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Cosplay Chess

Sakura-Con Cosplay Chess Rules


Cosplay Chess: Saturday Main and Sunday Improv

This event is open to all registered convention attendees. You must have a valid Sakura-Con badge for the day of the pre-meet and match in order to participate.

Cosplay Chess: Late Night

Participants in Cosplay Chess: Late Night must have a valid Sakura-Con Adult badge and obtain a Mature Audience Stamp (VALID government issued ID REQUIRED to get stamp) provided by the convention. Minors are not allowed to participate in mature audience programming per Sakura-Con policies.

General Information:

How to Participate:

Those wishing to participate must complete the following:

  • Online registration form in full.
    • Partial applications will not be considered.

Registration for Cosplay Chess is not a first-come, first-serve; participants will be selected based on experience, needs of the game, and quality of the costume.

If selected to participate, attendance at the pre-meeting is required. Failure to attend will result in replacement in the game(s).

Masquerade Events Staff reserves the right to remove anyone from the game(s) at any point.

Be certain to read rules for Cosplay Chess and all Sakura-Con policies before applying.

If you have any questions, please email Masquerade Events Staff at cosplaychess@sakuracon.org

The Game:

There will be 32 chess pieces, as per an average game of chess. Alternates will be selected in the event participants drop out or miss the required pre-meeting. Battles requiring unspecified extras for special attacks shall need to be approved with a member of Masquerade Events Staff prior to the event.

The Battle:

  1. When a move is made by the Kings or Chess Masters that result in a piece being taken, a battle will take place.
  • All pieces, except those involved, will remove themselves from the board and the pieces will battle. The use of special attacks and moves is encouraged with approval.
  1. The pieces will battle and put on a show for the audience, and the defeated piece will “die” in a dramatic way. Ideal timing for a battle is 1-3 minutes, with a maximum of three minutes. If you think your battle will exceed three minutes, please seek approval from a member of Masquerade Events Staff.
  2. After the defeated piece leaves the board, all the remaining pieces will return to their previous positions.
  • Positions will not be marked, so you will have to remember the number of your space before the battle started.
  1. If a microphone or assistance of any other kind is needed for your battle, please arrange this with a member of Masquerade Events Staff before the game, preferably at the pre- meeting.

The Rules:

  1. There shall be little or no physical contact between pieces not currently engaged in battle.
    • During a battle, you may not touch the piece you are “fighting” unless they consent prior to the game.
    • Battles must still adhere to all Sakura-Con policies and must not cause harm (bodily or otherwise) to other participants.
    • Consent may be withdrawn at any point prior, during or after the event.
    • If you fail to abide by any Sakura-Con policies, you shall be removed from the game immediately and handed over to Sakura-Con Attendee Services.
  1. All entries must be recognizable characters from manga, anime, video games, or another form of popular media.
  2. All costumes must:
  3. Follow all convention policies (nudity, props, etc. This includes peace bonding. See part C in the policies for more detail.)
  4. Be self-contained, with no electrical plugs or other outside support required. A costume must be something that the applicant can move in. If your costume is bulky, heavy, or awkward, an explanation should be included with the application explaining in detail how the design of the costume will still allow for enough movement to participate in Cosplay Chess.
  5. All weapons must adhere to the convention’s weapon policy and must be peace-bonded. If Masquerade Events Staff believes the player is violating the rules of peace-bonding, that player will be removed from the board and replaced.
  6. No props or stage accessories that leave behind material will be allowed. This means no confetti, no fake blood, no rose petals or anything else that could disrupt everyone’s footing or damage the convention space.
  7.   No shoes are allowed on the mats.
  • Socks/stocking/slippers or bare feet only.
    • If you are worried that your shoes cannot be removed for the duration of Cosplay Chess, please see a member of Masquerade Events Staff prior to the event for approval.
  1.   You are only allowed to submit a total of three costumes (one per game) for consideration for Cosplay Chess.
  • If you enter more than three costumes total (one per game) your applications may not be considered.
  • You can enter a single costume for multiple games.
  1. Costumes may be only accepted for two years into any of the three Cosplay Chess Games. Any participants found having entered a costume that has been entered and accepted will be notified and that costume will not be considered.
  2. Historical, original characters, and celebrity based costumes will be treated on a case by case basis when submitted for consideration. The Masquerade Events Coordinator might require further information about the historical or original character being submitted or as to why you think the celebrity based character would function in the game.
  3. Images of your finished costume must be submitted with your application. In the event the costume you wish to apply with is not currently finished, include reference pictures, pictures of a previous costume and any pictures you can of the unfinished product. When e-mailing costume updates (mandatory if your costume is unfinished at the time of application) to Masquerade Events Staff, please remember to include your name, character name, series, and date of the costume update.
  4. Participants will be selected based on previous experience (with theater, martial arts, improv groups or with at-convention events such as Cosplay Chess or Cosplay Contest) and based on the quality of the costume.
  5. Any person or persons wishing to have multiple characters as the same piece are subject to approval and critique by Masquerade Events Staff. Each inquiry will be taken on a case by case basis. The person or persons are subject to be split up based on the needs for the game instead of being placed as the same piece.
  • You may not request to be multiple characters as one piece.
  • Please note that some participants may be combined into a single piece.
  1.   The game and piece placement is subject to change at any point prior to the event based off the needs of the game by Masquerade Events Staff
  2. Punctuality is important.
  • If believe you are going to be a few minutes late, please contact Masquerade Events Staff.
  • If you are 10 minutes late from call time, you be replaced.
  1. Participants will be chosen and notified of their position approximately a month to two weeks before the convention and will be required to attend a mandatory pre-game meeting at the convention. In the event that you cannot attend the pre-game meeting, please email us at cosplaychess@sakuracon.org to make other arrangements.
  2. Special considerations for COVID-19:

  • Due to the close proximity that pieces will be in with each other, all pieces are expected to wear a nose/mouth covering mask that complies with Covid safety guidelines while in Chess Formation, unless otherwise unsafe for the costume worn (i.e.: costume already has a nose/mouth covering that adding a mask could cause suffocation risk). During battle formation, the pieces participating in the battle may be allowed to remove their nose/mouth mask during speaking parts at the discretion of the Cosplay Chess Specialist/Assistant.
  •  As Cosplay Chess is an event that requires close proximity to other people, includes various states of exertion, and has the potential for physical contact, it is the decision that all potential chess participants will need to be able to provide valid proof of Covid vaccination for them self that shows the required minimum number of doses with date of the most recent dose at least 2 weeks prior to the start of Sakura-Con 2022. Negative Covid test in lieu of providing proof of vaccination will not be allowed for participants of any Cosplay Chess game. Participants found to not have valid proof of vaccination will be dismissed from participating in Cosplay Chess. If anyone has questions or concerns regarding this stance they can reach out to cosplaychess@sakuracon.org or live.programming@sakuracon.org

If you do not attend the pre-game meeting, you will forfeit your place and it will be filled by an alternate.

You Can Apply Here