6th April 2018 — Ripstone, the publisher & developer of videogame Chess Ultra, have partnered with critically acclaimed Purling London, to bring several of their bespoke, hand-painted chess sets to the virtual world. These sets are available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC and VR, priced at £7.99 / $9.99 / €9.99.
Purling’s one-off, hand-painted Art Chess sets are widely admired throughout the world, being described as “Exquisite” by The Telegraph; and “Luscious” by Forbes Life. The Chess Ultra X Purling London collection provides Grandmaster quality chess sets to fit everyone's budget. Through the collaboration, Chess Ultra fans can now own one of these stunning sets for a fraction of the price. The development team at Ripstone have modelled the Purling London chess sets in stunning 4K detail to closely match the real physical Art Chess sets worth thousands of dollars.
Celebrated international contemporary artists have used the traditional Staunton chess set as an unconventional “canvas” upon which they have created one-of-a-kind, hand-painted works. Purling names this line of their collection “Art Chess” as they create a diverse line artistic gaming sets. Four of these sets will be available in Chess Ultra.
Chess Ultra X Purling London Bold Chess:
Purling London’s best-selling set. The vibrant hand-carved Staunton pieces unite classic with contemporary and bring a colourful twist to the chess board. Each luxury hardwood piece has been finished with a deep, glossy lacquer and branded with leather felt, making the Bold chess set a timeless beauty to be treasured.
Chess Ultra X Purling London Olivia Pilling Art Chess:
Created by Northern-England based artist Olivia Pilling, each traditional Staunton piece in this set has been given a contemporary make-over with a rich colour palette and abstract design. Inspired by Russian folk art, the Olivia Pilling Art Chess set is incredibly stylish and guaranteed to make a statement on the chess board.
Chess Ultra X Purling London Mr. Jiver Art Chess:
Created by London based street artist Mr. Jiver, this Art Chess set features a distinctive graffiti style painted across each luxury Staunton piece. With a unique combination of vivid colours and masterful spray work, The Mr. Jiver Art Chess set is truly one of a kind.
Chess Ultra X Purling London Nette Robinson Art Chess:
Created by chess player and artist Nette Robinson, this exquisite chess set was inspired by the striking architecture of two Russian landmarks. The light pieces are based on Moscow’s domed cathedral; Christ the Saviour, whilst the dark pieces represent the patterns and colours of St Basil’s Cathedral.
Purling London’s founder, Simon Purkis conceived of the company’s Art Chess line.
“I was playing chess on a beach against an old school friend of mine,” he explains. ”As the sun set over the sea, it became more and more difficult to differentiate between the chess pieces. I thought about an illuminated chess board and questioned why so many Staunton chess sets are brown-varnished wood—it seemed a wonderful opportunity to revamp the paradigmatic design with colour!
“I discovered the long history of art and chess (from historic Indian and Islamic games to modern artworks by Damien Hirst and Yayoi Kusama), but found that many artist designed chess sets were exquisitely beautiful, but impractical to play. I was inspired to collaborate with artists to create meaningful and handsome artworks based on the iconic Staunton shape. Tradition with a twist”
Purling’s collaboration with cutting-edge videogame Chess Ultra is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC & VR. The game will also be playable at a new exhibition at the World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF) in St Louis, Missouri from 12th April until 16th September 2018. Visitors can play against each other in Virtual Reality and can compare the real life Purling Art Chess sets to the intricately re-modelled versions in Chess Ultra.