ChessRun - a crazy idea

Today I was playing chess, then I had to interrupt it to get to a local community run on time. Then I had a crazy idea. And I like to go along those ideas, so here we are...

The basic concept is to combine these two sports together in the following way: the clock is replaced by the opponent running around a track after they have made their move. Upon their return, a move has to be made. 

What you need

  • at least one friend to play with
  • a chessboard
  • running gear
  • a track / route / etc, where you can leave a chess board 

The rules

  • The two players first have to make a race around the track. The winner can chose colors.
  • During the match all the standard rules of chess apply
  • If a player makes a move, they must start to run around the track. The other player has to make the next move before they return. 
  • A player can make a move while the other player is still running. In this case the other player will have less time to think on their next move.
  • The players can not overtake each other, and they must be allowed to have a minimal amount of thinking time if the other one catches up during running.
  • If a player can not finish the track within a time limit, they must offer a draw. If this happens a second time, the player loses. 
  • The game could be won by four different ways:
    • a player resigns, or can not make a move by the return of the opponent) 
    • a player exceeds the time limit for the track twice
    • by checkmate
    • in case of a draw in chess,  the winner is decided by a race around the track
  • As a result, a chessrun match never ends with a draw. 


which are obviously just made up by me, but I have a white canvas, so...
  • the track should be the standard 400 meters long
  • the time limit for the track should be 2 minutes and 30 seconds (6:15 min/km pace ~ 9:40 min/mile)
  • the minimal allowed thinking time is 15 seconds
Since International ChessRun day should be on the 28th of June, halfway between the International Chess Day, and the Global Running Day.  Championships should be organized the same way as for football/soccer. 

Why is this fun?

Obviously, this sport requires both intellect, and fitness. The maximal two and a half minute thinking time on a move makes the match very eventful. By running faster, the opponent will have less time to think. On the other hand, if You make a quick move, and can keep up with Your opponent while running, they will only have 15 seconds to think about their move. Anyhow, there is plenty of space for tactics :-)

Also, imagine a party between Usain Bolt and Garry Kasparov :-D (Although, I'd bet all my money on the latter one.)


I simply just had this idea, but You can make up any variants you want, for examle:
  • replace running with any other sport. Cycling, skating, swimming, rowing machine,  etc.
  • combine sports, like odd moves are running, even ones are cycling. 
  • play tandem chess
  • etc.

Try it!

So, I'll definitely try it, when the time gets better, and having rests between heavy interval runs will not mean instant sickness. Until then, if You try this faster, let me know about the experiences. Use #chessrun on instagram / facebook / whatever. Here I created an event for the 28th of June.

As always: Thanks for reading! Sharing, comments and +1s are always appreciated. You can follow the blog on Google+Twitter, and Facebook. The embedded videos (and others) are collected in the RunnerMate playlist on my youtube channel, and quick running/cycling/etc related photos are shared on my Instagram.


About Unknown

Amateur fun runner, geek, hiker.


Write comments
October 11, 2019 at 2:17 AM delete

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