Americas

Argentina. This is an interesting "Staunton" set, made for the benefit of the 1939 Chess Olympiad in Buenos Aires, at that time called: "Torneo de las Naciones". The set is named "Magistral" and made of "Fenolit", which is a product of the Bakelite company Malaspina, Ferrari & Cia. The pieces have been made in moulds and seams are clearly visible. This set has its original (is it? similar box was used for wooden sets used in Olympiad of 1978) wooden box, but other sets do have a Fenolit box in the form of a big Rook (see last picture). I have no evidence that the "Fenolit" sets were actually used in the tournament. The pamphlet gives interesting information. See pictures.

The Olympiad itself was also remarkable. During the tournament the WWII started and a lot of players did not return to their homeland, like for instance Najdorf. There was a controversial outcome because not all matches were played and got a fixed result. Germany insisted of a 4-0 to Palestine, who refused to play against the German. England did withdraw.

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  • Argentina, Buenos Aires, "Magistral", "Staunton"
  • 1939
  • fenolit/bakelite K 9.4; p 5.0
  • Box 26.1×17.5×8.9
  • Made for Olympiad of Buenos Aires in 1939

Argentina. This wooden set is an abstract set made in a series of 100 in favour of Unicef. The set here is set No. 6. This abstract set may not be meant that much to play with, but more as decorative set. Maybe I will move it to the To Look At pages some day. These sets were sold at the 1978 Chess Olympiad in Buenos Aires.

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  • Argentina
  • 1978
  • Wood K 11.4; p 5.8
  • Design: Demetrio Karavokiris, Campana, Argentina
  • Modelo Funcional Linea Geometrica, for Unicef, no. 6 of 100 numbered sets

Canada. This is an abstract aluminium set purchased during the Olympiad of Haifa in 1976. The set served as shop window material in a photo shop. It was owned by an Israeli aircraft captain, who was responsible for the purchase of aircraft. It was said that it was a promotional gift of a Canadian aircraft manufacturer. This set has similarities with the well known set by Austin Enterprises 1962 chess set, austin_enterprise_1962but our set could be one of a kind.

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  • Canada, Montreal
  • 1976
  • Aluminium K 12.1; p 7.6

Colombia. This is a charming, primitive-made and interesting "Staunton inspired" set made of horn.

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  • Colombia
  • 1970
  • Horn K 9.2; p 3.9

Cuba. This Staunton inspired set was a gift.

  • Cuba
  • 2003
  • Pritaria K 5.6; p 2.1
  • Mahogany Box 18.0×17.8×4.9

Mexico. The "Pulpit" sets from Mexico are rather common. Here are 2 examples of the "Classic Pulpit" style. They are composed of several pieces, often connected with a wooden pin. Mostly they are in bone, but 100% wooden sets are also known. These sets are almost always in white and black, but I have seen white and red ones too. There exist also a Pulpit faces variation. I do have difficulties to date these sets. I assume they are beginning 20th century, but I'm not sure about that.

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  • Mexico, "Pulpit"
  • ca. 1920
  • Bone K 11.4; p 5.1
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  • Mexico, "Pulpit"
  • 1920?
  • Bone K 11.9; p 5.0

Mexico. This Onyx "Aztec" chess set is very common and appears in several sizes and colours. Normally there is a matching board, but not this time.

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  • Mexico, Guadalajara, "Aztec"
  • 1975
  • Onyx K 8.7; p 3.7

Mexico. Simple set of the "Tarascan" cut - so called because made principally by Tarascan Indians in central Mexico. These sets are assembled from turned wooden bases, and bone toppings.

 

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  • Mexico, "Tarascan"
  • 1960-1980
  • Wood with bone K 8.0; p 4.1

Mexico. The "Upright", or "Bone Upright" sets are another well known Mexican type. They are made of wood with bone decorations, similar as the "Tarascan" types, which permits to speculate that all wood/bone sets might be made in the same workshops, in the Tarascan area or beyond.

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  • Mexico, "Upright"
  • 1985
  • Wood with bone K 15.2; p 8.1

USA. These bone sets are almost always found in USA, but it is not 100% sure they have been made there, because maker is unknown. Sometimes they are confused with German Uhlig sets of which they have some characteristics. It is said that descendants of Uhlig had moved to USA and made these sets.

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  • USA, "Staunton"
  • ca. 1920
  • Bone K 5.1; p 2.7

USA. Plastic sets from USA made by Gallant Knight or Drueke are very common. In spite of that they are interesting enough to list them here.

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  • USA, by Gallant Knight, "Staunton"
  • ca. 1940
  • Plastic K 7.0; p 3.6
  • Original box 26.0×13.6×5.4
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  • USA, by Gallant Knight, "Staunton"
  • ca. 1940
  • Plastic K 7.0; p 3.6
  • Box (not original) 23.2×18.3×3.9
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  • USA, by Drueke, "Staunton"
  • ca. 1940
  • Plastic K 5.9; p 3.3
  • Box (not original) 23.2×18.3×3.9

USA. Small travel chess set from USA. But I have to say that I'm not sure about that origin...

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  • USA
  • Mid 20th century
  • Plastic K 1.0; p 1.0
  • Box 17.0×11.6×2.3
  • Board 10.2×10.3