These porcelain figures are chessmen from the U.S.S.R., where chess is the most popular indoor sport and chess pieces represent figures in the class struggle. The chained worker is a capitalist pawn. The sinister piece whose head is a grimacing skull is the capitalist king. The rugged collective farmer is a communist pawn. The aproned worker is a communist king. Last week this chess set and over 30 others went on exhibition at Manhattan's Metropolitan Museum. Many of the pieces, some dating from the 9th Century, were exquisite miniature sculptures in ivory, silver, fine woods. Most of the Metropolitan's chess show...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!