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Beer Chess

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Beer Chess is chess played with beer as the pieces, and has the interesting effects of stimulating the brain cells as you kill them.

What You’ll Need

Beer chess is played with cans and bottles of beer, to represent the pieces (examples shown in the table below). One side (white) uses Light Beer whilst the other side (black) uses regular beer of the same brands. This means that the game requires a big board; one method is to use white bathroom or kitchen tiles placed on a darker table to form a checkerboard pattern. For and even cheaper board, beer mats, available at most bars, serve as impromptu, portable boards.

Black White
Pawns (8) Budweiser (8oz cans) Bud Lights (8oz can)
Rooks (2) Miller Genuine Draft (12 oz Can) Miller Light (12oz can)
Knights (2) Busch (12 oz Cans) Busch Light (12 oz Can)
Bishops (2) Coors (12 oz Cans) Coors Light (12 oz Can)
Queen (1) Michelob (Bottle) Michelob Light (Bottle)
King (1) Budweiser (Bottle) Bud Light (Bottle)

How to Play

  • When you move a piece, take a sip from the piece moved.
  • Once a piece is sipped, that piece must be moved (i.e. taking back moves is not allowed).
  • When your piece is captured, drink the entire piece.
  • You can take as long as you want to drink a captured piece, but the piece must be consumed quickly if a second piece is then captured.
  • Castling requires two sips: one from the King, one from the Rook.
  • En passent requires only one sip (as in a standard pawn move).
  • When your pawn reaches the 8th rank, and is exchanged for a queen (or other piece), your opponent must drink the remainder of the pawn.
  • After each exchange of pieces, both players must toast each other’s health with the exchanged pieces.
  • If you are put in check, you must sip from the King.
  • If you are checkmated, you must drink:
    • The remainder of your King.
    • The remainder of your opponent’s King.
    • The remainder of your pieces.
  • A player may not go to the bathroom before their move.
  • Passing out constitutes a resignation.

Hints and Tips

Avoid sacrificing pieces for position. A sacrifice will only force you to drink more. Remember, in this game, you can be beating your opponent, not only by the fact that you have a greater number of pieces left on the board, but also by the fact that you have a greater number of surviving brain cells left.

If you are a light drinker, avoid exchanges (especially if you are down a piece).

Take big sips out of pieces you expect to trade, when moving those pieces. This technique evenly distributes the amount of beer you will consume, and decreases the amount you will have to drink from that piece when it is traded or captured.

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