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World Chess Championship Sets

Julian Deverell meets Magnus Carlsen

The World Chess Championship chess set is set to become one of the most important designs of chess set this century. You may ask why this new design is more important than any other Staunton variant on the market but that is just the point. This is not another Staunton variant. This set, while clearly taking cues from Staunton has been designed from the ground up. It has dispensed with conventions like the age old tradition of green felt on he bases of all thirty two chessmen. Instead the set features black felt on the black pieces, and white felt on the whites. Like it or loath it you will be seeing rather a lot of this new chess set, this is because it has been adopted as the official chess set of the World Chess Championship (hence it’s name) and will be the set used in all the tournaments.

Perfectly Weighted

The set has been crafted in boxwood, natural for the white side and ebonised for the black. It remains true to tradition with a 3.75 inch king height. It is of course weighted, not for out and out heaviness but with perfect balance in mind. The design of the pieces encompasses many elements as mentioned below, but from a players perspective the ergonomics are spot on for chess. This isn’t a case of the worlds chess federation adopting a beautiful design but a set being created purely for chess players. There simply couldn’t be any compromise, the worlds best players would be using this set and all eyes would be fixed on them, and the set.

The story behind the set

chess on the set after the ceremony

The rights for the world chess championship have been secured by AGON, an Andrew Poulson company, for the next decade. AGONs mission is to bring chess back to the world stage, to see it back in the media spotlight and for the worlds top players to become household names again. One huge development has been the release of ‘chess casting’ a system of analysis of chess games that can be used to enhance the audiences experience when watching a game as well as give players huge amounts of data on past chess games, their own as well as their future opponents. During the development of AGONs first tournament it was noted that no actual brand of chess set exists. There is of course Staunton, but technically no such brand actually exists, after a hundred and fifty years since Jaques original set came out the design has seen numerous permutations and is now associated with a number of retailers, rather than a central brand.

Small retailers have set up their ‘own brand’ range of chess sets, usually just putting their name to standard sets imported from abroad. So it comes as no surprise that AGON decided, in partnership with Studio Anne Carlton, to create a new brand of chess set to accompany the tournament and all it represents.

The Designer

the world championship chess set official pentagram logo

AGON have partnered with Pentagram for the entire design and branding of the world chess championship, the black and white logo and branding are iconic and striking, they lend themselves perfectly to chess in the twenty first century. The chessmen themselves were designed by Daniel Weil. The pentagram website says is perfectly ' Daniel Weil created an experience that is a sturdy for the player, an embodiment for the brand and a set for the camera and the audience who are watching.'

The World Chess Championship Board

The perfect companion to Daniels chessmen is the official world chess board which remains almost entire traditional aside from two small pentagram world chess icons on each side of the board, one dark, one light. These icons serve to instantly show the audience which player is black, and which is white. They also remain extremely useful for armatures who until now had struggled to set up a chess board perfectly. The board is a fifty centimetre rosewood veneer that has been crafted in Spain from graded rosewood and maple, the board is extremely high quality and comes packaged in official black World Chess packaging.

The Regency Chess Company, official stockists

The Regency Chess Company are of course delighted and honoured to be one of the pioneering retailers of the very first edition of this famous chess set. We are informed that other versions of the set are soon to become available including smaller and plastic versions. We fully expect there to be a full range of world chess tournament products available on our website within twelve months. As always, we are holding good stocks in our UK based warehouse and sets can be ordered for immediate dispatch with next day delivery in the UK and express air service to the USA.

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