How the Noble Set is created. Masters and technology

In its final form, the set of Belarusian chess «Noble set» is a highly artistic piece of handwork made of precious wood, leather and white clay, worthy of private collections and collections.

Wood. It took some eight years of constant experimentation with form, image and technology to bring the idea to fruition. The chessboard was raised and lowered in floors, the casket was improved and acquired Baroque features. All this time master woodworker Evgeny Rydevsky worked on their appearance.

Wood carver Evgeniy Rydevskiy, next to the board he is currently working o
Wood carver Evgeniy Rydevskiy, next to the board he is currently working on

It was he who came up with the idea of using inlays of baked oak in the decoration of the Throne, as well as the design of the chest in which the figures are kept. But before inlaying the Throne, Eugene takes on the task of choosing the wood for the chessboard. In the different versions of Chlachaet's Choice it can consist of either plain oak for the white squares and stained oak for the black squares, or ash for the white squares and plain oak for the black squares.

Once the wood has been chosen, the complex process of preparing the material, cutting it into squares and gluing the strips together in a specially designed mechanism goes on. The strips are then glued together to form a board.

Gluing the board from squares of stained oak and alder
Gluing the board from squares of stained oak and alder

Fire. The next step after making the base of the board is to laser burn the throne in the shape of the traditional Belarusian star and the numbers and letters on its outline. The throne is later inlaid with fumed oak, a wood that has been in the swamp for thousands of years, acquiring its characteristic black colour and the strength of stone. Thousands of years old art objects made of bog oak are now known to look as good as new - such is the strength of the material.

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Launching a laser for burning out a throne.
Laser engraving of the Tron for future inlays of anthracite oak

Additionally, the logo of the game is burned into the lid, the location of the masters and the name and pattern of the princes on the back of the casket are tried out and burned. The whole process is computer-controlled, so modifications can be made while burning to achieve the best result.

The computer monitors the quality of the images of the princes engraved on the underside of the chest
The computer monitors the quality of the images of the princes engraved on the underside of the chest.

Clay. Figurines are created in parallel with the work on the board and the chest. The sculptor developed the image of each one, taking into account not only the design that matches the appearance of the troops of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Teutonic Order, but also ensuring easy recognition on the board: a prince and a warrior cannot be confused.

Artist Tatiana Rublevskaya and figurine sculptor Oleg Skola
Artist Tatiana Rublevskaya and figurine sculptor Oleg Skola

The sculptor Michal Latyshev made single copies of each figure, then they were cast into moulds for casting in white clay. The casting itself, and further refinement of the figures, is being done by the decorative artists Tatiana Rublevskaya and Oleg Shkola. 

The mould in which each figure is hand-cast
Hand-applied details on a figure

Once the details have been applied to the figure and fired, Tatiana takes over - giving each set a different colour and shade. Thanks to the handiwork, all the sets differ from each other - in one set the chest may be light and the figures are the same colour as ordinary clay and charcoal, in the other - a dark chest and figures are of ivory and bronze colour.

Brick-coloured figures
Brick-coloured figures

Leather. Next the board and figures wait to be varnished and stained, for greater durability and aesthetics. A further step is to laminate the lower part of the figures and the feet of the chest with natural leather, for a pleasant tactile sensation of moving the Prince to his throne.

Additionally, each set comes with paper game rules and the casket itself is packed in a specially designed cardboard box. Even in cardboard, the set evokes a sense of nobility and fully lives up to its name a noble set.

Cardboard box for transporting chess
Cardboard box for transporting chess

The Noble set of Belarusian chess includes:

  • a casket and a chessboard made of precious wood;
  • set of ceramic pieces;
  • game rules;
  • designer's package for easy transportation.

The game has been in development for 10 years, with the aim of recreating the political and military traditions of Belarus and Eastern Europe. The result is Belarusian-Lithuanian Chess or simply Belarusian Chess - a new kind of our intellectual games, presented in three forms - a gift set, a noble cest и a computer version.

So what to expect? Take the throne now!

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