Concrete chess sets from propro are handmade. Each set includes 16 pieces in white, 16 pieces in black, and a 10 mm thick concrete playing field of grey color. The sets are available in either classical or modern style.
CONCEPT
“The main idea of a concrete board games series is to renew a live communication between people as the game is an effective interaction tool. We wanted to create a tactile, solid product with texture and imperfections. I am convinced that the future is in the digital world, but people make key decisions face to face,” comments Slava Balbek, architect and co-author of the concrete chess sets.
IN SEARCH OF THE SHAPE AND PIECES
At first, we planned to develop only a modern series of chess. After reviewing the market and consulting with chess professionals and amateurs, we decided to launch both versions concurrently.
Variants of the notch on the bishop's head
Cannelures of the queen's crown
The set of the modern chess pieces
THE KNIGHT
The knight is one of the most complex and charismatic chess pieces. The knight primarily sets the tone for the rest of the playing figures. Its modern style was edited only several times when Roman Horoshylov unanimously accepted the final version. The classic knight instead was carefully developed as a distinct character with its own facial expressions and mood.
PROTOTYPES
All pieces went through a series of production cycles. We tested shapes in metal and plaster, printed on 3D-printers, carved out of wood to find the perfect technique and texture for the casting master model.
The next was a long search for concrete formula and type of silicone molds.
THE CHESSBOARD
Different types of board materials and label applications were tested. We wanted the board to be solid, with a high-quality coating, tactile, and practical. Each of the samples was made in the original size and tested during the full-fledged game with the produced chess pieces. The main competitors were boards made of FunderMax, plywood, plastic, and concrete. As a result, we preferred concrete because we managed to find a casting formula that makes the board 10 mm thick.
Test sample of the chessboard
PACKAGING AND BOX INSERTS
While developing chess packaging, it was essential for us to find a balance between protecting the product from damage and the most appropriate weight of the finished chess set. We produced solid wood and plywood boxes, tested magnet boards during the sampling stage. After all, we decided to choose the classic cardboard boxes.
We experimented on a corkboard, rubber, and izolon foams to find the best version of the box inserts. 
Test prototypes
The chess design was developed by the Ukrainian architect Slava Balbek and a team of designers Alina Vovkotrub and Roman Khoroshylov.
A 320x320 mm box containing chess pieces has a soft molded insert, where each mold nestles a piece of a corresponding shape. Weight of chess together with boxing: 3 kg.

You can buy the chess sets here.
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