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3rd Millennium Chess Rules



3rd Millennium Chess is a game played between two opponents on opposite sides of a board containing squares of alternating colors or patterns. Each player has 26 pieces: 1 king, 1 queen, 2 rooks, 2 bishops, 2 double sided knights (4 Knights), and 16 pawns. The goal of the game is to checkmate your opponent’s king. Checkmate happens when the king is in a position to be captured (in check) and cannot escape from capture.


Starting a Game

At the beginning of the game the chessboard is set up so that each player has the light color square of their King line on their right-hand side. The chess pieces are then arranged the same way each time. The King line is divided into 1/3rds distinguishing it as the beginning and end for pawn promotion. The rooks go on the ends of the king line, then the double sided knights next to them, followed by the bishops, and finally the queen, who always goes on her own matching color (light queen on light square, dark queen on dark square), and the king on the remaining square. The pawns are now on both sides of the King line, just as in Chess the pawns can never move towards their own King line only towards the opposing King line.

The player with the light colored pieces always moves first. Therefore, players generally decide who will get to be the light set by chance or luck such as flipping a coin or having one player guess the color of the hidden pawn in the other player's hand. The player who controls the light set of pieces then makes a move, followed by the player with the dark set, then light again, then dark again and so on until the end of the game.


How the Chess Pieces Move

Each of the 6 different kinds of pieces moves differently. Pieces cannot move through other pieces (though the knight can jump over other pieces), and can never move onto a square with one of their own pieces (excluding the double sided Knight which can either be one or 2 entities allowing them to move as one unit or split and become 2 separate entities.) However, they can be moved to take the place of an opponent's piece which is then captured. Pieces are generally moved into positions where they can capture other pieces (by landing on their square and then replacing them), defending their own pieces in case of capture, or to control important squares in the game.


The King

The king is the most important piece, but is one of the weakest. The king can only move one square in any direction - up, down, to the sides, and diagonally. The king may never move himself into check (where he could be captured).  The King can move on either side of the King line along with the Queen, Bishops, Knights and Rooks.


The Queen

The queen is the most powerful piece. If moved she can move in any one straight direction - forward, backward, sideways, or diagonally - as far as possible on both sides of the King line as long as she does not move through any of her own pieces. And, like with all pieces, if the queen captures an opponent's piece her move is over.


The Rook

The rook may move as far as it wants, but only forward or backward of the King line and to the sides. The rooks are particularly powerful pieces when they are protecting each other and working together!


The Bishop

The bishop may move as far as it wants, but only diagonally. Each bishop starts on one color (light or dark) and must always stay on that color. Bishops work well together because they cover up each other’s weaknesses.


The 3rd Millennium Chess (3mchess) Knight

Knights move in a very different way from the other pieces – going two squares in one direction, and then one more move at a 90 degree angle; or one square in one direction, and then 2 more squares at a 90 degree angle, just like the shape of an “L”. Knights are also the only pieces that can move over other pieces.  The 3MChess Knight is split into 2 parts, they can either move in tandem as one unit or they can split and become 2 units that protect each other from the split, once a knight is split it can reattach to any other split piece of any other knight of the same color as long as the other half is within the movements described above. 


The Pawn

Pawns are unusual because they move and capture in different ways; they move forward, but capture diagonally. Pawns can only move forward towards the opposing King line, one square at a time, except for their very first move where they can move forward two squares. Pawns can only capture one square diagonally in front of them. They can never move or capture backwards. If there is another piece directly in front of a pawn he cannot move past or capture that piece.


Other Moves



Pawns have another special ability and that is that if a pawn reaches the opposing King line of the board it can become any other chess piece (called promotion). A pawn may be promoted to any piece. [NOTE: A common misconception is that pawns may only be exchanged for a piece that has been captured. That is NOT true.] A pawn is usually promoted to a queen. Only pawns may be promoted.


En Passant

The last rule about pawns is called “en passant,” which is French and basically means “in passing”. If a pawn moves out two squares on its first move, and by doing so lands to the side of an opponent’s pawn (effectively jumping past the other pawn’s ability to capture it), that other pawn has the option of capturing the first pawn as it passes by. This special move must be done immediately after the first pawn has moved past the opposing piece, otherwise the option to capture it is no longer available.



One other special rule is called castling. This move allows you to do two important things all in one move: get your king to safety (hopefully), and get your rook out of the corner and into the game. On a player’s turn he may move his king two squares over to one side and then move the rook from that side’s corner to right next to the king on the opposite side. (See the example below.) In order to castle, however, it must meet the following conditions:

  • It must be that king’s very first move

  • There cannot be any pieces between the king and rook to move

  • The king may not be in check or pass through check

Notice that when you castle one direction the king is closer to the side of the board. That is called kingside. Castling to the other side, through where the queen sat, is called castling queenside. Regardless of which side, the king always moves only two squares when castling.


Check and Checkmate

As stated before, the purpose of the game is to checkmate the opponent’s king. This happens when the king is put into check and cannot get out of check. There are only three ways a king can get out of check: move out of the way (though he cannot castle!), block the check with another piece, or capture the piece threatening the king. If a king cannot escape checkmate then the game is over. Customarily the king is not captured or removed from the board, the game is simply declared over.


Occasionally chess games do not end with a winner, but with a draw. There are 5 reasons why a chess game may end in a draw:

  • The position reaches a stalemate where it is one player’s turn to move, but his king is NOT in check and yet he does not have another legal move

  • The players may simply agree to a draw and stop playing

  • There are not enough pieces on the board to force a checkmate (example: a king and a bishop vs. a king)

  • A player declares a draw if the same exact position is repeated three times (though not necessarily three times in a row)

  • Fifty consecutive moves have been played where neither player has moved a pawn or captured a piece.



Basic Strategy


There are four simple things that every chess player should know:

  • Protect your king

  • Don’t put off castling. You should usually castle as quickly as possible. Remember, it doesn’t matter how close you are to checkmating your opponent if your own king is checkmated first!

  • Don’t give pieces away

  • Don’t carelessly lose your pieces! Each piece is valuable and you can’t win a game without pieces to checkmate. There is an easy system that most players use to keep track of the relative value of each chess piece:







KING IS INFINITELY INVALUABLE                        


  • At the end of the game these points don’t mean anything – it is simply a system you can use to make decisions while playing, helping you know when to capture, exchange, or make other moves.

  • Control the center

  • You should try and control the centers (between each king line) of the board with your pieces and pawns. If you control the centers, you will have more room to move your pieces and will make it harder for your opponent to find good squares for his pieces.

  • Use all of your pieces


Your pieces don’t do any good when they are sitting back on the King line. Try and develop all of your pieces so that you have more to use when you attack the king. Using one or two pieces to attack will not work against any decent opponent.

Getting Better at 3rd Millennium Chess

Knowing the rules and basic strategies is only the beginning - there is so much to learn in chess that you can never learn it all in a lifetime! To improve you need to do three things:


  • Play

  • Just keep playing! Play as much as possible. You should learn from each game – those you win and those you lose.

  • Study

  • If you really want to improve quickly then pick up a [recommended chess book]. There are also many resources online to help you study and improve.

  • Have fun!!

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