Best Chessmen Ever

Kosteniuk in da House

I was lucky to record a friendly game of chess between GM Alexandra Kosteniuk and WGM Darja Kapš on the eve of Ljubljana Chess Festival 2014, WFM Indira Bajt dropped in for some kibitzing. Alexandra Konstantinovna was welcomed and presented with BCE Stage 1 Eastern Black chessmen and BCE Stage 1 Quattro Red magnetic chessboard. Both were tested at once in the lobby of Hotel Lev, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Kosteniuk, Kapš & Bajt - 2
The trio autographed my personal Stage 1 Eastern Rh Red set. In other news our BCE GM Count is incremented once again. I’m happy as a little kid.


A Dozen Chessboards

Reviewing the fundations of a chess game:


Prototype Done

It’s rough but lovely. Two parts misaligned, but no gap in the middle. Stable and playable. Lightweight.

When felted and polished, I know I’ll be lugging it around myself. Much better than plastic, just as convenient.

Why is this not on the market already? It’s not rocket science ...



A custom job for a friend, his daughter is turning four. These will last her for a lifetime. I chose the colors carefully by trial and error. Refelted the magnetic slide top box thrice.


Tug my sleeve @bestchessmen if you want one. We’ll talk. :-)

In the background is my Cherry Red Dubrovnik, this one has the DGT sensors inside. A trained eye surely recognizes the DGT Walnut e-Board on the pic? Hi-tech. Not weighted, just as Bobby Fischer liked them.

At top right you can catch a glimpse of the latest red ZmartFun ZMF-II Chess Clock from the first factory run of the new model. Expect a review soon. Spoiler: Great clock! Top shit in the price range.


Blue Velvet

“She wore blue velvet
bluer than velvet were her eyes …”

On an odd nothing-to-do day I found some velvet on the shelf. Lined two of my personal Stage 1 sets (S1EB0010+ & S1EBDGT0020+) with it.


Nice custom job. Took me hours. Maybe we’ll do this for special customers. The shellac finish is custom too. I have too much time.

Note the separator on the older (DGT compatible) set. It was unnecessary and unpractical. Got rid of it in the next revision of the box. Added magnets, shuts close with a snap, standard on all our slide top boxes now.


Friction Test

Blitz players usually want their chessmen fast and sliding smooth. On the other hand, some detest the superfast action and prefer more solid grip on the chessboard.

The materials used are all-important. Here are the differences in friction:

Indian noname cloth on a noname sheesham tournament pawn. At the low price end one gets what one pays for. Should outperform leather, amazingly, it does not. Cheap and mushy:


Slovenian blue leather on a BCE Stage 2 Western collared pawn. Elegant deliberate slower action:


Croatian HQ billiard cloth on a Dubrovnik 1950 pawn. We are talking old style 1950 coffehouse billiards here. Rough but surprisingly fast. Generously cushioned feel:


Belgian Simonis 860 billiard cloth on a BCE Stage 1 Eastern pawn. Designed for maximum speed. Difficult to cut with machine, frays easily. This felting is optional on BCE sets, requires custom gluing and manual scissor cutting. Results in somewhat uneven cut:


The Simonis is best by far if speed is what one wants. Slides perfectly across any chessboard including plastic. Custom job only. This is as good as it gets.


The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Pawn)

Comparing a few more pawns up close. Some good, some bad, some for goats only.


OTB Against Deep Fritz 13

A test game against a computer running Deep Fritz 13 on a DGT electronic chessboard with our limited edition BCE S1 Eastern Black pieces. A perfect match. This particular set is customized with the king’s marks. I don’t need them, but I love them. A touch of old class.


Garry Kasparov presented with BCE

By presidential order, world champion Garry Kasparov was presented with a unique set of Best Chessmen Ever at recent World Youth Chess Championship 2012 in Maribor Slovenia. A special limited BCE 38 piece Stage 1 set in pitch black with triple weighted stainless steel based chessmen in a traditional Slovenian gift casket was chosen. Beautifulest chess set ever, best ever.

Kasparov’s first comment? “Heavy!”

Heavy indeed! Garry, you are The Man!


Presented in a traditional Slovene gift casket, this ultimate BCE set comes with additional (Eastern/Western) kings , extra promotionable queens and extra bishop pairs (Eastern/Western) for a total of 40 pieces. Eastern or Western, this set fits all the needs of an international grandmaster. Featuring highly polished stainless steel bases tor added durability and unprecedented stability. These chessmen are indestructible and best ever for the best player ever. Nothing and nobody even comes close. Only two sets made.

More photos of the BCE S1EWB+007 set for Garry Kasparov on flickr.


AngeBot the Tiltbot Chess Robot Video

See the machine in awesome action.

Talk about unprecedented. 74 degrees, nothing even comes close. These are the Best Chessmen Ever.

(It sayz so right there on the box.)


Pieces Blessed

A firend thought I was kidding. I was not. I had all the Western pieces blessed and then some.

Many thanks to reverend Janez Furman for his excellent and swift service. Godspeed!


Unprecedented Stability

A video of a very special set (only two in existence). Stainless steel bottom, Stage 2 intricate knights, gift casket and other goodies. A gift for a very special GM.

Impossible to knock over. Indestructible. Perfect blitz chessmen. Best Chessmen Ever.

The thing is, it’s all about the position of the 20 g weight and the shape of the foot. I studied and tested all kinds of sets with a homemade robot, the ones from Jaques of London usually came on top. So I borrowed the idea of sloped bottom edges, works great. These cannot be accidentaly knocked over. Also, creates a fine illusion of chessmen floating above the chessboard.


Slide Top Box Revisited

Smaller, tighter, magnet lock.

Leather and King's Mark

Frictionless blue leather foot, standard on all BCE sets. Hand painted king’s mark in bloody red, standard on Stage 2, optional on Stage 1 knights and rooks.
Blue leather

Stage 1 King Eastern

Branded GNovak trademark is standard on all white BCE kings. The kings are serially numbered under genuine blue leather.
Stage 1 King Eastern White

Branding the Stage 1 Slide Top

Wanted to get that arms dealer look. Close. Looks very good on rough wood.


A Stage 1 Chessboard

We don’t do chessboards. It’s an art form in itself.
Friends from Germany do it well.
Found a nice one to complement clean lines of the Stage 1 set. No borders. Be free.


Happy Customer

Comedian and TV personality Jure Godler presenting Best Chessmen Ever.


Red Brand of Honor

New feature: king’s mark in deep red. Very posh.


Standard on Stage 2 sets, option for Stage 1.


Night Games

Vampire hours. Tight games. Nevertheless, winning is easy with BCE.


Love the chessboard.


Slide Top Box

Nice and solid box. Simple design. A bit too large, though. Needs branding. The separator not essential, wastes space, will go.


The King's Mark

A nod to tradition. Marked king’s rooks and knights for old notation use. We brand ‘em like cattle.


Standard on Stage 2 sets, option for Stage 1.


DGT Test

We worked hard for this. The DGT cylinders are a tight fit. The chessmen are lighter than our standard sets with no loss of stability. This is preferred in competitive tornament play as the DGT e-boards are used in all events. The DGT pieces are never weighted.

Here’s me holding my breath:


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