The power of PennyGems comes to one of the classic board games: chess.
The small size and remarkable non-skid behavior of PennyGems makes this an outstanding set for playing chess on the go. Neither a tipped board nor jostled table will easily dislodge a piece, and their size and shape means you can easily keep them with you all the time.
Chess (40 Tokens)
One standard PennyGem sheet provides all the pieces needed to play a regular game of chess (16 white, 16 black). But wait, there's more! Chess PennyGems are perfect for playing chess variants. Hundreds of variant rules sets were examined to come up with eight extra pieces (4 double-sided tokens for each color): the Shield & Sword, Dragon & Unicorn, Archbishop & Elephant, and Bomb/Cannon & Falcon. See the photo for a closer look.
With these extra pieces, you can easily play Ultima, Falcon-Hunter, Sierawan, and many others, including, for example, Chigorin Chess. This variant needs 4 bishops and no knights for black, and 4 knights, no bishops, and a chancellor instead of a queen for white. Where do the extra knights and bishops come from? All the standard chess 'Gems are double-sided, with a pawn on the back and one of the back-row pieces on the front. Thus, to set up white, turn the bishops over and make them into pawns, turn the other two knight/pawn tokens to provide two more knights, and replace the Queen with, say, the Archbishop token. Ta da!
If you pick up a second sheet, there are hardly any variants that you can't play. Hexagonal chess (extra pawn and bishop), Dunsany's chess (white gets 32 pawns), Legal's Game (white gets 8 extra pawns but no queen), Cross Chess (extra rook, knight, and pawn per side), Cubic Chess (12 pawns per player), Double Chess and Looking-glass Chess (two complete sets per player), Omega Chess (add the shield or unicorn as Champion and the archbishop as Wizard), Stealth Chess (add the swords as Assassins), Raumschach (add the unicorn), and, well, you get the idea. You also have the pieces needed to play Chinese chess or shogi. Since PennyGems stack, you can even play checkers!
Jumbo Chess (8 Tokens)
As if regular chess PennyGems weren't cool enough, you can get even fancier with a couple sets of Chess JumboGems. Make the non-pawn pieces bigger than the pawns, as we all know they should be.
Each Jumbo sheet provides tokens to populate the back row of a chess board for one player: two each Rook, Knight, Bishop, plus one Queen and King. You need two of these plus a sheet of the regular chess PennyGems to supply the pawns, if you want to play a normal game of chess with small pawns and larger not-pawns.
Super Chess Kit
A chess fanatic's dream kit: nearly a hundred tokens for playing an incredible range of chess and chess variants.
This set includes :
- 16 Jumbo Chess Tokens (white on one side, black on the other)
- 4 Rooks
- 4 Knights
- 4 Bishops
- 2 Queens
- 2 Kings
- 64 Standard Chess Tokens (all with pawns on the back side)
- 4 White & 4 Black Rooks
- 4 White & 4 Black Knights
- 4 White & 4 Black Bishops
- 2 White & 2 Black Queens
- 2 White & 2 Black Kings
- 16 "Fairy" Chess Tokens
- Sword/Shield (2 black, 2 white)
- Dragon/Unicorn (2 black, 2 white)
- Falcon/Cannon (2 black, 2 white)
- Elephant/Archbishop (2 black, 2 white)
Yes, you can use them to play two games of standard chess at the same time. You can also play any of hundreds of chess variants.
What You Get, and What You Don't
The Jumbo tokens cover about the same area as many 'standard' chess pieces. They're just under one inch (24mm) in diameter. The standard PennyGems are 3/4 inch (19mm) in diameter. Please note that we do not currently offer a chess board, just the tokens. And, last but not least, as with all PennyGems, these tokens are Some Assembly Required. The Jumbos include both labels and "coins" to mount them on, but the standard PennyGem labels mount onto the U.S. cent. For customers living outside the U.S., we do sell rolls of pennies, but suggest you look at the list of suitable alternative coins first.