Small LEGO Chess Set

January 31st, 2008

After completing the first two Giant LEGO Chess Pieces, I realized I would need to build something smaller if I wanted to have a full LEGO Chess Set any time soon.  So, I set out to build a chess set sized so that would fit entirely on a board made from an X-Large Gray Baseplate 48 studs (15 inches) square.

There are 64 squares on a chess board, so some quick math told me this meant each square would be 6×6 studs.  It also meant each piece would need to be no larger than 4×4 studs if I wanted the chess pieces to be able to sit on the board without touching each other. I wasn’t sure I could get enough detail in such small pieces, but I decided to give it a shot and see if I could design within these constraints and still have identifiable pieces.  Shown below is a picture of the result.

Small Chess Set Full

I was able to stay within my design constraints with one exception. In order to get the shape I wanted for the Knights, I extended a small portion of the design to 5 studs, but centered it within the 6 stud square, so two Knights can still face another on the board without touching.

Here is a closer look at the red side. All pictures below are of the red pieces since they photograph much better. (The pieces for both sides have an identical design.)

Small Chess Red Side

Small Chess Pawn

Small Chess Castle

Small Chess Knight

Small Chess Bishop

Small Chess Queen

Small Chess King

I will publish an article series in the near future with instructions for each piece in case anyone is interested in building a set like this on their own.  The pictures above expose most of the design, but the instructions will spell it out in complete detail.

[Updated – 02/12/2008: Here are the links to the plans: Pawn, Knight, Castle, Bishop, Queen, King.]

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9 Responses

  1. Streetsy Says:

    Looks good. I would try adding a second colour to each. A stripe or something to minimise confusion when they are all over the board.

  2. deep blue Says:

    the white square is suppose to be on the right. not the left. ie. king and queen are on the wrong squares.

  3. Ander Says:

    Great project! Not to be picky, but they’re called “rooks”, not “castles”. (Hey, you asked for comments!) Cheers.

  4. jkgarner Says:

    This is definately the most playable lego chess set I have seen. Bravo!
    I would recommend different colors for the board for greater clarity. Use Dark Gray and white, or green and light gray. But choice of colors is the option of the builder.

  5. ben Says:

    how do you make the chess board?

  6. Dave Says:

    The board shown in this article is built on an extra large baseplate (48 studs square). The baseplate is covered with 2×2 tiles, except for the center of each square, which is a 2×2 plate. In total, the board is made up of 512 tiles and 64 plates.

    I built another chess board for this chess set which uses mostly bricks. See it here:

  7. ben Says:

    ???how many legos do you have???

  8. John Marshall Says:

    I was curious to know if there existed a chess set made of Legos and found your excellent instructions. I gave them to my 7 year old grandson to make a set for me. Since he did not have enough pieces of two contrasting colors I told him to make just one set of 16 piece of various colored Lego bricks. He had no trouble doing this. They fit nicely on my 18″ square vinyl board (2 1/4″ squares). I use a set of my standard Staunton pieces that are only slightly smaller in opposition. (Excellent instructions.)

  9. Elements: Lego Chess | Matt Carlin Says:

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