It makes sense, I suppose. They want to make a new chess set every year, but this is the first time since they've started Chess that they have the same theme two years in a row. It's not like they can make the same set again! Throw in the fact that Chess most likely appealed more to older players and AFOLs anyway, and they now have Castle Tic Tac Toe (please please please re-release it!) for their "low-end" board game, and it only makes sense for Chess to go upmarket.
I would guess $150, although I really hope it's closer to $100. Either way, though, this is going to be my Christmas present to myself.
I'll have my Castle advent calendar counting down to the new Castle Chess...bliss!
I collect LEGO themes that start with "C." And Pirates. I call them "Corsairs."