5 Dubrovnik Sets Comparison

KineticPawn

Hello fellow chess equipment enthusiast.. Fluxblunders and I both live in NYC and we periodically get together to play some OTB games. The last time I went and brought with me my 1950s Staunton Castle Dubrovnik. We decided to photograph the sets next to each other so that fellow enthusiast can make a better informed decision as to which set they personally prefer to buy.

The board is a Drueke 2.25" and all sets are 3.75". 5 sets are as follows: Staunton Castle 1950 boxwood and mahogany stained boxwood, NOJ  Minceta maple and brown stained maple, HoS boxwood and Tasmanian blackwood (older version), CB 2.0 boxwood and sheesham, CB 3.0 boxwood and sheesham. 

Staunton Castle 1950 boxwood and mahogany stained boxwood:

HoS boxwood and Tasmanian blackwood (older version):

CB 2.0 boxwood and sheesham:

 NOJ  Minceta maple and brown stained maple:CB 3.0 boxwood and sheesham:








KineticPawn






KineticPawn








KineticPawn



KineticPawn

Now what most have been waiting for the knights. We tried our best to use the Pawnerai method of 1/8th turns. We added some photos with flash to better see the wood grain and it also helps with seeing the details.

















 

Pawnerai
KineticPawn wrote:

Now what most have been waiting for the knights. We tried our best to use the Pawnerai method of 1/8th turns. We added some photos with flash to better see the wood grain and it also helps with seeing the details.

FINALLY!  Awww yeah. Nice and slow. Shhhhhhh... shhhhh... No need to talk.

Looks like the Kentucky Derby thumbup.png

Hedgehog1963

That's a lot of sets.  Do you own them all?

KineticPawn

@ hedgehog19163, No I do not. Fluxblunder is the majority holder of this collection. I only own the SC set. 

FluxBlunders
Hedgehog1963 wrote:

That's a lot of sets.

 

You've been talking to my wife, haven't you?

MrGalang

This was like watching the Mr. Olympia. Thanks for all of the pics!

MCH818

@KineticPawn Of the 5, which is your favorite and why?

KineticPawn

@ MCH818 I have to really think on that question. I would say Fluxblunder is probably in a better position to speak on that.  

Powderdigit

Well - as I take break from work this lunchtime - I am happy to jump into this pond. (please don't hold me under water - I am a mere amateur swimming in chess sets.) While I noted some descriptions up top - I skipped through to check the photos and try not to be biased by the manufacturers. I will further note - that I am not an expert on this style of set at all (so I am not comparing quality of reproduction to any original per se). My view is based on my design preference and even then, primarily on the knight.

So to keep the equine parlance - for me it's the set second from the right, by the length of the straight. (I have circled the preferred knight in the photo below.)

Why? A number reasons.

1. Balance of the piece on the base - some knights look small on their large bases. 

2. The flow from the base through the skirt of the knight to the head

3. The jaw - the cut under the jaw line give the knight an aggressive look, I reckon. 

4. It looks like it would play well - it seems well proportioned at the neck where one might pick it up - but of course, this is pure assumption. 

5. Some manes look pointy at the top - I prefer an aggressive jaw line rather than anagreesive mane. :-) 

So there you have it. If I was asked to pick a second - that would be the one on the far right .... - but I am not so happy with the flow from the base there. Who cares about that design aspect - probably no one but me. :-)  

Again, my thoughts are not intended to be right or wrong - just my thoughts and preference from photos provided. That said, I reckon the nuances may only show up in real life. Cheers. :-)

Powderdigit
Sorry - that was rude of me. I thought Kinetic Pawn had asked a general question about favourite sets but now I realise that the question was directed specially at KP to comment. Ignore me jumping into the pond. 🥴
FluxBlunders
MCH818 wrote:

@KineticPawn Of the 5, which is your favorite and why?

 

My personal favorite, hands down, is the NoJ mincetta. Regardless of the historical accuracy, I absolutely love the knights and rooks. And the stain on the dark pieces is super smooth. Cb 3.0 is my next favorite, with the knights again looking great. I just wish the rooks were a little fatter. For number three it would be the HoS set, I like the rooks but the knights I'm not too crazy about. Last would be the CB 2.0 set.

FluxBlunders
Powderdigit wrote:
Sorry - that was rude of me. I thought Kinetic Pawn had asked a general question about favourite sets but now I realise that the question was directed specially at KP to comment. Ignore me jumping into the pond. 🥴

 

No need to apologize for anything I think. You're totally free to express your opinion. The knight you picked out was from the Staunton Castle original 1950 dubrovnik reproduction.

KineticPawn

I love the Staunton Castle set to play with.  On top of looking amazing from every angle The knight just feels a little bit more substantial and natural in the hand, and the pieces are overall feel the same.  I might be in the minority here but I also prefer the SC Knight over the NOJ Knight. I also love the NOJ Minceta which is beautifully crafted but its also stained and finished masterfully and beats all in that regard. I also really like the whiteness of the NOJ maple as compared to the slightly more yellowish boxwood of the other sets.  I know I'm not alone in saying that  Minceta rook is just amazing. Minceta rook and SC knights are my 2 favorite pieces of all these sets.  Overall for me SC and NOJ are 1a 1b. I would go HoS next based largely on wood type and finish.  The Tasmanian blackwood grain and color along with HoS finish is stunning but not distracting busy. CB 3.0 is next up at #4 but overall I prefer the craftsmanship and design on the CB 3.0  set over HoS but the Sheesham is just not as beautiful as that Tasmanian blackwood. CB 2.0 is mostly a beautiful set just not as nice as the others.  The CB 2.0 knight doesn't feel as good in the chess grip as the other sets do. By chess grip I mean the 2 or 3 finger grab. Perhaps because it is a little wider at the hips I don't know. 

I will end with this.  I am considering buffing the SC set to give it a sheen more inline with NOJ and HoS.  I am probably ordering a new 3.625 Dubrovnik so who knows.

loubalch

FWIW, I own the SB 1950 set, recently sold the original HoS Dubrovnik, and was able to compare the HoS to the CB 2.0 set owned by a friend. Since I've only seen the Noj sets in photos it would be unfair of me to pass judgment other than to say that it's a beautiful looking set. Of the sets mentioned above, the SB 1950 is my favorite. Personally, I find the SB knight to be the most attractive, and the Noj Mincetta rook to be my favorite rook of all the Dubrovnik sets I've seen, personally and in photos.

MCH818
Powderdigit wrote:
Sorry - that was rude of me. I thought Kinetic Pawn had asked a general question about favourite sets but now I realise that the question was directed specially at KP to comment. Ignore me jumping into the pond. 🥴

It is all good man. You can answer too of course! I like the SC version too just like you.

MCH818
FluxBlunders wrote:
MCH818 wrote:

@KineticPawn Of the 5, which is your favorite and why?

 

My personal favorite, hands down, is the NoJ mincetta. Regardless of the historical accuracy, I absolutely love the knights and rooks. And the stain on the dark pieces is super smooth. Cb 3.0 is my next favorite, with the knights again looking great. I just wish the rooks were a little fatter. For number three it would be the HoS set, I like the rooks but the knights I'm not too crazy about. Last would be the CB 2.0 set.

I can understand why you like the Noj one the best. I have to say I like the Noj, SC and CB 3.0.