Outdoor Chess Sets

In many North American public parks and garden areas one can find concrete benches and tables with a chess board painted on the table surface. These amenities are provided by public authorities so that local citizens can bring their own chess sets and play chess in the outdoors.

Interestingly enough, in many European cities, the public authorities provide more than benches and tables that can be used for a chess game - these cities provide the chess set itself - chess sets designed for outdoor play.

Koln Outdoor Chess Set

This photograph was taken in 1977. This is a set made of wood with weighted bases, for use on a street board in Koln, Germany. The design of the pieces are similar to standard chess set pieces, though of course much larger.

Copenhagen Ouddor Chess Set

This photograph was also taken in 1977, but in a park in Copenhagen, Denmark. The chess pieces in this outdoor set appear to be very similar to the set used in Koln, Germany.

Salzburg Outdoor Chess set

This photograph was taken in Salzburg, Austria in 1996. This outdoor chess set is somewhat different from the sets seen in Germany and Denmark, but still the game is the same. The donor who added this photograph to the collection explained that this set in Salzburg was not in a park, but in a popular square surrounded by sidewalk cafes!

While the collection does not include an outdoor chess set, it does have a number of photographs of these sets.

Last update February 24, 2010