This Month In Chess: 5D Chess On The Rise
5D Chess has been summer's most-popular variant, as the multiverse time travel game has captured attention from publications and streamers worldwide.

This Month In Chess: 5D Chess On The Rise

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While online chess has seen significant growth on Twitch this summer, casual players have been exploring alternative means to make the game even more mainstream. Conor Petersen, a game developer and amateur chess enthusiast, made a name for himself last month when his multiverse time travel game, 5D Chess With Multiverse Time Travel, received international attention from Eurogamer, Kotaku, and PC Gamer.

With many casual gamers picking up 5D Chess for the first time, the recently launched gaming network, VENN, decided to surprise Hikaru Nakamura with the variant live during their daily show, Guest House:

As Nakamura quickly learned, 5D Chess is unique. Unlike other variants, this game is the first to use time as an additional dimension, challenging players to think about various attacks and checkmating opportunities across several boards. Players are allowed to move pieces back in time to create new branches in the timeline, which means protecting your king from both the past and the present is critical.

5D Chess Timelines
To help players manage the complexity of the game, Petersen designed the UI specifically to be as instructive and intuitive as possible.

Chess.com reached out to Petersen directly to learn more about his vision of 5D Chess:

"I've always loved games that remix and re-imagine the rules of classic chess. Games like bughouse or 3D Chess or Four Player Chess are intriguing and inspiring because they transform something familiar into something so deep and different.

With that in mind, when I had the idea to use time instead of space as an extra dimension, I knew I had the beginning of something special. From there, I tried to solve each problem or paradox I found. I ended up with 5D Chess With Multiverse Time Travel."

5D Chess Rules
Chess players looking for an extra challenge might see 5D Chess as an alternative means to use their creativity.

In developing the game, Petersen realized the creative opportunities 5D Chess presented, going so far as to develop a puzzle mode for more causal players. The game, available for download on Steam, also includes practice and training modes, as well as an online mode to play against your friends.

One surprising element of 5D Chess' success has been its relevance in non-chess circles, particularly on Reddit. While many advanced chess players have been quick to write off the variant as way too complicated for beginners, non-chess streamers and Youtubers have not been afraid to tackle the game:

Since its launch, 5D Chess has gained traction as one of the most popular strategy games on all of Steam. Though chess players are notoriously picky about what variations of chess should be played, it certainly seems that at least in this timeline, 5D Chess is here to stay.

Interested in playing 5D Chess? You can grab your copy from the Steam store here:

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