6 Weird & Wonderful Chess Sets

Tired of playing chess with the same old worn out pieces on the same old worn board? Time to get yourself a new set, but maybe even better, create one yourself, and get imaginative about it like these extremely creative and gifted people went about the business of creating an extremely weird yet fantastic chess set.

Amorphous Organic

Reminds you of Jurassic Park?  Alastair Mackie’s unusual chess set uses transparent amber cylinders and insects as pieces. Alastair Mackie created his board to resemble a waist-height table for viewing geological samples.

Electric Chess Set

Brent Blake is an architect, design consultant, and competitive chess player. He designed this set using readily available components and materials he thought would be aesthetically pleasing—including mirrored Plexiglas for the board and a white laminate base. The pieces are His pieces are working transparent bulbs—the pawns being clear and the remaining bulbs colored—with black and white bases differentiating between the two sides. The playing squares are crafted from black and white electrical sockets; one plug powers the entire set.

Nixie Chess Set

Tony Adams decided to use Soviet Nixie gas display tubes as his pieces. With all pieces emitting the same orange glow, Adams painted the brass bases of one side gold and the other side silver to tell them apart. Each piece also contains multiple cathodes that display a letter indicating its role in the game, such as “K” for king and “A” for alfiere, which is bishop in Italian.

Recycled Chess Set

Eric Claverie, a French designer, used recycled hardware pieces to craft his unusual set. The board was built from small sheets of brushed steel. used discarded nuts, tubes, and bolts that he polished, varnished, and welded together to create robot like bishops, knights, and rooks. The crowns adorning Claverie’s kings and queens are assemblages of brass sleeves and nuts.

Skeleton Key Chess Set

The Skeleton Key Chess Set uses actual brass keys as pieces, each one ‘locking’ into place as they move from square to square.

Tesla Chess

This set features an electrically powered board crafted from lime wood and ebony, as well as 32 varying-size handmade chess pieces. Each piece is a working vacuum tube that lights up when plugged into the board’s recessed octal sockets.