My Kingdom for a Horse

King Richard III was unseated during a battle and cried out for a horse because he knew he was vulnerable.
This is a game in which three kings co-operate against the knight. Find three kings of the same colour to start.

Starting Position

The player with the three kings moves first. Each of the kings is moved in any order. Then the knight moves. The aim of the game for White is to capture the knight. The kings cannot capture each other nor remain in check from the knight. There are three winning conditions for Black:

  • the knight captures a king, or
  • the knight survives for 20 moves
  • The more kings you have on the board, the easier it may appear to win but, surprisingly, more kings imply a greater danger of being forked.

    Black wins with a fork

    When the kings co-ordinate their movements, they can trap the knight.
    Black is in trouble

    In this case,  White failed to win within 20 moves so the knight won.

    Tip: If controlling the kings, keep one king on a different colour square from the other two to minimise the risk of being forked.

    Four Player Variation

    Each player controls one piece. The three kings must co-operate against the knight. The sequence of play is clockwise with the kings starting first. The collaborative aspect makes it enjoyable. Players learn to take care of the others in their team to avoid deadly forks whilst seeking to trap the Knight. If they do not collaborate they will inevitably lose.

    Credit: Jerome Maufras