Chess is such an elegant game. Brought to the west from India under the name “Shatranj,” the very word conjurers up the thoughts of kings and strategists hunched over a board locked in a battle of wits. The Enlightenment period brought about the notion that Chess could be played for the improvement of one’s character. In an essay called the Morals of Chess (1790), Benjamin Franklin had this to say about the game:
“The Game of Chess is not merely an idle amusement; several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired and strengthened by it, so as to become habits ready on all occasions; for life is a kind of Chess, in which we have often points to gain, and competitors or adversaries to contend with, and in which there is a vast variety of good and ill events, that are, in some degree, the effect of prudence, or the want of it. By playing at Chess then, we may learn:
I. Foresight, which looks a little into futurity, and considers the consequences that may attend an action […]
II. Circumspection, which surveys the whole Chess-board, or scene of action: – the relation of the several Pieces, and their situations […]
III. Caution, not to make our moves too hastily […]”
Chess needs no justification for its presence in a Steampunk world, but as you and I both know, a cheap plastic and cardboard chess set will not suffice for a self-respecting Steampunk. Gomi Style has produced a Do-It-Yourself tutorial on how to create your own Steampunk inspired chess set at a very affordable rate:
If you manage to salvage the table or find one from a thrift store, this entire set shouldn’t break your bank while creating an impressive chess set and board which will be a attractive piece in your sitting room for years to come. This is certainly a project worth doing for the chess fan.