Friday Night's Set--House of Staunton's B.H. Wood Reproduction

cgrau

My friend Phil graced Friday night's chess match with the latest addition to his collection--House of Staunton's B. H. Wood reproduction. It's a great-looking set that handled and played very well.

NadinTheChessExpert

Great set Chuck,I'm searching for original B.H Wood set for long time.Is that on 2.25"Inch Square Size board.

Eyechess

I own this set in the Golden Rosewood.  The profile picture of this set has the pieces look knid of different.  But when it is on the board, the set looks and plays very nicely.  This is true even though it is not an expensive set.

cgrau
NadinTheChessExpert wrote:

Great set Chuck,I'm searching for original B.H Wood set for long time.Is that on 2.25"Inch Square Size board.

Nadin, yeah, Phil made a great pick. I'll post some photos of an original set offered on HOS's antique page. It likely served as a prototype for their reproduction.

cgrau
NadinTheChessExpert wrote:

Great set Chuck,I'm searching for original B.H Wood set for long time.Is that on 2.25"Inch Square Size board.

Oh, I almost forgot. That board has 2.375" squares. It's fun to play on and I like the way the pieces look on it. 

cgrau
Eyechess wrote:

I own this set in the Golden Rosewood.  The profile picture of this set has the pieces look knid of different.  But when it is on the board, the set looks and plays very nicely.  This is true even though it is not an expensive set.

Yes, Ron, I remember. In fact, I plan to repost a couple of your photos as I didn't get a chance to take any of the individual pieces Friday night. I agree, the set is a good value in terms of playability and looks and authenticity and price.

cgrau

Since I didn't get a chance to take detailed photos Friday night--and the two I've posted Phil took Saturday--here are some shots from the HOS site and Eyechess's prior forum on his set...

cgrau

HOS has posted pictures of an original set in its Antique section. As I mentioned above, it likely served  as the prototype for its reproduction...

cgrau

Baruch Harold Wood was a British player, chess author, and publisher of some note.

According to Wikipedia, 

"Between 1938 and 1957, Wood won the championship of Warwickshire eight times. In 1939 he represented England at the Chess Olympiad in Buenos Aires. He won the tournaments at Baarn (1947), Paignton (1954), Whitby (1963), Tórshavn (1967) and Jersey (1975). He tied for 4th–6th, scoring 5 points out of 9 games, at the 1948–49 Hastings Christmas Chess Congress, 1.5 points behind winner Nicolas Rossolimo. In 1948, he tied for second place at the British Chess Championship held in London. He won the British correspondence chess championship in 1944–45."

I'll have to dig up the game he must have plated with Roberto Grau in the Buenos Aires Olympiad. Grau played first board for Argentina. The Olympiad was notable for the large number of matches declared mutual forfeits owning to the belligerent status of the nations involved, for the refusal of all the members of the German team to return to Nazi German, and for the decision of many of the European players, such as Miguel Najdorf, to remain in Argentina.

Moshe Czerniak and José Raúl Capablanca, Buenos Aires, 1939

cgrau

Wood founded Chess Magazine, which he edited until the late 1980's. He also authored a number of chess books...

NadinTheChessExpert

Was this set ever used in high level tournaments?

cgrau

Returning to the set, it was the matter of some controversy, as Jaques of London took umbrage that Wood had advertised it as an authentic Staunton set, and sued Wood for infringement. Perhaps you recall Alan Dewey mentioning this before.

The HOS site carries an extended discussion of the suit:

"During the 1930s, Baruch (B.H.) Wood manufactured his own line of chess pieces that were distributed through Sutton Coldfield. In 1937, Wood advertised his namesake chess pieces for sale in CHESS Magazine and used the term ‘genuine Staunton chessmen’ in the advertisement. John Jaques & Son, Ltd., creator of the original Staunton Pattern Chess pieces sued B.H. Wood for deceptive advertising, claiming that the use of the term "Genuine Staunton" was misleading and implied the pieces were made by Jaques. Wood called Sir George Thomas, Max Euwe and Lodewijk Prins as witnesses for his defence. The case is referred to by Fred Wren in his article ‘Tales of a Woodpusher: Woodpusher’s Woodpile’, which appeared in Chess Review, 1949 and was reprinted in Reinfeld’s The Treasury of Chess Lore (New York, 1951). The issues of CHESS of the time also contained a huge amount of material on the case. The original court decision was that ‘Staunton’ alone was a permissible description, but that the phrase ‘genuine Staunton’ implied a product made by Jaques & Son, Ltd., as opposed to any Staunton pattern. However, B.H.Wood appealed and, in 1940, won."

cgrau
NadinTheChessExpert wrote:

Was this set ever used in high level tournaments?

A good question, to which I don't know the answer. It did, however, grace the cover of some chess books.

Eyechess

This is great information, Chuck.  Thanks.

Impractical
It's a beautiful set, Cgrau. With those broad bases, every move must carry significant weight 😉

Your opponent didn't complain of playing at night (with the dark board)? 😁
MySeT

interesting...i like those little stories inside chess.

Thank you Chuck!

cgrau
Impractical wrote:
It's a beautiful set, Cgrau. With those broad bases, every move must carry significant weight 😉

Your opponent didn't complain of playing at night (with the dark board)? 😁

Thanks, Mark. I'd say on the whole that the pieces are weightier than my moves. Phil had no problems with the board--it's his! And we do play with the lights on, even if I play like I'm in the dark.

cgrau
MySeT wrote:

interesting...i like those little stories inside chess.

Thank you Chuck!

You're very welcome, Herve! 

Impractical

Lol Smile

What's important is how goodthe move looks, and playing with a set like this has to improve the sportsmanship setting Laughing  In general, I like broad based, stably centered pieces.

cgrau
Impractical wrote:

Lol

What's important is how goodthe move looks, and playing with a set like this has to improve the sportsmanship setting   In general, I like broad based, stably centered pieces.

I'd say my supposition in collecting sets is that the better the set looks, the more good moves it contains. It's a corollary to my assumption that the more chess books I own, the more chess knowledge I've absorbed.