Designing the World Chess Championship

Designing the World Chess Championship

Apr 16, 2013, 11:16 AM |

While the World Chess Championship has come and gone, with a somewhat controversial ending to an otherwise fantastic event, many will quickly forget about all the work that goes into this type of production.  It was held at London's Institute of Engineering & Technology.

The man behind the event, entrepreneur Andrew Paulson, and his company Agon, recently retained the rights from FIDE to the World Chess Championship and with it, the arduous task to rebrand chess
I must admit, I did not have an opportunity to view the ongoings live, or even get to watch it on the website, but kept an eye on the outcomes. I think the fact that I did not have the chance to directly seek out coverage of the event goes to show the success of the organization's efforts to bring more attention to it.

So what preparations went into this event? As a graphic designer and illustrator, I did some digging and found out the independent design firm Pentagram, led by Daniel Weil and his team, was behind much of the visual design, right down to the chess sets being used during competition.

The set
redesign pays homage to the Parthenon, the most famous example of ancient Greek architecture. The pieces collective profile was designed to mimic the pitch of the roof.


Weil says, for inspiration, he used the Staunton set originally produced in 1849, which has been used in many competitions since then. He claimed the precision in this set has been lost through the years and he intended to draw a similar level of thoughtfulness into this redesign.

This remarkable set is
available for purchase (*complete set and board) for approximately $450usd. 

The environment
the champions played in was also designed by Weil.

The chess stations
were debuted at London's Grand Prix qualifier and a more detailed view of the stations can be seen in the following pictures from that event:



So, how do you think Agon has done with this event? Do you think FIDE made a wise choice by putting the company in charge of the rebranding of chess? ...and are you going to save up for Weil's redesigned Staunton set (or wait until it goes on sale, like me)?

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