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    The Windsor Castle Series Chess Pieces - 4" King

    Product Code: MENWCST40

     

    Free Worldwide Shipping

    Description

    "An exact reproduction of one of the most popular chess sets used in most major US Chess Tournaments during the 1950s and 1960s, including a young Bobby Fischer who won the 1958 US Chess Championship with these popular chessmen."

    The House of Staunton is proud to offer the Windsor Castle Series Chess set. A full tournament-sized Chess set, it features a 4" King with a 1.6" diameter base. The Chess pieces are hand carved by our master artisans and crafted out of the highest grade woods. The Chess pieces are heavily weighted with luxurious billiard cloth base pads and a beautiful finish. The design of the Windsor Castle Chess set is an exact reproduction of the Chess set used by the legendary American Grandmaster Bobby Fischer when he won the 1958 United States Chess Championship. The Chess set has been designed to withstand years of use (and abuse), as it lacks many of the ornate details commonly found on Chess Sets that can be susceptible to damage in the heat of battle. For example, the Chess set features minimal Rook crenellation and Bishop mitre for unmatched durability. The Windsor Castle Series Chess set is ideal for those that are interested in both the historical importance of the game of Chess, as well as those looking for an attractive Chess set that is both economical and durable.

    As with all of our Chess sets, the Windsor Castle Series Chessmen exemplifies a perfect combination of distinct beauty and functionality. It has been designed to withstand the rigors of practical play while maintaining an elegance which has become the hallmark of a House of Staunton chess set. The design, quality and craftsmanship of this set is UNMATCHED by any set of Chessmen in its price range. Nothing even comes close!

    The Chessmen are new and each set consists of 34 Chessmen, including four Queens, a standard that was introduced by The House of Staunton in 1993.

    History of the Chess Pieces

    The legendary Windsor Castle is a full tournament-sized Chess set with a 4" King and a 1.6" diameter base. The Chess pieces are heavily weighted with green cloth base pads and a beautiful lacquered finish designed to emulate the feel and look of the originals. The design of the Windsor Chess set is an exact reproduction of the Chess set used by the legendary American Grandmaster Bobby Fischer when he won the 1958 United States Chess Championship. The Windsor Castle chessmen are perfect for those interested in the history of the chessmen, as well as those looking for an attractive set of tournament Chess pieces that are both economical and durable.

    The Windsor Castle plastic chessmen took hold rather quickly on the American chess scene. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Windsor Castle chess sets could be found in abundance in just about every chess club and venue in the States. The sets adorned the Chess Review covers and photographs throughout that publication during those two decades. Then, mysteriously, they vanished. The Continental Chess Association claims to have had hundreds of these sets on-hand at one time. Now, they are unable to locate even a single example.

    Bobby Fischer, 1957.    

    Nowadays, these once ubiquitous chessmen are almost extinct. Good examples are prized by collectors. Even very poor examples command healthy prices at auction – when they can be found. What happened to these sets and who actually manufactured them? The history of these once very popular chess sets is enigmatic. 

    The first appearance of the Windsor Castle chessmen was in December of 1949 at the Manhattan Chess Club. During the Christmas/New Year’s week of December 23 1948 through January 2, 1949, the Manhattan Chess Club hosted the New York International Tourney which was won by  Reuben Fine. A number of boards were furnished with Windsor Castle chessmen.  Photographs show Fine playing the White pieces of a Windsor Castle against Al Horowitz. Another photograph shows 18-year old Arthur Bisguier playing the White pieces against Miguel Najdorf.

    Windsor Castle Ad

    In the June 1949 issue of Chess Review, on page 180, there is a 1/6th page ad for Windsor Castle chess sets, shown here on the left.  Based on my research to date, this ad is the first commercial reference to the Windsor Castle chessmen to appear in Chess Review.   Here is the full text of that ad:  “These chess sets are of authentic Staunton design, regulation club size (4″ King).  Breath-takingly beautiful, they are also strong and durable with felted bottoms.  Approved by authorities.  Reasonably priced for immediate delivery.  Price:  $15.65  Leo Gladstone 232 West 30th St. New York, N, Y.”   Unfortunately, there is no indication of who the actual manufacturer was.  The Leo Gladstone ad re-appeared at page 301 of the October 1949 issue of Chess Review.

    Windsor Castle Ad

    In the October 1950 issue of Chess Review, at page 292, the Leo Gladstone advertisement again reappears, with a few modifications.  The price has increased by a dollar, now up to $16.65.  Second, Mr. Gladstone has moved his businesses address to 140 West 30th. Street, and he now lists a telephone number — Longacre 5-1548. These sets first appeared on the New York Chess scene, since Gladstone’s is a New York address.

     

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    Product Details

    Additional Information

    Chess Board Included? The Chess Board featured is for photographic purposes only and must be purchased separately
    Manufacturer The House of Staunton
    Fitted Coffer Compatible? Fits in Fitted Coffer
    King Height 4.0'' inch / 10.16 cm
    King Base Diameter 1.6'' inch / 4.06 cm
    Recommended Chess Board Size 2.375" inch / 6.0 cm
    Basepad Material Billiard Cloth
    Median Set Weight 60.4 ounces
    Total Number of Pieces 34 Chess Pieces, including 2 Additional Queens (for Pawn Promotion)