Colorado sports: The chess sets |

Colorado sports: The chess sets

Yes, Elway's knight to Rockies, er, rook three

John Elway finishes his career in style. As an additional honor, he'd be in a Denver Broncos chess set.
Associated Press file photo

Under the category of “We, at the Vail Daily, sometimes have too much time on our hands,” a co-worker brought in a chess set on Tuesday.

Both certified members of our chess clubs way back when in school, we remembered “queen on color” in setting up the board, but it was one of those sets that’s hard figure out what piece is what, except for the Monopoly house that substituted for a missing pawn.

And that brought another question, “Do chess sets have different themes?” The answer is a resounding, “yes.” A cursory googling yielded Civil War, Pearl Harbor, dragons, “Alice in Wonderland” and, yes, a “Games of Thrones” set — Westeros vs. white walkers.

I’m kind of disappointed that Cersei wasn’t a piece. John Snow is the king, Danyeris Targaryen is the queen and Tyrion is a bishop, but, no Cersei? Would she be the spy in a “Game of Thrones” Stratego set?

Since this is meant to be a sports column, as my editor is about to remind me, how would you do chess sets for Colorado sports teams?

Let’s give it a whirl.


We’re doing just the back row because I’m not making Frank Tripucka a pawn, and it’s worth noting the king is not the best player for a franchise. It’s the queen.

King: Pat Bowlen … The owner of the team for 35 years and three Super Bowls.

Queen: John Elway … Any questions?

Rooks: Von Miller and Gary Zimmerman … You want to talk about granite castles on both sides of the ball.

Bishops: Terrell Davis and Floyd Little … Both darted across the field/board.

Knights: Steve Atwater and Shannon Sharpe. … Atwater is a knight simply on pounding Christian Okoye into next week, while Sharpe would be the mouthiest horseman in the history of chess.


King: Patrick Roy … Kings don’t move quickly, and Roy didn’t move quickly down the ice unless Chris Osgood was waiting.

Queen: Joe Sakic … Both of our queens have been the best players and the general manager of their organizations. Hmmm.

Rooks: Adam Foote and Milan Hejduk … Just remember when Roy castles, Foote will be right by his side as was the case on the ice.

Bishops: Peter Forsberg and Alex Tanguay … Forsberg is in the elite crust of anyone to wear the sweater in Colorado. I just seem him as more of a diagonal guy.

Knights: Claude Lemieux and Gabriel Landeskog … I have no idea what kind of chess piece Kris Draper would be, but it would be prone.


First off, all the Nuggets pieces would have to be in the rainbow skyline uniforms.

King: Doug Moe … George Karl could go here, except the team fired him.

Queen: Dan Issel … Trivia time: He is still the all-time leading scorer at the University of Kentucky.

Rooks: Alex English and Carmelo Anthony … I was tempted to put Allen Iverson into a chess piece just so I could yell “I’m talking about practice.”

Bishops: David Thompson and Spencer Heywood. … OK, Heywood only played one year, but he went from high school to the ABA and was the league’s MVP, Rookie of the Year and took home the All-Star Game MVP.

Knights: Fat Leever and Nicola Jokic … The Joker will be getting a chess-position upgrade soon.


King: Clint Hurdle … The original skipper of Rocktober.

Queen: Nolan Arenado … Doesn’t have Todd Helton’s numbers yet, but he will.

Rooks: Helton and Larry Walker … Can you make a Hall of Fame case for both?

Bishops: Andres Galarraga and Vinny Castilla … Along with Dante Bichette, the original Blake Street Bombers.

Knights: Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki. … Do note that there are no pitchers in this chess set.

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