In one of my earlier reviews, I had already written about All Hail The King. This post will deal with another 3 of Marcel Gillen's chess piece wonders. Like the King, All Hail The Queen, Pawn and Rook are no longer sold commercially by any of the usual online puzzle retailers. By chance, I was really very fortunate to have acquired these 3 rare puzzles from a private seller, who has requested that I not state his identity in this blog.
|The Queen with the little diamond out|
Next is the Pawn. This one measures about 4 1/2in tall and 1 7/8in at the base. Construction here is also by aluminium casting and the quality of my copy is as good as the Queen. However my Pawn did come with some minor rub marks on the ball and sides probably due to handling and chaffing against its own packaging.
|The Pawn with the cheap plastic coin|
Finally we have the Rook. The Rook here is different from the previous 3 in that it is not produced by aluminium casting but crafted from a solid aluminium block (CNC machining perhaps?); much like the way William Strijbos produces his metal puzzles. Quality and construction here are excellent. The crown portion of the Rook is polished aluminium while the body is ball burnished. Shortest of the 4, it stands at about 3 3/4in tall and 1 /78in across at the base.
|The Rook is of superior quality; even the hidden item (a pawn) is well made|
With the exception of the Pawn, these 4 puzzles by Marcel Gillen are not exactly very difficult. If I had to rate them in order of difficulty from easiest to hardest, that would be the King, followed by the Queen, Rook and finally the Pawn. While the puzzle aspect may not rank high for serious puzzlers, these 4 chess puzzles make excellent conversation items and would stand tall on any executive's desktop. All are relatively heavy for their size and can function usefully as nice paper weights! But I guess the real value to this chess puzzle series is their rarity, given they are virtually impossible to find; unless you happen to know someone who has them and are willing to sell. As I understand, there is also a Bishop and Knight in the series, this according to Neil in his blog after he attended the 22nd May 2011 California Puzzle Party in the US. So if anyone reading this has either of these two puzzles and is willing to part with them, you can contact me via email on my profile page.
For other reviews on the King, Queen and Rook, you can refer to Oli's, Jeff's and Jonas' puzzle blogs.