Looking for a breathtaking traditional set? These premium Russian chess sets are the perfect pick.
There are two things that you can expect from any Russian chess set, Soviet chess set, or set of Russian chess pieces. Those two things are beautiful, traditional styling, and high quality, luxurious craftsmanship. These are features that all good Russian chess sets share, so it’s hard to really go wrong when you’re choosing which one to buy.
We’ve put together a curated list of the best and most authentic Russian chess sets available today to help you choose the perfect set for you. The products on this list are fine specimens of the Soviet chess set style, and each of them perfectly exhibits the stunning craftsmanship and design that you would expect from a great Russian chess set. Without any further ado, let’s get down to the reviews!
The Best Russian Chess Sets of 2023 (Page Summary):
The Best Russian Chess Sets of 2023:
1. The Zagreb ’59 Series Prestige Chess Set, Box, & Board Combination (978$)
The Zagreb ‘59 Series Prestige Chess Set is a perfect example of the luxurious nature of all high quality Russian chess sets. It is a faithful reproduction of the style of chess sets that were popularly used in international competition during the 1950’s and 1960’s. This set in particular is modeled after a tournament chess set that was used in the 1959 World Championship Candidates Match that was held in Bied, Zagreb. Of course, that’s where the set gets its name! Though the set was made famous in a tournament held in Croatia, its undeniable Eastern European flair still qualifies it as a proper Russian chess set.
The Zagreb ‘59 Series Prestige Chess Set is a full sized tournament chess set featuring a 22.5 inch square board with 2.25 inch squares. Those spacious squares perfectly accommodate the 1.75 inch diameter base of the King pieces, which stand 3.875 inches tall. The King pieces also have the unique addition of a removable finial. The set comes with the ball finial in place atop the King, in keeping with the traditional style of Russian chess pieces. However, you also have the option to remove that piece and replace it with the Formè cross that is considered standard in Western tournament play.
This extremely luxurious and elegant Russian chess set is made of the finest materials, including Genuine Ebony and Blood Rosewood for the pieces and Elm Burl and Bird’s Eye Maple for the board. The set also includes a chess box, and you can choose from a variety of woods for that.
Its price tag is reflective of its quality, both in terms of raw materials and the workmanship that goes into making each and every one of these reproduction Russian chess sets. That kind of luxury doesn’t come cheap, but it’s well worth the cost!
2. The Burnt Zagreb ’59 Series Chess Set, Box, & Board Combination (629$)
The Burnt Zagreb ‘59 Series Chess Set is unsurprisingly quite similar to the Zagreb ‘59 Series Prestige Chess Set, with just a few key differences. For one, The Burnt Zagreb Set features Russian chess pieces that are decorated using a unique technique- wood burning! It sounds like an odd choice for a luxury chess set, but the overall effect is really stunning. The Boxwood which each piece is carved from is left natural, not stained or painted as is the case with many other chess sets. All of the contrast and coloration on the pieces comes from carefully burning the exterior of the pieces, which results in a charred and blackened look.
The Burnt Zagreb ‘59 Series Chess Set is a surprisingly polished looking set when you consider the simplicity of its creation, but that just speaks to the incredible level of craftsmanship that goes into making each set. If an amateur tried this technique at home, they’d more than likely end up with a bunch of muddled, burned pieces. We recommend leaving it to the professionals.
This set is a less expensive version of the Zagreb ‘59 Series Prestige Chess Set, but no less beautiful. Perfect for shoppers looking for a Russian chess set on a budget! It also includes all of the components that the more expensive set includes, like the Russian chess pieces, a 22.5 inch square chessboard made from Blackwood, Maple, and Mahogany, and a chess box in a material of your choosing. You can add a protective chessboard bag to either set for a small additional fee.
This is one of our favorite chess sets on the market right now, Russian or not. It offers an incredible value for the money and a unique, intricate design that you’ll never get tired of looking at!
3. Russian Style Chess & Checkers Set (187$ – 199$)
This is the perfect product for those who expect a lot from their Russian chess set. Not only is it a beautiful Russian chess set, but it also includes checkers pieces, so it’s a two in one set! It also features two storage drawers built into the chessboard, so that you always have a place to stash pieces that aren’t in use and keep them protected and together, but still separate from the other game’s pieces. All of this comes at an affordable price as well, which is almost unbelievable, but it’s true!
The Russian Style Chess & Checkers Set is the perfect set for anyone who’s shopping on a tight budget. Even if money is no object, you may choose this set due to its versatility and good looks. It comes in two colorways that will fit in with any decor- either Black and White or Brown and White. The black and white set works well for traditional and modern aesthetics alike, and the brown set is perfect for a cozy, antique look.
Whichever color you choose, this Russian chess set will provide you with a luxurious set of Russian chess pieces crafted from Kari wood and expertly weighted for optimum play, as well as a 14 ¾ inch square chessboard with 1 ⅝ inch squares and two storage drawers that are each about 2 inches deep, providing plenty of storage space for your pieces and accessories.
The King pieces in this set are 3 ¾ inches tall with a 1 5/16 inch base. They each weigh 1.7 ounces, giving them a good feel in the hand. The pawn pieces are just shy of 2 inches tall, and the checkers pieces each are about 1 inch around. Reviewers say that the pieces make a lovely sound when you place them on the board. This would be a great Russian chess set for anyone.
The Unique Beauty of Russian and Soviet Style Chess Sets
Now that we’ve seen the best of the best Russian chess sets available for sale today, let’s talk a little bit more about Russian chess sets in general. Now, you may have found this article while searching for the best Russian or Soviet style chess sets out there, or you may have stumbled upon it without even knowing what Russian chess sets are! In case of the latter, here’s a brief overview:
What Are Russian Chess Sets?
It’s no secret that Russia as a nation has been intensely interested in promoting the game of chess, even since the days when it was known as the Soviet Union. Russian chess sets, also sometimes called Soviet chess sets, are a unique style of chess set that were born out of that national interest in chess.
A traditional Russian chess set is characterized by its tall, elongated pieces with a smooth and gentle curvature. The pieces are often taller and more narrow than the pieces of traditional chess sets, giving them a towering, austere quality. Russian chess pieces are often made without many of the thin and exposed decorative parts of pieces that are most prone to breaking off during use, making them extra durable without sacrificing their unique beauty.
In terms of color, Russian chess sets are most often seen in traditional black and white coloration, but can also be found in brown or other, brighter colors. Russian chess sets are simple but impressive at first glance, but a closer look reveals hidden intricacies, much like the game of chess itself.
Russia’s Impact on the Game of Chess
Russian players have had an undeniable influence on the game of chess, and Russia as a nation has produced a huge number of grandmasters, as well as some of the greatest chess minds in history. With all of those remarkable accomplishments, the humble beauty of the Russian chess set can be easily overshadowed. Still, we think it is not the least of Russia’s contributions to the game of chess!
Our Final Thoughts on Russian Chess Sets
Many people are drawn to the unique allure of Russian chess sets because of their beauty, luxury, and prominent presence at the chess table. Some also appreciate the traditional style and elongated nature of Russian chess pieces. A few players are drawn to the hidden intricacies of Russian chess sets as a metaphor for the game itself. Others just like what they see, with no particular reasoning behind it, and that’s perfectly fine too.
Whatever your reason for wanting a high quality, authentic Russian chess set, there’s no reason to settle for an inferior product. This curated list of beautiful Russian chess sets has something for every budget. If you purchase one of the products we’ve reviewed for you on this page, you won’t be disappointed!
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A ñumber of years ago I bought meeting of the rivers chess in St. Petersburgj. Are they still available