Unboxing Chess Bazaar 3.6 Dubrovnik set

This is my first ever unboxing video and I had a little help from my kid and the wifey. This package was waiting for us when we came back from walking around all day so excuse our appearance. But we were excited and we decided to make this video.

I will probably do a more thorough review of this set but right now if you’re thinking of purchasing this Dubrovnik set from Chess Bazaar, the short and sweet is, do it! You won’t regret it. It is a nice quality alternative to the NOJ set costing 5 times as much.


Review of The Chess Store’s 4 1/4 Ebony Chess Box

I was recently shopping for a chess storage box for my new tournament size chess pieces. As I browsed the usual chess shopping websites, I realized that there’s almost no reviews at all on these chess boxes from the different stores.

After doing my research, I settled on this ebony chess box from The Chess Store, and decided to do a review of the chess box here. Hopefully it helps someone else make the right decision

Ebony Chess Box from The Chess Store

Ebony Chess Box from The Chess Store

The box itself is stunning to look at. I think this box looks even better in person than on their photos. I know this is wood veneer but I couldn’t tell that from looking and from touching this box in person. The inside lining is thick and feels rich. The color and grain of the wood complements whatever chess set I place in it. I tried my Dubrovnik set in sheesham, My rosewood HOS player’s series set, and the ebonized CB Staunton set you see here in the photos. They all look good in the box!

3.8" CN Staunton Weighted series in ebony storage box

3.8″ CB Staunton Weighted series in ebony storage box

BUT… and there’s always a but. There’s a few things that I didn’t like about this box.

First is the size. This box is being marketed to fit chess sets up to 4 1/4. I’m not so sure about this claim. The chess sets that I tried with this box have king sizes range between 3.6 and 3.8 inches. They all fit fine but I have to carefully arranged them in order to do so. As a matter of fact, you can’t even store the pieces standing up. The kings are too high and the lid won’t close.

HOS 3.75 Professional Series Kings on left, CB 3.8 Staunton Weighted series on right

HOS 3.75 Professional Series Kings on left, CB 3.8 Staunton Weighted series on right

Other things that I didn’t like about the box are the removable divider and the lock itself. I knew from their website’s description that the divider is removable. What I didn’t know is that the divider is just a piece of wood with foams at both ends. I thought there would be at least a groove for the divider like on most other chess boxes. It just didn’t feel stable at all. It would move with a slight flick of your finger. I also don’t think those foams at the end of the divider would last very long.

The lock itself also feels a little flimsy. Although I must admit that this flimsy feeling could just be me. It just doesn’t have a solid feeling in my opinion. Here’s a video to give you a sense of what I am talking about with the lock and divider.

And lastly, on the unit I received, I noticed one of the screws on one of the hinges is not sitting flat like the others. I got my phillips screwdriver right away but the screw is not biting. This was a deal breaker for me. I probably would have fixed this with glue if this was an old box but this is new! I shouldn’t be gluing anything. So I called the Chess Store right away.

I spoke to someone at Chess Store named Greg. I told Greg that I would like to return this box. He offered to send a replacement but I told him that I just wanted to return the box for a refund. I was a little down at this point because I was thinking that I will lose a lot of money on this deal through no fault of my own. Shipping this box back to Chess Store will sure cost me at least another $12.

But Greg (probably feeling my dismay) offered me something better. He said don’t even return the box and he’ll give me a full refund. I was speechless at this point. I’ve never heard a chess company go through this much to try to satisfy a customer.

I ended up telling Greg that I don’t think it’s fair for him to give the box to me for free. I am willing to keep the box and pay a little something for it. We agreed on a price, he gave me a partial refund, and I am a satisfied customer.

Overall, I still highly recommend this box. Sure there’s a few things I didn’t like about it but if those things don’t bother you, this box is gorgeous!

I’m also sure the hinge issue on my unit is an isolated incident but I learned that Chess Store do stand behind its product.


Daddy daughter chess time

I started teaching my daughter how to play chess and am so excited that she’s actually picking this up and liking it. She knows how to set up the board, how all the pieces move, castling, pawn promotion, en passant, and how to check mate using one queen or two rooks.

It only took her a couple of weeks to learn all this so I’m pretty sure she’ll completely destroy me in chess someday. Right now, I’m just very excited to have someone to play with!


Books on Philippine Coins

When it comes to Philippine coins, there’s really not a lot of readily available information out there. The Red Book devotes about 5 pages on U.S./Philippine coins but all it really provide are mintage information, technical specifications, and valuation. The Krause Catalog of World Coins includes all series of Philippine coins but all it provides is the same. Mintage and technical specs.

If you really want to know more about Philippine coins, and gain a better understanding of the history behind them, you will need to consult one of the following reference books.

These books are essential to every Philippine coin collectors. Most of these books don’t contain information on modern Philippine coins, but the information they do have on Philippine coins prior to 1974 are comprehensive.

The Basso book’s coverage on “Coinage Under Spanish Rule” is very informative and the chapters on Medals and Tokens is the most comprehensive of any guide book.

If you’re into collecting U.S./Philippine coins, the book by Lyman Allen provides the most recently (2012) published price guide. It’s already slightly outdated but it would at least give you an idea about the price of that coin you’re eyeing.

Lastly, most of these books are hard to find and out print. I rarely see any of these books come up on eBay. I feel as though these books are “collectibles” themselves. The 1st edition of the Basso book seems to come up more often than the 2nd edition.  So if you find them online at a good price, I recommend you go for it. You won’t regret it.