Thursday, September 04, 2008

Chess sets

One of the perks of playing at the BCF is that you don't have to lug a set with you. The BCF has plenty of triple weighted sets with boards all waiting for you to show up and use. Also there are many analog clocks at the club; so you don't need a clock either. Although many people bring their digital chess clocks.

Occasionally players will bring their personal set and board and use it. Eric Godin has a particular board he prefers to play with, while Tom Sifter brings a beautiful wooden set whenever he plays at the BCF.

Personally I have four chess sets: my oldest son gave me a beautiful wooden set as a present about a dozen years ago and this is my primary playing and practice set.

I also have a common plastic set, that was my original primary set, but that set has been "bughoused" : the black pieces are the same color but the white pieces are three varying shades of white. This happened to my set several years ago at the Quincy Chess Club when a group of us played bughouse into the wee hours of the morning; only to find the next day, or a week, or sometime later; that your set is not quite the same. In fact that specific night is recalled as "The Great Bughouse Fiasco" to this day. Players sets now contain pieces that are dissimilar. Andy Gunderson now marks the felt bottoms of any set he acquires with a common symbol so he easily re-collect his set by turning over to recognize his pieces if bughouse breaks out.

In addition I have a replica of the Isle of Lewis set which I occasionally use with family, because the human figures give a realistic look to the battle (christmas gift). Another christmas gift is my Red Sox/Yankee chess set which I have left in its original package unopened; perhaps it will accrue in value for the estate. A game with this set would look more like the bench clearing brawl of May 20, 1976 when Bill Lee injured his shoulder fighting Mickey Rivers. Since the Yankees and the Sox have had many other bench clearing incidents, I guess they are the most appropriate two ball teams to use if you would wanted a baseball figurines chess set.

In order to create a Boston Blitz vs New York Knights chess set, we would have to increase roster size but it would be cool to play a chess game with figurines of chess players. A bench clearing brawl between the Blitz and the Knights would have to include a Lemans Start and rendezvous at Hartford until the internet technology is perfected to allow e-dope slaps and e-shoves.

Today everyone brings a fairly decent chess set with them to tournaments. It's uncommon that people arrive without a set. Probably 25 years+ ago I saw John Curdo playing a strong player with a Milton Bradley hollow piece set on a checker board?!

What would your favorite chess set consist of?

Please Comment Mike Griffin 09/04/2008


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