Customer Reviews: 3 Man Chess
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on May 14, 2014
From my review:

In my opinion, people who love the game of chess TEND to be chess-purists for whom tinkering with the system they have spent so much effort to master occurs as a reduction of the advantages they have fought to hold. However, I can heartily recommend this variation to you if you fall into any of the following 3 categories: 1.) You enjoy chess and are open to new ways of playing. 2.) You have already played other chess variants and enjoyed them. 3.) You know how the pieces move but want to even the playing field against players with more chess skill than you.

I'm not sure this game is well suited to players who don't have a ready familiarity with classical chess. I have found 3MC to be more open-ended and nebulous in its tactical and strategic options, and a player without much chess experience might well be overwhelmed.

The game has been well thought-out and the rules sheet (1 page, front and back!) has proven to be functionally inclusive of any and all situations I have encountered thus far in play, despite a slightly awkward presentation; it's as if you were looking at the designer's notes, unedited. The rules concerning the "moats" between opposing players' rooks are particularly crucial and a bit tricky- make sure you understand them comprehensively.

Don't underestimate how much different a round chess board is from a square one! The realized concepts of the void in the center of the board and the curving paths along the diagonals are extraordinarily innovative! Likewise, the fact that the rows of squares have become RINGS creates an extremely compelling departure from familiar chess. The lines denoting these curving paths will undoubtedly cause some peering which could strain the eyes a bit, but I'm not sure how they could be improved upon; if they were made brighter and more distinct from one another they would very likely create a much more distracting and confusing mess of the board's overall appearance.

The game is a bit broken in a limited sense. Simply put, if two of the players consistently work in tandem to defeat a third player, no amount of skill can likely prevent that player's defeat. However, the same can be said of ANY "cutthroat" game I can think of playing. In games of 3 Man Chess, temporary and momentary alliances form and shift which makes for very dynamic play, but there never seems to be an impulse for it to become entirely 2 against 1.

It could be considered a drawback that the player count must always be exactly 3. Also, one of the players will frequently have to wait while the remaining two finish. Overall, though, I have found the merits of this chess variant easily outweigh its shortcomings.

Lastly, I do think the price is a bit high for the components, but the board IS pretty cool and I have enjoyed it beyond my money's worth regardless. I wish it were named differently, because my opponents have often been women. :)
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on December 29, 2012
My 14 year old step son received this for Christmas. He is an avid chess player and somewhat hard to buy for because he already has about everything. Even he was impressed by how unique this game is and the new twist it puts on the classic game.
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on October 2, 2012
3 Man Chess is great fun. The pieces and board look very good, and seem to be durable. The rules require a little time to understand, but they make perfect sense once you start playing, and after a couple of games you get the hang of it with no problems.
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on January 19, 2015
I bought this as a gift for an incredibly intelligent guy who finds just about everything too boring to be believed. His hobby is to teach youngsters how to play chess, so I thought he could use this with the two oldest of the youngsters to get to both of them at the same time. Wow. This was the hit of the Christmas Eve festivities! With the adults! Chess tourneys all through the night...for the next few days, he brought this set with him to play with his peers...never mind the kids. He tried (repeatedly) to explain to me why this game is so vastly superior to the "3-D" Trekkie Chess that was the rage a few years ago. Most of it went over my head but I did understand that this is an extremely well though-out game, the rules are clear. The pieces move in new ways that initially are unpredictable and enhances enjoyment of the game. So...yup...this was well worth the purchase.
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on September 19, 2015
Awesome derivative on the Classic game. I have not purchased this game yet, but likely will, just having played it with my friends, and all I can say is wow, well done. There are two major differences in my mind that really stretch you upon first introduction. (1) being able to follow diagonals which are actually arcs through the center circle, which give the bishop additional power beyond the Knight and takes some getting used to, but it is a fun new aspect, and (2) not being able to move on the next move because there are 3 players, this one is hard because your classic moves rely on move counter move, move, counter move, but you need to wait for two moves, so this creates all types of complexities and conundrums not experienced in normal chess, but certainly a cool worthwhile addition of complexity.

Sometimes people change the game and it is just more complex, but not really in a better way, I really think this, for all the added complexity, is fun and new and worth the effort, as well the board has a cool look, even if I do not like the color green which I find too hard to see; and I sort of suspect a non folding board would have been acceptable and less complex.

The directions are not great, and leave some things to be desired, but understand you are able to change the rules to fit your needs, I still found it well thought out and worthy. Anyone who enjoys chess and wants a cool variant that definitely is quite an extension to the classic game, highly recommended!

All and All
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on April 19, 2015
I've only played a few games so far, but with the way one can mobilize pieces, you're never truly safe. The pieces are formed plastic and the board is made out of thick plastic type material that folds into​ thirds. The only complaint I have that kept me from giving five stars is that the printing on the board is off-center, resulting in this blank white crescent moon looking semicircle on the perimeter(see picture). It's purely cosmetic. I highly recommend it, even if it's nothing more than a conversation piece.
review image
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on February 9, 2013
I bought this for my students on a whim, and boy am I satisfied. This game is great, with lots of surprising angles and intricacies.
I love to play this against my unsuspecting students. You can't go wrong. The board is a bit delicate however, so be careful with it.
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on January 17, 2015
With only three of us in a family of chess lovers we wondered if there was a way to play chess three ways, and we found it! It is more challenging than regular chess because you have to watch two opponents instead of only one. It is a very fun and challenging game.
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on September 22, 2014
It's an interesting take on chess. We found that some of the rules were a little confusing, but overall the game struck us as a creative and interesting twist. The board is attractive and the pieces are of decent size and construction.
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on November 29, 2013
Takes longer to set than explain! If you know tthe rules of chess you are set. Requires a defensive mindset though.
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