Post your Travel Chess Sets

lighthouse

Great thread Bob ,

How did you get your white bone chessmen / Queen  looking so white .

Also what do you use for a 2nd queen of the pegged kind .

I like these little travel chess set's of the vintage kind .

 

fightingbob

For your first peg-in set, that's a nice one, Hanliang.  Believe it or not, I recognize the pieces from a West German set I own.  Actually, the pieces are very similar but not exact; the knights, bishops and queen differ.

I assume my pieces are original, but some of the pegs appear to be whittled down.  The set measures 4.5 x 4.5 x 1.575 inches when closed.  I've posted a few photos below:

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As you can see, my set has a cardboard case and board; it's much less attractive and resilient than yours.  The only downside with your kind of design is that when you're traveling with a game in progress, it can't be saved and picked up later.  You have to remember the position or write it down in Forsyth–Edwards Notation (FEN) and recreate it.  For some, that's not a problem; others like the convenience of a case.

fightingbob
lighthouse wrote:

Great thread Bob ,

How did you get your white bone chessmen / Queen  looking so white .

Also what do you use for a 2nd queen of the pegged kind .

I like these little travel chess set's of the vintage kind .

Regarding getting the bone pieces white, Christopher, you may want to read my restoration techniques in Post #317.  It's amazing what a tooth brush and a little toothpaste can do.

Good question about a second queen.  I guess you'd have to be creative, like putting a piece of tape or slip a flexible rubber cap atop the rook.  I don't think I've ever seen a vintage peg-in or magnetic set that ever took into account a second queen.  I think it was House of Staunton and Frank Camaratta who made a second queen for full-sized sets standard.

fightingbob

Hello fellow travel chess set owners:

In Post #23 I sung the praises of the Shoptaugh set for ruggedness and durability.  Yes, the case is rugged, but the painted or silk-screened board is not.  Take a look at the photo below.

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Sh how long would you guess this set had been used?  Ten years?  Five years?  Just a single year?  How about just over a month.

If you own one of these I sets, I highly recommend using fine sandpaper to smooth and round the bottom of each peg.  As you can see, the shape peg scratched the hell out of the board, and it didn't take much.  This will slow down the wear, but even then I expect this set to last no more than a year.

I guess this could have been a bad run, and I do have more than one of these I could test, but as of now I cannot recommend this set.  Of course, the set is no longer made, perhaps now I know why.

Frankly, this is problem with all sets where the dark squares (or conversely, the light squares) are merely "painted on."  They will inevitably wear, but typically not this quickly.  There is an exception, metal boards with soft plastic pieces such as House Martin or H. B. Farebrother.  Oh, they will wear around the hole, but they hold up surprisingly well.  

Hanliang
fightingbob寫道:

For your first peg-in set, that's a nice one, Hanliang.  Believe it or not, I recognize the pieces from a West German set I own.  Actually, the pieces are very similar but not exact; the knights, bishops and queen differ.

I assume my pieces are original, but some of the pegs appear to be whittled down.  The set measures 4.5 x 4.5 x 1.575 inches when closed.  I've posted a few photos below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, my set has a cardboard case and board; it's much less attractive and resilient than yours.  The only downside with your kind of design is that when you're traveling with a game in progress, it can't be saved and picked up later.  You have to remember the position or write it down in Forsyth–Edwards Notation (FEN) and recreate it.  For some, that's not a problem; others like the convenience of a case.

Yes Bob, I totally agree, firstly I wish to bring it out often, but later I find it is not easy to be carried around. I’m particularly afraid to cause damage to the still-functioning brass hinges. I saw some similar boards with lost bone inlays in the online museum, I think that is a good hint for it to be at home most of the time. Below is how I use it for some analysis.

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Your set is nice, I do remember I recently saw the knight style in a set sold on eBay with an 8” wood-bar closing managing box, but I didn’t know it was German set. That kind of box is also not a perfect in-Situ, as you have to remove all pieces and place the wood bar before folding the board. But the mahogany case is really pleasing the eyes, more portable than Whittingtons!Therefore I think your Swiss set is one of the most practical designs, so is Mikado etc,. 

 

fightingbob

You have the perfect setup in your drawer, Hanliang.  And, yes, the Swiss peg-in set is very handy for travel.

The most convenient are the flat, wallet-style sets, slotted or magnetic.  The minor quibble I have with flat sets is that it becomes a little more difficult to look at the position from the Black side (or visa-versa if you have Black on the bottom).  Of course, most flat sets are used for analysis so it's not a big deal.

There was a set that would remedy this problem known as The Twin Portland Chess & Draughts Board.  The Portland Twin was a correspondence set before the days of iPhones, Androids or even computers, but it could also be used for travel.  They were manufactured by Robinson & Sons, Ltd based in Chesterfield, England.  According to Corptaxman's Album Archive "The cardboard and packaging business, from which these chess sets stem, started in 1839, although the family is known to have run a number of other business back to the 1600's."

The advantage of a cardboard travel set was that if you lost it it was no great shakes.  Besides, when used for travel they would become well worn after a year or two and require tossing.

I purchased quite a few off eBay over 15 years ago.  I imagine since they have been supplanted by mobile devices, they are now as scarce as hen's teeth.  Here are a few photos of just one of my unused sets.

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lighthouse
fightingbob wrote:
lighthouse wrote:

Great thread Bob ,

How did you get your white bone chessmen / Queen  looking so white .

Also what do you use for a 2nd queen of the pegged kind .

I like these little travel chess set's of the vintage kind .

Regarding getting the bone pieces white, Christopher, you may want to read my restoration techniques in Post #317.  It's amazing what a tooth brush and a little toothpaste can do.

Good question about a second queen.  I guess you'd have to be creative, like putting a piece of tape or slip a flexible rubber cap atop the rook.  I don't think I've ever seen a vintage peg-in or magnetic set that ever took into account a second queen.  I think it was House of Staunton and Frank Camaratta who made a second queen for full-sized sets standard.

Bob , Thank you for taking the time & letting me know the post you made on cleaning these

wonderful little bone chess set's !

How do you darken the wood on the board if there is fading ?

looking for a very small vintage magnetic travel sets as thinking this is more easy on the eyes for

studying on a plane / the bus or train .

As I find them holes in the chess board can distract at times .

fightingbob

Hi Christopher,

I doubt you're talking about refinishing the surface of the board, but I may do that someday to my 10-inch Whittington, the largest I own.  Though the surface was a bit worn around each peg hole, the eBay listing was too tempting.  You don't see 10-inchers that often, and I owned a 6-inch and 8-inch and wanted to add the next size up to my collection.  I don't own a 12-inch, and I'm not sure I'm interested in one that large.

Generally speaking, the secret is to only bid on a Whittington or any other set when the surface of the board is lightly worn and requires a little cleaning and refurbishing but not refinishing.  That said, you can make a board come to life with teak oil or another high quality oil such as Watco's Natural Danish oil.  I'd pick a small spot and try it first; you may not like the effect.

So you know, both my 6-inch and 8-inch Whittingtons in Post #1 and the slide-top bone set In Post # 63 had teak oil applied. and I believe I also applied a light coat of Renaissance Wax after thoroughly removing any excess oil.  However, a wax application is not necessary and can be dangerous.  Perhaps dangerous is too strong a word, but you want to make sure the surface of the board is perfectly smooth with a substantial finish and no crevices.  When wax gets into crevices it looks awful and is damned hard if not impossible to get out.

Anyway, that's my recommendation.  Perhaps others have an even better one.

Best, Bob

UpcountryRain

This thread is awesome!

fightingbob

Yes it is, UpcountryRain, thanks to all the contributors, to which I'm grateful.

Hanliang

Hi Bob, in post #346 the card board pockets are very useful indeed, the dual board are very useful to stop at any time and analysis your next move. I have seen many similar items but it is my first time to see 2 boards in one.

To find a close match for the pieces in my post in #340, I find the Jaques’ “Ditty” travel set on this website:http://dorland-chess.com/354-jaques-ditty.html It is likely the pieces were from this set, the knights are in the same style, although the king and queen on the website look a bit more imposing.

 

fightingbob

Yes, Hanliang, the Ditty pieces do appear to be exactly like yours.  I downloaded your photo and one of the Ditty and enlarged them substantially.  I looked at every piece closely, including the pawns and could not find any differences.  Of course, there is always the possibility someone copied the Ditty as they did with my set, but those who borrow (or steal) often make minor changes and sometimes major ones like my knight.  I would say without hesitation you have the Jaques Ditty fitted to an Indian board.

Hanliang

Generally speaking, the secret is to only bid on a Whittington or any other set when the surface of the board is lightly worn and requires a little cleaning and refurbishing but not refinishing.  That said, you can make a board come to life with teak oil or another high quality oil such as Watco's Natural Danish oil.  I'd pick a small spot and try it first; you may not like the effect.

Bob, thanks for the sharing on choosing the board. I bid a very old board in a distressed condition. I am not sure if I can use teak oil to make it a little better?

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fightingbob

That looks a bit like my slide top board in Post #63, but one that has seen better days.  However, upon closer examination the differently-sized squares as well as the crooked rows of squares and lines of holes around the edge make me think this is homemade or made in India.

As you can see in Post #63, the board has a light, lacquer-like finish that took the teak oil well.  Does your board have any finish whatsoever?  It doesn't look like it.  No doubt the teak oil would make your board look better, but how much better I could not guess.

Frankly, I would seriously consider sanding and refinishing the board and perhaps the case as well.  Of course, that depends upon whether you want to spend the time applying a lacquer finish on this less than well constructed board of just sand it and use a finishing oil like Watco's Danish Oil Finish, which would be much quicker.  Please see this link.

Good luck, Bob   

Hanliang

Yes Bob, after you said I just checked out the crooked rows... Please see s small label on the mahogany bottom of the box, unfortunately there is no complete information. But it seems to be a premise in UK, might be a British importer of Indian export sets? On the pieces (with few plastic replacements), they look differently from Whittington. They should look very nice during younger days. The yellowish grain on the bishop even make me thinking they might be ivory, but I reckon that is a bit impossible.nullnullnull

DanielWrench

mine is small and wooden

 

fightingbob

Hi Hanliang,

Yes, the pieces do not look like Whittingtons, they are comparable to but not exactly like Jaques In Statu Quo pieces (Post # 20).  I can't tell if the pieces are ivory from the photos, but if they are it would be odd they'd be sold with such a board.

So you know, ivory exhibits dark and light bands known as Schreger lines.  You can read about them here; click on the Wiki photo.  Anyway, they should be nice looking pieces once they're cleaned up, and perhaps the board will look nicer too.

I sure wish the entire label was there to read; it would an interesting research project.  One thing is certain, these pieces are quite old because the exact shape hasn't been manufactured for over 100 years.

Best, Bob

 

Hanliang
fightingbob寫道:

Hi Hanliang,

Yes, the pieces do not look like Whittingtons, they are comparable to but not exactly like Jaques In Statu Quo pieces (Post # 20).  I can't tell if the pieces are ivory from the photos, but if they are it would be odd they'd be sold with such a board.

So you know, ivory exhibits dark and light bands known as Schreger lines.  You can read about them here; click on the Wiki photo.  Anyway, they should be nice looking pieces once they're cleaned up, and perhaps the board will look nicer too.

I sure wish the entire label was there to read; it would an interesting research project.  One thing is certain, these pieces are quite old because the exact shape hasn't been manufactured for over 100 years.

Best, Bob

 

Thanks Bob, initially I also thought it was the in Status Quo, and review your post to validate. The plate base do give such an impression that they rather have a close connection to the squares. I think I need to do something to the poor board, at least to sand off the dark stains on the left (might be coffee stains) and use some Danish oil. But for areas where wood are flaked, like the row behind the red’s back rank, do you think I’d better do without sanding because the surface a bit elevated and flacking wood around the holes? Please see below condition.Vbr.nullnull

fightingbob

After seeing your problems, Hanliang, I think this set could use a sanding, filling and sealing.  Unfortunately, I'm not the one to tell you how to do this.  You could go to a woodworking store in your area and they could provide some instruction, but there is a restorer who has an account right here at Chess.com that goes by Chessspy1 who may be able to help.  I don't know if he does boards, but you could send him a personal message and ask.

lighthouse
fightingbob wrote:

After seeing your problems, Hanliang, I think this set could use a sanding, filling and sealing.  Unfortunately, I'm not the one to tell you how to do this.  You could go to a woodworking store in your area and they could provide some instruction, but there is a restorer who has an account right here at Chess.com that goes by Chessspy1 who may be able to help.  I don't know if he does boards, but you could send him a personal message and ask.

Alan is very human send him a email should be able to do !