Title:
Spherical Game Apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A game apparatus and corresponding method of playing chess on a substantially spherical playing surface marked with playing positions of fourteen ranks and eight files with each file forming a continuous loop around said spherical surface. Ranks terminate or are bordered at the top and bottom of the sphere, therefore not continuous. Two sets of chess pieces are provided for in said game apparatus; each set comprising eight major chess pieces and sixteen pawns with eight of the sixteen pawns being distinguishable from the other eight, each set of eight pawns traveling opposite directions across ranks. Means are provided for adherence of the chess pieces to the spherical playing surface such that gravity would not remove the chess pieces from said playing surface. Said game apparatus does not require players to learn variations to the well known rules of chess play while providing a novel means to play chess.



Inventors:
Peterson, Terry Richard (Cayce, SC, US)
Application Number:
11/754328
Publication Date:
12/04/2008
Filing Date:
05/28/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F3/02
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Primary Examiner:
MENDIRATTA, VISHU K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TERRY RICHARD PETERSON (CAYCE, SC, US)
Claims:
1. A game apparatus of a substantially spherical shape having a playing surface marked with playing positions in fourteen ranks and eight files in a grid orientation about said playing surface for playing a variation of the game of chess.

2. A game apparatus as defined in claim 1 where each file forms a continuous loop around claimed playing surface while ranks terminate or are bordered at either end and are therefore not continuous.

3. A game apparatus as defined in claim 2 where two ranks are marked, each said marked rank being at opposing sides or ends of claimed playing surface so that six non-marked ranks appear between said marked ranks in either direction around claimed playing surface.

4. A game apparatus as defined in claim 3 where each player begins a game with: eight pawns positioned along a single rank adjacent to said players marked rank and said pawns designated to travel one direction along a file around claimed playing surface away from player's marked rank; eight major pieces positioned along said player's single marked rank comprising a rook, a knight, a bishop, a queen, a king, a bishop, a knight and a rook; eight additional pawns positioned along other single rank adjacent to said players marked rank and said additional pawns designated to travel one direction, opposite of prior mentioned pawns, along a file around claimed playing surface away from player's marked rank; each player's set of chess pieces comprises twenty-four chess pieces and are visually or physically differentiated from opposing players chess pieces.

5. A game apparatus as defined in claim 4 where claimed playing surface interfaces with claimed chess pieces in that gravity will not remove chess pieces from playing surface yet will not deny those playing claimed game from removing chess pieces from playing surface.

6. A method of playing a game of chess on game apparatus as defined in claim 5 where queen and rook pieces cannot travel across exactly fourteen ranks on a single file on claimed playing surface coming to rest in the same space in a single turn and have such a maneuver count as said players turn.

7. A method of playing a game of chess on game apparatus as defined in claim 6 where a pawn that has advanced six ranks from originating position and is at the opposing players marked rank is immediately upgraded to a rook, knight, bishop or queen at the choice of the player who moved the pawn to said marked rank.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Prior art prevalent to present invention include a continuous playing surface in spherical form and means for chess pieces to adhere to a non-flat surface in U.S. Pat. No. 3,359,003 to Kass. Additional prior art prevalent to present invention include a continuous playing surface with similar arrangement and number of chess pieces in U.S. Pat. No. 3,909,000 to Akers. Additional prior art prevalent to present invention include a means to store game pieces within or about the playing surface when not in use in U.S. Pat. No. 4,150,828 to Marchese. Additional prior art prevalent to present invention include a spherical playing surface for a logic game and means for playing pieces to adhere to a non-flat surface in U.S. Pat. No. 4,456,258 to Lodrick. Additional prior art prevalent to present invention include a continuous playing surface with similar arrangement of chess pieces, similar number of chess pieces and similar game play in U.S. Pat. No. 4,553,756 to Linnekin. Additional prior art prevalent to present invention include a spherical continuous playing surface in U.S. Pat. No. 5,145,181 to Welman et al.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to games, specifically strategy and logic oriented board games such as chess.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

There are numerous prior efforts to design a novel form of chess played on a three dimensional, non-flat surface as well as to include a continuous playing surface in the form of non-terminating ranks and/or non-terminating files. A problem with such prior art as to play on a three dimensional playing surface is that additional rules must be learned by the chess player to utilize the novel design or the design limits forward and backward movement, also known as movement along the file.

Prior art U.S. Pat. No. 3,359,003 to Kass pertains to a spherical game of chess which contains no side or rank borders but does contain forward and backward or file borders. Such game play specifically disallows chess pieces to have limitless movement in the forward and backwards or file directions.

Prior art U.S. Pat. No. 3,909,000 to Akers pertains to a spherical game of chess which contains no forward and backward or file boarders but does include rules of game play unique from that of regular chess for pawn pieces. Such game play specifically requires players to learn additional rules to that of regular chess.

Prior art U.S. Pat. No. 4,456,258 to Lodrick pertains to a logic game played on an icosahedral geodesic spherical surface in which playing pieces must attach to said surface. Such playing surface is complex and requires game play rules dissimilar to that of chess.

Prior art U.S. Pat. No. 4,553,756 to Linnekin pertains to a form of chess game which contains no forward and backward or file borders played on a two dimensional playing surface. Such playing surface disallows the novelty of three dimensional game play on a spherical surface.

Prior art U.S. Pat. No. 5,145,181 to Welman et al. pertains to an apparatus allowing for three dimensional game play on a spherical surface to be reduced to a trio of rotating two dimensional circular surfaces. Such apparatus does not provide for the novel method in which to play chess on said apparatus.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF INVENTION

An objective of the present invention is to provide for a novel means of playing chess on a spherical apparatus that does not require the learning of rules different than those of the well known game of chess.

A further objective of the present invention is to stimulate logic, memory and imagination beyond that of typical chess as a player must imagine potential moves around a three dimensional surface which cannot be seen in whole at a single glance and therefore the player must induce further use of memory of chess piece placement to plan and execute a move than would be required in two dimensional game play.

A further objective of the present invention is to provide for an apparatus to play chess on a spherical surface which may be manufactured in varying degrees of complexity to control manufacturing costs.

A further objective of the present invention is to provide for an apparatus to play chess on a spherical surface which does not limit forward and backward or file movement.

A further objective of the present invention is to provide for an apparatus to play chess on a spherical surface which is of suitable décor and unique design so as to be utilized as a décor.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

For a further understanding of the nature and objects of the present invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like elements are given the same or analogous reference numbers and wherein:

FIG. 1 is an elevation view illustrating game apparatus in preferred embodiment.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the playing surface including initial placement of chess pieces and connecting lines demonstrating the continuity of a single file around the spherical playing surface.

FIG. 3 is an elevation view illustrating game apparatus in modified form providing for potentially lower manufacturing costs.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

A conventional chess playing surface is a two dimensional square consisting of eight ranks by eight files in a grid formation, totaling sixty-four playing spaces. Files accommodate forward and backward motion, terminating at the borders of the square surface. Ranks accommodate side to side motion, terminating at the borders of said square surface. In the conventional game of chess, certain rules apply to the manner in which the chess pieces can be moved or overtake other chess pieces. These rules are well known and documented, therefore the these rule will not be reviewed herein as said rules go generally unaltered in subject invention. Any specific alterations to said rules will be stated below, within this detailed description.

The present invention describes a variation of chess, played on a spherical surface. In preferred design, there is provided a sphere or generally spherical shaped playing surface to which chess pieces attach. Said playing surface has the ability to rotate about an axis to provide for visibility of around the entire surface.

Referring now to FIG. 1, an elevation view of preferred embodiment, spherical playing surface 10 mounted for rotation about a shaft 11 supported by a base 12. The interface of the shaft and base provides for rotation of the sphere about the axis of the shaft. The surface of the spherical shape is considered the playing surface. This playing surface is divided into fourteen ranks and eight files with each file forming a continuous loop around said spherical surface, totaling one-hundred-twelve playing spaces. In preferred embodiment the fourteen ranks are arranged adjacent and vertical (or as longitudes) about the playing surface while the eight files are arranged adjacent and laterally (or as latitudes) around the playing surface, as oriented in FIG. 1 through FIG. 3. Ranks terminate at either end and are therefore not continuous while files do not terminate and are therefore continuous. An alternate embodiment comprises of ranks oriented horizontally and files oriented vertically with rotational axis oriented horizontally (not shown). The shaft and base must suspend the playing surface in such a manner to permit clearance of the chess pieces from coming into contact with the shaft, base or surface on which apparatus is positioned during game play. Of said ranks, two ranks at opposite sides of sphere are marked ranks 13, wherein there are six non-marked ranks between said marked ranks. Marked ranks represent where each player's major pieces are positioned at the initiation of a game, adjacent to the non-marked ranks in which two sets of eight pawns 14 15 are positioned at the initiation of a game. Major pieces comprise two rooks, two knights, two bishops, a queen and a king.

Referring now to FIG. 2, a plan view of preferred embodiment, provides for the placement of chess pieces. In preferred embodiment provided are two player's sets of chess pieces. Each player's set consists of eight major pieces 16 to include one king, one queen, two rooks, two knights, two bishops (represented in FIG. 2 by K, Q, R, N and B respectively); as well as sixteen pawns 14 15 arranged at the start of the game of chess as shown. The two player's sets of chess pieces are distinguishable via color, opacity, texture and/or shape such that each player can identify their chess pieces apart from their opponents.

For each player's set of chess pieces, eight pawns 14 are distinguished as traveling in one direction across the ranks along a file away from the start position of the major pieces within said player's set and the other set of eight pawns 15 are distinguished as traveling in the opposite direction across the ranks away from the start position of the major pieces within said player's set. Pawns within a player's set, traveling opposite directions are distinguished via an indicia ‘E’ for traveling East along the file around the spherical surface or indicia ‘W’ for traveling West along the file around the spherical surface in preferred embodiment (as shown in FIG. 1 14 and 15). Alternate embodiments to accommodate distinguishing directions of travel for pawns within a player's set may include but are not limited to pawns having different shaped bases, indicia other than ‘E’ and ‘W’, different textures on surface of pawn, or any combination thereof.

Assuming the normal rules of chess, a chess piece must change position during a players turn for it to count as a turn. Therefore, where the queen and rook have the ability to travel to the utmost extent across a single file, uninhibited by other chess pieces, the queen and rook have unlimited movement about the file around the said playing surface as said file is a continuous loop 17; however in subject invention the queen and/or rook cannot travel fourteen ranks along a single file within the course of a single turn to effectively not change position with in said single turn and still have it count as that player's turn. Assuming the normal rules of chess, pawns travel along the file in which they are positioned, with the exception of overtaking the opposing player's chess piece. A pawn which has during the course of the game traveled six ranks from its originating rank and is positioned on the opposing players marked rank, assuming the normal rules of chess when a pawn reaches the originating rank of the opposing player's major pieces, is upgraded to a queen, bishop, knight or rook. In subject invention all chess pieces except pawns may complete several orbits of the playing surface. All typical rules of chess to include rule of chess piece movement and rules of chess pieces overtaking another piece do not change with claimed invention and therefore will not be expressed further.

A means is provided for adherence of the chess pieces to the spherical playing surface. Said means includes but is not limited to magnetic energy, adhesives, friction, latches, suction or any combination thereof. Adherence is of such substantiality that gravity would not remove the chess pieces from the playing surface yet not of such substantiality that a player would have difficulty removing the chess pieces from the playing surface in order to proceed with a turn.

Referring now to FIG. 3, a modified embodiment disassociates the rotational shaft and base with a non-rotating base 18, allowing for a potentially reduced cost to manufacture. Yet an additional modified embodiment allows for a hollowed playing surface or base to store the said chess pieces within when not in play (not shown).