US 3399895 A
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Sept. 3, 1968 A. L. BEACH THREE-DIMENSIONAL CHECKER GAMI I APPARATUS Filed Jan. 10, 1966 Fig- 3 INVENTOR. ALICE L. BEACH IPDOm f A w '17 BY I ZOIAI 9 United States Patent ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A three-dimensional checker game employs identical veitically spaced game boards, each board having a checkered design composed of three groups of squares, with each group of squares having a visual characteristic different from those of the other two groups. One of the groups of squares consists of a predetermined number of squares identically placed on each of the boards, these squares occupying only the two center rows and two center columns and alternating therein with squares of another group so that they extend across the paths of movement of all of the game pieces. Play is conducted with pieces initially placed on squares defining a first pair of opposed player starting positions on the top board and a second pair of opposed player starting positions on the bottom board which are normal to the first pair of starting positions. Normal checker movement is permitted on both boards, and vertical movement between boards is permitted on the squares of said one group.
This invention relates in general to games, and relates more particularly to games played on boards disposed in different planes.
There have been many board-type games in the prior art of the so-called three-dimensional type involving playing boards disposed in spaced planes, with pieces or men which can be placed on the boards and moved about thereon. Checker and chess games have been proposed which involve a plurality of conventional checker or chess boards vertically spaced from each other. The game is played by moving the pieces or men in the conventional manner on a given board, as well as moving the pieces vertically between boards.
While the above games have added a great deal of challenge to chess and checkers, they still have not been completely satisfactory, partly because it is often difficult to achieve a conclusive ending to such a game with the added dimension of vertical movement available to the players.
In accordance with the present invention, there is provided a novel multi-dimensional checker board structure and game which provides the additional challenge and interest resulting from freedom of piece movement both horizontally and vertically, while permitting conclusive results to be obtained. The game board structure of the invention comprises a plurality of identical checker boards spaced vertically from each other. Each board is provided with a checkered design comprising squares of three different visual characteristics. In one form of the invention, one group of squares, corresponding to squares which serve only to separate the playing squares and on which men may not be placed or moved, has one particular visual characteristic, such as its color. Another group of squares, on which men may be moved in a manner similar to a conventional checker game, is provided with a visual characteristic different from that of the first group of squares, such as a different color. A further group of squares, on which pieces may be moved vertically between the board structures as well as in the conventional checker board movement, is provided with a visual characteristic which is different from that of the other two groups of squares, such as a different color.
3,399,895 Patented Sept. 3, 1968 This novel game structure results in a game which is considerably more interesting and challenging than conventional checkers, while still permitting conclusive results to be obtained, as will be more apparent from the description of the game below.
It is therefore an object of this invention to provide an improved checker game structure involving movement of pieces both vertically and horizontally.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a checker game structure for playing checkers with both horizontal and vertical movement of the pieces, the structure comprising a plurality of identical checkered boards which are vertically spaced from each other, the checkered designs on each board having squares of three different visual characteristics.
t is an additional object of this invention to provide a checker game structure for playing checkers with both horizontal and vertical movement available, the structure comprising a plurality of identical checkered boards which are vertically spaced from each other, the checkered designs of each board having squares of three different colors, with at least one of the types of squares being transparent.
Further objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art to which the invention pertains as the ensuing description procoeds.
The features of novelty that are considered characteristic of this invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The operation of the invention itself will best be understood from the following description when read in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a game board structure in accordance with the present invention, showing three vertically spaced game boards;
FIGURE 2 is a plan View of one of the boards of FIG- URE 1, illustrating the three different visual characteristics of the different squares thereon; and
FIGURE 3 is a perspective view of a checker piece useful in playing the game of this invention.
Referring to FIGURE 1, the game board structure .11 includes three spaced boards 12, 13 and 14. Boards 12, 13 and 14 are maintained in position relative to each other by any suitable means, such as a plurality of upright posts 15. Posts 15 preferably have portions of reduced diameter which pass through openings in the corners of boards 12, 13 and 14 to provide shoulder portions which support the boards. The bottom ends of upper posts 15 may have tapped openings to receive studs in the top portions of the lower posts 15 which extend through the openings in the corners of middle board 13. The lower ends of lower posts 15 may be provided with short leg portions 16 which fit onto the ends to form legs for the structure. Similarly, the upper ends of upper posts 15 extending through top board 12 may be provided with caps 17 to firmly clamp the top board. By making legs 16 and caps 17 readily separable from their associated posts 15, and upper posts 15 readily separable from lower posts 15, the entire game may be easily disassembled for compact storage, yet is readily assembled for play.
Referring now to FIGURE 2, the details of one of the boards 12 is shown, both of the other boards 13 and 14 being identical thereto. The boards 12, 13 and 14 may be made of any suitable material having the required rigidity, and clear transparent plastic has been found to be particularly suitable and attractive. Board 12 is provided with a checkered design thereon containing squares of three different visual characteristics. The squares may be disposed in a conventional 8 x 8 matrix on each board. One type of squares 21 corresponds to the spacing squares in conventional checkers on which men may not be placed or moved. Squares 21 are preferably translucent or transparent to facilitate viewing of the underlying board or boards and the position of the pieces thereon.
Board 12 is provided with a second type of squares 22 having a visual characteristic which is different from that of squares 21. Squares 22 correspond to the squares of a conventional checker game on which men are placed and moved horizontally toward the King row.
Board 12 is also provided with a third type of square 23 having a visual characteristic which is different from that of squares 2.1 and 22. On squares 23, the checkers may be moved in the conventional checker manner, and may also be moved vertically between the boards.
In practice, the different visual characteristics of squares 21, 22 and 23 may be of any type suitable to distinguish them during play, such as different patterns or designs, or different colors. For example, when boards 12, 13 and 14 are made of a clear transparent plastic material, squares 21 may conveniently remain of this same material, so that these squares are clear and transparent. Squares 22 may be painted a first color, such as blue, while squares 23 are painted another color, such as yellow. Thus, the three distinctive visual characteristics of the different types of squares would be the clear color of squares 21, the blue of squares 22 and the yellow of squares 23. The paints or other coloring material employed to impart color to squares 22 and 23 are preferably transparent so as to facilitate viewing of the underlying board or boards and the positions of the pieces thereon.
To facilitate play, each of the squares 22 and 23 may be numbered, as shown in FIGURE 2, to assist in locating the proper square when moves are made vertically between boards, as will be described more in detail below.
The sides of boards 12, 13 and 14 are labelled as to player position, North, South, East and West, as shown in FIGURE 2, and these positions are, of course, aligned vertically with each other when the boards are assembled to form the game structure.
The checkers or men used in the game are similar to conventional checkers, except that they are preferably labelled as to player position and the allowed direction of vertical movement for that position. Thus, the representative checker 25 shown in FIGURE 3 is labelled with a W to indicate that it belongs to the West player, and is also provided with the legend UP indicating that the West checkers move upwardly from board 14 toward board 12, as will be described more in detail below in connection with the rules of the game. Of course, instead of being letter coded, the checkers may be color coded, as is more common, the color coding for two players being black and white, and for four players, two additional colored checkers are provided. Where only two different colors of pieces are employed, the pieces should bear some player or direction indicia to indicate the proper direction of movement for each piece.
The game may be played by four players playing as individuals, or by four players playing as two pairs of partners opposing each other, or by two players playing two positions each. The object of the game, as in conventional checkers, is to advance ones men toward the appropriate King row to become kinged and then return to eliminate the opposing players pieces, while avoiding capture by the other players pieces. However, the added freedom of movement vertically between boards provides some variations in the rules which add to the challenge and interest of the game.
At the start of the game, the North and South checkers occupy their respective squares on the top board 12, while the East and West checkers occupy their assigned squares on the bottom board 14. That is, assuming each player as 12 checkers, the North checkers occupy squares 1-12 of top board 12; South occupies squares 2132 of top board 12; East occupies squares 3, 4, 8, 11, 12, 16, 19, 20, 24, 27, 28 and 32 of bottom board 14; and West occupies squares 1, 5, 6, 9, 13, 14, 17, 21, 22, 25, 29 and 4 30 of bottom board 14. It will be noted that in this initial alignment at the start of the game, each position has three squares 23 assigned thereto which permit movement vertically as well as horizontally.
The King row for each player position is the last row of player squares on the board which is vertically displaced two boards from the starting position and opposite to the first starting row. That is, the King row for the North position is the row on bottom board 14 containing squares 29, 30, 31 and 32; for the South position it is squares 1-4 of bottom board 14; that for the East position is the row on top board 12 containing squares 5, 13, 21 and 29; and that for West is the row on top board 12 containing squares 4, 12, 20 and 28.
The checkers of each position must therefore move horizontally across the boards and also move vertically through middle board 13 to the board at the level opposite that from which they started.
At the start of the game, assuming four players playing as individuals, North may make the first move, followed by West, South and East, with the rotation continuing thereafter. When playing in this mode, each player is to capture men or kings of any of the three other players, the object being, as in conventional checkers, to have the last king or kings remaining on the board.
In moving the pieces prior to becoming kings, men can move only in one direction horizontally (toward their associated King row) and in one direction vertically on the appropriate squares 23 (toward the board containing their King row). After becoming crowned king, which may be indicated by placing another checker of the same color or letter on top of the man, the king may move in either direction horizontally on squares 22 and 23, as well as in either direction vertically on squares 23.
There are two types of capturing moves possible in the game. The first may be termed a jump and is similar to that occurring in conventional checkers when a piece (either a man or a king) jumps over an opposing piece which is standing on a square immediately adjacent to it, and the square behind the jumped piece is vacant. More than one piece may he jumped in a single move, provided the above conditions prevail, and the jumped pieces may be those of any of the three opposing players.
The other type of capturing move may be termed a displacement and occurs between the different levels of boards 12, 13 and 14. Thus, for example, if North has a piece on square 10 of board 12 (which square is one of the squares 23 from which vertical movement is permitted), and there is an opposing piece directly beneath it on square 10 of middle board 13, North may remove the opposing piece from the board 13 and place his own piece on that square. A series of caputures by displacement is permitted in a single turn, and additionally, a a series of captures may include both jumps and displacements.
Several other rules which are preferably employed are as follows. When a man reaches the king row by a capture, it must pause to be crowned; it cannot, as a new king, continue capturing in that same turn. Also, when a player is able to capture, he must do so and may not make a noncapturing move under these circumstances. However, when capturing moves in more than one direction are available to a player at a given turn, he is free to choose which of the capturing moves to make.
When four players play the game as partners, the rules are only slightly modified from those described above for individual play. In this mode, North and East may play against South and West, and the only important difference from individual play is that a player may not jump or displace his partners pieces. A
When the game is played by two, each is in effect playing as a set of partners. Thus, one player plays North and East, while the other plays South and West, and the same rules obtain as set out above for four players playing as partners.
It will be seen that the game provides considerable additional challenge and interest over a conventional checker game. For example, it will be seen that in some positions on the board, an uncrowned man is efiectively dead and cannot be moved any further. Thus, if an uncrowned man reaches a blue square in the last row of the middle board or the board on which he started, the man is dead. since he cannot be moved further to reach a yellow square 23. Similiarly, it will be seen that some squares are to be avoided by uncrowned men, since their occupancy will cut off any chance for that man to reach the desired King row. For example, the squares numbered 21 on the top and middle boards should be avoided by North, since they can lead only to other blue squares (25, 29, 30), and that man will never be able to reach his king row on bottom board 14.
It has been found that by restricting vertical movement to squares 23, games in which inconclusive results occur are avoided. If vertical movement were permitted in any of the playing squares 22, 23, a player might flee indefinitely to avoid capture even though he had no possibility of winning the game, thus preventing an effective end of the game being reached.
Although but one preferred embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and descibed, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications may be made in the game structure without departing from the spirit of the invention or the scope of the appended claims. For example, although the illustrated embodiment employs three boards on different levels, it will be apparent that some other number of boards, such as two or four, may be used with equal effectiveness.
What is claimed is:
1. A three-dimensional checker game comprising:
at least two identical game boards positioned in vertically spaced relation to each other;
each game board having eight rows and eight columns for dividing the game into 64 squares;
said 64 squares being divided into three groups of squares each having a dilferent visual characteristic; one of said groups consisting of 32 squares arranged so that four squares appear in each column and alternate with the squares of the other two groups and with the same squares in the adjacent column; and
another of said groups consisting of 14 squares arranged to occupy only the two center rows and columns and alternating therein with squares of the groups consisting of 32 squares throughout the two center rows and two center columns.
2. A checker game in accordance with claim 1 including a plurality of playing pieces for placement on said predetermined squares of said boards, each of said pieces bearing indicia designating the player starting position with which they are associated.
3. A three-dimensional checker game comprising:
a plurality of identical game boards positioned in spaced apart relation to each other;
each said game board bearing a checkered design composed of three groups of squares, each group of squares having a visual characteristic different from those of the other two groups; and
one group of squares consisting of 32 squares, one
group of squares consisting of 18 squares and one group of squares consisting of 14 squares,
the squares being arranged to occupy 8 rows and 8 columns, the group of squares consisting of 14 squares occupying only the two center rows and the two center columns and alternating therein with squares of the group consisting of 32 squares throughout the two center rows and two center columns.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 480,056 8/1892 Adams 273131 935,755 10/1909 Grundy. 1,396,425 11/1921 Harlow 273131 1,600,190 9/1926 Magnat 273131 1,877,154 9/1932 Weaver 273131 FOREIGN PATENTS 601,062 4/1948 Great Britain.
DELBERT B. LOWE, Primary Examiner.