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27 Ocak 2008 Pazar

3D CHESS SETS

My chess set collection has recently expanded to include some three-dimensional chess sets. I have long known about the existence of the Star Trek 3D set, but was intrigued recently when an older set turned up on eBay. It was listed as being in good shape but not having any instructions. I began a search of the Internet for instructions, knowing what a wealth of information is available with a little careful selection of search criteria. The more I have investigated, the more intriguing the search is becoming. I have discovered chess variants that have been around for decades that I was not aware of. I have also discovered new variations that have only been introduced lately.

My chess set collection is housed in a 6 ft. by 6 ft. entertainment center which has 16 shelves. It is already full and the 3D part of the collection is now on the top of my Grandfather's rolltop desk. I can see I am soon going to have a problem with running out of house for the various variations. I may have to stop collecting standard sets in order to house the variations.












This is the 3D set from the original Star Trek series as produced by Franklin Mint. I'm afraid I got carried away with this auction and actually paid $7.50 over list (the set is still available from Franklin Mint), but the set was in perfect condition as far as I could tell and still had all the original packaging materials. I will not try to describe this set here as the Franklin Mint does a very good job of describing it.








Chess in the 3rd Dimension
This is the first of the 3D sets which I purchased at auction from eBay. I actually think it is the older of the two sets based on the construction materials and a couple other things, but I cannot be sure. The bottom layer is wood as are the separating posts and filial on the top They are connected between plastic layers by wood screws anchored in the one post and filial and by a pan-head wood screw and washer through a hole in the bottom wood piece. The two top levels are an acrylic plastic. There is a slight cracking in the center of the center one (I think it was originally put together on the top layer) caused by drawing the wood posts too tight together. The chess pieces themselves are made of wood with felted bottoms.








When I put this together I lined up the yellow squares above each other. This created a problem with the bottom layer where the wood is darker than the yellow squares. However, on the other two layers, the yellow is obviously darker than the clear plastic squares. I finally decided the wood squares must need to be considered the light squares on the bottom layer and the yellow the dark squares throughout. This also made sense because it aligns the trandemark (seen on bottom board to the left of the white pieces) with the playing pieces. When you read the instructions, you will note that black gets to choose between starting on the top and bottom levels so I set this board up with black on the top and the other with black on the bottom level.








The box for this set says it is Style 114 and was produced by the Skor-Mor Corporation, 6390 Cindy Lane, Carpenteria, Calif. 93013. There is no copyright or other date on this item, but, as I said, i think it is older than the other set, primarily because of the construction materials which sort of indicate an earlier age of plastics processing and because the other set indicates that Skor-Mor was by then a division of Nypro Company. The only active Skor-Mor company I can find today makes bowling equipment. I have not tried to research this to see if it is a later activity of the same company. I just noted all the times the bowling items got in the way when I was searching for chess set instructions.
Chess in the Third DimensionMy search for chess instructions led me to a company called Hudson Hobby Games. They sell older, out of print board games. My search picked up a game called "Space Chess (Three Level Chess)" by Pacific Game Company, Inc. in their inventory list. I contacted them and they were nice enough to scan and e-mail me a copy of the instructions which included assembly instructions. From the assembly instructions portion, I realized this set was different from the one I had purchased through eBay, so I went ahead and ordered it from them. I am not sure where the name pacific Game Company came from unless that was who they were selling the game for, but it turned out to be another Skor-Mor game. The box indicates it is Item #110 made by Skor-Mor products, Inc., a Nypro Company, Clinton, Mass. 01510. The instruction sheet has a copyright date of 1976.










This set, including the stand, is entirely made from clear plastic. The support cross piece and boards all mount to the stand with a round protrusion which fits over a plastic cross on the stand. I believe all the parts are either acrylic or polycarbonite, but I am not sure. Because the stand is also a thin, curved plastic shape, this set is not as stable as the older set. The pieces are entirely plastic, are weighted, felted, and magnetic. This last surprised me. It may be the pieces are not original or the company may have used the same pieces in multiple kinds of chess sets.

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