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Official Home of the Modern Rules for Star Trek's Tri-Dimensional Chess


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i! I've been a very avid Star Trek fan since the Original Series was first on the air. I was the host & moderator for the Star Trek forum on the EchoNet bulletin board network, which sadly became defunct in 1998. I also have a complete collection of the Star Trek Giant Poster Book which I have been collecting since 1976. I plan to archive these now rare poster books on this site in the near future.

But one of the most interesting things I've done in Star Trek fandom was to assist Andrew Bartmess (the author of the original rules for Star Trek's Tri-Dimensional chess) in his development of the modern version of the game. This site will feature information on Andrew's modern rules for Star Trek's Tri-Dimensional chess. Look here for updates in the next few weeks.

My Story of Star Trek Tri-Dimensional Chess

In the dim time before Star Trek: Voyager or Star Trek: Deep Space Nine or Star Trek: The Next Generation and even before there was Star Trek: The Motion Picture, there was fandom, much fandom. And in those days, there were books and magazines and technical manuals and Enterprise blueprints and conventions and clubs to quench fandom's great thirst for Star Trek.

But amid all these things (many of which I joined, collected and still have), one stands out for having a remarkable affect on my life: the Star Trek Giant Poster Book. I didn't know it at the time (1976-77), but that limited-run publication would set me on a 19 year quest, not only for that one missing issue I never received during my original subscription, but also for the author of the original rules for Star Trek's Tri-D Chess.

The original rules for Star Trek's Tri-D Chess were first published in the October 1977 edition (Voyage Fourteen) of the Poster Book. As a collector, I kept Voyage Fourteen (and all the other issues except the missing Voyage Sixteen) as I moved around the country, from job to job.  In 1989, I became active on the Internet and, in particular, the Star Trek USENET newsgroups. Every once in awhile, someone on the 'Net would request the rules for Tri-D Chess. Since I appeared to be the only one on the 'Net with the answer, I started to circulate a text version of the original Poster Book article, without permission of course, but always with full acknowledgement to the original author and publisher. Even until very recently on the World-Wide Web, copies and variations of my USENET posting still existed.

All the while, I was searching for the missing Poster Book, Voyage Sixteen.  I took this search to many Toronto Trek conventions, Creation Cons and, of course, to the 'net with several requests on USENET. All to no avail. It also bothered me that I was circulating the Poster Book article without permission from the original author, so I decided to search for him too. I used every available (1993-95) tool for finding people on the 'Net, again to no avail.

Then one day in 1996, a fateful posting appeared in one of the Star Trek newsgroups. It was from the author of the original Poster Book article. In a round about way, I had not found him, but Andrew Bartmess had finally found me through his USENET posting about research he was doing into Paradise Press, that long defunct publishing company. He was updating his original chess rules yet again, and needed some specialized info. Of course, I contacted Andrew and explained how I had been posting his rules on the USENET and how I had been looking for him.

Since I had good access to the 'Net, I offered to help Andrew with his research by providing detailed information from my Star Trek collection and to do 'Net searches for the people involved in the original publication of the rules. In addition, I offered to design and maintain a Web site as the official online source for information on the latest revision of his Tri-D chess rules. And the rest, as they say, is history!

Oh, except for one thing I almost forgot. The missing Voyage Sixteen. It turns out Andrew had a copy of it and as a token of his appreciation for my assistance, he very kindly gave it to me to complete my collection, bringing to a close my 19-year quest! Andrew and I have exchanged dozens of e-mails, I've read his article dozens of times, we have collaborated to build this Web site; yet we have never met, we've never spoken to each other; I don't even know what he looks like. Yet through the power of the 'Net and the spirit of Star Trek, I not only found my missing Poster Book, I found a new good friend too. Cool. (P.S. If you know where I can find the mythical Voyage Eighteen, I'd be very interested!)

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This page was last updated on Monday, April 20, 2009 .
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