Best rollup board

brother7

In the beginning, the 2 1/4" square green and white roll up board was ubiquitous at USCF tournaments. Then manufacturers got creative by 1) offering a variety of colors for the dark squares, 2) branding the h1 square, and 3) offering branding and customization around the border.

In my opinion, green and white is the standard when it comes to vinyl rollup boards. But I find branding of the h1 square unattractive. I mean, h1 is part of the actual playing surface and should be distraction-free. Though I understand the desire to brand and customize the border, it can be (and has been) overdone. Finally, even though I accept green and white is the standard, I still have issues with the white squares being bright and reflective.

Looking for a new rollup board for myself, I went searching for alternatives and found what I believe is a very nice board... the 2 1/4" green and natural rollup board by Legend Products. The dark squares are green, the light squares are tan. There's no h1 square branding. And the border branding is limited to small print near h1 and a8.

Your thoughts?

null

Eyechess

I own a number of these Legend boards and they are nice.

However I now only use the Chess House Flex Pad boards with the green dark squares.

The Chess House is the new, thin mousepad style board that is flexible thanks to its thinness.  I find this board to now be the best.

CatoWeeksbooth

I've never found a roll-up board I don't hate. The vinyl boards always refuse to stay flat, and are often smelly. The mousepad boards stain too easily, are difficult to clean, and have too much friction. The silicone boards have even more friction and attract too much dust.

It seems to me that perfect roll-up board would be a silicone board with some type of low-friction anti-static coating. I've often wondered why such a thing doesn't already exist. Surely it must be possible, with all the wonders of modern materials science?

Eyechess
CatoWeeksbooth wrote:

I've never found a roll-up board I don't hate. The vinyl boards always refuse to stay flat, and are often smelly. The mousepad boards stain too easily, are difficult to clean, and have too much friction. The silicone boards have even more friction and attract too much dust.

It seems to me that perfect roll-up board would be a silicone board with some type of low-friction anti-static coating. I've often wondered why such a thing doesn't already exist. Surely it must be possible, with all the wonders of modern materials science?

 

You should check out The Chess House Flex Pad board.

The material is a low friction polypropylene with no cotton added, like the thicker,older ones.  This is why you see Shelby of American Chess Equipment and Raphael of The Chess House now handling and selling such boards.

CatoWeeksbooth

@Eyechess:

Thanks for the tip, but I am skeptical, as mousepad boards are generally my least favorite of the three, because they stain so easily when you spill food or liquids on them. Are the Flex Pad boards better in this respect?

Eyechess

I have had some minor spills on one of mine that wiped off easily without staining.

I would not want to try a good coffee spill on it though.

The material is a polypropylene weave so I do not expect it to be as stain proof as my vinyl boards.  But this newer board material is a good amount more stain resistant than the older mousepad boards which I also do not like.

wiscmike

I still have my original Glen Butterman board, the inventor of this board and has his initials discretely on the border GB. He was a very good man and should have all the credit for this new board being copied by everyone, It unfolds and cleans up nicely. This will eventually make every vinyl roll-up board obsolete in my opinion. RIP Glen.

Moriarty_697

I'm a fan of the flex pad boards, too.  I pair them with a set of the Ultimate Chessmen from American Chess Equipment.  They're so great to play on.

Eyechess

 I was one of the first outside of his local area to buy boards from Glen Butterman.  He and I would talk on the phone as I told him what I thought would work well and not.  He would regale me with stories of his boards, the local Ohio Chess scene and other things.  I do miss him quite a bit.

Raphael of The Chess House worked a lot on having one of these design boards to have the right characteristics like square color, notation markings and the like.  He actually came out with his FlexPad boards after Glen had passed away.

I own boards from pretty much everyone that produced a board in this style.

In my opinion the FlexPad board by Raphael is the best of them all.  In fact I use this board exclusively as the only roll up or flexible board with all my sets.

brother7
Eyechess wrote:

 I was one of the first outside of his local area to buy boards from Glen Butterman.  He and I would talk on the phone as I told him what I thought would work well and not.  He would regale me with stories of his boards, the local Ohio Chess scene and other things.  I do miss him quite a bit.

Raphael of The Chess House worked a lot on having one of these design boards to have the right characteristics like square color, notation markings and the like.  He actually came out with his FlexPad boards after Glen had passed away.

I own boards from pretty much everyone that produced a board in this style.

In my opinion the FlexPad board by Raphael is the best of them all.  In fact I use this board exclusively as the only roll up or flexible board with all my sets.

For those who enjoy the Flex Pad Club Chess Board by Chess House, what is your favorite color scheme?

Eyechess

Green

wiscmike

BTW Glen worked with Chess House in the beginning. I saved all my emails. Glen told me who was making them in bulk for him under HIS DIRECTION.  www.custommousepad.com   When he told me this the only chess board was his chess board and he got a percentage on them if you ordered it in quantity direct from them. This was JUST BEFORE he farmed it out to Chess House. That is when I lost contact with him and then he passed away.  If it wasn't for him this product would probably not be around today. it is simply not a thin version of the old thick strong smelling mousepad board that creased and stained and did not let the pieces slide.  

Everyone seems to sell the newer improved thin "mouse pad" board these days. Are they, all the same, I have no idea. But for sure they were made of a different material on top to clean easy and let the pieces slid easier if one chooses to.

Eyechess

Oh Mike, if it wasn't for Glen I am sure this product would not be available today.

I remember talking with Glen from the beginning.  I think I was the one that mentioned to him to make the board in Green.  Remember before that he only had those 2 or 3 wood grain versions available on eBay.

He also told me where he had the boards made.  Then Shelby found a supplier in China to make the same type of board.  Heck, the material had to be available before Glen decided to use it for Chess boards.

I actually was the one that connected Glen with Raphael of The Chess House.  Raphael and Glen were still in the talking stages to see what they could produce when Glen seemed to fall out of communication in something like November or December.  Later I read his obituary and saw he had passed away in January, explaining why we hadn't heard from him those last 2 months.

Raphael sent ahead and worked with a manufacturer that he found to get the best shade of colors for the Chess board.  Raphael is a stickler for quality and you will note that he only sells better quality things.  Look at the Chess boards he has had made, for instance.

So yes, these thin mousepad boards are great with their stain resistance, flexibility like silicone boards, and piece slide on it to boot.

And yes, it is all thanks to Glen Butterman, R.I.P.

wiscmike

Yes Ron excellent review.  I even have two of Glen's laminated paper boards which he made before the thin mouse pad board. I read all the reviews on Chess House for this board and 2 out of the 3 that didn't give it 5 stars, the customers complained it was too thin and one liked the super heavy old mouse pad boards that smelled like the Goodyear Tire Company, amazing. I guess out of about 40 people you will always have about 5% that you can not please. The board is amazing and had to cut into the vinyl boards I am sure. And yes Raphael will not carry something that he himself would not buy.

liml

@Eyechess Thanks for the thoughtful insights. I am wondering if you had the chance to try the relatively new mouse pad from HoS: https://www.houseofstaunton.com/thin-mouse-pad-style-tournament-chessboard-2-25-squares.html 

Eyechess

Actually, I already have a FlexPad board for each of my bag and set combos.  I have no need to try this new entry from HoS.  It looks good but The Chess House board is as good as this kind of board can be.

 

Commanderbdokey
brother7 wrote:
Eyechess wrote:

 I was one of the first outside of his local area to buy boards from Glen Butterman.  He and I would talk on the phone as I told him what I thought would work well and not.  He would regale me with stories of his boards, the local Ohio Chess scene and other things.  I do miss him quite a bit.

Raphael of The Chess House worked a lot on having one of these design boards to have the right characteristics like square color, notation markings and the like.  He actually came out with his FlexPad boards after Glen had passed away.

I own boards from pretty much everyone that produced a board in this style.

In my opinion the FlexPad board by Raphael is the best of them all.  In fact I use this board exclusively as the only roll up or flexible board with all my sets.

For those who enjoy the Flex Pad Club Chess Board by Chess House, what is your favorite color scheme?

My favorite besides the green one is the Dark Slade Grey which is basically dark blue. I love it. 

Commanderbdokey
Eyechess wrote:
CatoWeeksbooth wrote:

I've never found a roll-up board I don't hate. The vinyl boards always refuse to stay flat, and are often smelly. The mousepad boards stain too easily, are difficult to clean, and have too much friction. The silicone boards have even more friction and attract too much dust.

It seems to me that perfect roll-up board would be a silicone board with some type of low-friction anti-static coating. I've often wondered why such a thing doesn't already exist. Surely it must be possible, with all the wonders of modern materials science?

 

You should check out The Chess House Flex Pad board.

The material is a low friction polypropylene with no cotton added, like the thicker,older ones.  This is why you see Shelby of American Chess Equipment and Raphael of The Chess House now handling and selling such boards.

  @EyeChess, FYI  Wholesale Chess just release their version of the thin mouse pad lol 

JosephTan1

nullMy silicone board with plastic dubronik pieces

Peliaco

Well, you convinced me, and I ordered the Flex Pad from the Chess House. Thanks for the thread, guys.