The Regency Chess Company was delighted to receive an invitation to the opening ceremony for the 2013 world chess London candidates tournament. The event took place last week on Thursday March 14th. Regency Chess Company founder Julian Deverell attended as did Darren Whiteman, the freelance web designer responsible for our Industry leading website.
Who was there?
The event was attended by some of the biggest names in chess including Magnus Carlsen & Vladimir Kramnik. Other key figures in the chess playing community were there as well as a number of key chess retail industry figures from around Europe. Representatives from the Times newspaper and the joint forces chess association were also there. The media entrepreneur Andrew Paulson was there to host the event as the founder of AGON which now has exclusive rights from the World Chess Federation to develop, organize and commercialize the World Chess Championship cycle.
Julian & Darren toast the new set with it’s producer Aditya Chopra
Regency Chess Founder shakes hands with Magnus Carlsen, the worlds number one chess player.
What makes this event so important?
AGON were awarded the rights in 2012 which makes this event the first of it’s kind in the United Kingdom. AGON are about to bring chess back where it belongs, back in front of a mainstream audience. On display at the event were examples of the newly developed chess casting system. Chess casting has the ability to visually show an audience what is happening within a game of chess. The system uses chess computer engine technology to display digestible metrics to an audience, this alone makes chess more suitable for television as even a non chess players attention can be stolen and their interest fixed firmly on the screen.
The event also saw the unveiling of a brand new chess set. The World Chess Official Tournament Set which is set to become the new standard in chess tournaments around the world.
A New Tournament Chess Set Brand
Andrew Paulson made a very valid point during his speech, that there was no brand of chess set in the world. Of course various retailers have set up their own mini brands, but there hasn’t been a world recognised chess brand since the original Staunton chessmen of the mid eighteen hundreds.
This is about to change with the launch of the official world chess tournament chess set, a newly designed set that is the result of a collaboration between AGON and Studio Anne Carlton who will be responsible for distributing the set in the UK. The Regency Chess Company have of course been selected as one of the key retailers for this set. Expect to see a lot of this new chess set in the future, on your screens as well as your boards.
Not only does GARDE manufacture the world’s best mechanical clock, but they also have a superb digital version. The dimensions are: 8 5/8″ long x 4-3/4” high x 2-1/4” deep, with the clock face at 2-1/2” in diameter. The LCD display is viewable at the acute angle of 160 degrees – perfect for the Tournament Director peering over the crowd in a time scramble!
There are 4 simple buttons on the base of the clock which control its functionality. Up to 20 standard settings (e.g. Standard, Fischer, Bronstein, F.I.D.E.) are pre-programmed – it is quite simple to understand after spending a few minutes going over the various settings and features. The instructions on the back of the clock summarize the 20 standard settings – the only drawback being that you need either a magnifying glass or better than 20/20 eyesight to read the fine print! This fine wooden contemporary clock is angled back 10 degrees from vertical for ease of view.
For the casual player or tournament player who wants to play with class, this is certainly the most attractive digital chess clock on the market.
The finest analogue chess clocks come from the German timepiece company Garde, founded in 1862. Our Garde analogue clock is not only of the highest quality, but it also the largest non-digital clock on the market … at 8¾” long x 5″ high x 2¼” deep, with the clock face at 3″ in diameter. It has a bright clear contemporary clock face that harmonizes nicely with the light wooden finished case.
Before the advent of digital chess clocks, this was the tournament standard for Grandmaster tournaments, including The World Championship in London England between Nigel Short and Garry Kasparov. The only other worthy competitor, Jerger, is no longer available – other wooden clocks on the market just do not approach the Garde product aesthetically or with respect to functionality.
Whether you are one of the many who dislikes fiddling with settings on digital clocks, or one who simply appreciates simple quality, Garde is the gold standard in mechanical Chess Clocks.
During the last few weeks we have been learning basic tactics. In this post I’m going to change the pace a bit and write a few words on topics that I believe are overlooked in competitive activities.
Besides chess I have several other hobbies. Many of these are hobbies that I have dedicated myself to for many years. Over the years I’ve noticed that the things that hold people back from improving are almost always the same no matter what the activity.
First and foremost many people underestimate the time required to become proficient. They’ll take up chess, play for a few months, realize it’s difficult, and then quit. It’s important to realize that there is a direct correlation between time invested and skill level. I’m sure if there were studies done, we would find that most grandmasters have studied more than masters, who have studied more than experts etc. etc.
The second thing that holds many people back is the failure to practice correctly. The way to improve your skill level is to put yourself in uncomfortable situations where you are forced to adapt. You must increase the difficulty level and push yourself. If you are studying a tactical problem and the answer doesn’t come to you study it further. The corrolary to this to get out of your comfort zone and practice playing positions that you are uncomfortable with. For example, if you primarily play 1. e4, try playing 1. d4 for several games. We must work on our weaknesses if we want to be complete. This is true in chess or anything else.
The fear of losing is also something that can hold someone back. My answer to this is to lose your ego. Even the best players in the world lose sometimes. What separates people is the ability to come back and keep fighting.
The last thing I want to say is that it’s you and only you who can determine your potential. For someone who really wants to do something there’s nothing holding them back. A lot of people want certain things, but they aren’t willing to change or put in the hard work to get there. When you feel like quitting say to yourself; I have to keep going no matter what. Chess history is filled with games where a player turned around a losing position to win or draw. History is filled with examples of people coming back from extremely difficult situations and succeeding. Use these examples as inspiration, and remember, never stop, just keep going.
Manopoulos are a supplier that will go to any lengths to ensure that the quality of their products is nothing short of excellent. The Greek game manufacturer is renowned for producing spectacular backgammon and chess sets which is why they have enjoyed so much success.
What we like most about Manopoulos games is that they are hand crafted. The fact that they don’t mass produce products is one of the main reasons we selected them as a supplier. Choosing Manopoulos was one of the best decisions we’ve made and this is regularly reenforced through our customers’ feedback.
Manopoulos – A History
Manopoulos has come a long way since it was formed in 1970. Originally known as C.Manopoulos S.A, the company started off by exclusively making chess sets. It later expanded to produce backgammon sets in a variety of wood combinations and unique designs – and this has become one of their specialisms. One of the things that impresses us about Manopoulos is the sharp and elegant design of their products. We were bombarded with positive reviews and feedback from the moment we started selling their backgammon range,
Luxury Chess Sets
The company has taken the simple game of chess and produced products that are a work of art. In fact some of their chess pieces look like collector’s items – and for good reason. For example, one of the company’s product ranges are chess pieces shaped like historical Greek figures or fashioned after popular legends from Greek mythology.
The strategic nature of chess compliments the unique design of the pieces which seems to pit mythological and historical figures against each other. It is no wonder why the company’s products leave chess and history enthusiasts so excited.
Luxury Backgammon Sets
The company’s Greek influences aren’t limited to their chess sets either. Manopoulos are one of our biggest suppliers of backgammon sets and add real value to our product range. Their backgammon sets are beautifully handcrafted, and represent excellent value. The chips themselves are made from Greek olive wood and stained with colour. If that wasn’t enough, the sets also come with an attractive black bag with the impressive Manopoulos logo emblazoned on the front.
The company offers a range of specialized backgammon sets. These come in closed cases making them easier to carry and the pegged design makes it easy to play in the back of a car. Other items include the 19-inch Mahogany Backgammon Set, Compact Walnut and Maple Backgammon set as well as the “Deluxe” version.
Whether you want to treat yourself to an early Birthday present or are looking for a present that will make someone’s day, Manopoulos backgammon sets are bound to please with their superb craftsmanship and aesthetic quality.
Well, I hope you all had a great Christmas! and now that it is over and we move towards the new year I thought we could look at something else. We covered a lot of material in the previous six posts. Now it’s time to put that knowledge to practice. The first five are relatively simple to get you warmed up, the last five are more challenging. Also, I will not be stating which tactic is involved in each. Solving them is going to take some concentration and time. Try to give yourself 5-10 minutes for each puzzle, and make a note of the tactical theme that is used. The first move of each solution is provided at the bottom of the page. Some puzzles have one move answers while others require you to calculate variations. I will leave the calculation of variations as an exercise for the player.
Black to move
White to move
White to move
Black to move
White to move
White to move
White to move
White to move
White to move
Black to move
1) Bg4 (skewer)
2) Rxe6 (pin)
5) e5(pawn fork)