Originally crafted by Cy Endfield in 1972 for the International Chess Federation as a tribute to the iconic World Chess Championship Match between American Bobby Fischer and Russian Boris Spassky, this edition now celebrates the 50th anniversary of that historic event.
Cy Endfield's passion for chess, cultivated through his friendship with Man Ray, served as the foundation for his design concept, drawing inspiration from Modernist aesthetics and Marcel Duchamp. His primary focus was on creating a chess set that was both portable and efficient in design. The result is a chess set characterized by its lightweight elegance, featuring pieces crafted from sheets of gold and silver that seamlessly assemble into compact rolls when not in use. The set is complemented by a foldable stainless steel board and a stylish carrying case, reflecting the epitome of chess elegance.
Materials: Nickel Silver & 24K gold plated pieces (USA), Stainless Steel & ecologically neutral HPL board (Switzerland)
Board folded: 5 ½” x 2 ¾” x 5/8”; board open 10 ¾” square
Pieces: 1 3/8” height, ¾” diameter (king)
Made In: USA, Switzerland
Cyril Raker Endfield pursued a multifaceted education at Yale, majoring in Drama while delving into mathematics, mechanical drawing, and the art of silversmithing. His diverse talents extended to the realm of professional sleight-of-hand magic, earning him coveted memberships in prestigious organizations like the Magic Castle in L.A. and the Magic Circle in London. Endfield's journey in the entertainment industry saw him collaborating with Orson Welles on Mercury Theater projects before taking the director's chair for film noir classics such as "The Underworld Story" and "The Sound of Fury." Unfortunately, in 1951, he faced blacklisting by the House Un-American Activities Committee, leading him to relocate and establish his career in the United Kingdom.
In the U.K., Endfield continued to make his mark by directing cult-classic films like "Zulu," featuring Michael Caine. His early association with the renowned Man Ray linked him to the worlds of chess and Modernist aesthetics. In 1972, Endfield's creative genius culminated in the design of a chess set that would go on to achieve iconic status. This design was none other than the brainchild of the President of the International Chess Federation and former world chess champion, Max Euwe, who selected Endfield's creation as the Federation's exclusive commemorative chess set for the legendary World Chess Championship Match between the American prodigy Bobby Fischer and the Russian master Boris Spassky.
Drawing inspiration from the principles championed by Marcel Duchamp, Endfield's chess set prioritized portability and efficiency. Its innovative elegance, simplicity, and practicality were so remarkable that it earned him a patent, solidifying his legacy as a visionary in the world of chess design.