Featured Chess Sets 2024

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.

January

January’s featured chess set is on loan to the WCHOF from Ken H. Murer, a friend of the museum. His chess set is a heartwarming gift made for him by members of his family. He states:

My maternal Grandfather Hadley K. Irwin became a master woodshop furniture maker after his retirement. I spent countless summers in his woodshop learning from him. Forty years ago, he decided to surprise me on my 18th birthday and presented me with this masterpiece of a chess board. He used all Missouri woods—sugar maple and black walnut for the squares and mahogany burl for the edges and back. My mother owned a ceramics shop here in Saint Louis and hand crafted and painted all 32 chess pieces. I have been enjoying this set for the last 40 years.

February

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 the museum’s permanent collection.