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"The whole country was one mighty chessboard"--Official Staunton's 1966 Havana Olympiad Set

  • #1

    I am proud to have collaborated with Official Staunton to bring to the public this exacting reproduction of the set used in the historic 17th Chess Olympiad, held in Havana Cuba in 1966. "At this moment, the whole country is one mighty chessboard," wrote a Cuban paper. The participants were a mighty array of the world's greatest players. Petrosian, Spassky, Fischer, Tal, Stein, Korchnoi, the list goes on. The Cuban hosts specially made the sets and tables for the tournament, and awarded them to the participants at the conclusion of the event. Some survive to this day. Special thanks to Carmelo Miceli for undertaking this project and to Jon Crumiller and Manuel Rodriguez for sharing photos of their original sets.

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    Official Staunton's exacting replicas, together with Foldeak's wonderful 1969 book on Chess Olympiads.

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    The official poster of the 17th Chess Olympiad...

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  • #4

    The antiquing is superb, indistinguishable to my eye from the golden honey patinas on my sets from the sixties. Kudos to the Indian artisans.

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    Well-carved, powerful knights.

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    Originals from Jon Crumiller's collection...

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    And from Manuel Rodriguez's collection...

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    Imposing bishops who unlike Tito's Dubrovnik pieces, have kept their miters.

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  • #14

    An imposing field. World Champions Petrosian and Spassky anchored first and second board for the triumphant Soviet team...

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  • #15

    The level of finish detail is remarkable. Three areas too often come up short in this regard: the insides of rooks' turrets; the insides of bishop mitre cuts, and the area between points on queens' coronets. Not here. 

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    Kudos to the Indian artisans and Official Staunton's high standards. The cuts are crisp, and the turret top is finished, unlike too many sets with random shavings and partial finishes.

     

  • #16

    Sharp, fully finished miter cuts. Outstanding quality not always found.

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  • #17

    Fine, fully finished detail on the queen's coronet. The many points are designed to withstand play.

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    Jon Crumiller's original set on an original table from the event...

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  • #20

    The Crumiller set in its original presentation box, complete with a carving of the mouth to Havana Harbor...

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