Averbakii Alumnum (Averbakh Alumni); 32 lightly weighted Soviet chessmen without board, wood, antiqued, amber v. black, circa 1955
Height: King 11cm, weight 16g, base width 1.5”/3.5cm; Queen 9cm 18g. Bishop 8.5cm 15g, Knight 7cm 20g,. Rook 6.5cm 20g, Pawn 5.6cm 10g W: navy blue felt bases B: same
A popular member of the ‘Averbakh family’ of chess pieces that stand tall, lean and dignified, much like their namesake, to whom they will be forever associated, the prolific endgame theorist, arbiter and Russian grandmaster, Yuri Averbakh. This is a hardy set for playing chess with, much more so than the classic, more elegant Averbakh design, so please don’t be afraid to use it. It would like to see many more battles in its future – so the pieces tell me!
The thick and slightly tacky black lacquer that once engulfed the dark side has been partially and very carefully removed revealing teasing glimpses of the wood grain that lay beneath. This was then stained and antiqued using a technique with waxes and various oils to give this old set a new lease on life whilst retaining a real sense of its colourful and embattled past. Likewise, the inconsistent and dull patina of the light pieces has been stripped down completely. The finish was then slowly built back up to replicate the feel of the old finish, but with a much more uniform look, which now looks and ‘feels’ like it has been around as long as this old set of chessmen itself but with all the perks of a new set.
The finials have been restored to match a very similar vintage set used by Anatoly Karpov just recently on Instagram, a few missing weights have been replaced and plush navy blue felt adorns the bases lending it a wonderful feel over the board.
The pieces are UV resistant and ideal for display, as well as casual and blitz play. Both kings carry the hand-painted iridescent silver (2020) ‘power’ signature of the artist on their felt bases.
All ‘silver signature’ sets come with a Certificate of Authenticity which will be dispatched in the first few weeks of the new year, once we have the full tally of sets listed in 2020.
Ref code: AA20
Visit our Gallery for more artistically restored vintage chess sets.
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