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This page is written by the game's inventor, Tony Quintanilla.

Bellows Chess

By Tony Quintanilla



I got the idea for Bellows Chess from considering that time is also a physical dimension.

Chess that uses a board that changes over time could be considered a type of positional 3-D Chess; see George Duke's Positional 3-D Chess.


The board is made up of three concentric boards, 8x8, 10x10, and 12x12. From turn to turn, the board being used changes.

On the first turn, the board is 8x8; on the second turn the board is 10x10; on the third turn the board is 12x12; on the fourth turn the board is again 8x8; and so on.

Larry L. Smith has suggested an interesting variation: on the fourth turn the board is again 10x10; on the fifth turn it is again 8x8; and so on.

Some kind of marker, such as the red Pawn on the side in the below illustration, may be used to indicate which board is active on a given turn. 


The initial setup on the 8x8 board is the standard Chess setup. The changing board idea, however, could be applied to other games and setups.


Standard Chess pieces are used.


The standard Chess rules all apply with the following exceptions. 

Pieces may move on the board that is currently active. For example, if the 8x8 board is active, they may move on the 8x8 board; if the 10x10 board is active, they may move on the 10x10 board. 

A piece on a board that is not active may not move. For example, if a piece is on the 12x12 board, say square i1, and the 8x8 board is active, that piece may not move. 

Pawns must promote upon reaching their 8th rank on the 8x8 board, their 9th rank on the 10x10 board, or their 10th rank on the 12x12 board. The promotion rank runs straight across all three boards.

Stalemate is a loss, not a draw. For example, if White only has a King on the board and it is located on the 12x12 board, and the 8x8 board is active, White looses by stalemate.

Computer Play

Bellows Chess will be implemented for play with Game Courier and Zillions of Games.


A standard Chess set and a 12x12 board are needed.