4 Missing knights

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Patrick Dawe
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Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2019 5:56 pm

4 Missing knights

Post by Patrick Dawe » Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:34 pm

My grandfather bought a Staunton chess set in the early 1900s, so it is about a hundred years old now, and it has the four knights missing. My grandchildren play chess and the 11 year old beat me on a Harry Potter Wizard set the other day. I could explain this by saying that I was confused by the unfamiliar set, but that would be stretching it. The pleasant truth is that he can now beat his 80-year-old grandfather. I want the grandchildren to inherit a usable Staunton set which came from their great, great grandfather and am having problems in replacing the knights. The king is 3 ¾ inches high, its base is 1 ½ inches in diameter, and the set is ebony/boxwood. It would be good if I could get knights of a height between that of the bishop 2 ⅞ inches, and rook 2 ⅛ inches. From comparing my old set with new ones I find that the colour difference between the old and new boxwood is not obtrusive. Can anyone suggest how I should go about obtaining the four knights?
Attachments
King base small.jpeg
king base 1 1/2 inches
King base small.jpeg (26.36 KiB) Viewed 1538 times
King height small.jpeg
king height 3 3/4 inches
King height small.jpeg (29.49 KiB) Viewed 1538 times
4 knights missing small.jpeg
set without 4 knights missing
4 knights missing small.jpeg (32.48 KiB) Viewed 1538 times

Bob Kane
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Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2011 12:14 pm

Re: 4 Missing knights

Post by Bob Kane » Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:29 am

hello,
The Chess and bridge shop have boxes of spare pieces you could try buying the knights there.. https://shop.chess.co.uk/
(that set doesn't look 100 years old 1960s Lardy at a guess)

Geoff Chandler
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Re: 4 Missing knights

Post by Geoff Chandler » Mon Jan 28, 2019 4:39 pm

Hi Patrick,

The Chess and bridge shop - Tel 020 7486 9848 were magnificent when I wanted a missing
wooden piece when I bought a really good wooden set from a junk shop for a few quid.

The blue felt base does not make it appear to to be a 1900 set unless the pieces
have been re-felted which I do from time on my set.

The good news is that it is all four Knights, so you can buy any four matching wooden
knights and provided they do not look out of place size wise then they will do.

I detest these fancy sets, I cannot play with them. (these days having trouble with the normal sets.)

For some reason I had over 40 Staunton design sets, (some kind of OCD) a lot them wood, felted and weighted.
If ever I saw one in a junk shop I'd buy it. I have since given a lot of them away to work colleagues
whose children expressed an interested in the game.

Here is the true tale of me trying to haggle for a chess set.

http://www.chessedinburgh.co.uk/chandle ... handID=253

(PS: have you tried looking under the sofa for the missing Knights?)

Roger de Coverly
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Re: 4 Missing knights

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Jan 28, 2019 4:57 pm

Geoff Chandler wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 4:39 pm
The blue felt base does not make it appear to to be a 1900 set unless the pieces
have been re-felted which I do from time on my set.
It does look a good deal more modern than that, which may increase the chances of finding Knights that broadly match the set.

"Old" sets might have a King or Queen stamped on the Rooks and Knights. That was so you could keep track of which was the KR and KN as distinct from the QR and QN. That can be relevant to descriptive notation. Suppose you have Knights on d2 and g1 and the move is Nf3. That would be recorded as KN-B3 or QN-B3 as appropriate. (KKt-B3 and QKt-B3 as well).

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Michael Farthing
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Re: 4 Missing knights

Post by Michael Farthing » Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:43 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 4:57 pm

"Old" sets might have a King or Queen stamped on the Rooks and Knights. That was so you could keep track of which was the KR and KN as distinct from the QR and QN. That can be relevant to descriptive notation. Suppose you have Knights on d2 and g1 and the move is Nf3. That would be recorded as KN-B3 or QN-B3 as appropriate. (KKt-B3 and QKt-B3 as well).
That's very interesting. I was greatly troubled by this as a junior to the point where I stopped using that aspect of descriptive entirely, preferring, for example, N(Q2)-B3. Later, I simply assumed I'd misinterpreted the convention and that the K or Q preceding the piece name simply indicated which half of the board the relevant piece was occupying at that moment. Looks like my younger, junior self was better informed.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: 4 Missing knights

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:14 pm

Michael Farthing wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:43 pm
Later, I simply assumed I'd misinterpreted the convention and that the K or Q preceding the piece name simply indicated which half of the board the relevant piece was occupying at that moment.
I rather suspect there were two conventions, depending on whether you assumed the reader had a set with the pieces marked in this manner. It would only have been the "posh" sets that featured this.

Looking at my scorebook from pre-algebraic days fifty years ago, it appears I used the QN-Q2 method when unambiguous in an opening, but the R(Q2)-K2 in an ending where a pair of rooks was flying all over the place.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: 4 Missing knights

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:42 am

I have at least one old book, where I played through a long game, only to be confronted with QR-K2. If I had used a set with the stamped king on the rooks, it would have made sense...

James Plaskett
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Re: 4 Missing knights

Post by James Plaskett » Fri May 10, 2019 10:39 am

When Rossi and the late Parfitt of Status Quo appeared playing for charity on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? their first question was
"How many knights are there on a chessboard at the start of the game?"

And they did NOT say four.

A new question was served them. And that they did answer correctly.

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