Giant chess sets at Lubbock International Airport

The World Chess Championship is taking place in Bonn, Germany right now. Defending champion Viswanathan “Vishy” Anand (India) is playing former world champion Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) in a 12-game match for the title – and for 1.5 million Euros ($2.35 million U.S.) in prize funds.

Of course, chess fans are pretty excited about this. And so are the folks in Lubbock, Texas, which is the 2008 Co-Chess City of the Year (with Tulsa).

So it’s an appropriate move that the Lubbock-Preston Smith International Airport has installed giant chess sets and displays about chess in the east and west terminals.

This photo, from the Susan Polgar Chess and Information blog, gives you an idea of what these big chess sets look like.

I’ve seen giant chess sets set up in at least one mall and in a few recreation centers and parks. The oversized pieces create a great attraction or meeting spot and it’s always fun to see folks gathered around watching the ‘action.’  Given how long folks end up hanging around airports these days, it’s not unreasonable to think that they could squeeze in a game of chess.

But why stop there?  Wouldn’t it be great if airports had game corners or well-stocked emergency game closets so travelers could wait out delays playing Monopoly or, better yet, Twister?

(Courtesy: Hasbro)