SocialSophia known as SophiaSocial on Lichess has created a new chess set theme for the popular website that is a truly unique take on a modern design which is completely original. She hopes that like other designs such as ‘vector’ and the infamous ‘horsey’ that the design will garner a large enough following for Lichess to implement the chess set into their code in a future update. The chess set is featured below and is aesthetically pleasing:
“I wanted to make a chess set that was organized and mostly symmetrical, reminiscent of tournament sets in OTB chess.”
There are several areas so this seemingly simple to design that make it alluring these are:
All of these factors combine to make this new ‘Imperial’ chess set. In terms of symmetry all of pieces other than the mysterious knight is symmetrical, normally the bishop has the iconic chip out of its hat or horn. In this set also making the queen and king symmetrical was a design choice that makes the entire board look more uniform.
The shadows play a huge factor in the design especially for the black pieces there are 7 variations of the shadows to give them comparable contrast to the white pieces. The direction of the shadows makes a huge impact on design, she will let Lichess choose which shadow direction they prefer or shadowless if desired.
In terms of style this design is timeless and a stark opposition to many of the current Lichess chess sets as shown below:
Lichess shows the knights as an indication of how the set should look, although the knights are the trickiest pieces and often the set looks not as you’d expect. Maybe they could also update to show a mini version of the pieces or at least the 5 main pieces (king, queen, rook, bishop, and knight).
For downloads and to see different variations: Imperial Chess Set