This is one chess match you would not want to miss. The setting seems straight out of a fantasy tale: On a black and white board, three-foot tall chess pieces face each other ready to do battle. As expected, the white pawn makes the first move progressing two squares ahead. The only difference is that the pawn actually moves across the squares.
This is Monster Chess. No, it’s not a video game but a chess game that took a design team of five people almost a year to build. The design team was led by Steve Hassenplug and had teammates working on the chess body design and software for the game.
There is a reason why they call it monster chess, because everything about it is monstrous. The board alone is 156 square feet long. The three-foot tall chess pieces are actually battery-operated robots that are controlled by Bluetooth sensors. The pieces use sensors to read the grids on the chessboard and move accordingly.
While moving the pieces, you actually feel like a general who is in command of his troops.
The most fun piece to move on the board is the knight. On the chessboard, the knight is the only chess piece that can jump over other pieces. In Monster Chess, if you decide to begin with your knight, the pawn in front of the knight makes way by moving ahead and then moving back to its original square.
The game can be played via a controlling computer that tracks the movement of chess pieces in relation to other pieces on the board. So far, so cool…you might think, but there is one thing about this life-scale chessboard that makes it more than just cool. The 156 square-foot chessboard and the pieces are entirely made up of LEGO blocks.
Over 100,000 LEGO blocks have been used to build the board and pieces. The board contains more than 30,000 blocks, while over 40,000 blocks make up the 32 pieces. Makes you to go wow…doesn’t it?
Monster Chess allows you to compete against the computer, against another friend, or you could even sit and watch as the computer orchestrates a chess match. If you want to make things more exciting, you could probably replay a historical match with you playing as your favorite chess player.
Monster Chess, unfortunately, is not on sale, but you could catch a glimpse of it at the Brickworld convention in Chicago next week.