In the following I like to describe a LEGO chess and checkers game, made from standard LEGO bricks, tiles and a base plate.
Step 1: Layout
I was wondering if it would be possible to build a checkers or chess game based on a layout similar to the Lego Soduko game board I described earlier.
The Lego chess and checkers game described here is rather minimalistic and uses just a limited number and variety of bricks, which all were available at the pick-a-brick wall of my local (Berlin) Lego store. Costs for the parts are about 20 Euro.
Instead of plastering the whole board with black and white tiles with studs, here most of the area is covered with neutral gray tiles without studs. The colored tiles with studs are placed only at the required positions. This gives the board a distinct and clean look and makes it easier to grasp and and place the stones, especially if the board is used for chess or similar games where the whole board is used.
Besides being nice and Lego, the layout will also allow to play checkers or chess while traveling by car or boat or hanging out in your hammock, as the playing stones are holding well to the plate.
Limitations of the current layout are that the "white" fields and stones are green because I couldn't get enough white tiles, and the fact that the colored tiles have to be fixed to the ground plate using hot glue. In an improved layout, the black and green/white tiles might be replaced by ones with a single stud. This should eliminate the requirement to glue.
Initially planned for checkers, this layout can also be used for chess. Kings, queens, bishops, knights and towers are indicated by "hats" in different colors, forms or sizes. In the images a first draft is shown, but there is some room for improvements.
Step 2: Material List
As already mentioned, all parts were available at the Berlin Lego Store.
Pieces required for the current version:
- A 32x32 base plate "classic"
- 32 black 2x2 tiles with studs
- 32 green 2x2 tiles with studs (green, as only green, black and gray tiles were available in sufficient amounts)
- 56 gray plain flat 2x2 tiles w/o studs
- 64 dark grey plain flat 1x2 tiles
- 64 drops of glue. I used hot glue, as it can be easily removed, if required.
- 24 black 2x2 bricks
- 24 green 2x2 bricks
- 12 red and 12 blue 2x2 bricks to crown the kings. But 6 of each should be sufficient in most cases.
- 32 black 2x2 bricks
- 32 green or white 2x2 bricks
- each 4 red, yellow, raspberry, brown and blue 2x2 bricks as hats or crowns.
Estimated costs at the Lego store:
7 Euro for the base plate. The required stones and tiles shall fit into a pick-a-brick bucket for 10 or 17 Euro.
Step 3: Assembly
Assembly is easy.
- Place the gray tiles as indicated in the images.
- Place eight of the black or green tiles face down on a table and add a small amount of hot glue to each of the bricks.
- Rapidly (!) place the tiles at their respective locations and press them down to the plate.
- Repeat as above for the next rows.
- Remove any spilled glue. The glue is required as the tiles bind better to the bricks than to the base plate.
- For both colors, prepare 12 (checkers), respectively 16 (chess), stacks of two of the 2x2 bricks.
- For chess, give them the required hats and crowns.
- Place the stones on the board.
- Play the game.
If a checkers stone becomes a king, crown it with a blue (green) or red (black) brick.
If a chess pawn becomes a queen, give it a red crown.
Step 4: Remarks - Lego Ideas
I have placed this layout also at the "Lego Ideas" website:
If you like the game and want it to become a commercial Lego product available for a wider public, please give it your vote there.