Are You Ready To Play Star Trek Tri D Chess? 3D Chess Will Blow Your Mind

Since the first appearance of the Star Trek Tri D chess board in The Original Series, fans have been inspired by this 3D chess game. Originally played by Spock and Kirk in the episode Conundrum, the Tri Dientional chess game has been referenced by Doctor Who and The Big Bang Theory.

As Star Trek collectors items go, The Franklin Mint Tri-Dimensional Chess Set is the ultimate trophy. If you love Star Trek, you will be thrilled to display your own 3D chess board replicating the famous scenes from the Original Series.

What Is 3 Dimensional Chess?

3 Dimensional Chess is a variant of the common chess board game. In the 23rd and 24th centuries 3D chess had become a popular pastime amongst crew members of space ships including the USS Enterprise.

The movement of pieces is similar to 2D chess but the game is played on multiple levels.

As in traditional 2D chess, the objective is to capture the king of the opponent player. Overlapping levels of play mean that a piece can land on any level within their move.

What Does A 3D Chess Board Look Like?

The Star Trek Tri D chess board is one variant of the idea of 3D chess. There are several other designs for a 3D chess board available with their own rules of play.

The Star Trek Tri Dimensional chess board is created from three main boards of play with four attack boards. The attack boards are movable areas which are controlled by the player that owns the attack board.

Another variant of the 3D chess idea is Strato Chess which does not incorporate the movable attack boards of the Star Trek design.

Price: £54.13

Star Trek 3D Chess

Star Trek 3D Chess was featured in The Original Series and was also continued to be played in The Next Generation and Deep Space 9. Franklin Mint produced 2 versions of the tri dimensional chess board. One based on the Original Series board with attack boards. The second was a replica of the six board version featured Next Generation episodes.

Is Tri Dimensional Chess In Star Trek?

Captain Kirk and Spock are seen playing Tri Dimensional chess in a number of Star Trek episodes. The original Star Trek 3D chess board was simply a prop and there was no rules available for the game up until 1976. It was a Star Trek fan who made the 3D chess set and then developed a rule book for how to play the game.

spok playing tri dimentional chess in Star Trek TOS
Spock plays Tridimensional Chess in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode, “Court Martial” Screenshot by Eric Grundhauser

The 3d Chess set was featured in the following episodes of Star Trek: The original Series.

Charlie X: The Classic chess set designed by Peter Ganine was used in this episode. The pieces visible include the Queen, Pawns, Bishop and Rook. The King is partly out of shot.

By Any Other Name: We see more pieces from the Classic set including the King.

Where No Man Has gone before: This chess set uses different pieces than the previous episodes. The episode may have actually been shot before the previous, as this was intended as a pilot episode. So the cast may not have began using the Classic Ganine set yet.

Court Martial: Once again the Classic set was used in Court Martial.

Tridimensional Chess was also played by Data and Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Conundrum: The chess set used in the Next Generation episodes is of a completely new design to the Original Series.

Unnatural Selection: Three dimensional chess was played by genetically enhanced children using telekinetic abilities.

A Tri Dimensional Chess Set was also kept in the quarters of Commander Benjamin Sisco while on board Deep Space 9.

What Is A Multi Level Chess Set?

The three dimensional chess board is created from seven levels. These are positioned like a staircase where black squares overlap black squares and white squares overlap white squares.

The multi level chess set consists of three 4×4 levels and four 2×2 levels. The 4×4 levels are in a fixed position while the 2×2 levels are able to be moved by the players.

When playing the game, a player can move a piece or choose to move one of the movable levels to a new position. These are know as attack boards.

I want to build a multi level chess set

If you would like to make a multi level chess set, watch this video: Odin Makes a Tri Dimensional Chess from Star Trek.

You can also find a guide to building a 3D chess set based on the Star Trek design here. Build your own Star Trek Tri D Chess set.

What Is The Franklin Mint Star Trek Chess Set?

The Franklin Mint Star Trek Chess Set was created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Star Trek: The Original Series. The Tri-Dimensional Chess Set was developed to emulate the board as seen being played by Captain Kirk and Spock.

The set includes 32 pieces which are coated in either 24 karat gold or sterling silver. The board consists of three main levels of play with four attack boards which are movable. This fantastic 3D chess set comes with a collectible booklet featuring the game rules and the history of the game.

The Franklin Mint Tri-Dimensional Chess Set is a must for all Star Trek fans. This impressive collectors item will look stunning as the feature piece of any sci fi fan home. The assembled board measures 14” high. The boards measure 4.25 x 4.25” and 2.13x 2.13”.

Star Trek Tri Dimensional chess set on ebay2
Buy your own Tri Dimensional Chess Set. Click the image to check out offers on Ebay.

There are many sets for sale or auction at Ebay. You will also be able to locate additional chess piece sets.

What other Star Trek Chess Sets are available

If you love Star Trek but are not prepared to learn to play tri D chess, then you can also get hold of Star Trek the Next Generation Chess Set. These beautifully crafted pieces allow you to play 2D chess using the characters from TNG TV show.

Star Trek 25th Anniversary Chess Set

The 25th Anniversary chess set was created by Franklin Mint in 1991 to celebrate the original series. The pieces are themed on characters from the Original Series available in gold and silver.

The pieces are 24-Karat gold plated or sterling silver plated. They are fixed on crystal hexagonal bases.

The gold pieces are:

  • King: Captain James T. Kirk
  • Queen: Lt. Uhura
  • Bishops: Commander Spock and Dr. Leonard McCoy
  • Knights: Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery Scott and Lt. Hikaru Sulu
  • Rooks: The USS Enterprise
  • Pawns: Starfleet Security Officers

The Silver Pieces are:

  • King: Khan Noonien Singh
  • Queen: The Romulan Commander
  • Bishops: A Vian and the Gorgan
  • Knights: Romulan Officer and Gorn Commander
  • Rooks: Klingon D7-class Cruiser
  • Pawns: Klingon Foot Soldiers

This beautiful collectors chess set is perfect for fans of the original Star Trek TV show.

Star Trek 25th Anniversary Chess Set
Buy your own Star Trek 25th Anniversary Chess Set. Click the link to find offers on Ebay

The Star Trek Chess Pieces

The pieces used in the original series were designed by chess piece designer Peter Ganine. These are known as the Classic set. Other piece sets used include Gothic and Conquerer. Of all the sets designed by Peter Gaine, the Classic set is the rarest.

The pieces used in the original series were designed by chess piece designer Peter Ganine. These are known as the Classic set. Other piece sets used include Gothic and Conquerer. Of all the sets designed by Peter Gaine, the Classic set is the rarest.

You can search ebay for Peter Ganine chess sets to seek out a rare collection of the Classic set as used in the Star Trek series.

Peter Ganine Chess Set on Ebay
You can search Ebay for Peter Ganine chess sets to seek out a rare collection of the Classic set as used in the Star Trek series.

Playing 3 Dimensional Chess

The first person to develop a rule book for playing Star Trek Tri D chess was a fan named Andrew Bartmess. Bartmess first discoverd a manual for how to build the chess set in a 1976 publication the Starfleet Technical Reference Manual.

Upon building his 3D chess board, Bartmess was disapointed that there was no rules provided for the game. He contacted the authour of the Starfleet Technical Reference Manual Franz Joseph Schnaubelt. Schnaubelt encouraged Bartmess to write his own manual which he produced and sells from his website.

What are the Rules Of 3D Chess?

In 1976 Ballentine books published TOS Starfleet Technical Manual. The manual was used by Andrew Bartmess to build his own Tri D chess set based on the TV show prop. But one vital part of the game as missing, the rule booklet.

Click here to get your copy of the Andrew Bartmess Rules for Star Trek 3d Chess.

Bartmess set about reverse engineering the 1960s prop piece so that he could create his own instruction manual to lay out the rules of 3D chess. Since then, thousands of Star Trek chess fans have downloaded the manual from Bartmess’s website.

Some have noticed ambiguities within the Bartmess rules of play and sought to update these ideas.

How To Play Tridimensional Chess

The best way to view the tridimensional chess board is by putting it on the floor and viewing it from above. From this perspective you can imagine moving the pieced in the same way that a 2D chess piece will move.

Where the boards overlap, a piece can land on the appropriate square but on any level. This is the main important feature that differentiates regular chess from 3D chess.

The other major update is the use of attack boards. these are levels of play which can be moved to other areas of the board as alternative routes into other areas of the game.

Read more about the rules of tridimentional hess here.

Tournament Rules For Three-dimensional Chess

Once you have got your head around playing chess in multiple dimensions, you will want to find worthy opponents. Below is a link to the tournament rules for three dimensional chess so that you can prepare to do battle with the best 3D chess champion, whether they be Vulcan or Romulan.

Check out the tournament rules for three dimensional chess.

Are You Ready to Play Star Trek Tri D Chess? You Can Buy 3D Chess On Amazon

You will find the Franklin mint tri dimensional chess sets for sale on Amazon from various sellers.

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Another place to try and locate this highly collectible chess set is on Ebay. Follow this link to view current auctions.

ebay link to Star Trek Tri D Chess sets
ebay link to buy Star Trek Tri D Chess sets


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