Copper Necks (Cupri Columni); 32 weighted tournament chess pieces without board, Botvinnik-Flohr pattern, Soviet, wood, amber vs. black, artistically restored and antiqued, c.1955
Height: King 10.5cm weight 35g base width 4.2cm, Queen 9.4cm wt. 35g bw 4.2cm, Bishop 8.4cm 27g, Knight 7.5cm 35g, Rook 6.3cm 30g, Pawns 6cm 22g.
W: lush pink felt pads, B: same
An attractive traditional interpretation of a classic Soviet design named after the Moscow International Tournament of 1935 when the future World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik and Salo Flohr tied for 1st place while the great Emanuel Lasker and the Cuban legend, Capablanca, placed 3rd and 4th respectively. Several variations of these distinctive chessmen (characterized by the ‘flat’ mitres of the bishops) were widely used throughout the USSR between 1930 and 1960 and are considered in chess collecting circles to be one of “the most iconic Soviet designs ever produced” (qu. Chuck Grau: ‘Soviet and Russian Chess Sets’ Facebook group). There is also a well-circulated photograph (included in the gallery) of this later ‘BFII’ design snapped at the Moscow Central Chess Club in 1958, when the 15-year-old American, Bobby Fischer, was invited to play a blitz match with the Soviet legend, Tigran Petrosian. Another clash between them in 1958 (“The Bear Hug”) is the 3rd game featured in Fischer’s 60 Memorable Games (F&F 1969).
The set has been thoroughly stripped down and restored to a beautiful antiqued vintage finish in the traditional tournament colours of this pattern. This was done using a layering technique using oil paints, shellac and different types of varnish that were continuously sanded back to achieve the look of a 1950s patina.
You may too have noticed the antiqued iridescent gold and copper on the rings above the collars of the royals and clerics. This will be a recurring theme in our sets of 2022 coinciding with the use of copper coloured signature sets.
All of our chess pieces are UV resistant and ideal for display as well as casual /blitz play and both kings carry the hand-painted iridescent copper ‘Power’ signature of the artist on their bases
Each set also comes with a ‘Certificate of Artistry’ which will be posted separately once we tally up how many listings passed through our galleries in 2022. “All good things …” as the wise man said.
For more info on the CoA please see our Jan. 2022 Chessay on the ALL ABOUT CHESS page.
Etsy Set Price $1200.
thechessschach.com Set Price $950.00
Ref Code: CC22