Chess Wiki
Tumbling Down
Other Names: Tumblingdown
Inventor: Michael Shuck,
Ranks: Eight by Eight
Sowing: Single laps
Region: USA, Internet

Tumbling Down was invented by Michael Shuck (USA) in 2000. The game was a candidate of the 8x8 Game Design Competition sponsored by About Board Games and Abstract Games magazine in 2000/2001. It can be played online on Richard's PBeM server and on The strongest player is Jacob Corner (USA).

Tumbling Down is a two-dimensional sowing game with stackable pieces and a distant relative of chess.


Tumbling down old

Original Set-up

Tumbling Down is played on a chess board with 29 white and red checkers per player. Two different initial positions were suggested (see diagrams).

On his turn a player moves either a whole stack (two or more pieces piled onto each other) called "tumbling" or a single checker of his color (whether it is alone on a square or the top piece on a stack). "Tumbling" is only permitted for a player, if the stack has a checker of his color on the top.

Movement is in any orthogonal or diagonal direction. The direction cannot change in a turn.

If a stack is "tumbled", the bottom checker is placed on the next square, the checker next to the bottom checker on the second square and so on until all checkers are distributed or the edge of the board is reached.

Tumbling down new

Initial Position at

The edge of the game board halts the move, resulting in a small stack of checkers remaining on the edge square.

If an opponent's checker or stack is covered by a friendly piece, it changes ownership and vice versa.

The tallest stack of only one color is the "king" of the player. A player may have several kings, but a single checker cannot be a king.

When a player puts the opposing king in danger of being captured, the player must say "check" to warn the opponent.

The object of the game is to capture the opponent's king without creating a taller king in the process. If the enemy has more than one king, it is sufficient to capture any of his kings.

A player can also lose the game in his own turn, if he is losing one of his own kings, or if after his move he has no kings.

If both the winning and losing condition are satisfied on the same move, the player who moved last wins.


Handscomb, K.
8x8 Game Design Competition: Initial Feedback. In: Abstract Games Magazine 2001; 2 (Issue 6): 28-29.
Luca, C.
Tumbling Down (2000 - Michael Shuck) . In: Il Fogliaccio degli Astratti 2003; 9 (October 21).

External links[]


Adapted from the Wikinfo article, "Tumbling Down", used under the GNU Free Documentation License.