Simple and minimalist chess set at a reasonable price

I’ve always loved Josef Hartwig’s Bauhaus chess set design from 1923. Unfortunately, the Naef set that is currently being manufactured costs $360.

That’s why I was so excited to see that the MoMA Store is now selling an edition of Lanier Graham’s 1966 design for only $65. This set has 95% of the coolness of the Hartwig design at 18% of the price.

And look at how nicely the pieces fit together in the box. It’s an Unclutterer’s dream…

16 Comments for “Simple and minimalist chess set at a reasonable price”

  1. posted by Aaron on

    Very cool! Love how all the pieces fit together.

  2. posted by susan on

    I think it would be very hard to play chess with this set. Especially when you only have a few pieces left on the board.

  3. posted by ecuadoriana on

    “And look at how nicely the pieces fit together in the box. It’s an Unclutterer’s dream…”

    I took this as sarcasm!!!

    Fitting them together in a puzzle configuration after a grueling game of chess is way too much work for me! “Dump ’em in the box & shut the lid” is MY style, no matter what the game is! We even do this with Monopoly, believe it or not! While organizing all the money & properties before we start the game is a good chance to talk over the standing rules & the bending rules (What to do about landing on Free Parking, for example!).

    Theses chess pieces look all sleek and “modern” but I prefer the “old fashioned” style where the Bishops are easy to tell from the Knights and the Rooks, they have detail, and are rounded (easier for me to pick up and hold). These look like mini sky scrapers!

  4. posted by Dean in Des Moines on

    …and the game board can double as a cutting board!

  5. posted by Beth on

    I showed the sets to my 10 year old son who plays a lot of chess and he immediately noticed that the MoMA board is set up wrong — the kings and queesn should be directly across each other.

  6. posted by Jirka on

    Good looking, but useless for any serious player – looks of chess pieces are pretty standardized.

  7. posted by [email protected] on

    This is brilliant – anybody capable of playing chess is capable of internalising these shapes with their brain tied behind their back.

    They’re simple and much more stable than the “standard” set. Pretty silly of them to make the learner’s mistake with the K + Q setup!

  8. posted by priest's wife on

    now all I need is a beautiful Candyland board! 🙂

  9. posted by Lose That Girl on

    Must say I prefer the Hartwig version. The second set is a little too minimalist for my liking.

  10. posted by Jen on

    With the second set, if I had had to guess which piece was bishop and which knight, I would have guessed differently from how they are set on the board, which would make playng with it confusing for me. And I am with ecuadoriana in preferring more rounded shapes as well.

  11. posted by Amy on

    Learn to play mental chess. No board or pieces required.

  12. posted by [email protected] on

    Visually I prefer the more expensive set, but what strikes me about set #2 (as well as storability) is that anybody with a touch of woodworking skill could make it.

    The bishop is slanted so that works for me. The knight – OK, it looks like a chair, but maybe that’s to go with a round table?

  13. posted by [email protected] on

    Me back again 🙂 I clicked through and learned that the original 1923 design is based on how the pieces move and not their ‘characters’.

    So I can see that set #2, the bishop’s slant relates to the diagonal motion, not its cap, and the knight’s chair is its L-shaped move. Even cooler! I thought the bishop’s shape in the original set was a cross, ie, religion, but it’s an X to show it going diagonal in either direction.

  14. posted by wendy on

    It would be nice if they were painted like the pieces they represent, otherwise they just look like dumb blocks of wood, i would get annoyed at playing with blocks of wood.

  15. posted by Living the Balanced Life on

    As a non-chess player, I would have to say the set looks lovely and sleek, but I don’t think I would EVER be able to figure it out! And yes, putting the pieces nicely together in the box? Hmph! Not me, lol!

  16. posted by Eric on

    I played tournament chess for 5 years (middleschool and highschool). For practical purposes, this chess set is excellent:

    Its the standard USCF board. The board and piecees will last a lifetime, and its only $10.

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