Trisha Shetty


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Players  2-32
Random chance  None
Genre(s)  Board game,Abstract strategy game,Chess variant (orthodox)
Skill(s) required  Strategy, tactics, self sacrifice, cooperative thinking, team spirit
Synonym(s)  team chess(or teamchess),tactical team chess,real teamchess,cooperative chess,multiplayer chess,co-op chess

(Tactical) Team Chess is both a game and a sport played by two teams (up to 16 [typically 4-6] players in each team) on a single 8 by 8 classical chess board with standard set of pieces (2×16, Whites and Blacks), using standard (or usual) chess playing rules, while control over the pieces is shared among the teammates who are not allowed to communicate with each other during the play other than via valid moves.


History of Tactical Team Chess

Chess has been a game played for many centuries and it has been recognized as sport since the first official World Chess Championship match between Wilhelm Steinitz and Johannes Zukertort in 1886.
Rules of the ‘modern’ chess have evolved in the course of centuries but all the while the game has been primarily played in ‘Single Player vs. Single Player’ setting even if at times the scoring is pooled for a chess “team” (also referred as team chess or scoring team) in a tournament.

Like the chess we know (codified chess) has emerged from a pool of chess-like games, codified chess itself spawned hundreds of chess derived games.

Some of the chess derived games are played in the original ‘Single Player vs. Single Player’ setting, (e.g. starchess, hexachess) while others are played in multiplayer settings either as two teams’ fight or as ‘cut-throat’ i.e. each player against all others.

In a simple chart the chess family could be configured as a 2 by 2 matrix of either using codified rules of chess or being a chess derived game on one hand, and as played in ‘Single Player vs. Single Player’ or in multiplayer setting on the other.

Real ‘team chess’ is defined as chess played according to its traditional (codified) rules but by two teams of more than one player in each has been obviously (or: clearly) missing from the menu card. With the creation of (Tactical) TeamChess the chart has now been completed:

Tactical Team Chess was invented and developed in the early 2000s by Pál Kánai, physician with Sekler (Székely) ancestry in Europe.

After years of development on-line games can be played on dedicated websites (e.g. TacticalTeamChess, TeamChess) and the first international Championship has been announced for the Year 2014 in Europe.

Definition of Tactical Team Chess

Like classical chess itself Tactical Team Chess (also referred as TeamChess) is both a game and a sport. Vik-Hansen: Is chess a sport?

(Tactical) Team Chess is played by two teams on a single 8 by 8 classical chess board with standard set of pieces, applying codified chess playing, while control over the pieces is shared among the teammates who are not allowed to communicate with each other during the game except via valid chess moves.

As the main rule of Tactical Team Chess defines: "Teammates (players of the same Tactical Team Chess team) may not communicate with each other during the game except through valid moves on the chess board", Tactical team Chess is usually played on a virtual chess board (on-line or on local networks, or special 'checked and sealed' hardware on official Tactical Team Chess Tournaments). Tactical Team Chess is Team vs. Team game (at least two players in each team are required), one team controls the white pieces (called as White Team), and the other controls the black pieces (called as Black Team). The members of one team (players of the same team) are called teammates. During the game each member of a team controls a specific piece or pieces. According to the controlled piece(s) there are different roles. The pattern of the roles is called team setting.

As an example:
According to the ‘Full Team' setting there are six roles in the team:

  • King – controls the King piece
  • Queen - controls the Queen piece
  • Cardinal – controls both Bishops
  • Knights’ Lord – controls both Knights
  • Major – controls both Rooks
  • Warlord – controls the Pawns
  • Rule No. 1.

    Rules of playing classical chess as codified by the international organization of classical chess shall be applied to Tactical Team Chess (TTC) games adequate to the specific rules, regulations, features and requirements of Tactical Team Chess. In case of conflict the specific rule of TTC shall have precedence.

    Additional rules of Tactical Team Chess

  • Tactical Team Chess games are played by two teams, one controlling the white pieces, the other the black pieces with each team having at least two players.
  • Each player must control at least one piece at the time of starting the game.
  • No pieces are allowed to be controlled by two or more players except when Royal Powers are exercised.
  • Control over any chess piece may not be transferred to any other player at any time for any reason except when Royal Powers are exercised.
  • "Silence!" Players may not communicate with each other during the game other than through valid moves on the chess board.
  • Conventions are allowed as long as constructed exclusively of valid moves of chess.
  • Royal Power (DO 21*)

  • Twice during a game the King has the option to designate a specific piece controlled by one of the Kings teammates to make the next move.
  • The controller of that piece must make a legal move. If the piece can NOT make a legal move, then any other legal move may be made by any member of that team, but the King loses his remaining Royal Powers to designate.
  • Designation should be expressed by the King before any teammate expresses his attention to move.
  • Once during a game the King has the option to make a move with any of the pieces his team controls.
  • Order should be expressed by the King before any teammate expresses his intention to move.
  • DO stands for Designations and Order.


  • The controller of the Pawn reaching the furthest rank from its starting position remains the controller of the promoted piece.
  • Detailed official rulebook of Tactical Team Chess is available at Word Tactical Team Chess Federation website.

    Tactical Team Chess as a Sport

    As classical chess became a worldwide sport activity with its national and international organizations (e.g. Tactical Team Chess can also be played on tournaments.
    World Tactical Team Chess Federation, the international organization of Tactical Team Chess sportsmen and sportswomen has been funded in 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
    First world wide tournament has been announced for the year of 2014.


    Both Technology Committee and Game Standard Committee of World Tactical Team Chess Federation have approved mFEN~TTC notation as standard notation of a Tactical TeamChess game. Any tournament system submitted to get seal of approval of WTTCF should implement and be compatible with mFEN~TTC standard notation.

    mFEN~TTC notation has two main parts (each of them has multiple fields) addressing the pattern of the pieces on the chess board and the control over them separated by „ ~ „.
    Forsyth–Edwards Notation (FEN) is a standard notation for describing a particular board position of a chess game. The purpose of FEN is to provide all the necessary information to restart a traditional chess game from a particular position.

    In order to be compatible with chess variants such as Chess960 (also known as Fischer Random Chess), where the initial position is not necessarily the traditional initial position, FEN has been adjusted. The solution implemented by chess engines like Shredder and Fritz_9 is to use the letters of the columns on which the rooks began the game. (This scheme is sometimes called Shredder-FEN. For the traditional setup, Shredder-FEN would use AHah instead of KQkq. [mFEN]).

    Tactical TeamChess Tag extension (TTC v 1.2 standard) applies the same logic to address control over pieces i.e. which piece is controlled by which player. White players are referred by upper-case letters from A consecutively (A, B, C, D...), while the players of the black team by lower-case letters the same way (a, b, c, d, ...). Additional fields of the TTC tag address the Royal Powers, remaining time in seconds, and the tie initiatives.

    Chess vs. Team Chess

    (Tactical) Team Chess is a more social and entertaining way to play chess. Additionally Team Chess is much more entertaining not just for the players but for the visitors as well. TTC helps to attain tactical and strategic way of thinking; teach to cooperate, play and act as a member of a team.

    Perspectives of Team Chess

    Playing chess in team brings new rhythm and interpersonal dimensions (camaraderie) to this historic game.
    Playing Tactical Team Chess is a great chance for those chess fans who want this game to be less solitary and spiced with team spirit.


    TeamChess Wikipedia

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