African designer Philion has designed a chess board that’s inspired by the rules of chess and takes on the layout of the Yoruba game, Ayo. Similar to the game of chess, Ayo is a traditional board game that’s played by the Yoruba people where two players attempt to “capture” their opponent’s seeds.
Defined by two of six pockets, the board game is rectangular by design and features a similar premise to the game of chess. Inspired by the games’ similarities, African designer Philion merged the two by abstracting the shapes of conventional chess pieces into rounded forms and incorporating pockets into the chessboard. While the game of chess is being played, using the layout and look of Ayo gives the board a unique personality. The chessboard takes on a minimalist profile, with natural wooden elements and a free-flowing design.
Since Ayo is traditionally played with seeds, Philion adapted their chess pieces to more closely resemble seeds. Rounding out each piece’s edges and fitting them into the board’s pockets, each one fits snugly into its pocket as if it was scooped out. The pockets also give the chess pieces a fastened grip to the board to ensure a balanced, sturdy game. Also don’t forget to check our collection of the most creative and unusual chess sets.`