This chess set was a gift from my daughters many, many years ago, and I've treasured it from the moment I saw it. I love the carved wood, the colorful tiles, and, especially, the feel of the soapstone pieces. The king lies heavy in my hand and stands slightly taller than the length of my palm.
It's been quite a while since I've had a chess partner, so this beautiful set has been folded up and stored on a shelf among other games and puzzles that don't have nearly as much sentimental value. It really deserves its own place of honor.
In the last games that really stand out in my mind, my worthy partner was my then eight-year-old grandson (who recently turned 22). At the end of one game, as we were setting up the board for the next, he paused, holding a chess piece in his hand, a seriously thoughtful expression on his face. "Grammy," he asked, "when you die, can I have this chess set?"
I loved that moment. There was no sense of urgency in his request, and I was delighted to know that he was enjoying himself enough to ask such a question.
I'm going on record here that when that time comes, the chess set goes to Koby.