COLUMBIA — Extraordinary chess skills could win you a free lunch if you happen by the Chipotle on Ninth Street in downtown Columbia on the right day.
Justin Hull, 26, sets up his board and time clock outside the restaurant to challenge passersby to a quick game of speed and strategy. If you can beat him, he'll buy you a burrito.
"When I started out doing it, I really wanted people to play," Hull said. "So I said, 'Beat me and I'll buy you a drink.'"
However, Chipotle's manager didn't take kindly to Hull setting up shop outside his store and offering a drink from Starbucks. The manager gave Hull a free burrito card and told him to use that as incentive instead.
About three days a week, the 15-year chess veteran puts out a large, handwritten sign declaring his challenge, and patiently waits for someone to sit down and play.
So far, he hasn't lost yet.
"I did get one draw," Hull admitted. "It was against a guy from Bosnia. The game wasn't timed and took about half an hour."
Although the game didn't actually end, Hull's opponent had to leave and they decided the position was probably a draw.
"He played really well," Hull said. "But I did beat him twice before that."
Hull also serves as co-director for the Columbia Chess Club, which plays at 6 p.m. Tuesdays at Kaldi's Coffee House.