Team Chess


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Bible Chess is a team game played by a minimum of 33 people. Instead of their being a game board with game pieces, players will be the pieces playing on a life sized checker board. This is an involved game meant to combine strategy, learning, material review, and competition.

This games is most suitable for youth groups, clubs, schools (the questions could be Bible, history, spelling bee, math problems, memory verses).

We will refer to the teams as the White Team and the Black Team, but team names can be used. Whatever the names, the challenger will be the White Team and they will be making the first move.
PlayersPlayers FieldField SetupSetup RookRook BishopBishop KnightKnight PawnPawn Quiz MasterQuiz Master Game MasterGame Master Game JudgesJudges QuestionsQuestions FAQFAQ

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Each team will have ....
There is also one or more judges.

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The field is played on a checkerboard consisting of 64 squares: Numbered Chess squareseight rows and eight columns. Each square must be at least large enough for 1 player to stand comfortably. It would be even better if the square was large enough for 2 players, the occupant and the challenger. This would make the square 2 to 3 feet across.

The squares may be alternately light (white) and dark colored. If playing out doors, chalk works on alternating squares.

As moves will be declared by the Game Master, it may be handier to have the square's name taped or chalked in the square.

All squares are given a name. From the view of the white team, the rows are numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8; the lowest row has number 1, and the upper row has number 8. The columns are named, from left to right, a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h. A square gets a name, consisting of the combination of its column-letter and row-number, e.g., the square in the lower left corner (for white team) is a1.

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The Placement of the Chess piecesAt the second row, there are eight white Pawns

At the seventh row, there are eight black Pawns

At the first row, from left to right, we have a: Rook, Knight, Bishop, Game Master, Game Master, Bishop, Knight, and Rook

Note that the Quiz Masters start on squares of their own color (squares named d1 a d8), with a dark square in each players left hand corner.

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Rook or Castle
Rook MovesThe Rook moves in a straight line in any direction, horizontally or vertically. The rook may not jump over other players, that is: all squares between the square where the rook starts its move and where the rook ends its move must be either empty or in the opponents possession.

Each team must have 3 questions for use by the Rook. After the 3 questions have been used, then they must begin to reask the same questions in the same order.

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Bishop
Bishop movesThe Bishop moves in a straight diagonal line in any direction. The Bishop may not jump over other players, that is: all squares between the square where the Bishop starts its move and where the rook ends its move must be either empty or in the opponents possession.

Each team must have 3 questions for use by the Bishop. After the 3 questions have been used, then they must begin to reask the same questions in the same order.

When a Bishop is challenged for their square or when they are challenging another player for their own square, the Bishop reads their own question from memory (The Quiz Master may give a 1 word hint to the Bishop as to which question to ask since the questions may not be given out of order.). The opponent must interrupt the Bishop with the answer BEFORE the Bishop has finished asking the question or they are out of the game and the Bishop takes or keeps possession of the square.

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Knight
Knight movesThe Knight's move is rather different. Think of the move as "L" shaped - two squares either forward, backward, left, or right and then left or right one square.

The Knight jumps: it is allowed that the squares the Knight passes over can be occupied by an arbitrary player. For instance, white can start the game by moving their Knight from b1 to c3. The player who is passed over is further not affected by the Knight.

Each team must have 6 questions for use by the Knight. After the 6 questions have been used, then they must begin to reask the same questions in the same order.

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Pawn
Pawn movesWhen this Pawn has not moved at all, i.e., the Pawn is still at the second row (from the team's view), the Pawn may make a double step straight forward. For instance, a white Pawn on d2 can be moved to d4. Pawn moves

Whenever the square immediately before the Pawn is empty, the Pawn may take one step forward (including on the first move, forgoing the double step option).

The Pawn can only go forward, never backwards. The Pawn is the only player so constrained.

Each team must have 12 questions for use by the Pawns. After the 12 questions have been used, then they must begin to reask the same questions in the same order. Although the Quiz Master will be asking the questions and keeping track of this, the Judge(s) will also note the sequence and keep the Quiz Master on track.

The Challenge:
When a Pawn challenges another Pawn, Rook, or Knight, the challenging Pawn's Quiz Master will ask the opposing player a question.
If the question is NOT answered successfully, the challenge is sucessful and the Pawn moves into the square while the defending player vacates the playing field.
If the defender answers the question correctly, then the challenger is vanquished from the playing field. The defender does not move from the square which they have just sucessfully defended.
When a Pawn challenges a Bishop, the defending Bishop will ask the challenging Pawn the question.
If the question is NOT answered successfully by the challenging Pawn, the Pawn vacates the playing field. The defender does not move from the square which they have just sucessfully defended.
If the challenging Pawn answers the question correctly, then the challenger is vanquished from the playing field and the challenging Pawn takes possession of their square.
When a Pawn challenges the Quiz Master, the defending Quiz Master will ask the challenging Pawn the question.
If the question is NOT answered successfully by the challenging Pawn, the Pawn vacates the playing field. The defender does not move from the square which they have just sucessfully defended.
If the challenging Pawn answers the question correctly, they then return to their former square.

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Quiz Master
Quiz Master moves Quiz Master can move vertically, horizontally, and diagonally in any direction for as many squares as they want (without jumping other players)

The Quiz Master ask the questions except in the case of the Bishop.

The Quiz Master decides which order the questions are to be asked and for which category of players they are for. Although the decision should be made well before the game begins, it is not set in stone. It is a matter of skill for the Quiz Master to recognize players strength and weaknesses and to juggle questions accordingly.

There are 24 questions spread across four categories plus the Quiz Master's own questions. This said, there are still some boundaries which the Quiz Master must work within.
  1. When the Quiz Master is challenged, the question being used must have never been asked before.
  2. Once questions have been asked, within their category, they must be recycled in order within the same category.
  3. If there are not enough unasked questions for any category, then the player not having a question to ask forfeits their square and leave the game.
  4. The Bishops have to be able to ask up to three questions from memory. If one of their questions is given to the Knight, then on the Bishop's third confrontation, they are automaticially out of the game and forfeit their square.
  5. If the Quiz Master runs out of unasked questions, they must either take an unasked catagory question or the game is over and the opposing team wins.
Challenging the Quiz Master:

When any player challenges the Quiz Master or any player is challenged by the Quiz Master, the Quiz Master asks a unique question. This always occurs, even if the challenger is a Bishop.

If the challenger/defender answered the question incorrectly, then they forfeit their square and exit the game.

If the challenger/defender answered the question correctly, then the challenger returns to their original square.

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Game Master
Game Master movesThe Game Master can only move up to one square at a time. The Game Master can move forward, backward, left, right or diagonally.

Challenging the Game Master: No can do. If you can challenge the Game Master, the game is over.

The Game Master does not ask any questions nor is asked any questions. What the Game Master does do is call out all the moves. This is the teams quarterback. While the Quiz Master strategies with the questions, the Game Master will strategies with all player movements.

For example, they may call out c3 to f6. Presuming a Bishop or the Quiz Master is in c3, they move accordingly. If there is an opponent in f6, then a confrontation is initiated.

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Castling is a special defensive maneuver. It is the only time in the game when more than one piece may be moved during a turn.

The castling move has some fairly rigid caveats:
  1. It can only occur if there are no pieces standing between the Game Master and the Rook.
  2. Neither Game Master nor Rooks may have moved from its original position.
  3. There can be no opposing piece that could possibly capture the Game Master in his original square, the square he moves through or the square that he ends the turn.
Example of Castling
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It does not matter where the Quiz Master is or how many times the Quiz Master has moved.
Here is the move involving 3 players. Hopefully, this diagram to the right makes this clear.

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Judge(s)

The Judge(s) must approve all questions.

The Judge(s) rule on the answers given.

The Judge(s) hold all questioners being asked as accountable, that is, no question may be ask differently than those questions they have accepted.

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  1. Are we satisified with the Game Description?
  2. I wonder if the judges are really necessary since it seems the Quiz Master can do the same function. Could not the Quiz Master review the opposing teams questions and pass judgment on them? If the Quiz Master is never going to be asked a question, nor are they influencing the moves made by the Game Master, then there should be no harm in their having a sneak preview. This would unravel, however, if the Quiz Master made it a point to influence the Game Master or coach (prepare) the players on their team.
  3. Should we leave the square size optional or should we specify it?
    Perhaps it could specify and have footnotes or link to some options.
  4. Are we going to need some variants of this game which will not require 32+ players?

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      Please send any questions, comments, or suggestions to Tom Dierkes at tom@dfamily.com or Travis Hukill   ( )   Dierkes / Faber Home Page

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