Like many portable chess sets, the Ventureboard comes at a fraction of the size of regulation sets, making it easy to pack and bring anywhere you go. Unlike them, it comes with an integrated facility for saving a game, allowing you to pause a game and resume the next day with all the pieces still in the correct place.
No, this isn’t an electronic chess game that saves everything to an onboard storage. Instead, it’s a clever analog solution that uses a unique design to keep all the pieces in place right where you left them.
The Ventureboard is a portable chess set that measures a compact 6 x 7.5 inches when rolled out, which is a heck of a lot smaller than the regulation board size of 21 x 21 inches. While that small size alone already makes it very portable, that’s only the start. You see, the plastic board is designed to roll up into a hexagonal tube that measures just 6 x 3 inches (length x diameter), allowing you to squeeze it in the side pouch of your backpack, where you can easily pick it up when you come across a stranger willing to challenge your 2,000+ FIDE rating. The case is cleverly designed, by the way, with each section easily moving into position and their edges interlocking when you roll the whole thing up.
Unlike typical chess boards, the pieces here are designed to stay in place until you physically move them. That’s because it uses powerful magnets to keep the pieces on their place in the board, so no gust of wind is going to ruin your chess game even when you place outdoors in the middle of inclement weather. Even better, those magnets are designed to keep the pieces in place even when the board is rolled up into a hex tube, allowing you to pause a game and resume it some other time at the exact same positions.
The Ventureboard comes with extra space (no tiles) at the ends of the board. According to the outfit, that space is where you’re supposed to put any captured pieces, as they stay in place there as well, so even captured pieces are correctly placed when you restart a game. When you finish a game and want to pack up, by the way, you put the pieces in starting position and close the board up, so that the next time you get the hankering for a game, you can simply dive right in. Since it relies on magnets to hold the pieces in place, it also uses magnets to secure the enclosure when it’s rolled up, so you don’t need to unhook, unclasp, or untie anything – just pry the thing open with some force and unfold the whole thing.
It comes with a case designed to hold the board when it’s rolled up and even a bag to put the case in, so you can keep it from touching other stuff in your bag and ensure it’s clean the whole time it’s put away. The bag is water-resistant, too, so even if you keep it in an external pouch, you don’t have to worry about the chess set getting soaked.