Equos Vinylium Rapidusque (Of Swift Resin Steeds), 32 heavily-weighted chessmen without board, wood/resin, light brown v. deep red. Soviet Era, reinvented ‘Grosse-meister’ or ‘Grandmaster’ Set, circa 1980.
Height: King 13cm, weight 42g, base width 4.5cm. Queen 10.5cm, Bishop 8.5cm, Knight 8cm, Rook 6.5 cm, Pawn 5.7cm. White; red felt bases. Black; same.
The Knights steal the show in this extremely solid and weighty chess set – ideal for bullet and blitz play! The Knights are formed of a hard transparent epoxy resin, which marks a transition period between hand-carved Knights and moulded plastic ones during the 60s/70s, the hidden beauty of which I have chosen to expose rather than enclose, giving this classic tournament set an added touch of class and character celebrating the dawning of a new era in Russian chess set design.
As is well known, I am a great fan of the Soviet ‘Valdai Nobles’ pattern and this did influence me when working with this set. I chose to round out the domes of the bishops, bringing them down to size, and add a minuscule version of the usual shaped dome as a finial – after all, we are not sticking to traditions here!
The pieces are UV resistant and ideal for display as well as energetic play.
Both Kings carry the hand-painted iridescent gold (2019) ‘power’ signature of the artist on their felt bases.