When I played with my brother, we had it that if you managed to lap someone while running around the house, then you got an additional move. This means that if you had the option to take the king on your additional move, you could, and doing so won you the game. He was fitter at the time so he slipped in two additional moves over the course of the game. I still won :) I am much better at him at chess though, so I’m sure he would have beaten me had we been more even.
W.r.t. dsquared’s comment and your response, I’m not overly concerned about the first move, because you can enforce that white must reach a halfway point or that some time interval elapse before black makes his first move.
This version though does have one significant weakness that is evident to me. If you wait a little for your opponent to return to make his second move in a row against you, you get your breath back. He couldn’t plan for this tactic since it was your decision to wait. So he’s probably not played his first move to check your king. If he does play is second move and start running and you are in the position to take his king in two moves you can easily do it since you have had a short rest. His only defense would be to see exactly what you are up to when he comes back for his second move, and wait for you to move before he does so he can respond and so that you don’t get two moves in a row. If you also don’t respond, then this give time for him to catch his breath back too :) and so he will now be harder to lap when he finally does move. If you can out sprint him naturally though then he still has a problem and you would both wait indefinitely if both playing optimally. Can you see any solution to this problem? I’m still trying to decide on a rule set that works.
I agree that it would be great to have a standard set of rules for this game, a set of rules that are non-arbitrary (that is, no clock, no tuning parameters other than the length of the circuit to be run) for which the game is playable and is a reasonable balance between chess and running skills.
P.S. A google search turns up this idea:
The rules are the same as standard chess but the chess clock is set up some distance away, say 10 meters, on a separate table.
That’s ok, I guess, but the use of the chess clock makes it less beautiful. I want a pure version where the running is its own clock.