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Millionaire industrialist Obadiah Stane wanted to eliminate his primary competitor Tony Stark. Having been brought up with a great respect for the game of chess, he patterned his actions and strategies after those associated with the game. As such, he created personal assassins, each of whom represented a chess piece and were outfitted in the garb and accessories associated with their respective ranks.
Stane had his agents, the Chessmen, attack Stark International and assault Stark's confidante, James Rhodes. Stane also set up Indries Moomji as Stark's lover without Stark knowing that Moomji was actually the Chessmen's Queen. While all of this was occurring, Stane and his associates conspired to lock Stark International out of various business deals. Stane then assigned his Knight to assassinate Tony Stark in New Mexico. The Knight fought up against Iron Man who quickly outwitted his opponent and knocked him out with an explosion. 
When Stane learned of the Knight's failure, he sent his Bishop to silence the Knight as punishment. After which, the Bishop followed Tony Stark to Scotland to finish off the job. The Bishop came very close to killing Iron Man, but when Stark discovered where the Bishop's powers came from, he disabled his weaponry and knocked him out. 
The next challenge came from the Rook, who was in charge of a veritable chamber of horrors inside an old Scottish castle. Iron Man fought against the Rook's efforts and successfully prevented his friends Jim Rhodes and Indries Moomji from being killed. 
Ultimately, Tony had to come face to face with the King of the Chessmen, Obadiah Stane himself. Stane's strategy against Stark was much more insidious than just wanton violence. By manipulating a string of events, he caused Tony Stark to start drinking again - a trait that nearly destroyed his life in the past. As Stark's addiction to alcohol worsened, Stane put his opponent in check. He bought Tony's company Stark International out from under him. Tony Stark quit being Iron Man and gave the job to his friend Jim Rhodes. 
Changing its name to Stane International, he kept the Chessmen on site as his personal bodyguards.  Jim Rhodes assumed the role of Iron Man and fought up against the Chessmen on more than one occasion. Eventually though, Tony got his act together and resumed his place as Iron Man. He engaged Obadiah Stane in one-on-one combat: Tony in his new Mark VIII armor and Stane wearing his "Iron Monger" battlesuit. Tony beat Stane, but the leader of the Chessmen was refused to go down on anybody else's terms but his own. He placed his Repulsor to the side of his head and took his own life. 
- Both Bishops: Electronic miter; electro-staff
- All 3 Knights: Anti-Gravity steed; energy lance
- Both Rooks: Scottish castle including traps and torture chambers
Transportation: None known.
Weapons: None known.
- No special notes.
- The 2008 Iron Man movie paid homage to the Chessmen. During one of Tony Stark's meetings with Obadiah Stane, a chessboard can be seen on the coffee table in front of him.
- 10 Chessmen (Earth-616) Members
- 9 Appearances of Chessmen (Earth-616)
- Media Chessmen (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- 1 Images that include Chessmen (Earth-616)
- Team Gallery: Chessmen (Earth-616)