St George Chess Set in turned wood
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Chess Set for Makruk (Thai or Cambodian Chess)
Handpainted Wooden Children's Chess Set - Knight
Soapstone Chess Set
Barleycorn chess set
Courier Chess Set
This is the game most often known these days from van Leyden's painting (http://www.chessvariants.org/historic.dir/courier/painting.html); there are both the old-style elephantine Bishops that hop two squares diagonally (like the al-fil in shatranj), and a modern Bishop called a Courier (Läufer, still the German name for a Bishop). The Queen is the old-school short-stepping ferz, and there are two extra pieces: a Mann (henchman), who moves like a King and is one of the most powerful pieces on the board (being able to mate with support), and a Schleich (sneak), who moves like a wazir, one square along a rank or file. The game was famously played for centuries in Ströbeck, but eventually died out there.
There were four obligatory moves to be made at the start: to advance the Rook's pawns and Queen's Pawn two squares each, then make a 'joy-leap' (Freudensprung) of the Queen forward two squares (not a move allowed on any other turn). I'd like to see Nunn's Courier Chess Openings!
Two Isle of Lewis Chess Sets
The most famous set of all? I have two versions, the larger is quite authentic but whoever designed the smaller decided that the pawns were two boring and substituted a piece based on the 'berserker' shield-biting Rook, and used for the Rooks a tower based on York Minster. Chacun a son gout.
Plastic patio chess set
Chocolate Chess Set
Many thanks, Taylor and Codie!
Bone 'Barleycorn' Chess Set
The replacement King is not a match, but it is a fit, easily ignored in play.
The box is an old entomological specimen case, unexpectedly free after an attack of museum beetle. It is an irony that the greatest threat to the survival of a collection of insects is another insect.
Sheep Chess Set 1
Glass Chess Set
[Kings Play Chess On Flat Glass Surfaces (KPCOFGS) is a mnemonic for remembering the classification of living organisms.]
Handpainted Wooden Children's Chess Set - King
Medium Wooden Plug-in Chess Set
South American Chess Set (rear)
Three Way Chess Set
Ladybird Shogi (Japanese Chess Set) promoted pieces
Ladybird Shogi (Japanese Chess Set)
Mad Mate Chess Set ('replacement chess')
Reversible counters (as in Othello).
aka Mad Mate, ChessGi, Crazyhouse.
Think Exchange Chess (Tandem Chess, Bughouse) but on one board.
Commercial version is 'Neo-Chess'.
Indian Wood Chess Set on Musical Chess Table
Small messenger-bag-sized plastic chess set and board
Wooden Travel Chess Set with drawers
Self-explanatory Chess Set 2
Inspired by the various efforts made to explain Japanese Chess (Shogi) by marking the pieces, I had a go at making a chess set along similar lines. Needs testing on a youngster, but I'm quite pleased with it.
Four-Handed Chess Set
Or, as someone rightly pointed out, eight hands and four brains...
The great populariser of 4-way chess was Captain Verney, who insisted that the Queens should all start on light squares. But Pritchard tells me that the Hughes-Hughes version, with Queens always to the left of the King, superceded it.
Hardware Chess Set
Star Trek (Tridimensional) Chess Set
Franklin Mint edition.
Guest appearance by robot insect, Xmas 2013.
Large coffee-house style chess set
A large and rather crude 20th-century set based on the style of the Austrian coffee-houses in which the talents of Schlechter and Steinitz were honed.
Variant chess sets
A jar of bicoloured pieces, a stack of sticky labels and a colour printer, and you can reproduce (or invent) any variant chess game you like. Featured are: Courier Chess, Chinese Chess, Take the Brain and Mad Mate (aka one-board exchange chess).
Russian chess set in 'poppet'/chochloma style
Large magnetic chess set
Sheep Chess Set 2
Chaturanga Chess Set - the parent of them all
Fantasy Chess Set
Handpainted Wooden Children's Chess Set - Queen
Combination Draughts and Chess Set - crystallate? A design widely circulated to armed forces in WW2.
Plaster Cast Chess Set, made by my cousin Tim
In the style of a set by Peter Ganine, I think this one by Duncan Bisque
Modern Chess Set in horn
Lighter Chess Set
Handpainted Wooden Children's Chess Set - 2
Capablanca Chess Set
To be played on a 10x10 board (rather than the infinite one pictured)New pieces include Marshall(!) (R+N)&Chancellor (N+B)
It joins the umpteen other unplayed 10x10 variants invented over the centuries, as listed (and unlisted) by Pritchard and the Variant Chess Pages, including Jester Chess, Decimal Chess, Grand Chess, Shatranj
at-Tâmma, Centennial Chess, Super Chess, Supremo Chess, Nahbi Chess...
Handpainted Wooden Children's Chess Set - 1
'Spanish Regency' Chess Set - it's the style that is called Spanish, rather than the set.
Mexican Pulpit Chess Set
The history of this type of set is poorly understood. This is a nice big example in cow bone that has had a bit of a rough time over the years, as has the box it came in.
Braille chess set with raised dark squares
Children's Japanese Chess Set
Twin Portland Chess Sets
Turned ox-bone chess set in natural colour and cochineal on folding wooden board
Babushka Chess Set
Regency style chess set
Lotus Bud Chess Set
A modern set, but appealed to me as the nested/tiered crowns reminded me of the Selenus style.
Ladybird Shogi (Japanese Chess Set) pieces
Ladybird Shogi (Japanese Chess Set)
Bauhaus-inspired Chess Set: wooden shapes, glue and spray paint.
The design of each piece symbolises its movement.
Simpsons Chess Set
Large Resin Chess Set on Wood inlay board
'Samurai' Self-explanatory Shogi (Japanese Chess) Set (Schmid)
Samurai (Japanese Chess Set)
Wooden Pokerwork Chess Set (former Yugoslavia)
Handpainted Wooden Children's Chess Set - Pawn
Weighted wooden chess set
South American Chess Set
Chinese Chess Set (2D) donated to Exeter Chess Club by Franco Kuan.
3D Chinese Chess Set
Plastic Travel Chess Set
Marble Chess Set on an inlaid Granite Board
3D Chinese Chess Set (detail)
Plug-in Travel Chess Set
Handpainted Wooden Children's Chess Set - Rook
Tiny Chess Set
Chinese Theme Chess Set
Hexagonal Chess Set
This is Glinski's Hexagonal Chess, which I think I first found out about in the 1970s through CHESS magazine.
The ChessVariants site explains how you can make your own sets for this and other chess games.
N.B. The Bishops on f4/f8 should start on f1/f11
Selenus chess set in boneThe 'Selenus' style is named after a book published in Leipzig in 1616 by one Gustavus Selenus, where tiny sketches of similar pieces with the 'crowns' are used in the diagrams. http://schach-und-kultur.com/img/Konig-Spiel/Konig-Spiel-2.jpg
Dolls House Chess Set (magnetic)
Star Wars Chess Set
Handpainted Wooden Children's Chess Set - Bishop
Mongolian Chess Set (Shatar) on Felt board
Marvel Comic Chess Set
Standard Staunton Chess Set in plastic