From Sverre.Johnsen@dnv.com Fri Nov 21 12:27:48 1997 Anyway these activities are very popular in Norway. When organizing summer camps or larger team competitions we always try to find some time for social/ physical activities like "relay-chess", "basket chess" or "chat-team" competitions. A brief explanation: RELAY-CHESS This is a competition between two teams. It is basically an ordinary game of chess where the teams have to run a bit to do their moves. They can each have from 2 to app.12 players. It is not necessary for the teams to have the same number of players. Both teams are lined up some distance from the board. (10-50 m depending on how long time they are given) They each get e.g. 10 minutes on the chess clock. The first player on team A (white) runs to the board, makes his first move and presses the clock button. When he has started team B's clock, the first player on team B runs to the board, makes his move starts the clock. When he has pressed the button the second player on team A may start running, but only if the first player on the team has found his place at the end of the queue. As in an ordinary game of chess you can either win on time or by mating. The longer running distance and the shorter time limits the more important it is to run quickly. And the fewer players on each team, the more exhausting it will be. The blunder rate often increases considerably because of the time pressure and because the teams will rarely have a consistent idea behind their moves. Be sure that the rules are made clear before the game starts: Is it allowed to shout advices to the player to move? What happens if there is an illegal move? Do you have to stop your own clock to claim a win on time? BASKET CHESS This too is a typical outdoor activity but between single players. The idea is that if you captures a piece you have to throw it into a basket before you can press your clock. If you misses you will have to run some penalty rounds. If you misses with a pawn it will be just one round, if you misses with a knight or a bishop it will be three, a rook will be five and a queen will be ten (or nine if you prefer). You can vary the running and throwing distances depending on how "physical" you want the game to be. Usually this kind of chess is also very entertaining for the spectators. In some time pressure situations you may see players sacrificing their queen on g7 in the hope that their opponent will miss the throwing and have to run the ten penalty rounds. CHAT TEAMS This really is multiple consultation games. Contrary to the outdoor activities this may be very instructive in addition to being noisy and entertaining. The basic model is four players on each team but the match being played over five board. The teams are free to communicate and to allocate their players as they want to. Most usual is to give the strongest player two boards to start with and the others one each. When a game is finished the players move over to other to give advise or take over games from weaker teammates. But I have also seen teams letting their strongest player play simultaneously on all boards just leaving to his teammates to do obvious recaptures and press the clocks. If you want to give the match a twist you may set different time limits on the different boards or you may let one of the games (perhaps played on an outdoor set) be played for two points (one point for a draw). I often set one additional rule: After three warnings from the arbiter for shouting or non-constructive criticism a point may be deducted from the team's score. Sverre Johnsen
There is, of course, a very famous saying from Rueben Fine:
"I'd rather have a pawn than a finger."
It's often quoted during analysis.
One of my favorite sayings, though, came as a response to this.
About 40 players were watching an online broadcast of a major match.
One of the players was a pawn down, and there was some argument as to how much compensation the other had.
One of the masters present quoted Fine, "As Reuben Fine said, "I'd rather have a pawn than a finger."