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Number 153 above is "finition noyer" (maple finish) but it looks too dark for me. Am I missing something? Which wood do you think was used?
that translates as Walnut Finish, not Maple Finish...
Chavet sets are made of boxwood harvested locally in the Jura Mountains (as you can tell from the URL "Echecs en buis du Jura"), w/ a brown stain for the dark pieces. Here's a 1990 set:
Great pics Frank. Here's my vintage set compared to the current #6 Chavet. Much larger. And more detail in the steeds ...
You are a bad influence on me.
I just ordered a set of the Chavet No. 5 here:
They ship to the US, and with the Current Euro/Dollar exchange rate, prices aren't too bad.
Beautiful pictures guys, Thank you. Frank that 1990 set is that number 6? Also is the board (which seems to be pretty much he tournament one), is that also chavet? Would you say all so boxwood?
Congrats . I wish someone at Chavet would see our links here. Maybe they themselves could re-issue their vintage set as a Kasparov v. Karpov Anniversary edition. I know, I know wake up Ron.
Yes, it's a No.6 - if I have time later this weekend, I can see if I can take some side by side comparison pics between the vintage Chavet and the current design (differences being mostly King's cross, Queen's top ball, and bishop's mitre).
The board is custom-built, 57mm squares, Walnut/Maple, w/ a Peruvian Walnut Delimiter and a Beech frame. If you're trying to replicate the 1990 board (which was indeed a Chavet board), I'd try something slightly darker than Beech for the frame (perhaps Teak); I took a guess as to the best wood combo w/ this board and while I think it looks nice, the frame matches the white squares too closely and should be a little darker, I think.
As a general comment, a lot of retailers seem to be monitoring the discussions here, as evidenced by the fact that HoS and CB both came out w/ a Dubrovnik replica, and now they're both offering several replicas of vintage Soviet sets - so keep posting about the 1990 Chavet set and eventually someone will probably make a copy (which I'm sure Chavet won't like...).
current box on the left, vintage on the right:
vintage set on left, current No. 6 set on the right:
Now I know why my modern #6 knights look unfinished. It isn't a tetes fines set.
Here's a screen grab that's shows the knight well.
Interesting still as the "side eye" can be seen on this knight similar to my vintage one on the right ...
Since you guys mentioned Linares 1988 I went fishing for pictures of that set I so craved and yes they can be clearly seen from 1991 to 1994 at least. The board is also the same light border board as the one in Lyon.
Still trying to speak to Chavet, but unfortunately I think it is more a brand than a company now. Chavet is part of a wooden toy making company , you can see their whole catalog here;
Think a reissue of the set must be a very low priority, and would not sell enough in fairness to matter I guess. Anyway, will let you know if I get anywhere.
For the board, in the meantime I have found this one, but have not bought it;
I am now pondering whether:
-to bite the bullet and buy this board and chavet number 153 size 6 for like 116 EUR total
-do that but still seek a queen without the sphere and possibly bishops with a rounder head from other sets
-wait for eBay to have the real deal...
Unfortunately this is most likely my last post on the subject. I have checked out a bit what happened to Chavet chess, and here's what I pieced together:-In the 70s at its best Chavet probably made/sold about 200,000 sets a year
-Chavet Chess now represents only 50% of the activity of its parent (les jeux de paul) which makes wooden toys, and last year had a turnover of around 750,000 EUR. To me assuming they sell sets for an average of 50 EUR, that means they sell about 8,000 sets a year, so probably 20 times smaller than when it made these very nice sets in the pictures in my preceding post.-I have called them to find out whether they would make old sets and someone confirmed to me that they didn't and that indeed now ALL the series they sell have exactly the same design, so no "Tetes Fines", ie the king's head is less sophisticated, the queen has the sphere on top, etc etc.
=> It's basically a much smaller company whose main object isn't really making collectible chess sets any more. It feels like things are looking up for them as as a whole as wooden toys are getting back in fashion, however, my impression is that it will be quite some time before they offer something closer to what the people selling historical set replicas do.Needless to say I am very disappointed about that. If other participants have other ideas, I am a taker, in particular if you want to send me privately the name of shops / resellers who sometimes have these second hand 90s sets in size 6...
Thanks for the info AND some Great pics !! I was actually thinking of contacting Andy and asking if he could make me the King and Queen based on the Europa set. It is almost identical to the vintage Chavet set . Only make it slightly larger to replace my ball top queen and 4" plus king.
I don't like that, and that would be expensive but:
-> Buy a chavet series 153 set in size 6-> Buy a european chess set size 6 boxwood from the ajedrez web site-> PRAY THAT THE COLOUR TONES MATCH EACH OTHER
->Get the Queen, King and bihops from the Ajedrez web site double lead weighted and re felted=Total price including the work probably 300 EURProblem: totally unsure the wood colours / aspects would match...
I did that . Except I have the unweighted Chavet 6 set. I used the Chavet Knights and Rooks with the Europa Kings and Queens and Bishops. It looks alright but the unweighted Chavet knights look unfinished (not tetes fines). Here are the pics ...
The length we will go to :-) .Well done it looks like you almost have it all (really only Frank has it all). In desperation I must admit I did call a couple of French wood artisans who make sets, but I found out what they do is make the board and then buy the pieces from chavet or other French makers with the same style.
The reality is your Chavet Europe set (+ the polish board I posted the link to earlier) is probably the only reasonable answer cost-wise to having this set at home.
Thanks so much for all the info on and many photographs of this magnificent set, have been admiring the original Chavet for years through the Intel Grand Prix videos so is great to learn more about it! (a search some years ago did not yield much so was under no illusions of actually acquiring one). Would be nice to see spec's for the set (and perhaps how much it originally sold for) if anyone has such information.
Some really handsome portraits of heavy hitters of the day, in the second one is not easy to judge if Karpov is reaching for a fountain pen or his revolver or possibly a pastrami sandwich.
https://www.bilboquet.com/boxwood-chess-pieces-number-2,um2093,,p30368.html Is this the real deal?
It looks to be genuine but the size No.2 is very small .