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.
April’s Featured Chess Set is from the collection of the World Chess Hall of Fame. Since its creation in 1986, the World Chess Hall of Fame (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.
Photos of lions, hippopotamuses, rhinoceroses, elephants, and chimpanzees appear on the pieces for this set, which features a unique folding game board that is also a box. The set is named for the Congo Basin, an ecologically diverse region of Africa that includes portions of Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon. A portion of sales from this set benefited the World Wildlife Fund. Established in 1961, the fund has the mission “to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth.”