Cavalier Tournament Pieces for club play?


Hey guys - 

Thinking of picking up one of the original "Alabasque" weighted Cavalier sets on ebay. They usually go for about $30 - $40. The idea was that they might be good to use in a club setting. 

Anybody have a set/ pictures/ experience? Do they hold up well? How's the weighting... does it ever get loose? 

Any thoughts appreciated!


I find them to be a bit too light weight wise.  The double weighted (black/white) version are quite a bit nicer IMHO.

I do have one of the lighter weight ones that I bought at a thrift store (really cheap) that has 4 weights missing - not sure what caused this since I don't know the history of the particular set at all.


I had to Google what Alabasque was and found this video:

Personally, for $35, one can get a brand new House of Staunton Collector Series Plastic Chess Set. Or for around $50 when their on sale, a wood set with German knights from Chess Bazaar.

For an older, fragile set, I'd be concerned about using it in a chess club setting, especially speed chess.


The vintage Cavalier set is a wonderful set, perfectly balanced (especially the double-weighted tournament edition), but I too would be somewhat concerned to use it as as your ordinary club set - at least I would avoid blitz and rapidplay (for that I would use a new plastic Staunton set) and only use it for longplay games.

Is there a difference between the double weighted tournament pieces in the small coffee and the other tournament set that comes in the blue, bigger box with the board?

Other than double-weighting and the different colours? Not to my knowledge.


As far as I can tell the same molds were used in both.

I think the black and white sets were the only ones made with the double weights - and all of the black and whites were double weighted. So if you see a black and white listed with no box it is going to be a double weighted one.

(The double weighted sets were available in two versions - a smaller more compact blue box than the regular sets without the window panel (these had  cellophane that inevitably dies) and a hard plastic brown box ( I like the latter a bit more)).

Thanks Natty- so the ones in the blue box w the window (brown and white) were less weighted?

Original Cavalier is vintage now and hard to find. The ones with 10 cm kings weighted can be as much as $150 but they are extremely hard to find.

Chess opera- my question is about weighting! Thank you

I have never seen one that was double weighted - doesn't mean they don't exist though.  The smaller blue boxes were a bit more heavily built (which makes sense considering the extra weight) - plus they had a divided compartment.