Baldur’s Gate 3’s puzzles are usually pretty simple to solve, but some of them can stop you in your tracks. This is especially the case if you’ve never played chess and reached the Chamber of Strategy.
The puzzle has caused a lot of ruckus in the forums for this reason, but even this being the case, things are set up simply enough for you to mop up this task quickly and place yourself one step closer to the Wyrmway’s ultimate challenge. Whether you’ve hit a wall at the puzzle or need to know where to go to tackle it for yourself, this guide has you covered.
Bottom Line Up Front
If you’re in a rush, here are the main things you need to know to beat the Chamber of Strategy:
- The Chamber of Strategy is one of four separate puzzles located in an area called the Wyrmway — an underground section of Wrym’s Rock Fortress deep within Wyrm Rock Prison.
- Accessing the Wyrmway requires you to extinguish two Dragon Head Torches and then relight them with lightning to reveal a secret passageway (the coordinates are X:37 Y:734).
- Once inside, the Chamber of Strategy is located on the northeast side of the room.
- The puzzle within requires you to checkmate the king piece on a large chessboard within two moves. This is accomplished by moving the queen piece in an L-shaped pattern: first horizontally to one end of the board and then vertically to meet the row the king piece stands on.
How to Get There
The Chamber of Strategy is located at Wyrm’s Rock Fortress, and getting there requires you to reach the Wyrm’s Crossing (X:-13 Y:58). You’ll be pointed towards Wyrm’s Rock Fortress during Wyll’s personal quest and will arrive at Wyrm’s Crossing just after reaching Baldur’s Gate in Act 3.
Once you arrive at the front gates of the fortress, though, you’ll find that you’re not allowed in due to an ongoing ceremony. Now, you can actually pay your way in by speaking to the female guard, but given that the asking price is a whopping 20,000 gold, that’s certainly not the best option (albeit the easiest if you’re unusually rich).
You could also commit a crime, get yourself sent to prison, and then break out to arrive in the rough area you need to be, but this obviously has consequences.
There are also several options that involve lengthy dialogs, but if you want to keep things as simple as possible, your best method is to sneak in (before you get going, you need to make sure you have either lightning arrows or a character that can cast lightning spells).
To the right of the main bridge, you’ll find a wooden balcony attached to another building. Head onto this platform, and you’ll notice a dirt path below snaking around the perimeter of the fortress.
What you want to do is jump down to reach these foundations; you’ll need to use the Featherfall spell if you don’t want to take any damage, which you have very likely obtained by now (if not, you can consistently find it at the Thayan Laboratory in Blighted Village).
Once you’ve hopped down, follow the path along to the right, and you’ll make a perception check on a cracked opening in the wall of the fortress that you can crawl through to get to the prison.
Head forward once inside, and you’ll notice a precarious brick wall you can knock through with a melee attack to gain entry to the main area. When you’re in the main prison complex, head to the rough coordinates of X:37 Y:734. You’ll spot two Dragon Head Torches here that are presently illuminating the area with regular flame. Click on them to extinguish the fire, and then either fire your lightning arrows or cast lightning on them. Both will then glow with a new blue flame, which opens up a secret doorway on the wall between them.
This new area is the Wyrmway, and upon entering, you’ll immediately be met by a saluting stone statue. Speak to him and select the dialogue option, “I am worthy. Open the way.” You can then proceed through the door beside him, where you’ll find each of the four Wrymway challenges. The Chamber of Strategy is northeast of this room.
Note: If you need to travel out of the area at any point, getting back to the prison is easy once you have the Wrym Fortress fast-travel location. You’ll find this point just ahead of the main gates on a wall to the right. Head immediately right from the Wrym Fortress waypoint marker towards the area labeled Passageway to reach the prison again.
How to Beat the Chess Match
When you enter the Chamber of Strategy, your route will appear seemingly blocked by a large cluster of crystals, but you can easily get over these by selecting the Jump action. Hopping over, you’ll discover a life-size chess board with a game already apparently in session.
Firstly, click on the large Statue of Balduran to initiate the puzzle. If you have Gale in your party, he’ll tell you how to solve the game immediately, thereby negating any puzzling on your part. Without him, you’ll be left to work it out yourself, but the solution is very simple.
You’re playing white. Your task is to checkmate the king within two moves, and you don’t need to be proficient in actual chess to figure it out. All you need to do is move one piece, the queen, in an L-shaped fashion. To move a piece, simply walk up to it (you don’t have to be in turn-based mode), select it, and then select the space you want it to move into. The chess piece will then vanish and reappear in the desired location.
It’s your turn first: move the queen from one end of the board to the other and take out the pawn on the other side. Then it’s the other players’ move: they’ll move the king one space to the left, at which point you can reach an easy checkmate on your turn by moving the queen diagonally to take the pawn in front of the king. With your queen piece directly in front of the king, he has nowhere to move without placing himself in check again. This gives you your win.
The Statue of Balduran will then tell you that you’ve completed the challenge, and you can now proceed back the way you came for the next segment.
Alternative Methods and Bugs
There’s also another way to beat the puzzle—by physically destroying the king. Use a lightning attack on the chess piece, and it will explode, ending the game as if you’d beaten it fair and square.
It’s also important to note that some bugs have been known to arise with this particular puzzle.
Namely, the chess board can sometimes appear in a different setup than the one detailed above, and some players have discovered that it is impossible to meet the win requirements in such situations. If you find this to be the case, you can always use the alternative method to get through it.
If you want to read more about the associated bugs, check out this Reddit thread on the official Baldur’s Gate 3 sub.
I hope this guide provided you with all the information you needed to both reach and complete the Chamber of Strategy.
If you’re looking for more tips on the intricacies of Baldur’s Gate 3, be sure to check out our other articles, such as the guide on How to Defeat Aunty Ethel or our piece on how to romance Karlach. You can also keep up to date with all the latest Baldur’s Gate 3 updates via our News section.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: How Does the Difficulty of the Chamber of Strategy Compare to the Other Chambers?
Answer: I don’t think any of the puzzles are designed to be overly challenging, but actually, I’d say the Chamber of Strategy is the easiest of the bunch. I was a little disappointed that the game only took two simple moves to beat, and even more so that Gale reveals the answer immediately when you enter!
Question: Is There Anything Else to do in the Chamber of Strategy Other than the Chess Match?
Answer: This is very much a one-and-done situation that has you moving swiftly from one puzzle room to the next. I couldn’t find anything particularly interesting in the Chamber of Strategy other than the chess match in question.
Question: Why is Chess Referred to as Lanceboard in Baldur’s Gate 3?
Answer: If you have Gale in your party, you will hear him refer to the game as Lanceboard, but this is simply another name for Chess in Faerûn. The term was coined long before the release of Baldur’s Gate 3 back in the early days of Dungeons & Dragons.