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14{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} yellow rook{{{square}}} yellow knight{{{square}}} yellow bishop{{{square}}} yellow king{{{square}}} yellow queen{{{square}}} yellow bishop{{{square}}} yellow knight{{{square}}} yellow rook{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king14
13{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} yellow pawn{{{square}}} yellow pawn{{{square}}} yellow pawn{{{square}}} yellow pawn{{{square}}} yellow pawn{{{square}}} yellow pawn{{{square}}} yellow pawn{{{square}}} yellow pawn{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king13
12{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king12
11{{{square}}} blue rook{{{square}}} blue pawn{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} green pawn{{{square}}} green rook11
10{{{square}}} blue knight{{{square}}} blue pawn{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} green pawn{{{square}}} green knight10
9{{{square}}} blue bishop{{{square}}} blue pawn{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} green pawn{{{square}}} green bishop9
8{{{square}}} blue king{{{square}}} blue pawn{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} green pawn{{{square}}} green queen8
7{{{square}}} blue queen{{{square}}} blue pawn{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} green pawn{{{square}}} green king7
6{{{square}}} blue bishop{{{square}}} blue pawn{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} green pawn{{{square}}} green bishop6
5{{{square}}} blue knight{{{square}}} blue pawn{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} green pawn{{{square}}} green knight5
4{{{square}}} blue rook{{{square}}} blue pawn{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} green pawn{{{square}}} green rook4
3{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king3
2{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red pawn{{{square}}} red pawn{{{square}}} red pawn{{{square}}} red pawn{{{square}}} red pawn{{{square}}} red pawn{{{square}}} red pawn{{{square}}} red pawn{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king2
1{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red rook{{{square}}} red knight{{{square}}} red bishop{{{square}}} red queen{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red bishop{{{square}}} red knight{{{square}}} red rook{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king{{{square}}} red king1
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Position in FEN4

R-0,0,0,0-1,1,1,1-1,1,1,1-0,0,0,0-0-
3,yR,yN,yB,yK,yQ,yB,yN,yR,3/
3,yP,yP,yP,yP,yP,yP,yP,yP,3/
14/
bR,bP,10,gP,gR/
bN,bP,10,gP,gN/
bB,bP,10,gP,gB/
bK,bP,10,gP,gQ/
bQ,bP,10,gP,gK/
bB,bP,10,gP,gB/
bN,bP,10,gP,gN/
bR,bP,10,gP,gR/
14/
3,rP,rP,rP,rP,rP,rP,rP,rP,3/
3,rR,rN,rB,rQ,rK,rB,rN,rR,3

Common moves:
1.h3 - King's Pawn Opening
1.h4 - Double Push King's Pawn Opening
1.g3 - Queen's Pawn Opening
1.g4 - Double Push Queen's Pawn Opening
1.f4 - English Opening
1.Ni3 - King's Knight Opening


This section is about openings that are commonly played in four-player chess. Since opening theory is not really applicable to FFA games, this section will only focus on the Teams variant. Each position has its own subpage.

Red's first moveEdit

Red has the first move and like in regular chess, statistics appear to suggest that this gives Red and Yellow a small advantage over Blue and Green. The winning percentages are approximately 52-48 in Red and Yellow's favour. Draws are exceptionally rare and percentage-wise close to zero. So, what is the best opening move to try and retain the first-move advantage? Red has 20 different first moves to choose from, but in the vast majority of games Red chooses to play 1.h3, the King's Pawn Opening.

King's Pawn Opening, 1.h3Edit

The move h3 is by far the most popular move among Red players. It opens up the dark-squared diagonals for the queen and bishop, which are both very powerful pieces, particularly in the opening. Not only that. It creates attacking opportunities against both opponents. The bishop is staring at Blue on the left and the queen is eyeing Green on the right. After h3 Red has gained control over 7 additional squares, which is the most of all the opening moves, apart from h4.

Queen's Pawn Opening, 1.g3Edit

As opposed to h3, the move g3 opens on the light squares and it only opens up a diagonal for the bishop, eyeing Green. Usually Red follows up with Qg2 to develop the queen on the light squares. Compared to h3 it is slower in terms of queen development and it gives Red control over fewer squares. It also gives Blue the opportunity to open with the stronger move c8 to develop the queen and bishop. Therefore, it kind of gives away the initiative to Blue and Green and hence g3 is considered weaker than h3.

Double Push King's Pawn Opening, 1.h4Edit

If h3 is such a good move, then why not push the pawn one square further to gain more space and control more squares? Generally, it is considered better for king safety to keep the pawn on h3, where it can block possible checks from either side. Moreover, on h4 the pawn is undefended. Thus, pushing the pawn to h4 weakens Red's position.

Double Push Queen's Pawn Opening, 1.g4Edit

As opposed to h4, in this case the pawn is supported by the queen, so it is not as weak. Red might even consider trying to push the pawn to promotion, although that is very difficult to achieve with accurate play from Blue and Green. It does open a check line to the king, but Red can follow up with Qg2 or Bg2, for example, or develop the knight to f3 to block the diagonal. Nonetheless, this move has the same disadvantage as g3, namely that it allows Blue to open with the more active c8.

English Opening, 1.f4Edit

This is a slightly offbeat opening that intends to develop the queen in a different way. Red can bring the queen to f2 or e3 next. That is, only if Blue allows it, because this opening may also lead to a very fast queen exchange, if Blue replies with d6 or c6. If Yellow and Green exchange queens in similar fashion, that can make for an interesting queenless game. However, any first-move advantage Red and Yellow may have had, is probably gone.

King's Knight Opening, 1.Ni3Edit

With this opening Red may try to go for an early Nk4, threatening a potentially dangerous check on Green, if coordinated with Yellow's queen. However, Green can easily meet this threat by developing his king's knight to l6 or pushing the rook pawn to k4. So, Ni3 is actually more of a waiting move. The knight is usually developed to i3 later on anyway, so Red decides to do it immediately and leave his options open to see what Blue and Green will do first. This does give away the initiative to Blue and Green.

Other opening movesEdit

The following table contains all possible opening moves for Red.

d4 e4 f4 g4 h4 i4 j4 k4
d3 e3 f3 g3 h3 i3 j3 k3
Nd3 Nf3 Ni3 Nk3

StatisticsEdit

Winning chances: Red and Yellow win (52%), Blue and Green win (48%), Draw (0%)

First move popularity: h3 (61.1%), h4 (15.0%), g4 (7.7%), g3 (4.7%), Ni3 (1.9%), j3 (1.6%), f3 (1.5%), f4 (1.5%), all other moves less than 1% (combined 5%)

Best moves by winning chance: h3 (59.6%), f3 (47.7%), g3 (45.5%), f4 (42.7%), Ni3 (41.8%), all other moves less than 40% winning chance