I wish I had a good photograph of it from the 1950's. By 2008, when I took these photos, the light-brown bears had darkened with age, and were almost indistinguishable from the dark bears. It would be too confusing to play a serious game of chess with them now.
Some people thought it was confusing to have bears instead of more traditional chessmen shapes, but in our family we were accustomed to playing with the bears, and we didn't always use the standard names for the pieces. For instance, a medium-sized bear leaning forward with one foot raised behind him was called a "runner" instead of a Bishop.
In this photo you can see a Castle, King, and Queen on the left front, and a Bishop (a.k.a Runner) and Knight (a.k.a. Horse) on the right.
|Closeup taken by my sister in 2015|
Click on image to enlarge.