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ccmcacollister 89 ( +1 | -1 )
The CHESS SET for you ... HI all, I was wondering if anyone is a Chess Set collector?
Or got a special set?
And mostly, what do you require in a set to really be pleased with it?
I would probably be a collector, if I didnt lose so many pawns! Plus the cost and storage might be difficult. A guy here in town had over a hundred sets, and might have been near a literal Ton of books that his estate sold. Then when the Chess House owner died in Kansas City, they had a neat offer back in the 90's/ Over 200 Wooden sets collected from Russia and all over the world. They would sell you one sight unseen, starting at $15 , i think, on up. Just describe what you like, and return it if not pleased! OH WHAT a DEAL !! Why didnt I DO that while it was going on ?! I Mustve been in a coma or such. Maybe I thought the 35 or so that I've had was enough!? Though only 4 or 5 are still complete. But if I could ... }8-)
ccmcacollister 467 ( +1 | -1 )
My Special Sets ... If I could have ANY ... Of course any one set used in a World Championship would be top notch! But barring that ... I REALLY like the Kasparov sets, and only seen maybe one I'd ever liked better. And those (formerly?$67) Rosewood sets from USCF looked darn good. I wonder if that board is for sale that Kaspy autographed, then had the guy turn around and bonk him on his head with it ... !?
REQUIREMENTS: I like my sets to be Stauntons.
GOt to be HEAVY, triple weight if possible. Bishops should be elegant, and Not have FAT heads!! And knights fat knights either. And they should have eyes, some ears and mane thats carved and raised a bit. Not just etched into the figure.
Pawns: Well again not too fat. ULTIMATE SET from USCF, which I have, is okay but PAwns and Bishops are overweight on top. King's and Queens, well most all I've seen are acceptible to me. Rooks can also have many forms and be okay. The Dreuke Rooks are probably my least favorite. But Cavalier Rooks are real good, and the arched knights are Super! My Lardy french wood set is nice. But a bit light to me, and the knights are more etched and less carved than suits me.
However, it is a special one, having gotten it as a tournament prize which a good friend directed. And became my tournament set for some years. Then it was given to a good friend as a gift, who returned it to me in her will. Missing a pawn now. But sentimentally special. Though it lost a bit of character. It used to have coffee, and Soda stains, potato chip fingerprints and stray pennings for many great and wonderful local players; but lo, my friend WASHED the vinyl spotless as her first act upon it, and wooden pieces too! YEARS of work to build up the cigar smoke veneer, right Down the Drain in a very real way!! So, It seems I failed a bit in coaching to impress upon her the need for keeping of atmosphere on ones board.
Lets not even count Travel sets!
One other fav of mine is a Dreuke Triple Weighted set, bought used for $20. It was great to play on ... but calamity befell it, getting left in the back car window ... those things cant take the sunlight.
Now it has a Great amount of Character, and I'm sure there is none just exactly like it! The Rooks just kind of got shorter and chubbier, the Black Queen is leaning a bit, as to hear something the Bishop might whisper in her ear. Eager to hear, the Bishop leans too.
Another great Fav: Cavalier Knights and Bishops+(tall and lean .. but the dinghy heads tend to break off "... off with their heads! !?"), Ultimate Rooks, Dreuke Pawns, and Random Royals. Those mix and match sets are great for Bughouse.
But players would cringe at a tournament I'm sure. [Someone once took me off their goodguy list because they had the BL pieces and wanted to use her set, as the rules allow to black ... but the BOARD! Yikes, it had 3 inch waves in it. While it might provide for great sport and tricky coordination, and maybe random eye crossing ... I just couldnt do it knowing it would bother the bg-bers out of me; especially in any time trouble or if the game got close. So I have to ask for a defective equipment ruling and a different board. No one can steam like a player whose equipment is faulted by you ... the very truth of it! ]
Hey, then there are those $1000.00 + Staunton sets.
HOW does a piece of wood become worth $1000 for a standard design?! Are these sprinkled with Pixie Dust!? Or soaked in Liquid Lose-Proof ... Pay more / win more kinda thing!? They ARE nice of course. Very nice. But what do you say to the first guy that eats BBQ ribs at the board.
Well, I suppose it must be insured, tho, eh?
I do have a nice marble set. Says its a collectors! And I got like #1o11. I cant wait
to cash in on that! But truly, you cannot blitz it, and it makes a wonderful window piece, but is too stressful to pop the rock pieces about on it.
And glass sets now ... Got 3. They can range from $5 to $95 suggested retail. And, er, they are the same set?! They've been working out fine since starting to color them up with markers or model paint ...
And almost time to break out the Christmas Set! Yes a Red and Green set of Chessheads design, in unbreakable resin. Now THAT is the set to take to college with you. So when you come home from a beverage run for the football team and find someone has shot 4 arrows into, and half thru, your front door with your 65lb bow, and another FB guy has crashed thru the wall, and someone's asleep in the tub with board and pieces, wet but intact ... You Love you Resin Set!
PS// Did everyone hear that "Dear Abby" once wrote Chess Players were boring!?
Hummph !
ionadowman 23 ( +1 | -1 )
I am very fond... ..of the set I use for analysing GK games, a small Russian magnetic set I bought in 1979. I suspect the price then (I think $20) was a considerable markup from 5 Rubles!
I have 4 other sets, one an onyx (?) set I bought in Turkey in 1988...
i_play_slowly 76 ( +1 | -1 )
The Staunton pieces are poseurs... compared to the Isle of Lewis set. Imagine playing the game of ancient warfare, using the very pieces that such warriors used. That's authenticity! And the mystique--who buried a horde of ancient, incomplete chess sets on the remote Isle of Lewis? Did their owner ever use them, or were they trophies won from ships he had boarded? And what fate ensured that he would never return to collect his horde? In short, the Isle of Lewis pieces radiate the bushido and mystery that IS chess.
For a little about their history, see:
Santa, I've been good!
More: Chess
futile 14 ( +1 | -1 )
I have a nice... ...onyx set from Pakistan. I used to do my analysis on it but several tubes of crazy glue later I switched back to to the plastic, magnetic set.

ccmcacollister 33 ( +1 | -1 )
I am in love! What a fantastic set! The one shown on the profile of miltonjunior , is nearly ideal , to me. Great Bishops and the best pawns I've ever seen. Would like a little more top on the Rooks... but it's a great set. Wish I had one! (hint ... Christmas is coming ... ) :)
Wonder what kind it is?
bucklehead 55 ( +1 | -1 )
House of Staunton It looks like one of their stock pictures. Here's their website ->

I purchased a "Reykjavik II" ebony and boxwood set from them about a year ago, and can't recommend them enough. In fact, they're running a "Twelve Days of Chessmas" sale at the moment, with some really eye-popping stuff available (for those who choose to pay).

House of Staunton also runs eBay sales, which is where I got my set (at a significant discount to HoS's list price).
wschmidt 64 ( +1 | -1 )
Some of you may have read J. Rowson's suggestion in "The Seven Deadly Chess Sins" (other's have made it as well) that one talk to one's pieces during a game, asking the knights where they want to go, assuring the king that you'll keep him safe, etc. My ideal set would talk back to me. In particular, I'd like a set that has pieces daring enough to speak up and say something like, "No, you idiot, don't move the queen bishop there! It's a trap and loses a piece! Move me to g3 and the king knight to...."

Well, you get the idea. If I can't get that, I'd settle for a set that would at least holler out when I'm about to blunder and let me work out the good moves for myself.
futile 11 ( +1 | -1 )
What!? Don't your pieces talk to you? Mine talk to me all the time! I hope it's not just me! (better take my meds now)
roland_l 67 ( +1 | -1 )
The year I moved away from my home state, my mother searched and found a ceramic mold set with medieval figures ... the king is probably almost 6''. She poured the molds herself and them painted them with the utmost care. She researched our family geneology and traced the oldest line she could ... back to late 17th century Scotland (Wow, my oldest recorded relative was named 'Angus MacAllister') The colours she used reflected family colours and she also stylized the coat of arms on the shields of the pawns and knights. She had an over-sized chessboard made to fit the piece size and sent the set to me for Christmas.

Thats my special chessboard. :-)
pawntificator 42 ( +1 | -1 )
That is beautiful roland I've had many a nice chess set, my favorite was a wooden set with the board with a drawer built into mom sent that one to me. Wish I still had it.

Recently I found a nice set at a garage sale for 2 bucks! It's a Studio Anne Carlton Battle of Hastings set! It's beautiful but I don't like to play with it. I prefer staunton sets.

All I have to play with right now is the regular cheap staunton set from uscf.
calmrolfe 64 ( +1 | -1 )
My favourite set My "special" chess set is from Praha in the Czech Republic, the full size pieces are hand made and perfectly balanced, the major white pieces have dark brown trim, such as the cross on top of the King and vice versa for the brown pieces The felt bases make it a sheer pleasure to move the pieces. The Board that accompanies the pieces is full sized and also hand built. Even the simple task of setting up the pieces makes me purr with pleasure as the pieces are so beautiful to handle. Funnily enough, I saw a picture of Kateryna Lahno practising and she was using similar pieces
ketchuplover 4 ( +1 | -1 )
I'd like a set that glows in the dark.
blueredux 140 ( +1 | -1 )
I love the aesthetic of chess sets, and if I had the resources, that's what I would collect. I think, though, in addition to collecting more traditional sets, I would revel in collecting sets as objects d'art, probably leaning more toward kitsch: Bathroom Chess ( -> ), Hostess Chess ( -> ), or Liquor Chess ( -> ). (For anyone interested, there was recent exhibit in New York on the Art of Chess ( -> ) as well as an older exhibition with some of the same pieces at The Gilbert Collection ( -> ) in 2003.

Of course, for serious play (if my level of play can really be called serious), my preference is Staunton-style, wood, weighted, on a large, inlaid wood chessboard. I'll play on mostly anything, but I must say I really do hate those clear/frosted glass chess sets that are everywhere, especially those with "mirrored" boards.
daverundle 19 ( +1 | -1 )
chess set My wife bought me a beautiful Cellini set made from Agate for Christmas i have never had such a good quality set before, now all i have to do is work on her for that new set of golf clubs!!
drtimer 26 ( +1 | -1 )
monach staunton my wonderful girlfriend bought me a Monach Staunton (king 4inch) set plus beautiful board for christmas, the color of the rosewood is sublime, and the knights have a cheeky smile! Its so nice to look at I am now spending longer thinking about each move!