November 1, 2020

Featured Chess Set: November 2020

This month’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.

Hand-Carved Chess Set, c. 1960

South Korea

Hand Carved Chess Set

c. 1960

King size: 4 ⅞ in.

Board: 2 ½ x 18 ½ x 18 ½ in.


Collection of the World Chess Hall of Fame, gift of Michael Buckley

Michael Buckley donated November’s Featured Chess Set to the World Chess Hall of Fame. While a marine engineer aboard an American Merchant Marine ship, Buckley purchased the set in a shop owned by a retired captain in the South Korean Merchant Marine. The set has hand-carved pieces, with dragons as knights and two-tiered pagodas as the rooks. The heavy box-board, which doubles as storage for the pieces, has carved decorations resembling dragons.