My family and friends like to sit around the campfire and tell stories, joke and play games, because it’s what brings us closer together, and it’s what passes the time easily and without a second thought or a single tension. We roast dogs in the fire and talk of times past, before we break out the games. Sure, it may sound lame to some to play board games in Nature, but when the night is winding down, the sun setting and the moon and stars appearing, there is no better way to connect with loved ones, and no better way to relax and take in the wonder of our natural world.
There are mini travel sets of Chess available, which can be great for when you’re backpacking or simply wish to pack light, but since my priorities are perhaps a bit askew, I prefer to take a full-sized traditional championship set with me on most camping trips. My friends over at Chess House specialize in producing some of the world’s most beautiful chess sets, and they’ve come up with the perfect way to travel with a traditional Staunton board and set: a thick, padded storage bag, capable of securing the 21” board and pieces. Their fine game boards are handcrafted in solid walnut and maple, and are cured and finished over a period of months to give it such a pleasing aesthetic. And they’re built to last a lifetime with proper care. When I’m at home and not traveling abroad, I have a table dedicated for my chess set, featuring Chess House’s matching walnut and maple hardwood chess box, which keeps the intricately carved game pieces safe and put away in a classy manner.
Chess House boards and game pieces are produced by an artist in Pennsylvania, by the name of John, who has a rich woodworking heritage, passed down five generations from the county of Switzerland, where he’s originally from. His work is a beautiful blend of timeless technique with the latest woodworking knowledge, and this extensive amount of experience is apparent immediately.
If you would like to find out more about Chess House, click here.
Article written & Photos by Brandon Scott / Eye & Pen