Russia  (Other European)

I have listed these Russian sets in order of age, more or less. The list starts with a lesser known Carbolite chess set from a factory that used to make Carbolite (kind of Bakelite). The company still exists today. The set has hollow pieces, which are filled with sand (or so) to make them heavier. Note that the pictures of the box are copied from the internet.

The small travel set is most likely a tourist souvenir from Leningrad. Cannot say much about it, but it is from Russian Federation of about 1970.

Next you see three "Russian tournament" sets. One is a pre WW2 set and the 2nd a cheap recent version. The 3rd is an amusing version with political motives. Just look at the pawns and try to identify them all!

The "Russian tournament" set is characterized by the finials in the opposite color on the Kings and Queens, which are also very similar in shape, and by the Bishops without incision.

The "Carved" set is made by hand, but I can't tell which wood it is. The older sets were made of hardwood and carved by hand. The more recent versions are of softwood and machine cut. I cannot date this set well. 1980 is just a lucky guess. But this handmade set is rather older than younger.

I have added the "Matrioska" set, although you may argue it is more a decorative set. But you can play very well with it. The shape is not only based on the so called Matrioska dolls, but the set is actually named that way as the pamphlet tells us. Sorry, I have no picture of that pamphlet (yet).

The last in this list is a "Barleycorn" based set by the Chess Sets Gallery, Moscow. The design is by Oleg Rakis, who was inspired by the Barleycorn sets.

« 1 of 6 »
  • Russia, by Carbolite company
  • 1940-1950
  • Carbolite (russian bakelite) K 6.8; p 4.0
« 1 of 4 »
  • Russia, Leningrad
  • ca. 1970
  • Plastic K 1.4; p 1.1
  • Box 12.5×10.1×2.9
  • Board 8.7×8.9
« 1 of 3 »
  • Russia, "Russian tournament"
  • ca. 1940
  • Wood K 10.0; p 5.1
« 1 of 7 »
  • Russia, "Russian tournament"
  • Mid to late 20th century
  • Wood K 6.6; p 3.6
  • Box/Board 34.0×17.2×4.9
« 1 of 4 »
  • Russia, "Russian tournament", politic faces
  • 1987
  • Wood K 7.4; p 4.4
« 1 of 4 »
  • Russia, "Carved"
  • ca. 1980
  • Wood K 10.5-11.0; p 6.0-6.6
« 1 of 3 »
  • Russia, "Matrioska"
  • 1997
  • Birch K 10.8; p 5.8
« 1 of 3 »
  • Russia, Moscow, by Chess Sets Gallery, "Barleycorn"
  • 2005
  • Pear K 13.0; p 5.2
  • Cassette/board 45.5×45.5×7.3
  • Design by Oleg Raikis, inspired by the Barleycorn type