US 3836151 A
A self-storing game apparatus is provided in which a pliable game board or panel having a suitable game design emplaced thereon, such as by embossing, and a plurality of game playing pieces adapted to be selectively arranged on the panel in accordance with the design are made of a common material, as for example vinyl or the like, having a characteristic which causes the pieces to adhere to the panel when in direct contact therewith. The pliable nature of the vinyl permits folding of the panel for storage purposes as, for example in the user's pocket, purse, desk, etc., without the likelihood of the playing pieces being readily dislodged from their positions when the panel is folded. A sheet of dissimilar material is placed between the pieces when the panel is folded to keep them from sticking to each other.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Bowerman Sept. 17, 1974  Appl. No.: 335,473
 US. CL. 273/136 E, 273/137 AC, 273/136 GA  Int. Cl. A63f 3/02  Field of Search 273/136 R, I36 E, 136 F,
273/136 G, 136, 137, 134 G, 134 GA, 134
AB, 131, 130 A  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,585,924 2/1952 Freedman et al. 273/136 E UX 2,806,703 9/1957 Friedkin 273/137 R X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS Primary ExaminerAnton O. Oechsle Assistant ExaminerPaul E. Shapiro Attorney, Agent, or FirmSchmidt, Johnson, Hovey & Williams  ABSTRACT A self-storing game apparatus is provided in which a pliable game board or panel having a suitable game design emplaced thereon, such as by embossing, and a plurality of game playing pieces adapted to be selectively arranged on the panel in accordance with the design are made of a common material, as for example vinyl or the like, having a characteristic which causes the pieces to adhere to the panel when in direct contact therewith. The pliable nature of the vinyl permits folding of the panel for storage purposes as, for example in the users pocket, purse, desk, etc., without the likelihood of the playing pieces being readily dislodged from their positions when the panel is folded. A sheet of dissimilar material is placed be- 1,|51 3/1882 Great Britain 273/136 E w n h pie e wh n the p n l is folded o keep 48,924 6/1934 Denmark 273/136 E them from sticking to each other.
2 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures 22 30 /4 Q/Qi- L-U GAME BOARD This invention relates to a game apparatus of the type having a playing surface with a particular game design thereon and a plurality of associated game playing pieces.
It is a very important object of my invention to provide a game board with associated playing pieces which is very portable. in nature and which may be removed from one location to another during the course of the game without the inadvertent removal of the playing pieces from their respective positions on the board.
It is a further important object of my invention to provide a game apparatus having a pliable game board in which the playing pieces remain in position when the board is folded for storage.
Yet another important object of the invention is the provision of a game apparatus in which the game design is emplaced on the panel in a manner to permit easy removal of the playing pieces therefrom when desired while at the same time positively retaining the pieces in position on the design until such desired removal.
A still further important object of my invention is to provide a lightweight game apparatus that may be folded for placement in a pocket, purse or the like or in an envelope for mailing without removal of the playing pieces or their becoming shifted from their selected positions on the board.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide playing pieces for the portable game apparatus which are so constructed as to be easily removed from the panel only when such removal is desired and while at the same time being immune to inadvertent dislodgement.
Another object of the invention is the provision of a game apparatus that is relatively small, durable and low cost.
In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is a plan view of a game board and playing pieces made pursuant to the present invention and depicting a chessboard and chessmen;
FIG. 2 is a slightly enlarged, vertical, cross-sectional view of the game board and playing pieces as they would appear when the board is folded for stoage purposes during non-use;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged, fragmentary, elevational view, shown in section, illustrating the playing pieces as they would appear on embossed sections of the game board; and
FIG. 4 is an enlarged, perspective view of an alternate form of a playing piece having a lift tab thereon.
A portable game apparatus, broadly designated by the numeral 10, is depicted in the figure as being a chess set although it is to be understood that the invention is not to be construed as in any way being limited to use as a chess game. The apparatus is comprised of a board in the form of a pliable panel 12 constructed from relatively heavy gauge vinyl material or other similar material which has a characteristic of adhering to another object made of like material when in direct contact therewith, and a plurality of chessmen in the form of flat counters or playing pieces 14, also made from the same vinyl or vinyl-like material as that of the panel 12.
The panel 12 has emplaced thereon the conventional chess game design of 64 squares arranged in eight vertical and eight horizontal rows with the squares being depicted in alternate light colored and dark colored areas identified in FIG. 1 by the numerals 16 and 18 respectively, the squares l6 and 18 presenting a playing area 20 disposed centrally of the panel 12. A margin 21 surrounding the area 20 is provided with a number of raised, embossed surfaces in the form of plateaus 22 presenting locations for receiving the pieces 14 when they are removed from the playing area 20 during the course of the game. The panel 12 is further embossed to present a plateau 24 centrally positioned in each square 16 and 18 for likewise receiving respective pieces 14 while they are being played.
The disc-like playing pieces 14 have appropriate symbols 26 affixed thereto on their upwardly-facing surfaces 28, the symbols 26 being affixed in any convenient manner such as by stamping, printing, the applying of decals or the like. While the pieces 14 are shown as being of a circular configuration it is to be understood that other flat shapes such as squares, triangles and other polygonal shapes may be used. In referring to FIG. 3 it is to be noted that the playing pieces 14 are of a diameter somewhat larger than the diameter of the plateaus 22 thus resulting in the edges 30 of the pieces 14 extending beyond'the plateaus 22 such that the pieces 14 are in an overhanging relationship thereto.
When the game apparatus 10 is in use, the panel 12 is disposed in a normal open position with the playing area 20 exposed and the playing pieces 14 properly arranged in their playing positions. The mutual affinity of the material from which the panel 12 and the pieces 14 are made causes the pieces 14 to adhere to the particular plateau 22 with which they are placed in contact, and to remain in such a position until selectively removed therefrom and transferred to another position or location on the panel 12. The fact that the pieces 14 overhang their respective plateaus permits easy removal therefrom by providing an edge which may be conveniently grapsed by the player for lifting the piece 14 from the plateau 22.
A game constructed as herein disclosed is particularly well-suited for use in those situations when it may not be possible to complete the game and the apparatus 10 must be removed for some reason or other. In these instances it is but a simple matter to fold the panel 12 as shown in FIG. 2 with the playing pieces remaining in their last played positions. This permits the apparatus 10 to be conveniently inserted in a pocket, purse, briefcase or the like without the need for repackaging the game into a separate container therefor and the dislodgment of the playing pieces. By way of illustration, suppose that two individuals living in different locations desire to play a game of chess, an apparatus 10 as here disclosed could be used with each person making a move and then mailing the game to his opponent for his move, this procedure continuing until the game has been completed.
In order to prevent the playing pieces from adhering to the opposite side of the playing area, or to opposed playing pieces when the panel 12 is folded, a paper filler sheet 32 may be inserted or placed between the two folded sections 34 and 36 and their respective playing pieces 14 as shown in FIG. 2. As an alternate to the utilization of the filler sheet 34 it is contemplated that one side of the playing pieces 14 could be given a rough or textured surface in order that any other part of the apparatus touching this roughened surface would not adhere thereto.
ln referring to FIG. 4, there is shown a playing piece 114 having an alternate configuration characterized by a lift tab 138 extending beyond the periphery 130 thereof. The tab 138 provides a convenient grasping surface for the removal of the playing piece 114 from the panel 12 and would be intended primarily for use with panels 12 which would not be embossed to provide the raised plateaus 22 or 24.
From the foregoing it will be readily appreciated that there has been herein disclosed a game apparatus which utilizes the natural tendency for objects made from a vinyl material or the like to adhere to one another to provide a portable game apparatus which may be easily moved about as required during the course of the game without the threat of unintentional dislodgment of the playing pieces and which possesses all of the desirable advantages of being low in cost, light in weight and durable.
The convenience afforded by this invention is further shown in that a separate packaging or holding unit for the playing pieces is not needed and the entire apparatus 10 is self-storing by virtue of its pliable nature which permits it to be folded when not in use, forming its own package.
Having thus described the invention what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. A game apparatus comprising:
a panel upon which a suitable game design has been emplaced;
a plurality of game playing pieces adapted to be selectively placed on said panel in a spaced-apart arrangement in accordance with said design and shiftable relative to the panel and to one another,
said panel and said pieces being comprised of a common material, said material being characterized as having a property which causes said panel and said pieces to possess a mutual affinity for one another which causes the respective pieces to releasably adhere to said panel when in direct contact therewith,
said panel being embossed to present said design in the form of a plurality of raised plateaus defining positions for said pieces and upon which the latter are received with said plateaus each presenting an area for engagement with a respective one of said pieces that is somewhat less than the corresponding area presented by said respective piece whereby the same overhangs its respective plateau,
said panel and said pieces further being of a pliable material to permit said panel to be folded when not in use without disturbing the locations of said pieces; and
a filler sheet of dissimilar material to that of said panel and said pieces and to which the latter do not adhere, said sheet being interposed between said pieces when said panel is folded.
2. A game apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said panel includes a playing area centrally disposed thereon and presenting said design, said panel further having a margin surrounding said area and presenting a number of plateaus therein for receiving playing pieces when they are removed from said playing area during the course of the game.