Introducing Cubitts Chess.
Lewis Cubitt believed that design should work in a ‘plain, substantial manner’. To celebrate our fifth birthday, we’ve applied his modernist principles to our first and only game, Cubitts Chess.
Taking inspiration from the Bauhaus' set (now approaching its one hundredth birthday), and Graham Lanier's (sadly discontinued) 1966 design, Cubitts Chess incorporates a central Rivet, around which all pieces tessellate.
This Rivet, based on Lewis Cubitt’s original ‘butterfly’ design, acts as the keystone (the dovetail which anchors the pieces together), the allegory (passed between players to denote the next move), and the prize (awarded to the victor at checkmate).
Each piece has been reduced in design to their ultimate function, their movement. The reimagined Knight, taking the stylised silhouette of a horse, represents its unique ability jump over others both vertically and horizontally.
The positioning of the pieces within the tessellation reflect their positioning within an active battle. So, for example, the four Knights sit amongst the middle, flanked by the eight Pawns, reflecting their ability to move first, and importance in the centre board.
Of the major pieces, the two Bishops are each a half which fit together to create a whole, reflecting their ability to only cover half of the board each. The contours of a Rook represent its long linear strides. The King and Queen tessellate together to reflect their symbiotic relationship.
The overall volume of each piece reflects with relative value – the greater its cubic volume, the more it is worth. And, King aside, the longer a piece’s longest side, the greater its range.
Only two hundred Cubitts Chess sets have been handmade from American walnut and maple, with each brass Cubitts Rivet individually numbered.
You can buy the chess set here.