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Chess Mini Royal europäischen Schach-Set Game
- König: 6,5 cm (6,5 cm) Queen: 4,8 cm (4,8 cm Bauer: 3,2 cm (3,2 cm)
- Board Maßnahmen 32 cm B x 5 cm H x 32 cm D (32 cm x 5 cm x 32 cm). Quadrate Maßnahmen 3,3 x 3,3 cm (3.25 CM x 3,25 cm)
- Brett ist aus Buche und Birke, Unterseite mit Filz Schachfiguren sind aus Hainbuche und Bergahorn
- Handgefertigt in Polen
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Mini Royal europäische Holz Internationale Schach-Set.King: 6,5 cm (6.5 cm). Queen: 4,8 cm (4.8 cm). Bauer: 3,2 cm (3,2 cm).; Spielbrett misst 32 cm B x 5 cm H x 32 cm D (32 cm x 5 cm x 32 cm). Squares Maßnahmen 3,3 x 3,3 cm (3.25 cm x 3,25 cm).· Brett ist aus Buche und Birke. Unterseite mit Filz Schachfiguren sind aus Hainbuche und Bergahorn. Handgefertigt in Polen.
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This Mini Royal Wooden Chess is a smaller chess set that would be ideal for travel when you really want to use a wooden set instead of the more practical competition sets with plastic Staunton pieces and roll-up chessboard mats. The board folds like a case and its inside is inlaid with felted molded plastic for holding all pieces apart from one another. This plastic mold does a good job, but is not very solid, so pressing it will deform it or even break it - don't test its durability. The pieces are exactly as described and pictured. The wood is well polished and there is a layer of lacquer applied over it. Quality is not really as good as in more expensive sets, but it is still very good for this price range. You can notice traces of glue where the white parts are attached to black pieces, or black parts to white pieces - this is not a collector's set, but it is a well crafted set. The pieces are not weighted and, being small, they are rather light, which can make them feel a bit flimsy, but they are really quite sturdy. Their bottom is covered with the standard green felt. The board comes inside the original cardboard packaging and there is no other material besides it and the pieces inside.
The most interesting part is the design of this set. This is what attracted me to it and this is where I believe this set is distinguishing itself from other less expensive wooden sets. The Pawns are stubby and look very distinctive - their design with wider bodies and thinner tops makes them a bit more challenging to grab, but I really like their style and I picked this particular set mainly because of their design. The Rooks are tall and thin with some nice texture. Knights have an abstract design - their only detail is the indentation separating their ears, otherwise they only represent a profile with no features (no eyes or mane). Bishops also have an abstract design - I could see them used as pawns in a different set, though this is not to say they could possibly be confused with pawns in this set. The King and Queen have a very peculiar design - they both involve a mix of a base piece with smaller attachments made of the opposite color - this is something I have seen in older sets, but it requires more work, so it is usually not a stylistic feature you can expect to find in inexpensive sets. The Queen's beads are glued on and the glue is visible; the King has a small cross of opposite color on top of its crown that is also glued on. The Queen is probably the most delicate piece, as I could see those beads coming off if some child would chew or pull on them, but with adult handling and care, these should last a lifetime (or even more). Overall, the pieces are a nice change from the well known Staunton design and they are all distinctive and easy to recognize. If you are intrigued by their style, you should also check this larger set which includes a different style of Bishop and a more detailed Knight piece: Large King's Wooden Chess Wood Hand Made.
The board is nicely built. I would have liked larger squares, to give pieces more breathing space, but most of these handmade sets seem to use squares just large enough to fit the base of the pieces. And the proportion here actually seems a bit better than in most other sets, so this is a minor point. One nice touch is that the hinges of the board are covered by felt on the inside, so you can place it on a table without risking scratches - good thinking.
Overall, I am very pleased with this acquisition. It provides a good tradeoff of price and quality - less expensive sets will lack the polish of this set's piece design and better sets will cost more. I am rating this as 4 stars rather than 5 because of the delicate molded plastic used for storing the pieces inside the board case and because of the small square size of the board design. But I would recommend this set to anyone looking for a nice chess set for a low price - it provides great value!
[UPDATE 2014/09/18] After using this set for a longer time and also purchasing a larger set from Wekam, their design and manufacturing style has grown on me. None of the issues I mentioned here developed into something worse, so I am bumping the rating of this set to 5 stars. You can find better finished pieces and boards in more expensive sets, but these Wekam sets have a special charm and I liked the variety of designs they offer.