13th Century Chess Men

Human Combat Chess

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It’s like the old video game, Battle Chess, except it’s live and the piece that is being captured can fight back and win. Human Combat Chess has its origins in Renaissance Festivals, but the Six Elements theater company of the Twin Cities, have taken it to a new level. The small theater company has turned it into a theater-in-the-round production with the trappings of a major modern sporting event and featuring a number of common and uncommon medieval weapons. Choreographed by professional stage fight choreographers who also train the actors, this version of chess shows that the West has just as interesting and effective martial arts as the East. We’ve just forgotten about them.


Two combatants fight for their square. Six Elements Theater Company 2016.

Unlike a movie, TV or theater production, the actors have to make the fights look good from all angles, because the audience is all around. It’s a good introduction to those who think that theater is boring or pretentious. If you happen to be in the area, it’s worth seeing. More information on the dates of this year’s production can be found at Six Elements Theater.

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    John Enfield

    Wow! I’ve done some sparing in the guild I’m in at fairs and guild meetings, but haven’t tried playing Chess that way yet. I’ve got to get them to try this.

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