How to play Space Chess

Learn the rules to the chess variant Space Chess quickly and concisely – This video has no distractions, just the rules. For a refresher of the original rules of Chess, check out this video:

Don’t own the game? Buy it here:

The rules are the same as regular chess except for these changes. Layout the board with each level oriented so the board notations line up on top of each other. Setup the black pieces on board “A” and the white pieces on board “C”.

On each piece’s first move of the game, that piece must transfer to the same relative space on the next adjoining level, up one level for white and down 1 level for black, at the end of the move, with the following exceptions: 1. The destination space on the next level must be vacant, if it is blocked then the piece doesn’t change levels. 2. The king has the option of staying on its current level if you want, and if you castle you can choose to keep the rook and king on the same level or move both of them to the next level. the king and rook must stay together, you may not change levels for just one of them. 3. If your king is in check, then you may use a piece’s first move and remain on the same level if it stops the threat. 4. If a piece’s first move lands on a star space, that piece may move 2 levels instead of one if you want.

After a piece’s first move, the only way for it to change levels is by ending a turn on a star square. If it does, it can move to the same relative vacant star square on either level if you want, it doesn’t matter if a piece is in between. Pieces may only move between levels after their normal move is complete, they may not change levels before moving is starting the turn on a start or king space. Pieces may only capture enemy pieces that start the move on the same level. You may not capture across levels. If you capture a piece on a star space, then after the capture you may move levels if you want.

The king square is a special square that allows either king to move exactly one level up or down to the same relative location, if that square is vacant, if you want. The king is allowed to move to an adjacent king square and change levels to escape check or checkmate. The king cannot move to a start or king square that is threatened, even if the space on another level is safe. Likewise, a king cannot travel to another level if the destination space is threatened.

Pawns promote like normal when they reach the opposite side of any board level. En passant is allowed like normal even if the pawn being captured changed levels at the end of its move. The frame holding up the board does not block or impede movement. The first player to checkmate their opponent, wins!


  1. Is your explanation of exception #3 at 0:58 incorrect? My printed rules state: "A piece or pawn may remain in the Original Level for its first move if your King is in Check and you can prevent Checkmate ONLY by using that piece to capture the one giving Check or to interpose between the checking piece and your King." In your example, you can move the king to D1, E2, or F1 to avoid checkmate. If I'm interpreting the rules correctly, the move you demonstrated is not legal.

  2. I just not play any of this varieties they are very expensive

  3. The rules are the same as Strato Chess, except for these changes.

  4. Concise and in accordance with other written versions I have seen. Nice to see it in action, though. Thanks.

  5. It makes me so happy whenever i see him make a new video!

  6. Индийский Геймер Прадьюмн says:


  7. I prefer the 3D variants where the support is to the side. This pillar in the middle is just a touch too awkward.

  8. I said it before but I'm really tired of chess variations that disallow doing literally anything interesting with the king. What's the point of having a special king teleporter if it can be blocked just as easily as any other square?

  9. The move on 2:01 contradicts the rule on 2:08. The queen is threatening that king square. Is it ok if the king is already in check?

  10. I don't know if this is just me being too mentally tired right now, but this sounds too complicated…

  11. Black pawn : I "en passant" you
    White pawn : nope… I'm above you
    Black pawn : *flies to the same square as white pawn and kill him
    Also black pawn : move down level on the same turn

  12. Wait? it is not are 3d Chess version 0.2 ?

  13. I bet it's been fun to find all of these weird, old "We're The Next Future Chess" variants that got released. >w<

  14. What if there's an enemy rook on H1, and your king is at G1? Can you go to the king space on F1 to escape the check? (When you start a move, the king space isn't "in check", so according to your explanation it should be legal?)

  15. Why not feature "The Game of the Generals" board game in your "Chess Variants" playlist? That game was invented in the Philippines by Sofronio Pasola Jr. in 1970. It combines the strategy of chess and the secrecy of poker. It is probably the only board game that requires a neutral arbiter that stands between two players.

  16. Why can't you take pieces across levels? That would be so cool

  17. Uno has released Uno Party, 6-16 players! Please do that one when you’re done with chess.

  18. Okay, that's creepy. I joked with friend about 4D chess yesterday and today I got this video recommended. Probably just a coincidence, but still.

  19. But seriously, how many of those chess variations are there?

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