Home Chess Gear My Fascination With Wooden Chess Sets

My Fascination With Wooden Chess Sets


I think some chess players have a screw loose in the head.

Why would I have 18 wooden chess sets in my house?  It is absolutely crazy.   Here are some photos which you can enjoy.

I have another collection of plastic chess sets and that is a story for another time!

A collection of 18 chess sets? Why


My first wooden set that I purchased from my friend Aslam.


A close up view of the set from my from my friend Aslam
This set is from India and brought by my late Uncle.  It has a nice smell

The chess set shown below from France has a long story.  This set belonged to my French friend Pajot.  The set is beautiful and I love using it whenever I get chance.  The pieces are not weighted and there is no felt at the bottom.  The board is currently a roll up one but it originally had a hard base so that you could fold it.

This set got stolen from Pajot during the closing ceremony of one of our chess championships in the early 1990s.  In those days it was very usual for sets and clocks to be stolen at chess tournaments.  Pajot’s contract ended and he left the country.  By the way he was a very strong player and I loved learning from him.

I happened to come and watch a chess tournament at the Kenya Poly a few months later and hey what do I see?  Pajot’s chess sets in use but the hard cover for the board had been removed.    My friend Edwin who was the organiser of the event confiscated the set and gave it to me as he knew that Pajot and I were good friends.  So that is the story of how the set is in my  custody.  I have unfortunately lost all contact with Pajot.

Set from France with a long story
Set from France with a long story.  See the hard cover was removed


.Set from France with a long story. Close up of the Black pieces


Set from France with a long story. Close up of the White pieces

Another of my favorite set is the one form a French firm “Chavet”.  The pieces are not felted and not weighted but it is still so beautiful to use.  I have seen that they do have felted and weighted sets.  I bought this from a friend in Kenya.

Set from Chavet


View of the Black pieces from Chavet

The set below is from TSL and I purchased it from a second hand dealer in Nairobi called Dominic who used to operate a small second sports shot in Uni-Afric House in Nairobi.  This set had a nice matt finish and was one that I used very often as the King is only 2.5 inches tall.

TSL set from Dominic



Weighted & felted wooden set.  Unfortunately a few pieces in this set is a bit chipped.


This set is from Aslam


The above set was refurbished by my self


This board is from my friend Aslam who got this set for attending the above Olympiad


Big felted and weighted set that I purchased from England when I visited in 1990.  The board is inlaid as well.  My Swiss friend Phillip Robyr always insisted on playing with this set whenever he came home.  I just cannot remember how much this set cost.