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Remember the Cheshire Cat in “Alice in Wonderland”? It slowly disappeared, leaving nothing but a smile. Well, this unusual chess set by Yasmin Sethi does that same disappearing trick. The chess pieces are actually opaque and turn transparent only when placed on the board, revealing what that piece is. Each piece loses its transparency if removed from the board.
“This is a comment on how a chess piece has no value unless it is in play on the board. If removed from the board, a pawn and a queen are equal, in that neither have any value,” Sethi says of the design.
The Alice chess set was indeed inspired by the Lewis Carroll book, his other one entitled “Alice Through the Looking Glass” where Alice goes through a mirror and lands up on the other side and is caught up in chess game. The chessboard is made from a material called LightPoints which is a glass with LEDs embedded in it. The pieces themselves are coated with mirona, a material which turns transparent in light. When each piece touches the chessboard, the electrical circuit is complete and the LED light below makes it transparent.