Big Changes Ahead for Human Combat Chess!

Hello Friends,

We know you’ve been anxiously waiting for more information about the future of Human Combat Chess, and it’s our pleasure to finally be able to start discussing what will be coming over the next year or so. Please remember that even with these changes, and those that will come in the future, our primary goal is to create a safe creative environment in as many ways as possible.

The largest change that is happening is something we’ve come to describe as “cell division”: Six Elements Theatre will no longer be producing Human Combat Chess. The show will continue on with a new production company rising to focus exclusively on the show and the continued developments of the world of Combat Chess. We want to make it very clear that this decision was made in order to allow both Six Elements and Human Combat Chess to reach their full potentials, and was not caused by any sort of internal conflict. Several members of the Chess production team are members of Six Elements, and more may continue to be involved in the show as it progresses.

That change will take at least the next year to complete, however, as Six Elements will be acting as a financial sponsor for this coming year’s production. This was made possible through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC) specifically for Human Combat Chess, which will give us access to the funds we need to properly launch the next era of the show.

That new era will launch with what will undoubtedly be the most ambitious production we have pursued to date, and it will be combined with a change in our branding to create a platform that we can continue building on for years to come. This is an exciting time to be a part of this project and the community that surrounds it, and more information will be coming soon. We’re happy to answer any questions that you may have, but please understand if the answer we can give for now is “More to come later” (and soon).

Until next time, Control Your Center!

Johanna Gorman-Baer

Darwin Hull

Mike Lubke

Chris Marchand

Nathaniel Nesheim-Case

HCC - Meet the Kings for the 2016 All-Star Game

Happy Opening Night! As we get ready for the Midwest Combat Chess All-Star Series, meet the Kings lined up for tonight’s match.

Human Combat Chess 2016: The All-Star Series runs April 29th through May 7th. Buy tickets now at hcc2016.brownpapertickets.com

Name: Nathaniel Nesheim-Case
Home Team: Roses
Board Side: Black

What is your favorite weapon/weapon choice? 
NNC: Sword and Shield, because I always like to see what the other person is doing first- Defense is my first name. Which is why I pick Black side whenever I can, and let the other team take the first move.

What is your favorite part of Human Combat Chess? 
NNC: The strategy, and the changes from conventional chess- the randomness that real people fighting brings.

What do you like best about your team? 
NNC: The Roses? It’s a bunch of really intelligent people. They know what they’re doing and they know what they’re getting into.

Looking ahead to the All-Star Series, will your approach be any different? What are you looking forward to, or going to watch out for? 
NNC: It’ll be interesting to play with people on my board side that I don’t know very well. I know that these are the best players we have in the Midwest Combat Chess League, and playing the strengths of those under me against the weaknesses of the opponents’ team is nothing new. I look forward to seeing the fights.


Name: Noah Stein
Home Team: Dragons
Board Side: White

What is your favorite weapon/weapon choice? 
Stein: I am always a fan of the unarmed fight. I mean, me personally, I’d choose the quarterstaff. Something about that weapon- there’s no easy yield, like there is with a sword, but with quarterstaff you know that someone’s yielding because they’re hurt. You know when the fight is over. But one of the things that I would do if I had a team for the whole season would be concentrating on Unarmed, because no matter your weapon choice, you always can use those skills.

What is your favorite part of Human Combat Chess? 
Stein: The competitive nature of the fights, honestly. It’s not about which team is better, it’s about an individual’s ability. Seeing people work together as teams is still a foreign concept to me since coming from the Shogi league. It’s all about the glory when everyone else gets off the board and it’s just you and the other person.

What do you like best about your team?
Stein: They’re efficient. The fact that they have been described by some as a rag-tag group of fighters, they’ve been clumped together by various backgrounds, they remind me of my old companions from Shogi, where the kings play chess, and the fighters fight. And that’s a philosophy very much shared by the Dragons.

Looking ahead to the All-Star Series, will your approach be any different? What are you looking forward to, or going to watch out for? 
Stein: This will be my first actual competitive MCCL game as a King. I’ve studied some chess in preparation in order to find an opening that I feel is reliable, but more than anything I’m trusting in the fact that I know what my fighters are capable of, and they’ll get the job done.

Artist Profile - Jason Kobett

Chess opens in just one short day on June 12th.  As we prepare the best year yet, we've introduced you to some of the talent and personalities behind this year's championship match between the Templars and the Celts.  In profile today: Jason Kobett, the King of the Celts.

Jason Kobett

Celts - King

What is your favorite weapon? Why?

Personally, my favorite weapon is a sword. I waffle between the flashy elegance of a rapier, or the controlled brutality of a broadsword.  Both have their purposes and their place, which happens to be in my hand.

If you could have a fight with anyone living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be against, and with what weapon? Why?

I think that it would have to be with Henry V, because he seems like the sort of person who in his youth knew how to enjoy life, and when coming into his own grew to learn a balance between responsibility and enjoyment. That interplay should make for a very enjoyable fight.

What has chess taught you? What has Human Combat Chess taught you?

Chess has taught strategy, long-term planning, and the realization that sometimes, rushing blindly forward means you miss the little details that cause you to panic later.

Human Combat Chess has taught me that chess can be exciting and unpredictable, having to rely on others to see a task completed according to plan -and if they can't make it happen, having to rewrite the plan on the fly

Introduce us to your character:

Jason the Celt King is a fighter first, team captain second, and chess player third. He is very knowledgeable in his team's capabilities in a fight, and chooses to rely on this more often than his somewhat lacking chess strategy. He likes to think he's witty and charming, but the reality is that he just sometimes says things without the words checking in first.

Any parting words of wisdom?

Follow your passions, they'll take you to places you never knew you wanted to go.

Artist Profile - Rachel Bigelow

As we move closer to opening Human Combat Chess on June 12th, our series of artist profiles moves up the chain of command to the Kings of this year's championship contenders.  First up is the King of the Templars, Rachel Bigelow!

Rachel Bigelow

Templars - King


It is hard to pick just one. I enjoy small sword, it is graceful yet deadly.  I also like the versatility of rapier and dagger. My favorite fight I have done so far was a rapier and dagger fight.


Nerf gun fight with Nathan Fillion...enough said!


Chess has taught me patience. Human Combat Chess has taught me much about flexibility, thinking on your feet, and dedication. It has also given me the opportunity to meet many wonderful people and to learn a plethora of awesome fighting styles!


My character is also named Rachel Bigelow. She was first introduced to the world in 2009 as Rachel Piersdorf. She married Jon Bigelow, another combatant (in real life and in game), in 2012, hence the name change. She is often used as the tiny yet powerful piece. Her background in gymnastics has lent itself well to the sport as she is proficient in many styles. She is absolutely deadly with a small sword. A strategist and very patient she is not overtly flashy like some other characters but is great fun to watch in a fight!


Chess has been such an amazing experience! It has been a pleasure to be involved for so many years. I know everyone who attends will have a tremendous amount of fun! Oh, and wear black and gold!