US 3863930 A
A chess piece including a hollow body having a ballast receiving chamber therein. An opening or port through the base of the body communicates with the chamber and is closed by a snap-fitting insert locked into position through a peripheral beveled insert edge brought into locked butting engagement with the peripheral wall portion of the port upon an inward concave deforming of the insert within the port.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Uvanni [4 1 Feb. 4, 1975 WEIGHTED CHESS PIECE  Filed: Mar. 22, 1974  Appl. No.2 453,882
 U.S. Cl. 273/137 W, 220/24 A  Int. Cl. A63f 3/02  Field of Search 273/137; 220/24 A, 24 B, 220/24.5, 42 B  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 361,721 4/1887 Schmitthenner 273/137 W 2,087,159 7/1937 McGuckin .1 273/137 W 2,687,228 8/1954 Knocke I 220/24.5 2,688,995 9/1954 Wagoner 220/245 X 3,298,689 1/1967 Santora 273/54 B FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 950,355 10/1956 Germany 273/137 W Primary Examiner-Anton O. Oechsle Attorney, Agent, or FirmDennison, Dennison, Townshend & Meserole  ABSTRACT A chess piece including a hollow body having a ballast receiving chamber therein. An opening or port through the base of the body communicates with the chamber and is closed by a snap-fitting insert locked into position through a peripheral beveled insert edge brought into locked butting engagement with the peripheral wall portion of the port upon an inward concave deforming of the insert within the port.
2 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PM ENTED FEB 41975 3 FIG. 2
k yllllll k 20 UIIIIIIIIII WElGl-ITED CHESS PIECE The present invention generally relates to manually movable game pieces, and is more specifically directed to chess pieces adopted to be custom weighted to the specifications of the individual user.
Many chess players find it highly desirable to have their chess pieces custom weighted to their individual specifications. In doing so, the individual player will have better control over the pieces during the handling and moving thereof and an additional means of recognition of the individual pieces by weight. The actual stability of the pieces also can be enhanced.
It is a primary object of the present invention to provide a game piece, and more particularly a chess piece, which can be easily custom weighted by the individual user following a simple procedure.
Another significant aspect of the invention is to provide a system for custom weighting chess pieces which can be adapted regardless of the external figuration or appearance of the piece, requiring only sufficient body structure as to provide a hollow internal ballast receiving chamber.
In conjunction with the above object, it is also a significant object of the invention to provide customweighted chess pieces which can be formed in any manner, for example economical molded plastic, whereby the advantages of having a customized chess piece will be available even to those players with limited means.
Basically, a chess piece constructed in accordance with the present invention includes a hollow body or a body defining an enlarged internal chamber. A port or opening extends through the base of the piece into the hollow interior or chamber for the introduction of ballast. This port is, subsequent to the insertion of the ballast, sealed by an insert deformable into interlocking position within the port. The peripheral wall of the port and the generally mating peripheral edge of the insert are angled so as to diverge slightly from each other, with the transverse width of the insert being slightly greater than that of the port. The insert is moved into the port by a concavo-convex deforming of the insert so as to bring the peripheral edge thereof to abutting engagement with the surrounding port wall, the resiliently flexible nature of the insert jamming the outer peripheral edge thereof against the surrounding port wall for a positive locking of the insert in position. The inserted insert seats against an inner shoulder and is slightly recessed relative to the base of the body so as to not interfere with the planar bottom support surface.
The above objects and advantages, together with others which will become subsequently apparent, reside in the details of construction and manner of use as more fully hereinafter described and claimed. Reference is now had to the accompanaying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a chess piece, incorporating the features of the invention;
FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the chess piece body and port closing insert;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional detail illustrating the relationship between the chess body and insert with the insert exploded outward from the body; and
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional detail with the ballast and insert in position in a completed custom-weighted chess piece.
Referring now more specifically to the drawings, reference numeral 10 is used to designate a chess piece constructed in accordance with the present invention. For purposes of illustration, a simplified pawn has been used. However, it will of course be appreciated that the custom weighting concept of the invention applies equally to all of the pieces.
The chess piece 10 includes an upstanding hollow body-12 having an internal ballast receiving chamber 14. The body 12 can be configured as desired and includes a base portion 16 having a game board engaging flat lower support surface 18.
An enlarged port or access opening 20 is defined through the base portion 16 into the internal chamber 14 for the selective introduction of ballast 21. While, as a matter of manufacturing convenience, the entire interior of the body 12 may be hollow, the chamber 14 can be of any size sufficient as to accomodate such ballast as may be required to bring the weight of the chess piece 10 to that desired. Insofar as the ballast 21 itself, such can consist of sand, BB shot, lead, or any combination thereof.
The port 20 includes a peripheral wall 22 extending inwardly from the bottom support surface 18 at approximately ninety degrees thereto. The port wall 22 terminates in a radially inwardly projecting shoulder 24 extending at an angle of approximately five degrees to the horizontal or at approximately ninety-five degrees to the port wall 22.
The insert 26, utilized to permanently close the port, at least in the sense that destructionof the insert 26 would be required to effect its removal, is of a disc-like configuration and of size so as to be snuggly received within the port 20. As suggested in the drawings, both the port and the insert are preferably circular.
The peripheral edge 28 of the insert 26 is beveled or tapered at approximately five degrees to the vertical with the wider lower surface 30 of the insert 26 being of slightly greater width than the diametric width of the port 20.
As will be appreciated from FIG. 3, the peripheral edge 28 of the insert 26 is so cut or beveled relative to the port wall 22 as to diverge inwardly and upwardly relative thereto. Referring now in turn to FIG. 4, a mounting of the insert 26, subsequent to an introduction of the ballast 21, is effected by an inward forcing of the insert into the port 20 in conjunction with a concavo-convex deforming of the insert 26 sufficient as to bring the insert peripheral edge 28 into coplanar constricted abutment with the port wall 22. At the same time, the upper surface of the insert 26, about the periphery thereof, seats against the slightly inclined shoulder 24, the angle of the insert edge 28 and that of the shoulder 24, being equal whereby a flush seating of the insert 26 against both shoulder 24 and the port wall 22 will be effected.
The depth or thickness of the insert 26 is equal to or slightly less than the height of the port wall 22 whereby the insert 26, particularly with the downwardly directed concavity of the insert when positioned as in FIG. 4, is orientated above the flat-bottom supporting surface 18, peripherally thereabout. This insures a hightly stable base.
As will be appreciated, the insert 26 incorporates a slight degree of flexible resiliency enabling the inward flexing thereof into position with the memory characteristic of the insert maintaining a constant radially outward pressure thereon sufficient so as to positively lock the insert into place. Removal of the insert will, for all practical purposes, require a breaking or cutting of the insert. Further, the constant load of the internal ballast 21 will be both effectively retained by the insert 26 and will in turn, through pressure on the insert 26, tend to enhance the locking engagement of the insert 26 within the port 20.
From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that a highly unique chess piece has been defined. This chess piece, through the provision of a port and associated closure insert, can be custom weighted in accordance with the desires of the individual player. The weight increasing ballast is positively locked within each individual piece by the permanently mountable port closing insert which in turn provides a finished appearance to the base of the piece. lncidently, if so desired, an appropriate felt cover or the like can be provided over the lower surface of the base, including the base mounted insert.
The foregoing is considered illustrative of the principles of the invention. Further, since modifications and changes may readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.
What is claimed as new is:
1. A game piece, said game piece comprising an upstanding body configured to define a chess piece and having a base portion, said base portion having a game board engaging flat lower support surface, an internal chamber within said body, an access port through said 7 lower support surface into said chamber for the introduction of loose ballast into said chamber, and a closure insert for said port, said insert being circular, flat and resiliently flexible for deformation into a concavoconvex configuration within said port, said insert having upper and lower surfaces with a peripheral edge at an angle of slightly less than ninety degrees to the lower surface, said port including a circular side wall projecting inwardly from the lower support surface at an angle thereto slightly greater than the angle of the peripheral insert edge to the insert lower surface, the diameter defined by the peripheral sidewall of the port being slightly less than that of the lower surface of the insert, and a shoulder above said peripheral sidewall of the port projecting radially inward therefrom at an angle equal to the angle of the peripheral edge of the insert to the lower surface of the insert, said insert, upon a concavo-convex deforming insertion thereof into said port, having the peripheral edge thereof engaged flush against the circular sidewall of the port with the upper surface of the insert engaging flush against the inwardly projecting port shoulder.
2. The game piece of claim 1 wherein the height of the peripheral sidewall of the port is slightly greater than the thickness of the insert so as to enable a complete positioning of the inserted insert above the game board engaging flat lower support surface of the outstanding body.