November’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.
The familiar white and black sides of a chess set are reimagined as raw and cooked meat in this set that appeared in the November 1972 issue of National Lampoon magazine. The set was printed on heavy paper, allowing readers to cut it out and assemble the pieces, and the article that accompanied the set suggested using a tablecloth or customized butcher board as the chessboard. Michael O’Donoghue and Anne Beatts, two early writers for Saturday Night Live conceived of the set.