is the three-player version of . Each of the three players commands identical forces comprised of a team of specialized chess pieces: the king; the queen; two rooks; two knights; three bishops; and four pawns. The players take turns in a clockwise direction, moving one piece per turn. White makes the opening move, followed by Black, then Red.

drawing of 4P3 board with pieces set up


The object of the game is to trap both opponents' kings in such a way that they are under threat (check) and unable to escape (checkmate).


There are two main considerations in a winning chess strategy. These are: material (your pieces) and position (how they are distributed). It is possible to have an advantage in material but a disadvatage in position, or vice versa. A material advantage is gained by capturing your opponents' pieces, or by sacrificing lower value pieces for higher. (See chart below for piece values.)

Note the king has no designated value because it cannot be captured. The pawn has no letter-symbol because when writing down a pawn move, it is identified by its location. (See notation.)

Note also that the bishop has lost one point in value compared to square chess. But you get three of them, and three bishops are equal to two square-chess bishops!

chart showing pieces per player and their material value

*Pawns in have gained a bit more mobility than the other pieces, and would be more accurately valued at 1.17. While all the other pieces have gained 50% in mobility over their square-chess counterparts (from 8 directions to 12 for the king, queen and knights; and from 4 directions to 6 for the rooks and bishops), the pawn, when you include its capture directions has gained 67% (from 3 directions to 5).