On a yearly basis the Chessmen Museum organizes a chess game design competition. There are some nice prizes to be won: first place € 1000,-, second place € 500,-, third place € 250,-, fourth place € 100,-, fifth place € 50,-, consolation prize € 25,-.

The rules

The year of participation starts on Museumnacht-010 (Museum Night 010, beginning of March) and ends on 31 December. Until 1 March, participants can submit their chess game design to the Chessmen Museum. Visitors of the museum can then cast their vote during the rest of the year, and the winner will be announced on 1 January, during the festive award ceremony at the museum.

2020 will be the last year museum director Ridder Dijkshoorn makes some exceptions to the rules for the competition´s entries: “There are now 14 participating games on display, including some fairly large ones. Visitors can vote for these games throughout 2020 and I will announce the results on 1 January, 2021, at 14.00 in the Chessmen Museum. We are going to be faced with a real lack of space in 2021, so we will strictly adhere to the rules of the competition.”

The rules as of 2021

1. maximum board size 50 x 50 cm
2. only self-made designs
3. no 3D prints
4. no games that are part of a series
5. in case there are more than six entries, the staff of the Chessmen Museum will select the six most remarkable games; the others will not be exhibited. The selection made by the staff is final and cannot be challenged.
6. designs must be submitted by 1 March, 2021.
7. each visitor of the museum is a member of the jury, and may cast one vote.
8. the votes will be counted on 31 December, 2021 and on 1 January, 2022, the results will be announced in the Chessmen Museum, at two o´clock in the afternoon.

Memorable entries

Game of religions

One of the 2007 participating artists of the design competition was Alie Kalverda, who sent us her ‘Game of Religions’. Alie hopes that her chess set will contribute to more tolerance between the different religions and getting a step closer to world peace. Have a look at her website:

The Rotterdam Chess game

In 2010 the Rotterdam Chess Game, designed by Harry Hoek, was added to the collection, in its original size as well as the Extra Large version. Harry Hoek, who has entered in a previous chess game design competition, did not win any prizes with his reproductions of the buildings of Rotterdam. His new and abstract version of his chess set is a big success though. It is on display at the museum as well as outside of it, in an Extra Large sized version. In between the Cubic Houses people can enjoy themselves playing a huge game of chess. (Read more about the development of the game.)

Both versions of the Rotterdam Chess Game are for sale at the museum and the Extra Large version is also available for hiring. Are you interested in the Rotterdam Chess Game? Please send us an email:

GOOD IDEA: do you have a Rotterdam based company and are you looking for a nice present to give to your business acquaintances? Consider the Rotterdam Chess Game in a luxury gift box.