25 April 2019

Fischer's Viking Chess?

Just like the other photos in my recent post, Fischer Center, Selfoss, Iceland, this photo had no information attached to it other than its location : Bobby Fischer Center.

Bobby Fischer Center in Selfoss © Flickr user John Seb Barber under Creative Commons.

What kind of a chess set is that? The bottom right of the board is stamped 'VIKINGA SKAK'. I found a description of the game at Viking-Chess (viking-chess.blogspot.com; August 2012). The blog post starts,

Viking chess is played on an unusual chessboard consisting of hexagons instead of squares, arranged in three different colours.

The pieces are the same as in traditional chess except the big one in the middle of the back rank(s), called the 'Viking'. The files are labelled 'A' through 'I' starting from White's right and the ranks are labelled '1' through '10' starting from Black's side.

Was the game something Fischer actually played? If not, what is it doing in a museum bearing his name?

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