Purchased for the collection in 1973 from TAG, Inc. New York, and Copyrighted by Harvey Kidder, the inventor, the photograph at the left is an instructional version of the game of chess.
The cardboard and paper board is about 30cm square. The blue and white squares on the board form a standard 8x8 chess matrix. However, the uniqueness of this set is in the pieces designed for this set.
The plastic playing pieces for this set are not typical of the 32 standard chess pieces, there are some unique differences.The pieces vary in size from 9cm high x 3cm wide for the king, to 5.5cm high x 2.5cm wide for the pawns.
These set has been designed as an instructional set; thus each piece has been molded for viewing from above as one sits above the board which might be placed on a table. The sides of each piece have been designed with lines on their sides indicating the direction that each piece is entitled to move in a standard game of chess. An instruction booklet with the set explains how to use the set to teach would-be players how to play chess.
Perhaps the idea for this set came from the famous 13th century Libro de Juegos, an early encyclopedia of games with a large section on chess. All of the hand painted illustrations in this book show the chess players straight in front of the viewer, while the chess game in progress is viewed from above - like the intent of the Visual Chess Set. To see these 13th century paintings, click on "Alfonso's Book" in the left menu above.
Last update February 24, 2010