoteric take on what chess for a trio might look like.

[via Joseph Lee]