Modern chess sets are comprised of 32 pieces — 16 black and 16 white — on a board that has 64 squares. Themed chess sets, though they are different from other sets, follow these standard specifications. Whether the intention is for frequent play or display only, themed chess sets can reflect who you are or be a solid investment opportunity.
Themed chess sets are also known as fantasy, figurine or myth chess sets. This group includes such themes as Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland, Civil War, cowboys versus Indians, Army versus Navy, Ming Dynasty and mythology. These types of chess sets can add style to your home or office and can reflect your interests, hobbies and lifestyle. Themed chess sets can also be a useful tool with which to teach younger children the game of chess. These types of sets can hold a child’s interest better than a standard Staunton chess set.
Many of these sets are extremely details and very realistic. You can purchase a set based on a television show, movie, historical event or an infinite number of other categories. If you purchased a Harry Potter theme set, do not be surprised to see a very visible, distinct lightning-bolt scar on Harry’s forehead. If you purchased a medieval-themed chess set, you could expect the set to include such playing pieces as horses, wizards, knights and dragons. Likely, the pieces would have gold or silver accents and would be made out of pewter or resin, much like the waterloo chess set. A Winnie the Pooh chess set could be carved in fantastic detail and hand-painted. There is even a modern-day political chess set, which includes U.S. President George W. Bush as the white king, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein as the black king, Prime Minister Tony Blair of the United Kingdom as a white knight and Colonel Gadaffi of Libya as a black knight. A themed set such as this can provide hours of conversation.
Many of these themed sets are not mass-produced. Rather, they are made individually by a sculptor, complete with imperfections and all the detail you can imagine. Chess sets made in this way are limited editions and hence represent valuable investments.