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Energy is a critical issue for maintaining the WSNs. In this paper we propose a distributed chain-based routing scheme for energy efficient WSNs. In order to balance the distance between the nodes, the entire area containing the network is partitioned into equal size sub-areas. The nodes in each sub-area are connected into a chain using an algorithm similar to the minimum spanning tree algorithm. The sub-networks comprised of the chains are connected using the bridge nodes. With the proposed scheme, the maximum distance of the between the nodes is reduced and the network life time is increased about 11% and 7% compared to PEGASIS and EBSCR, respectively.