Cavalier #1491 Tournament set ...

rcmacmillan

This is a Model #1412. It is the analysis size version of the 1491.

RussBell
rcmacmillan wrote:

This is a Model #1412. It is the analysis size version of the 1491.

 

Robert -

So in what sense is it related to the #1491 set, other than the fact that it looks similar?  Do you have experience with, or acquainted with this particular set, and the #1491 set?  That is, most of the Pacific Game Co. sets look similar in design to the #1491 set, but that is where the similarity ends.  The quality of materials and execution of the other, similar sets are nowhere near the same as a #1491.

Also, I've seen that same photo on the internet many times, but nowhere have I see it definitively described as a #1412 set, other than when a google search of "Cavalier #1412 chess" is done, that photo along with many other photos of other Cavalier sets is returned in the search results.  But being returned in the search results is no proof that it is in fact a #1412 set,  I have spent well over an hour this evening searching/researching the internet for "Cavalier #1412 chess", and that photo appears along with photos of many different Cavalier sets.  But in no case was the model number 1412 actually specified in the description of ANY of the sets returned in the search, including for the photo under discussion.

So this begs the question.  Although I have no reason to doubt your integrity or veracity, how can we be certain that this is in fact a #1412 set, beyond just your word for it?

rcmacmillan

Sorry, Russ, but you'll just have to take my word for it. I'm not going to go over to the storage unit and go through the 28 boxes that the bulk of my collection is in to find my copy for you. I used this picture (from the internet --lol) only for that reason. Cavalier used this box for some of their sets in the early 1970's, mostly retailed through Sears and other chain stores. The blue boxes were reserved for game stores. There are three different models that use this box that I've seen -- the 1412, the 1422, and the 1436. 1412 and the 1422 are almost identical - the 1412 is 2-1/2", while the 1422 is 3". The 1436 is a different cat entirely, being what Chuck Grau calls a Type Zero set, i.e. your standard tournament style set first seen in the early 1960's, and 3-3/4." I've got several of the alabesque sets, as well as a 1491. Personally, I can't tell the difference in plastic composition between the two other than color. They are both hard plastic. In the mid to late 70's the changed the plastic to a softer formulation that was supposed to look more like wood. It's the same material your brown box is made of. Those sets don't chip as much, but they just look and feel cheap to me.

As to fit and finish, maybe Cavalier had higher standards for the 1491 than some of their other sets, but I don't think so... it's pretty much luck of the draw. I have an alabesque that's perfect, and one that's really lousy in terms of matched seams. 

 

RussBell

Thanks Robert for your detailed reply.  It seems that you know what you are talking about, so I have no problem accepting your word that the photo was of a 1412 set.  My question was based on the fact that after a lot of research on the internet trying to find anything that would clarify what a 1412 was, or actually looked like, I could find nothing definitive.  So your explanation helps to put some of the pieces (pun intended) of the puzzle together regarding the various Pacific Game Co. sets.

Just to be clear though, are you saying that you can tell no difference between your 1412 and 1491 sets other than size?  That is, to my knowledge (and correct me if you think I'm wrong here) the #1491 set was/is superior in its overall quality - i.e., the kind of plastic used, fit/finish etc. - than all of the other Pacific Game Co. sets.  As one perhaps minor example, when I compare my #1491 set to the photo of the #1412 set, although it may not be apparent upon casual inspection of the photo of the 1412 set, it appears clear to me that the bases of the 1412 pieces are not quite as broad as the bases of the #1491 pieces.  This can also be perceived by careful comparison with the photos of the #1491 sets posted earlier in this thread.  This is most obvious to me when I compare the Kings.  My point is that the two sets do not appear to be absolutely identical except for size.  At least, not in the respect just described.

rcmacmillan

Russ, In the post above I stated, “In the mid to late 70's they changed the plastic to a softer formulation that was supposed to look more like wood. It's the same material your brown box is made of. Those sets don't chip as much, but they just look and feel cheap to me.” This set, the 1422, and most likely the 1412, are made out of this. In my original post, I called the 1412 the analysis size set of the 1491. My point was not that it was made out of the identical material as the 1491, but the style of the larger Cavalier sets. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t revere these sets the same way you do. I have a 1491, a 1493, and a 1498, and to my eye, the plastic is of the same overall quality, which is to say quite brittle. The main difference is the color of the sets, and the weighting. The 1491 is the only double weighted set PG made; the other two are single weighted, and they also made an unweighted model. I love the style, but these sets are just part of my collection; I’d never consider playing more than an occasional slow game with them. The plastics we have today are far superior to anything from the 70’s and 80's.

Don’t get me wrong, the 1491 is a really nice set, but if you use it to play a lot of speed chess, you’ll trash it quickly. Once I bought a Players Choice set (‘71 I believe) I retired the Cavalier.

I'm also not trying to start a fight here. I'm a collector with a broad range of set interests, and plastic sets are one of the least in my collection. I have Drueke and Cavalier plastic sets, and a couple of Ultimates, and a Hasting and a Collector plastic from HOS which are my speed chess sets, but most of my collection is wood and ivory sets from 1849 - yesterday.

RussBell

Thanks Robert.  I appreciate the time and effort you've taken to explain things.  However, we obviously seem to have some differing perspective on a few things relating to these Cavalier sets.

The only significant problem I have with your perspective relates to your following statements...

"I have a 1491, a 1493, and a 1498, and to my eye, the plastic is of the same overall quality, which is to say quite brittle."

when taken together with...

"It's the same material your brown box is made of"

In fact, the plastic of the #1491 set is not the same as that of the brown storage box (which is a bakelite plastic) nor is it the same as used in the pieces of the set in the box whose photo you posted earlier (which is actually a No. 1422 set, as I recently discovered on eBay).  The plastic of the #1491 set is completely different and far superior to the pieces shown in the photos below.  This can be seen when comparing the photos below to the photos of the #1491 sets previously posted in this thread.  As for the chipping issue, as you know I also own a #1491 set (which I purchased new in 1989), and in my view the plastic of the #1491 set is not a cheap formulation prone to chipping under normal playing conditions.  Almost any plastic can be made to chip if subject to enough abuse.  And some formulations are more susceptible than others.  But short of purposely throwing my pieces onto a hard floor, or other such abuse, I don't see my pieces ever chipping during the course of normal play.  Of course, I take extremely good care of all my chess sets.

Immediately below is one of the photos of a Cavalier No. 1422 set currently listed on eBay, which comes in the same box as in the photo you had posted above.  Based on the same box, I assume they are the same model...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-CAVALIER-CHESS-SET-Pacific-Game-Company-1973-Box-And-Pieces-Only/193341179169?hash=item2d04084521:g:4WgAAOSwDABeQyOu


For further clarity, hare are a few photos of a Cavalier set (the model number was unspecified) from a current eBay listing, which is apparently the same listing from which you copied the photo you posted earlier.  Unfortunately this listing contained no photo of the bottom of the box which is where the model number would be shown (ref my posted photo of the #1422 set box above)...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-CAVALIER-CHESS-SET-Pacific-Game-Company-1973-Complete/392205855490?hash=item5b514a6b02:g:ypwAAOSwcttcLD8V

 


 


the plastic of the white pieces is not the same as used in the #1491 sets....(compare to any of the photos of the #1491 in this thread).  As an owner of a #1491 set, I can tell you unequivocally that the plastics are not the same, and that the quality of the plastic used for the #1491 is far superior...(note also the embossed copyright date "1973" on the bottoms of the bases of the pieces)...


the plastic of the dark pieces looks similar to that of the bakelite box that the #1491 sets were shipped in the 1980's time frame (and shown in photos earlier in this thread)...obviously the plastic is of an inferior quality compared to that used in the #1491 set, which can clearly be seen from any of the photos of that set posted previously in this thread...


 

rcmacmillan

@RussBell, One of two things -- either you are being deliberately obtuse or you are just dying to pick a fight here. You obviously don't bother to read carefully. I said the 1412 and the 1422 looked like they were made out of the same type of material as the storage box, not the 1491, 1493, or 1498. You are insisting on comparing apples to oranges here.

You can deceive yourself all you want about these sets. The plastic of the 1491 is no better than the plastic of the alabesque sets... maybe a little more care is made of the process, but I don't think so. The primary difference, as I stated before, is color and weighting. You are entitled to your opinion, I'm entitled to mine, and I hope you have a nice day. I'm done with this.

And before you try to read something else into my words that isn't there, neither the 1412 or 1422 are alabesque sets. I've never seen an analysis size one of those.

RussBell
rcmacmillan wrote:

@RussBell, One of two things -- either you are being deliberately obtuse or you are just dying to pick a fight here.

Does this sound like I was trying to pick a fight? 

"Thanks Robert. I appreciate the time and effort you've taken to explain things."

I have said nothing hostile to you, but you have now chosen to respond with hostile rhetoric.  Your self description in your profile, seems to be spot-on.  You apparently are "Just another grumpy old man".

You obviously don't bother to read carefully. I said the 1412 and the 1422 looked like they were made out of the same type of material as the storage box, not the 1491, 1493, or 1498. You are insisting on comparing apples to oranges here.

Okay.  I did misread that statement.  My error.  

You can deceive yourself all you want about these sets. The plastic of the 1491 is no better than the plastic of the alabesque sets... maybe a little more care is made of the process, but I don't think so. The primary difference, as I stated before, is color and weighting. You are entitled to your opinion, I'm entitled to mine, and I hope you have a nice day. I'm done with this.

The plastic of the #1491 set is not the same as in the other sets.  To continue to assert that is simply wrong.  And misleading.  The photos in this thread that I and others have posted of the #1491 and other sets clearly show the differences.  You have offered no evidence to support your claims beyond your opinion, and a photo of a box which you copied from an eBay listing of an unspecified Cavalier set.  I think perhaps it is you who are deceived.

And before you try to read something else into my words that isn't there, neither the 1412 or 1422 are alabesque sets. I've never seen an analysis size one of those.

I have made no mention of alabasque.

The bottom line - The evidence that I and several others have presented (specifically the photos) in this thread appears to support the thesis that the Cavalier #1491 is superior to other Cavalier sets.  I have yet to come across any concrete evidence to reverse this conclusion.

Have a nice day Robert!

crusaderwabbet

I think the old Cavalier sets have a nostalgic class about them.

Crappov
RussBell wrote:
Crappov wrote:

I've owned a bunch of Cavalier sets over the years. I love them but QC at Pacific Games was spotty - misaligned felts, felts saturated with glue, uneven pairing of parts (unsightly seams), things like that.  Some sets were perfect, though.  Here's one:

 

I find it difficult to believe that the issues you complain about describe any Pacific Game Co. Cavalier #1491 set. The set in your photo is of a #1491 set - which you describe as perfect, as has typically been the case for the #1491 sets I have been made aware of from those who own them, my own #1491 set included; unless of course, the set has either been abused, or suffered significant wear and tear.  But I'm referring to a set which is in either new, mint or very good condition.

It's also stretches credulity to think that Kasparov would play a highly publicised simul (see my post above), especially one which is being filmed for a documentary, using a set that was of marginal or poor quality.

Bottom line - I'm skeptical that your problems have been with a Cavalier #1491 set. Perhaps the issues you describe have been with Pacific Game Company's other models, i.e., their cheaper sets which were not made nearly as well, with the superior quality plastic, and heavier weighting of the #1491 set,

Why on earth would I make it up?

Edit: I'll expand a little. In the original post, we see a set that's housed in a plastic box with a sliding top, bearing a Cavalier decal.  I've owned maybe 5 of those very sets, plastic boxes and all, all purchased in the early to mid 80's. The imperfections I describe were real and common, at least at that time and in the sets I purchased.  I even remember taking imperfect pieces from one set and replacing them with better pieces from another set to create a more perfect complete set.  I've also purchased a number of Cavalier sets packaged in the large cardboard presentation boxes, with the cellophane windows and included folding board. In my experience, those sets were always close to perfect but this might be coincidental.

I love the Cavalier sets and have no reason to misrepresent my experience with them.

RussBell
Crappov wrote:
RussBell wrote:
Crappov wrote:

I've owned a bunch of Cavalier sets over the years. I love them but QC at Pacific Games was spotty - misaligned felts, felts saturated with glue, uneven pairing of parts (unsightly seams), things like that.  Some sets were perfect, though.  Here's one:

 

I find it difficult to believe that the issues you complain about describe any Pacific Game Co. Cavalier #1491 set. The set in your photo is of a #1491 set - which you describe as perfect, as has typically been the case for the #1491 sets I have been made aware of from those who own them, my own #1491 set included; unless of course, the set has either been abused, or suffered significant wear and tear.  But I'm referring to a set which is in either new, mint or very good condition.

It's also stretches credulity to think that Kasparov would play a highly publicised simul (see my post above), especially one which is being filmed for a documentary, using a set that was of marginal or poor quality.

Bottom line - I'm skeptical that your problems have been with a Cavalier #1491 set. Perhaps the issues you describe have been with Pacific Game Company's other models, i.e., their cheaper sets which were not made nearly as well, with the superior quality plastic, and heavier weighting of the #1491 set,

Why on earth would I make it up?

Edit: I'll expand a little. In the original post, we see a set that's housed in a plastic box with a sliding top, bearing a Cavalier decal.  I've owned maybe 5 of those very sets, plastic boxes and all, all purchased in the early to mid 80's. The imperfections I describe were real and common, at least at that time and in the sets I purchased.  I even remember taking imperfect pieces from one set and replacing them with better pieces from another set to create a more perfect complete set.  I've also purchased a number of Cavalier sets packaged in the large cardboard presentation boxes, with the cellophane windows and included folding board. In my experience, those sets were always close to perfect but this might be coincidental.

I love the Cavalier sets and have no reason to misrepresent my experience with them.

You've indicated no model numbers.  You simply say that you have had problems with some Cavalier sets, without specifying which models.  The quality of the various models of Cavalier sets produced by Pacific Game Co. over the years varied widely.  Some were cheap, poorly made.  The best was the iconic #1491 set, which commands well over $100USD for a set in good or better condition today.  In fact several #1491 sets have sold recently for a minimum of $150USD.  This because of the superior quality of that specific set.  This is not to say that you could not have had problems with some Cavalier sets.  But unless you associate your problems with specific models, you comments don't mean much.

Crappov
RussBell wrote:
Crappov wrote:
RussBell wrote:
Crappov wrote:

I've owned a bunch of Cavalier sets over the years. I love them but QC at Pacific Games was spotty - misaligned felts, felts saturated with glue, uneven pairing of parts (unsightly seams), things like that.  Some sets were perfect, though.  Here's one:

 

I find it difficult to believe that the issues you complain about describe any Pacific Game Co. Cavalier #1491 set. The set in your photo is of a #1491 set - which you describe as perfect, as has typically been the case for the #1491 sets I have been made aware of from those who own them, my own #1491 set included; unless of course, the set has either been abused, or suffered significant wear and tear.  But I'm referring to a set which is in either new, mint or very good condition.

It's also stretches credulity to think that Kasparov would play a highly publicised simul (see my post above), especially one which is being filmed for a documentary, using a set that was of marginal or poor quality.

Bottom line - I'm skeptical that your problems have been with a Cavalier #1491 set. Perhaps the issues you describe have been with Pacific Game Company's other models, i.e., their cheaper sets which were not made nearly as well, with the superior quality plastic, and heavier weighting of the #1491 set,

Why on earth would I make it up?

Edit: I'll expand a little. In the original post, we see a set that's housed in a plastic box with a sliding top, bearing a Cavalier decal.  I've owned maybe 5 of those very sets, plastic boxes and all, all purchased in the early to mid 80's. The imperfections I describe were real and common, at least at that time and in the sets I purchased.  I even remember taking imperfect pieces from one set and replacing them with better pieces from another set to create a more perfect complete set.  I've also purchased a number of Cavalier sets packaged in the large cardboard presentation boxes, with the cellophane windows and included folding board. In my experience, those sets were always close to perfect but this might be coincidental.

I love the Cavalier sets and have no reason to misrepresent my experience with them.

You've indicated no model numbers.  You simply say that you have had problems with some Cavalier sets, without specifying which models.  The quality of the various models of Cavalier sets produced by Pacific Game Co. over the years varied widely.  Some were cheap, poorly made.  The best was the iconic #1491 set, which commands well over $100USD for a set in good or better condition today.  In fact several #1491 sets have sold recently for a minimum of $150USD.  This because of the superior quality of that specific set.  This is not to say that you could not have had problems with some Cavalier sets.  But unless you associate your problems with specific models, you comments don't mean much.

I'm referring to the model that began this thread. If that's the model 1491, fine.  I'm out. Have the last word if you must.

crusaderwabbet

You guys sure bicker a lot. wink.png

IpswichMatt

Mr Wabbet, you should know by now that vintage chess sets is one of the most inflammatory and divisive topics known to man.

crusaderwabbet

Thanks Matt . You are absolutely right. I just thought I would throw a little levity in the mix. 

Ronbo710
IpswichMatt wrote:

Mr Wabbet, you should know by now that vintage chess sets is one of the most inflammatory and divisive topics known to man.

I disagree  

 

crusaderwabbet

In my past life I was involved with some of those colorful discussions. Some here lack humor so I have to agree with Matt some what Ron. I do enjoy the shared knowledge here though.

rcmacmillan
Crappov wrote:

I'm referring to the model that began this thread. If that's the model 1491, fine.  I'm out. Have the last word if you must.

@crappov, He must. Russ is firmly convinced that the Pacific Games Cavalier #1491 is the best plastic chess set ever made, without flaw or competitor. I'll agree that it is maybe the most elegant for the era, but that's it. The plastic of the 1491 is pretty brittle, and if it was used at all roughly, it would deteriorate quickly. I ought to know. I beat up enough of them in my day. There are plastic sets that have been made since that are far better. The first generation of Frank Camaratta's Collector sets  (2001-2002) cost $70 at the time, and were spectacular quality. They are nothing like the plastic Collector that HOS sells today. That's just one.