With less than 6 months to go until Christmas, here’s the perfect unwanted present for the chess player in your life.
Unwanted? Yes indeed, because real chess players overwhelmingly prefer Staunton pattern chess sets. For them the beauty of the game lies not in the external appearance of the pieces but rather the thought that goes into it. And anything but Staunton pieces just gets in the way of this.
Of course very strong players seem to have very little need of a board at all, even doing without it altogether and playing blindfold chess. Various sources have frowned upon blindfold chess over the years, regarding it as dangerous for the health. But I’ve yet to see proper research confirming this and think it can be great for visualization skills.
Here anyway is a blindfold exhibition by GM Timur Gareev. Very impressive: