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This article could possibly use further clarification in some places.

Dragonchess init config, upper board

The Dragonchess upper level, for the air.

Dragonchess is a three-dimensional fantasy chess variant created by E. Gary Gygax. The game was introduced in 1985. Like real chess, checkmating the opponent's king wins the game.

Gameboard[]

The Dragonchess gameboard consists of three 12 by 8 levels. The blue and white upper level represents the air, the green and amber middle level represents the land, and the red and brown lower level represents the subterranean world, the Underdark. The 42 pieces given to each player are spread across the three levels.

Upper Level pieces[]

Sylph(S)[]

On level three, it can move one step diagonally forwards, or capture one step straight ahead, like a Berolina pawn. It can also capture directly down to level two

On level two, it can move directly up to the square on level three, or on to one of the player's starting Sylph squares.

Griffon(G)[]

On level three, it can move and capture by jumping two steps diagonally and one step orthogonally outwards. It can also move and capture one square triagonally down to level two.

On level two, it can move and capture one square diagonally. It can also move and capture one step triagonally up to level three.

Dragon(R)[]

On level three, it can move and capture any number of squares diagonally, or one step orthogonally. It can also capture without moving on the square directly underneath it on level 2, or any square orthogonal to it. They cannot leave level three.

Middle Level pieces[]

Dragonchess init config, middle board

The pieces on the middle level, which represents the ground.

Warrior(W)
[]

Moves and captures like a chess pawn, but without the initial two-step option or en passant . It can promote to Hero when it reaches the furthest rank from the player. They cannot leave level two.

Oliphant(O)[]

Moves and captures like a chess rook. They cannot leave level two.

Unicorn(U)[]

Moves and captures like a chess knight. They cannot leave level two.

Hero(H)[]

On level two, it can move and capture one or two unblockable diagonal steps. They can also move and capture one step triagonally to level one or three.

On levels one and three, they can move and capture one step triagonally to where they previously were.

Thief(T)[]

Moves and captures like a chess bishop. They cannot leave level two. 

Cleric(C)[]

On any level, they can move and capture like a chess king without the restrictions of check. They can also move and capture on a square directly above or below on an adjacent level.

Mage(M)[]

On level two, they can move and capture like a chess queen.

On levels one and three, they can move one step orthogonally.

On any level, they can move and capture one or two squares directly above or below to another level.

King(K)[]

On level two, they move and capture like a chess king. Kings cannot move into check. They can also move and capture directly up or down to level one or three.

On levels one and three, the king can move only back to level two where he previously was. Gygax does not specify whether the king can also use that move for capturing or not.

Paladin(P)[]

On level two, it can move and capture like a chess king and knight without check restrictions. It can also move to levels one and three by moving one square directly up, then two squares orthogonally. This move is unblockable.  

On levels one and three, they can move and capture like a chess king without restrictions. It can move to other levels by doing the unblockable move of going up or down one square and two squares orthogonally, or two squares up or down and one square orthogonally.

Lower Level pieces[]

Dwarf(D)[]

On level one, they can move one step straight forward or sideways, or capture one step diagonally forwards. They can also capture one step directly up to level two.

On level two, they can move one step straight forward or sideways, or capture one step diagonally forwards. They can also move one step directly down to level one.

Basilisk(B)[]

Dragonchess init config, lower board

Lower Board pieces representing "the Subterranean world"

Can move diagonally forwards one step or straight backwards, or capture one step straight forwards. It always immobilizes an enemy piece directly above on level two. They cannot leave level one.

Elemental(E)[]

Can move and capture one or two steps orthogonally. They can also move one step diagonally. They have another way of capturing, which is moving one square orthogonally then moving directly up to level two.

From level two, they can move and capture by moving directly down to level 1 then moving orthogonally.

Algebraic Notation[]

In Dragonchess, algebraic notation works the same way in real chess, except with the number of the level coming first. For example, White's dragon is on 3g1, and black's king is on 2g8.

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