I learned how to play chess in high school. Tandem chess is a chess game which is much faster and has more action. It's fun, easy, and can be addictive. Other names for tandem chess are Bugout or Four Player Chess.
Here's how to play Tandem chess. I include pictures of two chess sets. There is a Q&A to answer questions most likely asked. I assume those learning how to play Tandem chess know how to play regular chess. Click Printer Friendly for a printer friendly and easier to read version.
First, a preview on what makes Tandem chess fun.
Castling, Pawn Promotion, Checkmate, and En Passant are valid rules for Tandem chess. There are a few revised regular chess rules.
What are the slightly revised rules?
Here are the new rules
Let's start playing. Play your side of the chess board as if it's regular chess. Remember, any pieces you capture goes to your teammate and any pieces your teammate captures goes to you.
What do I mean "placing a piece?"
Placing a piece is taking a chess piece which was given from your teammate and putting the piece on your chess board. For example, as White on the left side and looking at the two pictures below, I have two Pawns, a Bishop, and a Knight. On my turn, I want to attempt to Pawn promote to a Pawn-Queen. So I "place a Pawn" or put a Pawn on b7 making the Pawn active in play and my turn ends.
Does all the chess pieces maintain their moves and ability to capture?
Yes. There are no modifications to the chess pieces' moves. The Bishop captures and moves diagonally. The King captures and moves one square in any direction. And so on . . .
What are some of the illegal moves which loses the game for the player?
Placing a piece which checks the opponent's king, castling such that the king is checked, capturing a piece illegally, moving a piece illegally, placing a piece illegally, and skipping a turn. The picture below shows a Knight I placed on my turn on h6 which checks my opponents' King which is an illegal move. The game is over and I lose.
Where can I place pawns?
Pawns can be placed anywhere from the second rank to the seventh rank. Pawn promotions? Don't put the pawn on the eighth rank. Place the pawn on the seventh rank.
What ends a game of Tandem chess?
Kills, checkmates, illegal moves, and players tired of playing for the night.
Is it possible for one of the chess boards to be almost empty such that there are only the Kings and a few pieces?
Yes. That's an Open House. Open House is when there are very few chess pieces on one side and tons of pieces on the other side. The picture below shows an open house on the left side.
Can a player have all four Bishops, all four Knights, all four Rooks, and/or all two Queens play all of them in the game?
Yes. The black player on the right is playing all four Knights and they are mostly connected protecting each other. The Knights are great for seventh rank offense and checking other pieces without being threatened. I am playing with two bishops on the same color on c2 and b3.
What is seventh rank offense?
Seventh rank offense is when a player threatens his/her opponent's king by using multiple chess pieces on the seventh rank.
Can the King be removed?
Yes. When a player does not recognize his/her opponent is checking the king on his/her next turn, that player can capture the King, remove the King, and give to his/her teammate for a Kill.
What is a Kill?
A Kill is when a player captures and removes his/her opponent's King. In the pictures below, I am checking my opponents' King with my Queen on c4. I did not call "check." My opponent's next move was placing a Knight on c7. On my next move, I Killed the King on g8 by the Queen and my teammate has my opponent's King.
What are the common uses regarding placing pieces into the game?
Players place pieces given from his/her teammate one piece per turn. Common uses of placing pieces are to create an attack, improve the defense, defend an attack from the opponent, and blocking a check. In the pictures below, the Queen on g5 is checking my King on d2. My opponent did not call "check." On my next move, I place a Bishop on f4 to block the Queen from checking me.
What can a player do during his/her turn?
A player can do the following during his/her turn: move a piece, capture a piece, place a piece, and any of the legal moves in regular chess.
I hope chess enthusiasts have the basics of playing Tandem Chess. It is a fun version to play.