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Russian Chess Sets

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Chess is widely know today as the national game of Russia, but played by millions all over the world, with the highest popularity in both India and Russia. It is a strategy board game thought to have been developed in the 7th century from the Indian game chaturanga.  In Russia, chess was known to be popular from before the 1500's, when it was banned by Ivan the Terrible. The game remained popular throughout the reign of the Czars, and now it is estimated to be played by over 40% of all Russians, as well as an estimated 15% of all Americans. We are direct importers of antique hand carved Russian chess sets. Offering a wide selection of wooden soviet propaganda chess sets.

Soviet Propaganda Chess Set

During the cold war, there were much publicized chess matches between grandmasters from Soviet USSR (Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov, among others) versus the top American players such as Bobby Fischer. The Soviets dominated the chess world championships during these times, but Fischer's prowess and ranking amongst the top players in the world for sure boosted the popularity of the board game in the United States. Many of the top rivalries of this era featured Soviet sponsored grandmasters living within the Soviet Union, against ex-patriated Russian "renegades" such as Viktor Korchnoi, who had fled Russia to live in the Netherlands. There is no doubt that the Soviets used chess to advance their own brand of communist propaganda during this time. This is represented in Soviet propaganda chess sets today. While in comparison, much publicity in the US around the game touted "chess diplomacy" as helping to bridge the divide between our two countries.

Today there are chess clubs in most American universities, players can be seen enjoying the game in almost any public park, and for children the challenges of this exciting game are not just a fun recreational activity, but also an intellectual stimulus.  

In the era of video games, what could be better than the face-to face pleasures of a conversation over a Chess board. As an educational tool for children, or just an escape from the oppressive television news, there is no better time to turn to the pleasures of what is perhaps the most popular internationally known strategy game. 

 

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Wooden Hand Carved Russian Chess Sets

Our selection of antique Russian chess sets reflects the Russian heritage, and includes a wide assortment. Most are hand-carved and hand-painted from kiln-dried European linden-wood, produced and sourced by the Russian American Company from small wood-working cooperatives in the villages around Moscow and St. Petersburg such as the village of Bogorodskaya which has historically been an acclaimed woodworking village with over a century of producing finally carved Russian chess sets. Many also are one-of-a-kind, from individual craftsman, who may be hobbyists and produce only a few unique one-of-a-kind sets.  These examples are not only made from wood, but also might utilize exotic materials like fossil ivory or bone, or some uniques chess sets can be carved or sculpted from semi-precious stone such as jade (nephrite), charoite, or seraphanite which naturally occur in the Ural mountain region of Russia.

For over 30 years, our store has offered a huge variety of styles, sizes, and prices of uniques chess sets..  As direct importers, our pricing is the best anywhere, and whether you are choosing a museum quality set hand-carved from prehistoric Siberian woolly mammoth ivory, or a simple hand-painted starter set for children, our selection, price and quality is unsurpassed. When not in use, these beautiful and unique sets can double as attractive decorative art on display; and many collectors have multiple unique boards and sets to display.  Now is the time to add a unique and wonderful Russian chess set to your den or game room!

 

 


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