Two Man, Five Board, Five Minute

Two Man, Five Board, Five Minute

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Two Man, Five Board, Five Minute is an aerobic chess variant that I played many times in college and quite a few times as an adult. It's tremendously fun and challenging. The rules are:

1) Five boards are set up with alternating colors (e.g. if board 1 has White on one side, then boards 3 and 5 are also White and that side has Black on boards 2 and 4)

2) There are two teams of two players each. Let's call them team A (with players A1 and A2) and team B (B1 and B2)

3) Each board has a clock; all clocks are set to 5 0 (five minutes with zero increment; if a stronger team wants to offer a handicap, one side could be 5 0 and the stronger side less, like 3 0)

4) Player A1 starts on Board 1 and goes down each board in turn, making the first move; if he is White on a board, he makes the first move and presses the clock; if he is Black, he just starts White's clock.

5) Player B1 follows player A1 (on the opposite side of each board, of course), responding to player A1's first moves on each of the five boards, in turn.

6) Player A2 then proceeds down the boards, responding to player B1's moves; Player B2 follows player A2 and responds on all five boards to player A2's moves.

7) After player A1 moves on the fifth board, he runs back to board 1 (passing behind player A2, who is moving on one of the boards) and responds to player B2's moves. Player B1, after making a move on board 5, also runs back to board 1 to continue to respond to Player A1's moves. Similarly, after making his move on board 5, A2 goes back to board 1, and finally B2 does as well. In this manner all four players make moves on boards 1 through 5 continuously, always in that order, alternating moves on each board A1/B1/A2/B2 again and again. A player may NOT pass his partner; if A1 catches up with A2, he just has to wait for B2 to respond to A2's move and respond to B2 - A1 can't go to the board past A2.

8) A game is won if a) a team is checkmated, b) a team's clock expires on that board and is caught by either opponent before their own clock expires (both clocks expiring is impossible on most digital clocks), or c) if a player makes an illegal move and the next opponent to move catches the illegal move & shows it to the other team. Once a game is won, the board should be "messed up" so as play continues all the players will easily skip the boards that are finished. When there is only one board left, the players rotate just as before: A1 moves, then B1 then A2 then B2 then A1, etc.

9) Players are NOT allowed to tell their partner what type of moves to make, e.g. "Watch out for mate on board 3!" or "Attack them on the kingside!" are not allowed. Players CAN tell their partners something generic like "Move faster!' or "We only need to win one more game". Draws can be offered (but rarely are!)

10) The match is won by the team winning at least 3 of the 5 boards. Note: with all clocks running at the same time, a match never takes more than 10 minutes!

It's tremendously fun and exhausting with all the running. Great for young players (age 11+) or older ones who need to get into shape. Tip: Move fast! Slow play is way more deadly than in regular 5 0 play.

Good luck and have fun!

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