Photo by Jack1956
One year, I had an especially chess-obsessed class. As the chess champion of my second grade class (yes, I peaked early), I loved teaching, playing with, and losing to my students.
One year, as an art project, students even designed their own chess sets. Their imaginations were incredible.
So when I saw a series of interesting chess design articles pop up recently, I thought I’d share them with you all.
First, from Smithsonian Magazine: How The Chess Set Got Its Look and Feel:
Prior to 1849, there was no such thing as a “normal chess set.” At least not like we think of it today.
Then, Jason Kottke takes us on a visual journey of the standardization of chess sets. I have to say, I’m partial to that skinny German set!
Back to Smithsonian Magazine, and a look at modern art-influenced chess sets.
The largely minimalist chess pieces… represent an attempt to strip down each piece to its most essential components: what is the absolute least a knight can be to still be read as a knight?
Finally, take a look at the Lewis Chessmen. These middle-age era chess pieces, were uncovered some 700 years later in 1831. They are made from walrus ivory and whales’ teeth and are rather hilarious looking, although this was not the initial intent.
It is believed, however, that the comic or sad expressions were not intended or perceived as such by the makers, to whom these images instead displayed strength or ferocity. From Wikipedia
Some Amazing Chess Sets
To wrap up, here’s an assorted list of interesting chess sets: