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I have long been searching for an ideal travel chess set, but I could not find one small enough to fit in my pocket with pieces that wouldn't slide all over the place when a game was being played. At such a small scale, even magnetic chess pieces will not easily stay put. Eventually, in desperation, I consulted my LEGO collection, and I am quite pleased with the resulting design!
I used round 1x1 plates as the base for each chessman, so they stick very well to the squares, but can easily be removed without damaging the chessboard (square 1x1s stick slightly more stiffly than round ones).
Because of the wide variety of small LEGO pieces, I was able to make recognizable chessmen in a small but practical size. The chess set can easily fit in my hand, though there is still room to pick up the chess (or checkers) pieces without disrupting the game!
As a LEGO set, this chessboard could easily be taken pretty much anywhere, whether indoors or outdoors or even out in the rain. In fact, it recently accompanied me on a long road trip and I enjoyed countless chess and checkers games with my relatives and friends. It worked marvelously!