Cosplay Chess

About Otakuthon

Otakuthon is Quebec's largest festival celebrating Japanese animation (anime), graphic novels (manga), related gaming, and pop culture.

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The first of its kind in Montreal, Otakuthon is a full-fledged, fan-run, bilingual anime convention that features a number of special guests as well as many activities and events spotlighting anime, manga, video games, artwork, and Japanese culture.

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Cosplay Chess

Would you like to see your favorite characters battle it out with each other? With Cosplay Chess, this is now possible! No one knows what to expect as the two chess players manoeuvre human pieces across a giant chessboard. For this seventh edition of Otakuthon, the theme will be "Day Vs. Night".

Cosplay Chess Rules

  1. Entries can be from any source (manga, video games, original). The same costume may be worn for Cosplay Chess and the Masquerade.
  2. This event is first-come, first-served. The sooner you register, the more likely you are to get the spot that you want.
  3. You need to be pre-registered for Otakuthon to participate in Cosplay Chess. Your pre-registration number will be asked to ensure that all participants are registered.
  4. Costumes do not have to be made by the cosplayer.
  5. All costumes must be appropriate for the general public.  We reserve the right to cancel any entry which does not follow this rule.  All costumes must conform to Con Rules and Policies and all weapons must conform to convention Weapons Policy.
  6. Participants under the age of 18 must have a waiver form signed by their parents or legal guardian. You may obtain this waiver by emailing the Cosplay Chess Director at
  7. Participants must have an "attack" scene and a "death" scene ready prior to the game. For each scene, participants may have other people to help out; you must however, inform the Cosplay Chess Director beforehand.
  8. No props or stage accessories which scatter will be allowed. This means no confetti, no fake blood, no rose petals, or anything else that might disrupt anyone's footing.
  9. You will have access to a sound system to play music as well as a microphone during your "attack" and "death" scenes.
  10. Participants must attend the Cosplay Chess meeting before the match. Important details that all participants will need to know will be covered during this time. This will help prevent some chaos from occurring during the match. This meeting is usually held 1 hour prior to the match.
  11. This is an act, after all, so NO attacks that can hurt other cosplayers or damage their costumes will be tolerated. Please be considerate of the others involved.
  12. An image of your character must be provided with your entry form.  Don't forget to include your real name, email address, and the series from which your character originates from when you apply.  Also, please indicate if you would like to be in the Day or the Night  team, as well as the position you would like to play.
  13. When you register, you are committing yourself to participate. If you happen to be unavailable, it is your responsibility to write an email to the Cosplay Chess Director. An unjustified absence at the game will result in your exclusion for the next year from the Cosplay Chess game. 
  14. The Cosplay Chess Director must be informed of any email exchanged between participants (event planning, discussion about the game, etc.). Any deviation from this will lead to the exclusion of persons at fault.
  15. The Cosplay Chess Director reserves the right to choose your final position on the chess board.

How to Participate

Note: You must be registered for the convention before you apply.

To be a chess piece

Participants in the chess match will be chosen from amongst the convention attendees.

No knowledge of how to play chess is required; the two chess players will direct your movements. If you are interested in participating, you must submit your application to the Cosplay Chess Director.  Registration for Cosplay Chess is first-come, first-serve. Be sure to read the Cosplay Chess Rules before submitting your application. The registration begins May 10thYour registration must be sent before June 30th, 2012.

IMPORTANT: Please note that this event will be taking place on Sunday morning.  When applying, please be sure that you will be able to be there early.

How to register

Write an email to with the following information:

Real Name:
Pre-registration number:
Originating Series:
Special attack:
Death scene:

Please do not forget to attach an image of your character in the email.

Want to Help Out?

You can also volunteer to help for the Cosplay Chess. Just send an email to the Cosplay Chess Director at

Special Attacks

In addition to the thirty-two pieces on the board, Cosplay Chess also has special attacks whereby one character calls on another from back stage to help in combat. Examples of special attacks in use: Sakura (Card Captor Sakura) summoning Kero-chan, or Naruto (Naruto) doing Kage-Bunshin no Jitsu and having other Narutos rush on stage. If you have a character whom you think would make a good special attack or if you have a second person willing to cosplay as an appropriate character for your special attack, you can apply as a special attack by writing to our Cosplay Chess Director.

Also, remember that you'll need an attack scene and a death scene. An example of a death scene would be Cloud picking up Aeris' body after she died. Try to plan at least one of each. You'll be contacted by the Cosplay Chess Director to discuss your plans.

Questions and Answers

How many people will be selected?

We will be choosing thirty-two chess piece participants who will be active on the chessboard. We will also selecting a set of alternates, and chess piece participants may have special attacks, so more than 32 total people will get to participate. Don't worry; even if you are on the waiting list, you still have very good chances of participating. 

How do I apply?

Simply follow the procedure in the "How to register" section. Being accepted into Cosplay Chess in one costume and checking in for the event in another costume is grounds for immediate dismissal from the game.

Which team do I sign up for?

You must register in the team that best describes your character.  Therefore, if you are dressed up as a character that flourishes during the night, you must be in the Night team. If your character is in both, you can choose the team you want to be in, but you must justify your reasoning to the Cosplay Chess Director; the Cosplay Chess Director reserves herself the right to make some changes if the other team needs more players. Additionally, you may be permitted to participate on the opposing team if you can justify your request to the Cosplay Chess Director. Ultimately, the decision of the Cosplay Chess Director is final with respect to the team which you will be placed.

When should I apply?

The cut off date for applications is June 30th, 2012. Since chess pieces are selected on a first-come, first-serve basis, it's best to apply as soon as possible. Only complete applications will be considered for a position. Any incomplete applications will require the missing information to be provided prior to being considered for a position on the official team.  

I'm under 18 years old. May I still apply?

Cosplayers under 18 years old may certainly apply with the inclusion of the appropriate form signed by parent or legal guardian. Be sure that your parent or legal guardian knows the time of the match so that you will not be forced to leave the convention early. 

Is it okay if I didn't make my costume?

Since this is not a costume contest, costumes may be submitted that were not made by the applicant, or that have been professionally tailored or contain commercially manufactured pieces. Costumes may also be submitted that have previously been entered in the costume contests or masquerades of Otakuthon or other conventions. Costumes entered in the Masquerade will also be accepted.

My costume has moving parts/large weapons/gets in other people's way. Is this a problem?

All costumes must be self-contained, with no electrical plugs or other outside support required. The costume should be something that the participant can move in; chess is, after all, a fighting game, and movement will be necessary for the role-playing. If your costume is bulky, heavy, heavy-looking, or awkward, an explanation should be included with the application explaining in detail how the design of the costume makes quick movement possible.  The maximum size of each square will be 60cm x 60cm.  If your costume cannot be contained inside this space, you cannot participate in Cosplay Chess.

All costumes must be appropriate for a family environment. Any costume that turns out to be obscene or excessively revealing will be removed from the game immediately.  Weapons in this event must strictly adhere to the Otakuthon Weapons Policy; a weapon not allowed under the Otakuthon Weapons Policy will be refused in Cosplay Chess as well. Weapons will be examined at the event sign-in.

How will I know if I've been selected?

Selected applicants and alternates will be notified by e-mail as decisions are made. You must keep your e-mail contact information up to date in order to keep in touch with the Cosplay Chess Director.

I've been selected! What do I have to do before the con?

Participants will be required to exchange frequent e-mails with the Cosplay Chess Director and other planning staff during the weeks leading up to the convention.  Failure to communicate with the Cosplay Chess Director in a timely manner when required to, will lead to dismissal from the game. Also, the participants must be present during the meeting prior to the game in order to be part of the team. Any absence will result in the exclusion of the participant during the game.

Questions?  Please contact the Cosplay Chess Director at