The Mongols (Tartari); 32 decorative ‘folk-art’ chess pieces without board,
Kazakhstan, hardwood, partially weighted, red vs black, Soviet Era, c.1980-1990
Height: King 13cm, weight 50g, base width 3.5cm, Queen 11.7cm wt. 44g, Bishop 10cm 35g, Knight 8.5cm 28g, Rook 7cm 28g, Pawns 8.3cm 18g.
W: Lush crimson red felt pads; B: Luxurious black felt pads
Distinct from the ‘Manas’ chess sets of neighbouring Kyrgyzstan, these wonderfully detailed figures most probably represent the Kazakh Khanate, descendants of the infamous Mongol emperor, Ghengis Khan, who ruled the territories of the modern-day Republic of Kazakhstan until it was absorbed into the Russian Empire in the late 1800s.
The pieces are turned from a hard, dense wood and are naturally weighted, however a few things irked me. Firstly, the king was lighter than the queen by 15 grams, and secondly, the knights were just way to light compared to the rest of the back line (18 grams compared to the bishops 35 grams), which has all been remedied – and they feel much the better for it! Also, the knights’ finials were way too wide and of varying sizes, therefore new, uniform ones have been made in keeping with the width of the head. And lastly, the original, cheap, Soviet, rough-to-the-touch, water-based excuse of a varnish has been carefully (joyfully!) removed and replaced with my own layered combination of various top coats that imitates the wonderfully aged patina of the earlier Kyrgyz folk-art sets of the 1970s.
Both kings carry the hand-painted iridescent copper ‘Power’ signature on their bases and Tartari is accompanied by one of our unique Certificates of Authenticity. which are posted off at the end of the year once we tally up how many sets passed through our galleries in 2022. See the Jan. 2022 Chessay on our ALL ABOUT CHESS page for more info on these CoAs.
And likewise, for more info on these Central Asian chess pieces please visit our ALL ABOUT CHESS page @ thechessschach.com and glance an eye over our March 2021 Chessay, Manas, The Kyrgyz and The Great Silk Road.
Etsy Set Price: $850.00
thechessschach.com Set Price: $750.00