Everything’s better with LED’s, right? Consider illuminating a time-honored game of strategy –
I had just picked up a cheap-o glass chess set at my local arcade for the low low price of only 15,000 tickets. The novelty of playing with glass pieces quickly wore off, and I wondered how I could make it better. The thought of illuminating the set seemed very appealing, but there were so many different ways that could be done. [...] The final design I chose (which will be explained in more depth in the next step), was to have each piece contain an LED that would be powered by a conductive board. The board is plugged into an outlet, so there is no need to worry about the power running out. While the pieces are on the board they are “live” and illuminated, and while off the board they are “dead” and dark.
Though you may prefer more forgiving materials other than glass, this mod shows potential for enhancing a classic – LED Chess Set on Instructables