Own

3rd Millennium Chess

Taking an invention from the idea stage to mass development doesn't always involve angel investors and focus groups -- sometimes all you need is steely determination, and a nice tunnel to sleep in. That wasn't a joke, and this is 3rd Millennium Chess

A drastic re-imagination of the 1000-year-old game of chess, 3MC's unique board makes conventional strategies as null and void as the 'Noid; it was hatched by a former bartender, whose willingness to spend 24/7 pitching his invention on street corners has led to him literally living in a tunnel, and not in an occasional, bartender kind of way. Each handmade set consists of a base attached to a rotating cylinder, wrapped with two conventional chess grids to which the pieces are magnetized, obliterating home-row safety by allowing attacks from another direction and essentially doubling the ground covered by major pieces like bishops and queens -- of course until she bites the dust, leaving your King to go Rhapsodously Bohemian with his bishops. Additional changes include adding a second row of pawns behind the major pieces, and changing the traditional role of the knight by letting it split into two separate pieces at any point in the match, thereby allowing you a total of four knights, though as Adam Sandler proved, you can go up to 8 before things get crazy. And kind of dumb.

Although you won't find it in stores, the boards are made to order through the 3MC website. If you're curious to see the thing in person, its founder hangs outside the Jackalope most afternoons evangelizing his notion to passers-by, while at night challenges patrons inside the bar -- a place where your incessant lingering frequently begs the question, "What are you, homeless?"