It is a jigsaw puzzle. It is a chessboard. It is the Chess Baffler! and it is here.

Handmade in Boulder, Colorado by master puzzlesmith Chris Yates, every Chess Baffler! is made of MDF (reconstituted wood) and is painted in your choice of colors and finishes. Each Chess Baffler! board measures 13"x13"x.75", with 64 .25" inch puzzle pieces that fit snugly into the board. The 32 chess pieces range from .50" square pawns to the .75"x.75"x1.5" kings. The difficulty level of the puzzle ranges from around 5 to 6 (out of 10).

Chris uses a scroll saw, a band saw, a table saw, various sanders, and a lot of paint to make his puzzles in his home-based studio.

You have the option of just about any color scheme you'd like. You can choose two colors for the pieces, and then one for the base. Below we have listed our favorite colors to work with to try and make the decision process a little easier. But if there's a certain color not listed below you're looking for, we can probably make it happen.

There is also the option of choosing to have the puzzle pieces and the base mottled, just the base mottled, and keeping everything plain. Mottling is when instead of making the puzzle pieces two solid colors, we use 2-3 other colors in the same hue range as each "main color" to broaden the spectrum and texture a bit, through light spray and paint drips. Sometimes when we mottle the bases, we use even more colors to create more depth. But at the same time, plain puzzle pieces may add more clarity when you play chess. That's why we leave it up to you!

And if you'd like a written or stenciled inscription on the back, that is also on the house! Why not.

Every Chess Baffler! component is sprayed with a UV clear coat to prevent scratches and fading, but chess players should try not be too violent with the pieces.

Due to the handmade nature of the Chess Baffler!, each iteration will be unique and a little different. Small abnormalities and eccentricities may exist as Chris is a human being and not a walking laser cutter.

A card of basic care and chess rules comes with the Chess Baffler!, and should you follow the basic care (keep it away from direct sunlight, water, and dust every so often), it will be a heirloom that will last and delight generations. If you have any questions, send them to superyates (at) gmail (dot) com.


Please allow 2-8 weeks for the creation and delivery of your Chess Baffler! First come, first serve.

We ship this item via FedEx Ground within the US and Priority Int'l USPS abroad.

$145 (+25 S&H)
Finish desired:
Color scheme desired:

$145 (+55 S&H)
Finish desired:
Color scheme desired:

Copyright Chris Yates 2009