The Unique Inspiration of a Chess Set

by Jim Slate

War; cry the battle, as two opposing forces rush in to lock in deadly combat. It is a logical contraption of puzzles and traps, offense and defense raging across a playing field of checkered squares. Chess is a powerful symbol of the battles that occur in every aspect of our lives. It reduces all of the complexities of the world into a single question of contrasted colors, opposing one another along a set of simple rules. And within that simplicity, complexity beyond belief is born.

The presence of a chess set brings these symbols to life in a three dimensional ways. Its presence is a call to action, a ready battlefield with two armies standing there, just waiting for orders to leap into battle. It is a natural conflict, a ready made test, a chance to challenge any who comes into the space. However, it's also a chance to be challenged.

The nature of the chess set will say everything about the environment and through it about the person who owns it. The more formal, the more imposing, the more respect the person will be able to garnish by its very presence, by its home team support. However on the other hand, any crack, any deficiency, any detail which is missing or mis-touched will be a veritable sore thumb, pointing at your own failings.

Chess is more than symbolic though. It actually gives you something concrete to compete at. That's why many people have sets in their offices. It gives them a way to direct the inherent hostility of the workplace into a physical contest which can be finished, allowing two to move on.

However winning that contest is also a part of maintaining a certain amount of authority. Therefore before you display a set, it's important that you get at least some proficiency in the art of play. You don't have to win every time, but you don't want to lose every time.

About the Author carries a variety of chess sets that are crafted directly from real, mountain born materials. Their weight, their shape, their inherent presence speaks to the earth born nature of their impressive past. The author of this article is stone designer Jim Slate.