USA's Top Daily Chess News Blog, Informative, Fun, and Positive

hosted by Chess Queen™ & 12th Women's World Chess Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A chess set collection, by a chess lover!

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hello everyone,

Here is a nice feature about a chess lover and the great chess sets he has collected from around the world. It is always such a good feeling to read stories about the love of chess like this one. The article is by Sally Ho in The Oregon Live. 

Tigard library display has chess boards and pieces from around the world

TIGARD -- Kermit Olson has been playing chess for more than 50 years.

"I'm actually not a very good chess player. I'm not very clever, the children can beat me," said Olson, 72.

This month, Olson is sharing his lifelong hobby in an exhibit of his collection of chess boards and pieces from around the world at the Tigard Public Library. He said he started collecting for fun.

"They were stacked up in closets. I wanted to show ones that were attractive," Olson said.

The exhibit includes 32 sets, most of them from Olson's travels, including charming queen and king pieces in a children's set labeled from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, delicate jade pieces from China and intricate bronze pieces from South Korea.

The variety spans both the globe -- coming from Malaysia, Hungary, Germany, Pakistan, Kenya, Italy, Croatia and Mexico -- and materials, including plastic, wood, bone and metal.

The oldest set he has is from Chicago, purchased in 1963. He's spent from $2 to hundreds. Olson even has a set from China made of ivory, although he kept that at home because it is so precious.

From collecting, he's learned about other cultures. In Kenya, art often includes circles, and his Kenyan board is round, which is unusual for chess. While the game isn't popular in the African country, it's loved in Russia.

"In India, it's the same as here. Chess in Korea and China are different. There are some variations, but the game is the same," he said.

Olson's collection is displayed near the library entrance, on the second floor and in the children's section, where librarians said it has attracted many youngsters. Books about chess are displayed nearby.

The retired Tigard resident, a former purchasing agent at Oregon Health & Science University, said he plays chess online against people from all over the world, between two and five games a day. His wife, Marilyn, doesn't play, but she shares his other hobby: gardening. He said he plants green beans, his wife's favorite, as well as tomatoes and corn.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
Also see her personal blog at



Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home