Luxury Chessboard: Monk in Rock Maple

The Summerville-New England chessboards are hand made in the USA and considered by many to be the finest. They are completely hand fabricated in New England with remarkable precision and attention to detail. From the scrutinizing selection of lumber through final hand rubbing, every board is handled with levels of care and expertise uncommon in today’s fast paced world. The new Rock Maple featured here is a light wood alternative to White Ash. Both are paired with an exquisite dark American Walnut of exceptional quality. It comes in 2″, 2.25″, and 2.5″ squares and prices for the board alone range from $391 to $547 as of this writing. For more info visit www.summerville-newengland.com. Mention you saw it at ChessHouse....

Guide: Choosing a Travel Chess Set

Playing chess while you travel means your game can be interrupted at any moment. If you need to close the game quickly sometimes it’s helpful to use a chess board that saves the position rather than shuffling the pieces into a compartment and trying to remember their position later. On the very trip I met Joanna in 2006, I happened to be carrying a lightweight, stylish chess set. It’s shown below with the pewter and gold color plastic pieces, lightweight neoprene zip case with two compartments, one for the board and one for the pieces. I chose this set because the pieces are not only eye-pleasing and well proportioned (unlike the Drueke design), they cling well to the chess board. Real three dimensional pieces are easier to move on the chess board than flat pieces; however, the “Checkbook” magnetic set offers a uniquely flat design and slim-profile flat printed magentic pieces that are adequate in many cases. It’s a clever design similar in ways to a checkbook. Until discontinued in late 2012, Drueke’s 8×8″ magnetic chess was a great combination of rigid, durable, compact set with strong magnets and real pieces. It was a favorite of back packers, military, law enforcement and anyone working in more harsh environments. We have plans for a replacement product.  For now here’s the current Drueke 87730 model that looks much the same, aside from the formerly hard plastic case. Wooden travel chess sets offer the most interesting variety in style and size but of course are not as lightweight. My very favorite is the CHW10 10.5″ Magnetic Chess Set, and here’s why. It’s a...

Review: Ron’s Opinion of ZMF-II Chess Clock

The ZMF-II was great for G/20, 5 SD. In playing with it, I see that it does break down and shows seconds when under 60 minutes (1 hour).  That is nicer than the DGT and Saitek clocks which only do this under 20 minutes. I don’t think this clock is as nice for longer time controls compared to the Chronos models.  We have an upcoming Peoria City Championship that is G/80, 5s d.  I plan on using either my Touch Chronos II or the Button Chronos II for this event (we will play one game each Monday evening for about 6 weeks or so), and most likely will use the Touch version for most of the games.  I have used my Chronos GX button clock for this time control and it is fine as well.  Both the Chronos II and GX models show the seconds at this time control. The brightness of the Zmart is interesting and kind of nice.  I am happy that I got the Red as the red light is less light bleaching to the eye compared to the green or blue.  As we discussed, pilots and others that need to see to read in the dark, while not bleaching out their vision for dark vision, use a red light as that is best for this. I found the sound “beep” to be very acceptable in play.  It is not too loud or highly pitched to bother anyone, and the audible sound is similar to the click we hear when depressing a button or levered chess clock. I received mixed emotions on the say this clock...

New 2013 DGT 960 Game Timer

The DGT 960 in new colors black and red is available from April 2013. This model will gradually replace the original white/orange DGT 960 version. It has been a solid choice for players wanting an ultra-compact clock with a wide variety of features including international FIDE standards. This handy pocket timer has the Chess960 generator. Press the 960 button and a randomly chosen Chess960 starting position will be shown on the display. Chess960 is the only other form of chess that is officially recognized by the World Chess Federation FIDE. Every game starts from a different position and the chess pieces are placed in one of 960 different possible starting positions. This idea of former World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer has been the most important improvement in chess in the last 500 years. With Chess960 players must start creative thinking from the first move as any knowledge about the theory of chess openings is not useless. Chess960 brings many chess lovers back to the chess board. The revolutionary DGT960 chess clock is a great gadget and the perfect gift item for any chess player. The new way to play! Generate random Chess960 starting positions Big display for easy viewing Bonus and delay timing included Easy to...

Choosing your first chess board set

When an all-purpose chess set is needed and you’re starting out, here are some things to consider while searching for an affordable and durable chessboard set. You’ll have to forgive me for now looking at things from a parent’s perspective now that I’m married with two boys. This article is applicable to nearly everyone needing an all-purpose chess set. In school, I enjoyed this exact model in the photo. Now we play the same chess set today at home with my family. If you know what to look for you’ll enjoy the benefits of this particular one. As with nearly all inexpensive, easy to produce products on the market, there are similar choices you have to dig through to find your gem, and how do you choose? I suppose it helps to be armed with a few facts. I finally discovered there is only one manufacturer that makes these solid plastic, impact resistant chess pieces. In fact, the same ones they have been making 20 years ago when I was a teen. They were recognized as the chess federation standard, a comfortable 3.75″ tall (usually paired with a 20″ square chessboard that has 64 green and white 2.25″ squares). I’ve also found many nearly identical looking chess sets, some close to the sandy-yellow color. They are adequate sets for the most part, but not exceptional like the original. Many pieces will break and many more are rushed out of the molds so fast they sit askew forever. Some of these sets will actually break when dropped on concrete. I’ve found that I had to try quite hard to actually...