tessellating chess set
This pattern will probably soon be for sale as a fabric via SpoonFlower.com

standard competition chess set
Above & below are photos of standard competition chesspieces.
standard staunton chess pieces

Chess-Elation

A tessellating chess set.
See also the tessellation chessboards of Kevin Lee (turtle and lizard motifs) and Bruce Bilney (kangaroo and continent motif)

This is an idea that was born in the dustiest corner of the back of my mind years ago. It seems so natural and easy to tessellate all the chesspieces with like pieces, I can hardly imagine that it hasn't been done before. Yet... I can't find any tessellation art centered around chess except for four artists (myself included) who have tessellated four different versions of chess knights. The other pieces of a chess set have been ignored until now. You can see many styles of ancient and foreign chess sets at AncientChess.com.

The chess set pictured here is very very similar to the standard international chess tournament style, known as "Staunton", which was designed in 1849. The only major difference is that my kings are short and fat, which is how they looked in a chess set I had as a child. In the standard Staunton set, kings are the tallest pieces. Do you have a photo of a chess set with a short, fat king? In the bottom-left corner of this page are photos of the standard Staunton chesspiece design.

I plan to make the king thinner and tallest, replace the queen's cross with a ball, and make the bases of the knight and pawn taller.

I'm fully intending to develop the idea into better art, and also into a small traveler's chess that folds in the middle like a book so travelers can store the chesspieces inside. If you'd be interested in making a functional chess set in this design as a hobby project, perhaps even a simple version like a flat wooden child's puzzle, please contact us.

"Chess problems demand from the composer the same virtues that characterize all worthwhile art: originality, invention, conciseness, harmony, complexity, and splendid insincerity."
~~ Vladimir Nabokov, "Poems and Problems", 1969

"A computer beat me in chess, but it was no match when it came to kickboxing"
~~ Comedian Emo Philips

tessellating chess set
Above is a rough idea for a traveler's chess set. There're spares of each type and color.
The pieces would fit inside a book-like chessboard/box similar to the one pictured below.
tessellating chess set