February 1, 2019

Featured Chess Set: February 2019

Through the Featured Chess Set project, the World Chess Hall of Fame showcases a variety of chess sets throughout the year. These include highlights from our own collection as well as chess sets owned by friends and chess lovers who have special stories to accompany their sets. For more information about how to participate in the Featured Chess Set project, please inquire at the front desk.

February’s Featured Chess Set is part of the collection of the World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF). Since its creation in 1986, the WCHOF has endeavored to highlight the history and cultural significance of the game of chess. The WCHOF’s collection is diverse and includes sets once owned by legendary players, mass-produced sets with lively pop culture themes, antique ivory sets, travel sets, as well as chess computers. Through these artifacts, the WCHOF illustrates how chess has evolved through its over 1500-year history. This set is part of a generous donation from the estate of Jacqueline Piatigorsky, a 2014 inductee to the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame.

Mother of Pearl and Ivory Chess Set, 20th Century

Mother of Pearl and Ivory Chess Set

20th Century

King size: 2 11⁄16 in.

Mother of pearl and ivory

Collection of the World Chess Hall of Fame, gift of the Jacqueline Piatigorsky Estate

Created from mother of pearl and ivory, this elegant chess set features playful variations of familiar pieces. The set once belonged to Jacqueline and Gregor Piatigorsky, a couple who shared a passion for music, art, and chess. A skilled chess player, Jacqueline earned second place in the 1965 U.S. Women’s Chess Championship. However, she earned greatest acclaim for her philanthropic chess activities as well as her sponsorship of the Piatigorsky Cup—one of the strongest tournaments held on American soil before the Sinquefield Cup, which is held annually in Saint Louis. Gregor was one of

the most famous cellists of his era, and during his travels, he collected beautiful artistic chess sets that he displayed at the Piatigorskys’ Los Angeles, California, home.