NOJ Dubrovnik Minceta short review


The doorbell rang, and I finally received the cherished parcel, which I had been waiting for almost a year. Before opening the package, I sat down and thought.


On the one hand, I am almost a happy person; it remains only to see it and enjoy it. But, on the other hand, a year has already passed, and the most important thing that has changed is me.


My passion for chess began after the QG, and I discovered all HOS, CB, and SC assortment varieties.


Initially, I was fond of artistic knights with flowing manes; I liked to choose sets with 4.4 inches Kings, I bought large and contrasting chessboards. Then I tried to figure out how the design of 1849 differs from 1852. For example, understand which knight profile corresponds to which sculpture from the British Museum, and so on.


But I have been reading this forum for a whole year and gaining knowledge from recognized experts. Gradually, I began to understand that the biggest and most beautiful is not comfortable and loved. And more and more often, when I opened the next package, I realized that it was a mistake, and I would rarely use this set.


I gradually stuck to the 3.625-3.75 inches sets, I liked the comfortable and simple knights, and I began to look for old-fashioned framed boards.


I understood that opening this package will be complete the big stage of this story. There is a theory that a person dies after completing his life task. In this sense, I almost died as a chess collector. But wait, there are also vintage Soviet sets (thanks to @CGrau).


I kindly received Gregor's opportunity to clarify my order two months before the delivery and asked for unweighted pieces with a mat finish, like @OneCalledMichael. And I added additional queens and left Mincheta's choice unchanged, despite @Pawnerai 's remarks about the high knight base (I already went through this with the HOS Craftsman Cooke set).


The beautiful black box contained an #820 certificate and a gift ink pen that I don't think I'll ever use. Yes, if anyone is interested, the prices have not changed yet.

The walnut figures turned lighter than imagined from the photo, maybe because of the mat finish. The quality of processing and tactile sensations are incomparable with anything that I have held in my hands so far. The primary impression is the lightness of unweighted figures (although I have nothing to compare with - I have weighted sets only). The pawn weighs only 6 g, and the 32 pieces weigh only 320 g.


A board with a 50mm square feels a bit cramped, while a 57mm one feels a bit spacious. So there is something to do - find the right board 53-54 mm. Finally, the traditional set of photos. In natural light. Thanks for watching.


Beautiful set!  I found it fascinating how your view/opinion/tastes changed during the wait.


Wow! That’s gorgeous. I always wanted a Minceta. Congrats!


Wow, @olegershov -  a beautiful set. 

A Minceta is on my bucket list of sets to acquire before I die. I do not have many on the list but this one is probably at the top. 

I love your description here:

The quality of processing and tactile sensations are incomparable with anything that I have held in my hands so far.

One of the things I appreciate with a well made set is the "feel" of the pieces, how they sit in my hand, how my fingers can feel the balance and the texture. 

As for the board, I think the pieces fit well - but then I enjoy a slightly cramped board. 

Enjoy your latest, it is a beautiful work of art.


Congratz mr Oleg! You're really on the roll lately, good stuff as English people would say happy.png

Fascinating to read the changes you're going through. Keep us posted with your next journey happy.png



Another beautiful, perfectly crafted set by Noj. Great choice with the Minceta design. A unique and original Dubrovnik variant by Noj. Maple Walnut is a classic choice for boards, pieces and pancakes.

The 57mm (2.25") looks like a nice fit. If you find it a tiny bit loose, I think you might find a traditionally sized 55mm board just perfect. 

Nice angles and natural lighting on your Knights photo by the way. thumbup.png



gorgeous set. enjoy it in good health.

@olegershov - a lovely set - congratulations! The feeling of anticipation and then satisfaction is palpable. A wonderful reflection of your changing thoughts too. It’s interesting to read how one’s tastes change and fluctuate with knowledge and experience. I have a similar experience - albeit I am not sure I’d classify any historical purchases as mistakes (yet) … I am now gravitating to simpler and smaller sets … yet, I do love that I can rotate various sets through display and/or play. Indeed, I love the variety in pieces available and it is that variety that I enjoy exploring - and reading - through this forum.

Congratulations on the set! One year is a long time to wait for a chess set, but I'm sure it was well worth it in the end. Thank you for the pictures, they really do the set justice.

The Minceta is probably my favorite set because it is very versatile, I play with it without worrying about damage because it is made for hard play, and yet it is still beautiful enough to keep on display in my room when not in use.

How is the play feel with the unweighted pieces?

I went with weighted pieces myself, at the recommendation of Mr Novak, and I have no regrets as they are lightly weighted (20g weight), so it is just enough to keep the pieces from falling over in the wind and have a bit of a substantial feel in the hand. I do wish I could try the unweighted version, but with the waitlist being closed, I probably won't for a long time!


Yes, this is a very nice set, congratulations. I have owned a Walnut Noj, Dubrovnik II for over 11 (eleven) years.  The pictures of your set show the same coloring as my set.  In fact the Knights are identical looking.

I am glad you find your set to be exceptional. Yes, these Noj pieces do feel quite good and balanced in the hand.

I am also glad to hear the price has remained stable.

These are really nice sets.  I think you will really enjoy yours.


Oh my! Quite a set! Congratulations.


Beautifully articulated post! Pure Noj......What's not to like?

Enjoy that gem.


Nice set / would like one too  but no more chess sets for me , Enjoy wink.png


Btw,is there any way you can let the cat out of the bag and tell us what Noj is charging for this set nowadays?

Just curious......Thanks


I've been wanting to go a little bit tighter with my board setup for a long time now for my Dub II sets. 54 mm sounds great. I don't know though. I don't think I play enough OTB at the moment to justify the expenditure for the 3 mm difference from my current setup. Great review! As for sets, the only type I'm still interested in getting at some point is some kind of smaller antique Staunton reproduction. Haven't seen anything to strike my fancy though.


Wow, olegershov! That is a truly amazing set. Congratulations and enjoy!