Queen, pawn, rook… They’re all here and totally yoked.

They say the brain is the most important muscle in your body, but everyone knows that’s a lie because the brain isn’t even a muscle. No, clearly the most important muscle in your body is muscle. It just stands to reason.

But to really drive this point home, capsule toy maker IP4 has released a set of pieces for the world’s most cerebral game and given it the rippling pecs and delts this game of warfare deserves.

I’m talking, of course, about the game of chess in which two armies engage in battle on an eight by eight grid. However, if you’re going to war would you rather have a bunch of abstract shapes on your side, or a squad of ripped dudes?

These aren’t just any bodybuilders either. The model for these pieces is none other than Toshi, the head of pecs at Muscle Plus, which is the world’s premier stock photo site for practically unusable images of muscular men in a variety of situations from the everyday to the supernatural.

Each piece is represented by a different bodybuilding pose such as the king performing a rat spread and pawn doing a “side triceratops” which I’m almost certain is a typo in the press release that’s supposed to be “side triceps.”

▼ A “side triceratops” pose

Although it might seem like a frivolous change to the game of chess, it actually heightens the difficulty quite a bit. By having to identify each piece from its bodybuilding pose, you really need to focus more on the board while playing.

Unfortunately, to get an entire chess set of these pieces, you’ll need to make a lot of 400-yen (US$3) turns of the capsule machine and have some considerable luck on your side to get the right ones.

Luckily, Muscle Plus is holding a special New Year’s contest for a chance to win a set of 12 Macho Chess pieces, one of each piece in both black and white. All you have to do is follow the Muscle Plus Twitter account and retweet the designated contest tweet which they will post in the evening on New Year’s Day.

“Macho Chess Present Campaign: 1-7 January”

Sadly, that still won’t be enough pieces to play a proper game of chess, but it should work to play whatever variation these guys are doing in the photo below.

By the way, this image is a part of a special commemorative Muscle Plus photo shoot for Macho Chess. Other pictures include:

▼ “Macho who was robbed of a key square”

▼ “Macho who puts the king in check with a decisive move”

▼ “Checkmate macho”

▼ “Macho who summons a rook from his pecs”

These along with all the other musclebound pictures in Muscle Plus are all free to use provided you can find a use for them.

Macho Chess, however, is not free and will require not only money but time, effort, and sheer dedication to painstakingly build up bit by bit. It’s very much like a certain competitive activity that I can’t quite put my finger on.

Source, images: PR Times
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