Human Chess Match in Bangor

09.10.07 What better way to celebrate a wedding anniversary than by challenging your soulmate to a game of chess? That was precisely Heather Haskell's train of thought when she convinced her husband to play chess with her on their special day. There is one twist however, Haskell, a stay-at-home-mom in the Bangor area, will play her husband in public, on a board with three foot squares, using people as pieces. This event has been cancelled.

Living Chess organizer and player Heather Haskell with her son, Charlie.

Come on by Broadway Park in Bangor on Saturday, September 15th from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. to watch or to take your place amongst the pawns and pieces.

To take part in the fun click here!

ChessMaine: Heather can you tell us a bit about yourself and how is it that you came to the idea of having this human chess match?

Heather Haskell: I’Äôm a stay at home mom who likes chess and play occasionally with my husband. We were discussing things to do one weekend and he said how everything seemed so mundane. I asked if he would like me to round up a bunch of people and have a human chess match and the idea was born.

CM: Can you describe your plans for the game? What will the board look like and who will be playing the parts of the pieces?

HH: I’Äôm sewing the board out of black and white cloth and the squares will be 3x3 feet each, so a 24 ft square board and each person will be one of the pieces. My husband and I will play each other and move people around as we vie for winning honors. I’Äôm asking the participants to wear white or black to designate their sides and I’Äôll have paper crowns, swords, etc for folks who are kings, queens, knights, etc. If people want to dress up themselves, I’Äôm all for it, so making your own costumes is very much encouraged.

CM: Will the game have a time control? Will you be using a chess clock?

HH: We’Äôll have a chess clock set for 5 minutes per move, but my husband is boasting he can beat me in 15 minutes flat.

CM: Would you consider yourself a serious player or more of a social player? Have you ever participated in a chess tournament?

HH: We’Äôre definitely both social players and have never participated in tournaments.

CM: Do you recall how you learned how to play and who was your first teacher?

HH: I learned to play in college and have had no formal education in chess, so this may be a very embarrassing public display for me.

CM: Are you planning more of this type of event in the future?

HH: We’Äôll see how it goes and what the interest is. I would encourage this type of event and am willing to donate the board to one of the participants ’Äì I plan on having a drawing at the end of the game and giving the board to one of the pieces.

CM: Any other information you would like to add?

HH: Thanks for your interest and for helping us celebrate our anniversary in style.

CM: Good luck with the game!


If I didn't have a tournament in Pembroke I would make the game. 30 minutes on each clock seems long enough though. Standing outside not moving much would tire me out too much. Then again I'm 63 so I'll leave it to a younger crowd. I hope the game is recorded so I can play it over. Roger

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