chess pieces Posts

Italian Products: A special relationship

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I am writing today on a muggy day in Frome, Somerset, with the sun’s warmth thickening the air through a blanket of white clouds. A bit sticky, in other words.

Last month, when the sun was freer, we received a shipment from Florence, Italy, where some old friends had decided to do something pretty remarkable. For a number of years now we have been working with ITALFAMA and have always been impressed with their chess products. In Tuscany, for more than 30 years, their craftsmen have been making chess pieces from unique moulds that are unavailable anywhere else in the world.

The exclusivity is of course something that appeals to us, but there is a real sense, also, that this is a company that really makes great products. When it comes to chess pieces they specialize in metal, creating some amazing casted chessmen that we proudly sell here at Regency Chess.

However, when the most recent order came in even our delivery coordinator, John, who has plenty of experience with ITALFAMA products, was fascinated by what they had sent.

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The first product was the San Severeo Chess Set, which features Chess Pieces made of Gold and Silver, and a stunning board made of oak.  The fact that the pieces cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world was almost besides the point -they are made out of gold and silver- with an oak midriff like nothing any of us had seen before.

And, although the San Severeo Chess Set caught the eye, it was another sense that the Modica Set first affected.

As it was removed from the box this Italian chess board filled the room with a heartening scent of real leather. In Florence the artisans at Italfama had stitched together an exceptional chess board that, when it comes to this famous company, is reliably unique. Deciding to match it with 3 inch Modica Rosewood Chess Pieces wasn’t a bad idea either. So we sent an example of these products off to our photographer in Bath, who came back to us with some fantastic pictures for the website soon after.

Both sets have already sold well, in Europe and the UK, and we are expecting that to continue as Christmas draws ever closer. (last time I will mention Christmas, promise)

Closer still, though, is the continuously enhanced sense that great relationships produce great products. Our work alongside ITALFAMA is the perfect example of this and we look forward to it continuing past this Christmas (sorry! one last mention) and many more. If you would like to take a sneaky look at some other Italian-made chess products you can click on these links.

 

17 Inch Briarwood and Elmwood Luxury Chess Board

  Metal Chessmen                                                   20 Inch Lacquered Red Erable Luxury Chess Board

 

All Shipping Costs Down, More Thumbs Up !

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All Shipping Costs Reduced

Since the beginning of the year we have shipped Chess Pieces, Boards and even Mugs all around the world

Last month, for example, we sent out our Constantine Ebony Chessmen all the way out to Kuwait.

And, as the rain kept coming down here in Somerset, in February we sent out our Templar Series Chessmen over to a slightly warmer climate in Thailand.

Our most regular international shipments, though, are over to the United States where our Isle of Lewis range is hugely popular. The Scottish Museum replicas of perhaps the oldest chess pieces in the world are particularly well-liked, with hundreds going out to the States every year.

In light of this we have spoken with our brilliant logistics partners and can now announce that all shipping for international customers will be reduced by 10 percent.

Over on the continent, however, we have been able to do even better.

Europe

As of today, our customers in Europe will be paying a quarter less for their shipping.

When we first started in 2008 the costs to send products to places like Spain, Greece and Italy were astronomical.

However, because the market has grown so rapidly, and delivery companies have lowered their prices, we are again able to pass our savings on to customers.

So every chess lover in Europe can now expect a 25 percent decrease in the cost of shipping.

The next question is really what to buy from our growing range of products?

We trust that you can decide that for yourselves although we wouldn’t mind someone sending over a raincoat for us. This writer forgot his and the rain is absolutely hammering it down outside.

In the meantime Au Revoir,  وداعا  and lā k̀xn.

Chess Basic Tactics Series # 7 – Practice Puzzles

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

Answers:

1)  Bg4 (skewer)

2)  Rxe6 (pin)

3) Ne7+(fork)

4) Bd4(fork)

5) e5(pawn fork)

6) Nf7+

7)  Re8+(decoy)

8)  Qxf7+

9) Qxh7+

10) Qf3+

Chess Basic Tactics Series #6 – X-Rays and Windmills

In this post of the tactics series I’ll discuss X-rays and windmills. Despite their descriptive names, these two tactics are relatively rare. Let me say if you succeed in trapping your opponent in a windmill you can win his entire army!

The X-ray tactic occurs when a piece ‘sees through’ an enemy piece towards a certain target. Let’s look at an example:

Here notice the white rook on the d-file. At first glance it looks like the d8 square is adequately protected by black. However whites rook is really attacking that square by ‘seeing through’ black’s rook on d7. White plays 1. Qxd8! which leads to checkmate. As I mentioned, the X-ray is not seen too frequently in games. However it is important to notice how closely this tactic is related to the pin. In this case black’s rook on d7 is pinned to defense of the d8 square.

Although rarely seen, the windmill is one of the most powerful tactics in chess. It’s a series of checks and discovered checks where the opponent has no time to escape. The following diagram is an example of a long combination. Try to practice your visualization by seeing as far as you can.

Here white plays 1. Bf6! and black responds with 1…Qxh5.  Then the following moves occur:

2. Rxg7+ Kh8

3. Rxf7+ Kg8

4. Rg7+ Kh8

5. Rxb7+ Kg8

6. Rg7+ Kh8

7. Rg5+ Kh7

Then we are left with the diagram below:

Notice how the rook moved back and forth and caputured the enemy pieces. Also notice how the black king was unable to escape the devastating discovered checks. In the next move white will capture blacks queen.

I hope that everyone enjoyed this tactics series and gained some knowledge from it. It’s not enough however to just study the diagrams in these posts you must practice consistently to improve your tactical play. That takes solving lots of puzzles and analyzing your games. In the next post I will provide several puzzles that contain the tactics we have discussed for you to solve!

Italfama Chess Boards and Chess Pieces (Supplier Profile)

Considered to be the masters of the sleek and the elegant, Italfama is an Italian based board game manufacturer who produce chess boards and chess pieces.

We knew we were going to be supplying something special when we received our first samples from Italfama. Their handcrafted chess boards and pieces were so impressive that we knew we had to bring their products to our customers.

Chess Designs at their Best

When we want the best chest boards that are available these are the manufacturers that we turn to. And when we say that they make best chess boards, we mean it. Italfama has taken the art of luxury chess design to the next (and let’s not hope ultimate) level. They are based in Florence and make a huge variety of chess sets for chess enthusiasts and consumers. Needless to say, their products are more than just board games. They are works of art that you can not only play with, but also make superb display pieces.

Their boards are often combined with some of our luxury chess pieces to create beautiful chess sets – product combinations that are unique. Our customers also agree, as is apparent from the amazing reviews we’ve had. Of course, because each set is intricately designed from the smallest pawn to the most finely finished board, Italfama chess products are also some of the most exclusive. Their unique and elegant inlays are enough to impress even the most critical chess connoisseurs, and alongside their beautiful boards Italfama also make beautiful metal chess pieces.

What makes Italfama Special

Italfama has been in business for over 30 years. All of the chess pieces and boards are designed and fabricated by professional craftsmen with years of experience. The Pièce de résistance amongst their range of impressive products are their high gloss chess boards that have to be seen to be believed.

Pretty Pieces all in a Row

All of the Italfama chess pieces are handcrafted in Italy and are made from metals like brass, nickel, gold and silver.  Each piece is hand finished and polished, with felt pads added to protect the playing surface. They are simply stunning.

 

 

Closing Thoughts

We’ve always been able to depend on this supplier, they produce some of the most stunning products, hand crafted in Italy. As suppliers they are extremely reliable, their products are high quality, and are nicely presented and well packaged. Each product is beautifully finished and they are one of our favourite suppliers, we highly recommend them!