Elaborately carved chess sets are almost as old as the game itself (witness the famous Lewis chessmen at the British Museum). But Ian Flood and Chris Prosser seem to have hit on a simple formula that, as far as we can tell, hasn't been tried before. They've used a 3-D printer to build up playing pieces shaped like prominent London landmarks, and we rather like their selection:
- Pawn: a humble terraced house
- Bishop: the Gherkin, with it's mitre-like profile
- Knight: the London Eye
- Rook: (the tower commonly known as) Big Ben
- Queen: the Shard (looks very 'Sauron' in black)
- King: 1 Canada Square
The current set is merely a prototype. The pair are raising money via Kickstarter so they can create saleable sets using compression moulding, metals or glass. Ian tells us that 3-D printing, for all its promise, is currently too slow and expensive to produce sets in the quantities and quality needed — though it would be a possibility if the technology advances. Meantime, you can pledge money towards the kickstarter here, and with any luck, professionally made sets will be ready by Christmas.
Regardless of the business case, we thought it was worth flagging up simply for the idea of representing the city's skyline as chess pieces. Do you agree with the choices? And which other cities have skylines that might be taken advantage of in this way?
- A roundup of other current London projects seeking crowdfunding.
- A giant chess set in Trafalgar Square.