When I was in school, my friend and I were separated for Food Technology class (yes, I took this class and I still can’t boil an egg), we took the class at different times but sat at the same desk, so we used to take it in turns to leave insults for each other in the desk. The Straight Up Chess is sort of like that, but also nothing like that at all. This is a pretty unique chess set, it isn’t square, it is very big, oh and did I mention it hangs on the wall?! It comes with a ‘last move’ marker which means you will always know whose turn it is. The idea of playing a game without having to talk to someone is very appealing to me, you can simply pass by, make your move, mark it with the ‘last move’ marker and sneak off and google, “how to play chess”. This would make an ideal game for the office, classroom or home, just not my home unless they have a Ludo version.

The board itself is rather beautiful and available in many different varieties. When ordering you go through a selection process to order the perfect board for you. Start by choosing the board background, Black Cherry, Red Cherry, Black Maple, Red Maple, Maple Nut, Black Walnut or Cherry Bean and each comes with playing piece recommendations. Once you have selected your board you will need to choose your frame from the options - Black Contemporary, Red Accent, Wide Scoop, Flat Black, Rustic Brown, Black Gold, Flat Black, Rugged Espresso, Traditional Brown, Antique Bronze Frame, Checkered Bronze or Dark Bronze Frame. If you already have a favourite set of chess pieces you can stop there or select your new playing pieces, the board can be made to fit chess pieces from 2" to 4.5" and come in 30 different options including, block pieces, aluminium, medieval or traditional. Once you hang your new board on the wall, fit the acrylic shelves into the board, the pieces sit on top and you are ready to go. The Straight Up Chess Vertical Board is quite simply, wonderful, with lots of beautiful customisable options available and high-quality materials. It will look awesome where ever you hang it, even if you have no idea how to play chess. RRP $260-$345

5 out of 5

Buy now


Customisable board and pieces

High-quality materials

Looks brilliant

Last move marker


Hasn’t made me better at chess