As the graphic above indicates, playing chess has long been a popular activity and it continues to be so in contemporary society. As other pages in this section of the Website illustrate, there are chess sets for use on airplanes, in automobiles, and with a number of electronic devices.
In Canada, which is officially a bilingual country, commercial sets are available with instructions in both official languages. The photograph to the left is a a boxed bilingual instructional set that was donated to the collection in 2006. The box includes a standard 8x8 matrix board which folds into four for storage in the box. There are 32 standard plastic chess playing pieces, 16 white and 16 black. The tallest pieces are the kings at 6.35cm.
Interestingly enough, at the top of the box, below the title on each side - in both languages - the maker indicates that this chess set is a game for players 8 years of age to adult!
The commercial set pictured to the right was donated to the collection in 2004. It is very similar to the set above, but it has a few differences. While the 32 plastic playing pieces appear to be the same, the 8X8 matrix board rather than folding in four, folds in half. On the right of the box top in both the English and French languages, this manufacturer indicates that chess is a game for children age five and over!
Playing chess these days is not just an activity for people at home, but in many North American public parks and garden areas one can find concrete benches and tables with a chess board painted on the table surface. These amenities are provided by public authorities so that local citizens can bring their own chess sets and play chess in the outdoors. The photograph to the left illustrates a set that includes only the 32 playing pieces. Donated to the collection in 2007, this is typical of a commercial set that can be taken for use on an outdoor chess table with a painted or imbedded 8x8 chess matrix board on the table.
Last update February 15, 2010