Chess or Dare

February 3, 2015 - Game Sketchbook

So there I was… excited to play a new game we’d cooked up on the spot (“What would happen if we combined chess and truth or dare? Hmmm…”) So we drafted Chess pieces, made up some funny dares, and flipped to see who goes first. Then Sean, who had up to this point been benignly keeping his peace (read: hustling us) said to his teammates, “I propose we start with the Sicilian Defense.”

My fellow teammates and mediocre chess players looked at each other and shared the same thought: “Well… shit.”

The moral of the story is: before playing Chess or Dare, make sure your enemies weren’t in chess club in high school or you too could end up running around the block in your underwear in the snow this winter. It has happened before.


Chess or dare is pretty much what it sounds like: you come up with a bunch of dares, put them in a bowl, and play Chess with the losers drawing dares as they go. The beauty of this game is that you can play with multiple people on each team if each player drafts three or four pieces to be “theirs” on the board. If you lose one of “your” pieces, you are the one who has to do the dare. For a dramatic ending, come up with a big dare the whole losing team has to do together at the end.


Players: 2-10

Duration: Could be an hour or you could really swing for the fence on the epic size of your dares and stretch it out for months.

  1. Divide into teams if you are playing with more than two people and come up with ten or fifteen dares everyone is comfortable with. Write the dares down and put the pieces of paper in a bowl to be drawn during the game.
  2. If you are playing with more than two people, each person should draft some pieces and mark them as theirs with a post-it on or under the piece with the player’s name in it. If any of those pieces are taken, the player who owned that piece has to draw a dare.
  3. All dares must be completed before the next turn.
  4. Players should confer among themselves as to which piece to move – the fun and tension of the game is arguing about those moments when your team will need you to sacrifice your piece for the good of the team (and thus draw a dare).
  5. Rule variation: assign a few pieces that, when they are taken, make the whole team do a dare together instead of just one player.
  6. Rule variation: Come up with a large dare for the entire losing team to do together at the end of the game… it really adds to the stakes of winning or losing.

› tags: Dare Games / Medium-sized Games / Small Games / Thinking Games /

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