Chess Classroom Activity: Skill Building Mini-Game with Queens and Bishops

Chess Skill Building Game Quibs

Skill builders and games are used throughout the MATCH Chess Curriculum to practice important chess and cognitive skills in an engaging way. By using a game format, students are more willing to engage in the repeated practice needed to improve important techniques that have a direct crossover into chess tactics. In previous posts we have covered how to use two such games: Pawn Mower and Domination. In this post, we discuss another game that we call Quibs (Queen Intercepts Bishops) which was designed to help students improve their ability to see/defend against threats, especially forks.

What is a fork? In chess, a fork is when an opponent attacks two pieces at once. When this happens, one of the pieces is likely to be captured because it is often impossible to save both pieces.

You can use any of these games to reinforce important lesson concepts, make productive use of small blocks of time, prime your students’ brains at the beginning of class, drill key skills, or provide an alternative activity for some students while you work with others. ┬áThe two keys to success are to make sure you really understand how each activity works and to present them as fun activities in their own right. ┬áDon’t hesitate to make it exciting with game show commentary, time limits and general enthusiasm.


Quibs is played as follows:

Two bishops, placed on their original squares, are trying to escape from being captured by an enemy queen, also on its original square. The bishops move first. The loss of one bishop signals the end of the game. The bishops are trying to survive for ten moves.

Variation: Vary the number of moves (e.g., 3 or 6 moves). Shortening the number of moves that the Bishops need to survive makes the game easier.

Here is GM Ashley explaining how this game works – It can be played in his app Learn Chess with Maurice Ashley (iOS) or on the chess board.

If you liked this game, click here to learn about the MATCH Chess Curriculum which includes many games and variations (along with written and video instructions) to spice up your chess club or class. Please subscribe in the box on the right to get notified when we have a new post.

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