Since I design pop-up cards, I thought I could remedy this problem by designing a chess set and board which would fold flat, with all pieces in place. Need the dining room table for dinner? No problem! Fold your game up, put it on the sideboard, and open it again after the dishes are done...
Here's how you can make it:
Step 1: The Files
I designed the template, a 10 page PDF document, which I usually sell on my website for $3.95 -- but I've been on Instructables for a while, and I consider this is a site for sharing, not selling. So until July 31st 2013 or until 500 people download it I'm offering the files for free. When you "buy" it enter the code INSTRUCTABLES and you 'll pay me $0. If 500 people beat you to it, then use the code 2LATE and you'll still get 50% off.
Click here to get the PDF template
UPDATE: The 500 download limit has been reached, but the 50% discount code 2LATE will still work.
Step 2: The Board
1. Cut the pieces in strips 2 squares wide
2. Fold them in half lengthwise
3. Cut notches into them where indicated (IMPORTANT: do not just snip the paper, you need to remove a slit of paper about 1mm wide, otherwise the chess set will look all wobbly and not open and close properly)
3. Assemble by slipping the notches into each other.
4. (optional) put a few pieces of tape along the outside edge of the board, so your strips don't slip out
Step 3: The Pieces
Black lines indicate where you need to cut, dotted and dashed lines show where you need to fold. Start by making the white pieces to become familiar with the cut and fold lines; besides the knight template, the black pieces to not explicitly show them.
White and black pieces are reversed: the cut and fold lines should be on the back side of the white pieces, but the printed side of the black pieces should pop-up on the front.
Click on the links to view video tutorials for making the rooks and knights: once you've made those you can easily make all the rest.