Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Dragons & Chess

In the eighties I remember being particularily attracted to the chess themed covers by artist Dennis Beauvais for Dragon magazine. I remember starring at these for hours while I was a kid and letting my imagination run wild.

Clockwise from top left: Artwork for Dragon Magazine 83, 118, 89, 86

Recently a new cover was commissioned for Gygax magazine and it looks like it was pulled out of the vault as it fits in so well with the previous work. Actually it's technically and compositionally superior but still very evocative of the earlier works. 

Queen Captures Queen

A few evenings ago I discovered a video of a commercial that reminded me of the Beauvais works.
Created in 1991 for the U.S. Marine Corps by ad agency JTW, I can't help but wonder if it was influenced by Dragon.


  1. Isn't there a bunch of monsters in D&D based on chess?

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  3. I'm not familiar with any chess based D&D monsters but chess does have its place in D&D. Gygax was a fan of chess variants and his Dragon Chess variant was published in Dragon Magazine 100 in 1985.

    Allen Hammack's adventure C2 The Ghost Tower of Inverness from 1980 features a chess room where the floor is tiled like a chess board. The characters moves are restricted to moving in the manor of the piece that would normally occupy the square on which they start. Characters stepping on the wrong square take 5 hp of damage with no saving throw.