International Chess Day was first celebrated in 1966, on July 20th, the same day the International Chess Federation was founded in 1924. It is celebrated in 178 countries, and in 2019 the UN General Assembly unanimously approved a resolution recognizing the day. International Chess Day is enjoyed by many of the 605 million regular chess players around the world.
Now you can join in on the celebration with some of the great geeky chess sets available from The Noble Collection. I recently received a few of their many licensed sets to share here with our readers. All of these sets, and more, can be found at The Noble Collection website.
Jurassic Park Chess Set
One of the most affordable of the licensed sets in The Noble Collection, the Jurassic Park set features 32 sculpted dinosaurs, a full graphic chess board, and retails for $49. It is available on Amazon or from The Noble Collection webstore.
The board folds up to fit in the box, but lays nice and flat when open. It measures a roomy 18.5″ on each side, and features not just the Jurassic Park logo, but evocative graphic design.
The pieces for both sides are dinosaurs, using various species to represent the different chess pieces. Fittingly, the Tyrannosaurus Rex is the king.
And so you don’t have to try and remember which dinosaur represents which piece, the backs of each of the bases has a picture of its corresponding standard chess piece.
Even though the pieces are plastic, the sculpts are all nicely dynamic, and the set as a whole looks striking on the table.
The Jurassic Park set is great for fans of the movie franchise, or just for lovers of dinosaurs. The fact that the playing pieces are plastic dinosaurs, along with the pictures of the chess pieces on their bases, also makes this a great set for children.
Star Trek Tridimensional Chess Set
If you’re a fan of Star Trek: The Original Series, you’re familiar with Spock’s favorite game, Tridimensional Chess. This set comes with 32 Diecast chess pieces, and translucent acrylic game boards. It retails for $145, and can be purchased on Amazon or from The Noble Collection Website.
It’s also the only set I received which came with an instruction manual (more on that in a moment).
The board is multi-tiered, and in its entirety is approximately 13 inches tall.
The top board belongs to black, and the bottom to white, with the middle being a neutral board. There are also 4 movable “attack boards” which can plug into any of the corners of those main boards.
Unsurprisingly, the setup for Tridimensional Chess is a little different from standard chess. Here’s what it looks like ready to play:
The diecast chess pieces come nestled in a black box bearing the Star Trek logo. The pieces have a good feel, and bear a close resemblance to those used in the television series. Some might say too close of a resemblance, as the king and queen are very similar in appearance, as are the bishops and pawns. But as this is a set based on an actual prop from the series, you definitely want an accurate representation of what appeared on screen.
As I’d mentioned previously, the rules for Tridimensional Chess are quite different from a standard game of chess, hence the rulebook. I’m not going to go over all of them here, but both the pieces and the attack boards can move vertically as well as on a two-dimensional plane. If you’re interested in reading how to play Tridimensional Chess, you can find the tournament rules here.
The Tridimensional Chess set, needless to say, is perfect for fans of Star Trek. At a bare minimum, it’s a terrific prop to display in your home. By moving into three dimensions, the complexity of Tridimensional Chess has increased over its progenitor. You don’t have to be a Vulcan to play, but I definitely wouldn’t suggest the set for an introduction to how to play regular chess. You’d be best served having some solid experience in playing the original game before picking up this variant.
The Lord of the Rings Chess Set
The Noble Collection actually has two Lord of the Rings chess sets. There is a Battle for Middle Earth set, which retails for $49 and features detailed plastic pieces and a folding board. But if you’re a big Tolkien fan, and especially love the Peter Jackson trilogy of LOTR films, then the set you’re going to want for sure is The Lord of the Rings Chess Set. This amazing set has a display board with a sculpted map of Middle Earth visible underneath the playing surface, and pewter playing pieces in the likenesses of the actors from the films. But this level of detail doesn’t come cheap; The Lord of the Rings will set you back $495.
As opposed to the two previous sets I showed you, this one comes in a plain box. Inside that box, nestled in styrofoam you’ll find both the playing pieces, and the highly-detailed board.
There are so many gorgeous details on the board. I’ve put a few of them into a slideshow, so you can soak in all the touches that will make any Lord of the Rings fan happy:
Much like the Tridimensional Chess set, the chess pieces for this set come in a black box, but branded with the Lord of the Rings logo.
Set up on the board, the pieces looks stunning, and feel like they’ve stepped right off the screen.
For the Forces of Good, you have Gandalf as the king and Galadriel as the queen. Their counterparts on the Forces of Evil are Saruman and Lurtz.
The only caveat I have with The Lord of the Rings Chess Set is that pewter is a soft metal. While the pieces were packed well, many of the swords had bent some during shipping. It’s easy enough to bend them back, but you do want to do so gently.
That quibble aside, The Lord of the Rings Chess Set is a gorgeous set that will look right at home in your living room as well as on your game table. And this is also an expandable chess set! There are character sets available from both The Two Towers and The Return of the King. Each of those sets retails for $109, and contains 12 characters. You can use the side niches of the board to display those additional characters, or the ones from the main set when you’re not playing.
The Noble Collection
Besides the ones I showed off, The Noble Collection has chess sets featuring Batman, Harry Potter, and Minions. Their sets range from smaller boxes like Jurassic Park, which you’ll put back onto your shelf or in the closet when you’re done, to big sets like The Lord of the Rings Chess Set, which is both a game and an artistic piece you’ll want to display. If you’re a chess player with geeky interests, there’s a lot to love in The Noble Collection’s chess offerings this International Chess Day.
For more information, head to The Noble Collection website.
Disclosure: GeekDad received copies of these games for review purposes. As an Amazon affiliate, I may earn a small commission on qualified purchases.
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