The Story of the Flatow and Glinski Games

In 1974 Wolfgang Flatow, an artist and inventor, began playing chess on a hexagonal chess board he invented with friends in Canberra, Australia.  He used intuitive mapping of chess pieces from a square chess board to a hexagonal chess board, designed a 8 x 4 x 4 hexagon chess board and wrote a rule book.

Unknown to Wolfgang, and in an incredible example of global synchronicity, Glinski was publishing his version of Hexagonal Chess in England at a similar time.  Wolfgang eventually discovered Glinski's version of Hexagonal Chess in 1976 in a Canberra Games shop, while he was selling his own version of Hexagonal Chess.

The Glinski game was taken up by games publishers and was marketed around the World, diminishing player and commercial interest in the Flatow version.

As it turned out, Wolfgang had made virtually identical intuitive mappings of the chess pieces to a hexagonal grid and in hindsight they are simply 'logical'.  What was very different however was the Hexagonal Chess Board and  game opening!

The Flatow Chess Board is a 65 hexagon 8 x 4 x 4 board while the Glinski Chess Board is a 91 hexagon 6 x 6 x 6 board.

The Flatow board has 1 more hexagon than the 64 squares of the traditional chess board.  The Glinski board has 27 more hexagons which greatly increases complexity.

A significant difference between the Flatow and Glinski games are the openings.  Wolfgang created one opening for his board that uses 2 bishops and 7 pawns (Flatow) to allow players to play with existing chess sets, and another opening that uses 3 bishops and 9 pawns (Fortress).  Both of Wolfgang's openings are neater and more compact when compared to Glinski's opening (see above).

So while both Flatow and Glinski games share some logical chess piece moves, they are distinctly different expressions of Hexagonal Chess.

Wolfgang has also introduced the Power 6 and Super 12 Pawns which he has found to be a superior balance with the power pieces than the Classic 3 pawns.

The Flatow game focuses essentially the same chess piece powers on a hexagonal chess board that has 71.43% of the hexagons of the Glinski game.

As you do not need to consider the strategic impact of 26 hexagons the Flatow game is easier to play.  But it may surprise you just how much easier!


Flatow Total

Flatow %

Glinski Total

Glinski %














King Permutations






Each additional hexagon dramatically increases the permutations!  We have calculated the increase in permutations of the Kings moves (above) for both chess boards and the Flatow Board game is 0.03% as complex when compared to the Glinski board.

This is good thing as the increase in Hexagonal Chess Piece Power over the square board already raises complexity greatly - we estimate 60 fold.

We propose that the Flatow game is neater, more compact, much easier and much more fun to play.

You be the judge.


Top of Page