Eiffel Tower is king and Empire State Building is queen in these architecture-inspired chess sets

·2-min read
New York City buildings replace traditional chess pieces in a contemporary set created by the Skyline Chess brand.

How about switching your queen for the Empire State Building, your king for One World Trade Center and your bishops for the Chrysler Building, trading traditional chess pieces for the iconic buildings of destinations like New York, London, Paris or Dubai? The Skyline Chess brand is leading the way when it comes to creating these architecture-inspired versions of the game.

Since the October 2020 release of the Netflix series "The Queen's Gambit," chess has shaken off its image as a nerdy game reserved for boffins. Watched by some 62 million households in 28 days (a record since beaten by the hit show "Squid Game"), the American miniseries has brought a 1,500-year-old board game firmly into the 21st century.

And chess has even become a decorative object. A British brand specializes in the art of transforming pawns, bishops and other chess pieces into the iconic buildings of global destinations such as New York, London, Paris and Dubai. Buyers can choose a board with a map of their chosen city, and a London versus New York edition is even available. For Paris, the Eiffel Tower, the Invalides, the Arc de Triomphe, the Centre Pompidou and the Louvre pyramid replace the traditional pieces, with Haussmann buildings lining up as pawns. In the San Francisco edition, pawns are replaced by the famous "painted ladies," the Victorian-style houses synonymous with the city.

Landing in stainless steel for $680, this modern take on the chess set is above all a beautiful item to give cachet to your home. Less expensive versions in metal or acrylic are also available, with prices starting from around the $130 mark. Luxury versions in bronze are available for $4,109. Other destinations due to be added to the collection include Tokyo, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

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