One of my all time favourite chess sets is a new style that we shipped in last year. The Sheffield is simply beautiful. Of all the shipping boxes we received, the one containing the Sheffield was by far the heaviest. Noticeably. After several hours of lugging boxes around the warehouse, two of us attempted to pick up one of the last boxes only to find it carried something rather heavy. Our further investigation turned into giddy excitement as we pulled out two cardboard boxes containing large and heavy chess pieces. My, those are heavy chess sets!
Indeed, the volume of wood and the excessive load of the steel weights used to anchor the chess pieces firmly to the board was impressive. At nearly four pounds, I believe this may just be the heaviest mid-range chess set we have in stock. When you consider that the King's base is approximately 1.96 inches - or 50mm - then you can see that the chess board to go with these pieces also has to be large.
Most of our tournament chess sets fit on a 50mm square. It's standard. Some of the larger sets require a 55mm square. But the Sheffield King's base being a whopping 55mm requires the largest board that we have in stock. And what board would look better than a Santos Palisander chess board from Rachapados Ferrer. With a 60mm square and length of almost 24 inches, the owner of the Sheffield had better make sure they have a large living room.
The Sheffield comes in both golden rosewood (sheesham wood) and ebonized boxwood as the black pieces and standard boxwood for the white pieces. The chess pieces feel extremely sturdy and the Knight has, much like most of my favourites, a gnarly set of teeth which it bares, along with flaring nostrils and aggressive ears. It's not quite a Fierce Knight, but it's close enough to make me giggle when I play a game. The King height is four inches and the other pieces are well proportioned - oftentimes you can find other pieces appear relatively small compared to the King, but it's not the case here.