About this project
The goal of this project is to fund the development of a standardized Schach Shots set. I currently have one functional prototype of a full set (seen in the video), and some experimental prototypes of different pieces. I am using Kickstarter to test the interest level and gauge whether anyone would like to see further development of the concept.
Schach Shots (Patent Pending) adds a whole new dimension to the game of Kings and Queens. Each piece contains a shot with a volume equal to the piece's value. Take the piece, take the shot!
NEW and USEFUL. Schach Shots is better than the other shot glass chess sets for three main reasons.
1. Schach Shots is the first set to facilitate filling the volumes of the pieces from King to Pawn in the ratio: 12 : 9 : 5 : 3 : 3 : 1. This means the amount of liquid gained or lost with a piece is directly related to the corresponding value of the piece. Schach Shots is the best way to incorporate a drinking component into the game without undermining the sophistication of the traditional game's conception. The amount of liquid consumed is a concrete reinforcement of the abstract value of the piece acquired.
The other shot glass chess sets do not provide any sophistication or guidance as to the appropriate amounts of liquid that should be contained in each piece. Chess is not checkers. Understanding the difference in the value of each piece is the first step a player makes to progress beyond being a beginner. The currently available chess shot glass sets fail to appreciate the beauty of this scheme by making the capture of any piece appear to be of equal significance. None of the other sets appreciate the importance of connecting each piece's volume to that of the other pieces according to a useful ratio based on the value of the pieces to one another. With these other sets, the drinking doesn't really fit in with the game because the glasses provide no real guide to the amount of drinking that should be done with different captures.
2. Second, Schach Shots uses internationally recognizable, three dimensional representations for each chess piece. When two players are studying a complicated position from above, all of the pieces are easily recognizable. Furthermore, the Schach Shots pieces have been sized according to the standard tournament set allowing experienced chess players to move the pieces with the same balance and dexterity their hands expect.
The other shot glass sets do not look like sets of chess pieces. Typically, the other sets look like fussy glass displays from your grandmother's China cabinet, especially those sets which use different shaped glasses and different heights. My problem with these sets was that at the beginning of the game it was easy to see which shaped glass was supposed to signify the knight versus the bishop because of the square it started on, but once the pieces moved all over the board and some were captured, it was tedious and confusing.
3. Third, all of the Schach Shots pieces have screw on tops which are water tight. The pieces can be filled and left closed without contamination for as long as a game lasts, even if it is delayed for days. Schach Shots pieces can be shaken, dropped, and knocked over without breaking or spilling their contents.
The other shot glass chess sets do not have tops. To me, this presented the problem that over the course of an entire chess game the 32 open glasses attracted dust and fibers and became contaminated. Toward the end of the game, the open containers did not look as appealing as they did at the beginning. The open tops also made moving the pieces awkward. It was hard to avoid spills when trying to get your fingers in between the shot glasses packed on the board.
YOUR HELP. By supporting the Schach Shots Kickstarter project you are becoming a part of the first group of people to have access to Schach Shots. As of the date of this launch, there is only one Schach Shots set. Everyone who donates $5 or more to this project will have their name and Reward Level listed in the Instruction Manual accompanying every future Schach Shots set. Every donation will help bring Schach Shots to the modern world in the form of affordable medical grade inert plastic sets.
Risks and challenges
I am raising funds to standardize the design and pay for the initial costs of injection molding. The main challenge of this project is that the plastic manufacturing process for a uniform and elegant chess set requires six unique molds. The preparation of these molds can cost $1,250, each. Because achieving industrial production is an ambitious goal with many challenges, I want my backers to realize that their rewards are not contingent upon these challenges. If the project is funded, I am prepared to provide home-made, first edition sets, like the prototype, exclusively as a backer reward. These very special gifts will serve as a commemoration of each backer's important contribution to the making of every future industrial Schach Shots set. My goal is to have all of the sets out by November, so some of them can be Christmas presents.
I have obtained patent pending status with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to preserve the integrity of my design. I am working on further IP protection to apply in foreign countries. I am a licensed lawyer. In addition to education and experience in business law, taxation, and entrepreneurship, I have initiated regular meetings with the Washington State Small Business Development Center. With their help, I have identified suppliers for the component parts and registered Schach Shots as a business in Washington State. I plan on continuing to work with my certified financial advisor to identify, prepare for, and overcome risks and challenges as I develop this project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
I was having a casual drink with a brilliant computer science professor (at Western Washington University). We realized engaging our minds on a purely intellectual level would be more fun than rehearsing meaningless banter. So, we considered playing a game of chess. Because I was a chess master when I was young, the difference in our experience levels prevented both of us from appreciating the creativity and complexity of our ideas. We needed a way to level the playing field without undermining the sophistication of the game. He, being a connoisseur of wines, suggested he could leverage the experience of his maturity against that of my youth, if each piece were a shot glass. He said he would provide the drinks, if I provided the set. I made Schach Shots.
The video is an homage to Ingmar Bergman's THE SEVENTH SEAL. The Schach Shots video tracks the beginning of the Bergman film almost shot for shot. I shot the video on Lake Whatcom in Bellingham, Washington, USA. The cat just wandered into the video, and since he was well behaved, I just let him play the part of the Leopard of Death.
- (52 days)