My Fancy Chess Set

by Chris Kantack

As I received a very nice chess set from Excalibur some months ago, I thought it would be interesting to put a few photos of it up on my site.  This is not really a formal review but just my way of saying, "I really enjoy my fancy chess set"!

Excalibur's World Hall of Fame Collector's Edition Chess Set

The inlaid chessboard is from Spain and made of maplewood.  Square size is 2 1/8".  A  fine varnish and ultraviolet drying process are used to create a very nice and durable high-gloss finish.    My wife is especially impressed with the way the board can "mirror the pieces".

close-up of Hall of Fame set showing effect of mirrored finish

The pieces come from India and are made of boxwood.  The King's height is 3.75".  They are lacquered to a very smooth and deep finish.  Each piece is well-weighted and has a green-felt bottom cushion.   Indeed I have found these pieces to be very well cushioned.  You can truly play a completely silent game with this set as normal placement of the pieces on the board will result in any audible sound.

From my own pictures, along with Excalibur's own photos illustrating their Hall of Fame "Collector's Edition" Chess Set, it may appear that the pieces are essentially red and black.  But in reality the "red" pieces are a deep brown in color..  Somehow in both Excalibur's and in my own photography, the pieces in our photos appear more red than they really are. 

Every good chess set deserves a nice box for piece storage.  My wife picked up an unfinished box at a craft shop for 6 dollars.  We then sanded and stained it and added a latch for the door.  The inside was then lined with felt and a center divider was added to create two compartments.  With a total investment of around $10 and a few hours of work, we created a very nice piece box.

Pictured below: a chess encyclopedia, my piece box (opened) and the Excalibur Hall of Fame "Collector's Edition" chess set.

I really enjoy owning my Hall of Fame set.   Owning a fancy chess set does not make you a better player.  But it sure is nice to be able to pull out such a fine set when having a guest over for the evening.

Excalibur also makes a "Windsor Edition" version of this set.   The Windsor Edition has more traditionally colored white pieces and a slightly different piece design.  The price of these sets has dropped from their original $199 price down to as little as $100.   At $100 to $150, I consider these sets an excellent value!  So do a bit of searching on the net and you can pick yourself up a great bargain in a luxury chess set.  

If you have any questions or comments, about this or other chess sets,  feel free to send me an email.    Just direct your email to Chris Kantack.   My address is  Or click on the envelope icon below.


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