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Beer Chess Is The Drinking Game That Will Define Your Summer

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beer chess drinking game summer

Chess: the game of war, the sport of kings. In its purest form, chess is a contest of wills, pitting the intelligence, the gall, the cunning, and the cruelty of the competitors against each other. Man-to-man. There is no more direct and personal contest between two combatants.

Sadly, this ancient, manly table game hewn from hardwood and solid marble has been supplanted by plastic and computers. Despicable. Its wide availability to the common man has fomented the despoiling of the sport through affiliation with nerds and virgins, who have taken it for their own.

It’s up to you to take it back. But how can you re-conquer chess and elevate it to its true epic and immortal stature, supplanting the faculties of weaker men?

Simple: play Beer Chess.

The Game

Beer Chess is laid out like regular chess, except instead of small figures, the game pieces are cups or cans of beers — with the exception of the Queen (a tequila shot) and the King (a traditional King’s Cup filled with liquids (solids too?) of your choosing). Because of the quantity of alcohol involved, it’s very important that the game is paced out at a reasonable rate so that the health of all competitors is never put in jeopardy — you want to beat your opponent, not have them puking everywhere or worse. Playing with two teams of 2-4 people can really speed things up and even things out.


The game is designed to punish (or maybe reward?) players who put their pieces in jeopardy. Much like Chess Boxing, the more the game progresses, the lower your inhibitions. However, unlike Chess Boxing, which is a general physical and mental battle on both sides, the competitor in BC who starts to lose pieces will strategically suffer (or achieve — again, depends on what your goal is here).

Some of these strategies have books written about them, so I’m not going to go into too much detail because I’m no chess champ. I’ll put some links in where you can go to learn more.

Strategy 1: The Sicilian Defense

Unless you have the mind of Hermes and the liver of Dionysius, to win BC you will probably need to play defensively. The Sicilian Defense is an extremely effective strategy used by chess champions at the top level of play. This is to be used if your opponent moves their pawn first into the middle right space (E4). This is by far the most common first move by a right-handed person on a blank chessboard, and is made by most people unknowingly, so you can counter it with brutal effectiveness. Just be prepared for some brew as you’ll have to sacrifice some pawns.

Strategy 2: The Two-Move Checkmate

The two-move checkmate should be used only when playing against pledges or the chess-inept. Be careful, because this can very easily blow a chance at a powerful first move and leave you covering your ass for the rest of the game. But if successful? Instant King’s Cup. Bonus is that if your opponent falls for the two-move, he has to drink his Queen, too. Dumbass.

Strategy 3: Queen’s Gambit

The Queen’s Gambit is a good way to get your queen out to reap very early in the game and relies on lots of bishop movement. With a couple good setups, you can ransom the opponent’s queen with alternating checks and take off the court piece by piece.

Strategy 4: Bitches Love Tequila

The other option is “Bitches Love Tequila.” This is a rapid, two-move assault that basically ends up with you both losing your queens right from the start. It’s the two-move, but from the other side.

This move is pure intimidation, like cutting your own leg off and hitting your enemy with it. It’s to show your opponent you mean some fucking business, and you’re not afraid to pound a little José. If you have a stronger tequila tolerance than your weak, puny adversary, this could be the strike that throws the whole game.

Strategy 5: The Pawn March

This is a slow, painful defense that involves moving a wall of counter-posed pawns forward until you hit a wall of your opponent’s own pawns. Keep some rooks behind the front lines to pick off errant knights.

This defense can be absolutely peppered by a competent player with a couple bishops, but the main reason to use it is you can initiate a pawn bloodbath on your own terms.

Strategy 6: The Chico State Defense

This is a version of the Sicilian Defense that just involves you killing the King’s Cup, plugging your queen, shotgunning one beer, and kicking over your opponent’s pieces while you run outside shirtless screaming like an animal. Otherwise known as “The Chico Checkmate.”

Drink responsibly, and never drink and drive.

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Doctor Franzia

*Not qualified to practice medicine*

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