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This page is written by the game's inventor, Gary Gifford.

Split Phase Tri-Plane

{IMAGE to be added - PENDING FILE UPLOAD BUG FIX} PRE-SET Link added...

The game of Split Phase Tri-Plane came to me while I was driving at 60 mph in heavy 3-lane traffic and bright sunlight created an uncomfortable greenhouse affect within the car.  The game is related to chess and Shogi.

A pre-set link for now is:

However; the pre-set has no hold cells at present so players would need to manually keep track of those.


As in the above figure [PENDING THE RETURN OF FILE-UPLOAD ABILITY].  The game requires three 8 x 8 boards which we will call A, B and C.  Boards B and C each have a piece hold-area for storing captured pieces [turned to your color] from Board A.  From these holds the captured pawns and pieces be dropped onto the associated Board B or C.

Board A – Is set up like a Fide Board but each King is replaced with a Split-Phase.  A Split-Phase moves like a King (including the ability to castle).  But it does not experience check or mate.  It can be captured.  Otherwise Board A functions under Fide rules.  Pawns (on Board A only) can promote to any piece except a Split-Phase.

Initially Boards B and C are empty except for Kings on their traditional squares.


See Rules.  Also note that piece captured on "Board A" split as follows:
Pawn – Splits into 2 pawns
Rook – Splits into a Wazir and a War Machine (movements given below)
Knight – Splits into 2 Knights
Bishop -  Splits into a Ferz and an Elephant (movements given below)
Queen – Splits into a Bishop and a Rook
Split-Phase -  Splits into 2 Queens.


P  :  P / P
R  :  W / WM
N  :  N / N
B  :  F / E
Q  :  R / B
SP :  Q / Q

Special Piece Movements:
Wazir - Horizontal or Vertical, 1 space
Ferz  - Diagonal, 1 space
War Machine - Jumps over one space, horizontal or vertical.  Captures by displacement, not the jump-over.
Elephant - Jumps ove one space diagonally. Captures by displacement, not the jump over.


Object of the Game: Win by checkmating a King on either "Board B" or on "Board C" (not both).  Note that "Board A" has no King. A Stalemate on Board B or C is an instant draw, as is perpetual check.  If a player looses all pieces and pawns on Board A, or cannot move on Board A (for example, has a blocked pawn) then play on Board A stops;  HOWEVER, play continues on Boards B and C until a Win or Draw condition occurs.

How to Play.

Each turn has 3 steps per player, conducted in this order.

1) Move on Board A
If you capture a pawn or piece – put one split component in your Hold B, put the other split component in the your Hold for Board C.
2) Move on Board B; or drop a piece (or pawn) on Board B
3) Move on Board C; or drop a piece (or pawn) on Board C

Movement on Board A is as in Fide with the Split-Phase piece replacing the King.  The Split-Phase is allowed to castle.  He can even castle through check because he is immune to check.

*** When a piece or pawn is captured on Board A, the unit splits and changes colors (see pieces). 1 piece goes into Hold B; one goes into Hold C.  Pawns split into 2 pawns. Pawns in B and C Holds can be dropped on any free space except the last rank.  For Boards B and C only, pawns [Upon reaching the last rank]turn into DeadWood.  DeadWood cannot move and cannot be captured.  For DeadWood in the pre-set you can use the block pieces (BL for White and bl for Black).


*** When a piece or pawn is captured on Board B it leaves the game.

*** When a piece or pawn is captured on Board C it leaves the game.



The game to a large degree is about imbalances on three boards.  All 3 boards start out well-balanced… but captures on Board A will lead to unequal power distributions on the other 2 boards.  It is those other 2 boards upon which checkmate, stalemate, or perpetual check can occur, thus leading to victory, defeat, or a draw.

(c) August 2006 by Gary K. Gifford

This 'user submitted' page is a collaboration between the posting user and the Chess Variant Pages. Registered contributors to the Chess Variant Pages have the ability to post their own works, subject to review and editing by the Chess Variant Pages Editorial Staff.

By Gary K. Gifford.
Web page created: 2006-08-26. Web page last updated: 2006-08-26