• World Chess Championship Chess Set

    The World Chess Championship Chess Set represents an inspired collaboration between WORLD CHESS, revered architect, industrial designer and Royal College of Art Senior Fellow, Daniel Weil of Pentagram Design and one of the UK's oldest and most respected traditional games companies, Yorkshire based Studio Anne Carlton.

    World Chess Championship Chess Set
  • Endorsed by The World Chess Federation

    The new Championship Chess Set is endorsed by FIDE (the World Chess Federation) and is already being used in selective FIDE Tournaments.
    The Official Championship Chess Set was launched at the Opening Ceremony for the London Candidates Tournament on 14th March 2013 and will be showcased at other FIDE events.

    World Chess Championship Chess Set
Chess Pieces

The official World Chess Championship Chess Set makes an intellectual style statement.

The design of the World Chess Championship Chess Set affords more than a respectful nod to the Staunton set required for competition play, whilst simultaneously stylishly challenging the traditional norm.

World Chess Championship Chess Set in Box
World Chess Championship Chess Set in Box
World Chess Championship Chess Set in Box
The Pieces of the World Championship Chess Set

The Design

Classical Staunton Design

The height and bases of the pieces are defined by the classical Staunton set. It is only the Knights that differ; as defenders of the King and Queen and the only pieces that ‘jump’ over others, the base does follow the form of the others, but also resembles an equestrian hoof.

Carrying through the Classical theme, Weil linked the eight major chess pieces to the eight columns of the façade of the Parthenon. When contemplating the height of the pieces he considered the pitch of the façade, so that the pieces before play would evoke the structure of a Classical building.

Piece by Piece

The ‘theatricality of the game’ was taken into account. Pieces were made to suit both the north and south grip

The 'human' pieces; King, Queen, Bishop and Pawn have hierarchical collars as indicators of nobility and piece value and have both a sculptural dimension and functional one, allowing players to hold the piece with ‘South hold’.

The heads are figurative and functional. A new crown for the King, a refined jewel for the top of the Queen’s crown and a vizier’s head dress or bishop’s mitre for the Bishop. These heads allow players to hold the piece with ‘North hold’ for the simple classic move. The Rooks have a pure architectural form.

Piece by Piece
Black and White Felt Base

Defining and Differential

The felt beneath the pieces has been changed too. Green baize, the most common material beneath chess pieces, signified how chess had become a parlour game in the Victorian era along with cards, billiards and dice. This has been replaced with black and white felt to give chess its own construct and consistency.

The Designer

Daniel Weil

Pentagram partner Daniel Weil has contributed a new chess set design to the world of chess. It will join the ranks of the original Staunton chess set, which has been the standard thus far.

Since joining Pentagram in 1992, Daniel has worked on projects that encompass a combination of product design, packaging, interiors and art direction for a broad range of clients that includes, among others, Swatch, Lego, Krug, Benetton, Tretorn, Superga, Pantone, EMI, Mothercare, Coca-Cola, Grey Goose, TSE, King’s College, Boots, Group G3/Quam, Granada Motorway Services, A Café, Cass Art, Oyuna, Mont Blanc, One & Only, the Bulgari Hotel in Milan, the Dorchester in London.

Notably, Weil's design of the World Chess Championship Chess Set features the neoclassical, Greek-influenced aspects of the Staunton's design, but with more emphasis on certain details.

Daniel Weil
World Chess Pentagram

The Championship

The 2013 World Chess Championship kicked off on 15th March with the Candidates Tournament in London.

Championship Cycle
Values and Audience
Media Channels

Nine events over two years:

A Grand Prix Series (6 events, 14 days each, 18 players) and a World Cup (26 days, 128 players) leading to a Candidates Tournament (18 days, 8 players) which will provide a challenger to the reigning champion, culminating in the Championship Match (20 days, 2 players).

The current Cycle results in more than 120 days of play with a Prize Fund of $7m. Players in 2013 represent 15 countries:
China - India - United States - Russia - Norway - Israel Ukraine - Holland - Hungary - Armenia - Azerbaijan Uzbekistan - Italy - Bulgaria - Cuba

The World Chess Championship

Chess is about thinking and winning

Chess celebrities are famous, successful and powerful and found where you would least expect them.

According to polling organisation YouGov, a major survey of countries worldwide revealed approximately 70% of the populations surveyed - most of whom first played as children - attribute rare and admirable qualities to chess, such as intelligence, strategy, decisiveness, sophistication, perfection, and intensity

Chess is regularly played by a sizeable and highly desirable demographic of affluent, young, educated, informed, connected and active people.

Over 600 million adults play regularly - a number comparable to regular users of Facebook.

According to YouGov (2012), the percentage of the adult population that currently plays chess ("weekly, monthly, or regularly during the past year") is:
12% in the U.K., 15% in the U.S., 23% in Germany, 43% in Russia and 70% in India. More than half of adult players are 18-34. In the U.S., more people play chess than tennis and golf, combined!

A wide ranging audience

"Make the invisible visible and share it."

The London 2013 Candidates Tournament was the first time in any sport, ever, where tablets provided real-time second screen commentary and interactivity to a live audience.

WORLD CHESS has created a proprietary software platform that puts the computer chess engine to work not to beat an opponent, but to explain to the spectator what is happening on the board and improve his game. A series of screens will act as dramatising, performance-enhancing goggles allowing amateur players to see with the eyes of a Grandmaster and feel the pressure the players feel in real time.

These screens will be experienced in the venue, on the go or at home; in live and ‘post-live‘ formats. Features include:
Biometrics: Pulse, blood pressure, eye movements - Zeitnot: Game timeline and reaction to time pressure - History: 6m Games interactive database - Thermometers: Chess engine advantage deconstruction - Sandbox: Tools for testing, sharing content and chatting - Performance: Grandmaster commentary, hands-free mode - Stats: Players' pages, quotes and video clips - Video: Lean back streaming from the cockpit and the bull pen - Interactive: second screen to play or bet and share - Live (7 hour); Post-live (50 minutes) formats - User-generated content: Multi-lingual multi-level commentary - Self-broadcasting and sharing: Commentary and games


Experiencing, Watching, Playing, Engaging & Sharing, and Entertaining

Live Events: The World Chess Championship Cycle is reborn as a spectator sport performed before a live audience, staged in spectacular venues in world cities: up to 12 tournaments/year. ChessCasting is available on tablets (second screen) in real time to all spectators.

Live Broadcasting: Global, live, online 'lean back', video-embed coverage syndicated across a broad range of media partners; 5-7 hours/day during tournaments (11-14 days).

Post-Live Broadcasting: Same-day 'lean back' video-embed highlights coverage; 50 minutes/day.

ChessCasting: Global, live and archived fully-interactive and immersive chess experience.

A weekly magazine-style program is proposed to feed the large and hungry 'installed base' of chess players and the even larger number of people who have played at some point in their lives. "The Chess Players" will be seen around the world in English and voice-over versions broadcast by local TV channels.

WORLD CHESS will establish the largest networked platform for gaming and interaction with live events through partnerships with the largest existing sites dedicated to play: chess.com and chessbase.com.

Chess table in Chennai 2013 with World Championship Chess Set
Game 3 Handshake

World Chess

Chess has been out of the media spotlight since IBM’s Deep Blue beat Kasparov in 1997 and Bobby Fisher beat Boris Spassky in 1972. But the game is now played by more people who get more out of it than ever before: around the world, online and off, over 600 million adults play regularly - a number comparable to regular users of Facebook.

To ennoble the game and engage with this global audience, WORLD CHESS is bringing the Championship Cycle to spectacular venues in great world cities, and will transform chess into a spectator sport using cutting-edge data visualisation technology streamed in live and 'post-live' formats to browsers, tablets, phones and TVs.

World Chess is poised to emerge as a force in sports entertainment, backed up by a strong brand identity, animated by recognisable heroes in front of an existing enormous fanbase, financially supported by "best in class" global marketing partners.


Studio Anne Carlton has spearheaded the design, production and marketing of chess sets and classic games since 1969 and as a world leading brand is proud to have been appointed to produce the official, FIDE approved World Chess Championship Chess Set.

Studio Anne Carlton managing director, Michael Lee, comments; "World Chess is building a team including Studio Anne Carlton to deliver exactly that."

Studio Anne Carlton
Studio Anne Carlton
"The 1,500-year-old game is ripe for reinvention."
Designer Daily
"Pentagram did a great job redesigning the World Chess' logo and visual identity...the result is stunning."
Financial Times
"Mr Paulson is pepping up the world chess championship with money, grandeur and innovation."
The Guardian
"If he can achieve it ... he will have done chess a considerable service."