Ebony Pioneer Elite
Ebony Pioneer Elite
Designed by Dennis Petersen
Produced exclusively by Legend Products

The Ebony Pioneer Elite Staunton Chess set remains one of the finest chess sets ever made.  It is rivaled only by the Legend Pro Line Series.  This is one of the sets that has established Legend Products as the leading designer and manufacture of Staunton Chess Sets in the World today.

It is not easy to come by one of these sets, as those on the waiting list will testify.  I can only tell you they live up to their demand and reputation.

The Ebony Pioneer Elite is a massively weighted set with a 4-inch King.  The Ebony and Boxwood are the finest available.  The Set is specifically designed for Tournament Play, yet it’s workmanship and Knight carving will attract the collector as well.

There have been three productions totaling 170 sets over four years, and the set continues to improve with unique design improvements with each production.  I continue to hold the line on it’s cost despite increased production costs.  The fourth production will see additional refinements in the knight.

This is a set well worth the wait, you can add your name to the waiting list by ordering now online or by calling Legend Products at 1-800-650-8813.  A credit card number will secure you a set when they arrive.  We will not process your credit card information till the day we actually ship the set.

Product Review
Empire Chess Magazine
By Editor Bruce Steffec

My intent is for each issue to include reviews of various chess products. The default author of this column will be the editor; however, reviews submitted by the readership would be warmly welcomed.

The first product I would like to review are the chess sets, particularly the Ebony Pioneer Elite and the Pioneer Monarch Staunton offered by Legend Products who bill themselves as purveyors of  “The Finest Chess Sets, and Boards sold in the World.”  This is certainly a strong claim, which at first I tended to dismiss as mere advertising hyperbole.  My sense was that the Jacques sets are generally considered the “gold standard” if you will, of Staunton sets, and that Legend Products were guilty of grandiosity, at best, in their claims to offer the finest chess sets in the world.

My interest in Legend products’ chess sets arose last fall when I was playing with a friend’s Jacques set.  I was smitten with the feel of the pieces’ weighting, particularity the pawns.  They felt so much better than my sets, two Ebony and Boxwood sets purchased over the years from the USCF, each advertised at the time as their top of the line set.  Having been exposed to the Jacques set and its hefty feel, my formerly prized sets felt somehow cheap and no longer satisfactory.  Thus, I began a quest for my affordable ”dream set.”

Serendipitously, I was reading an advertisement for the Ebony Pioneer Elite in Inside Chess and decided to invest the $6.00 for their catalog, refundable with a purchase.  The set was described as being a “massively weighted” four pounds: the weights for each piece were also given.  I was also very much taken by the photographs of the pieces, especially the knights which were rather large and intricately carved.  The cost was a daunting $349.00. Considerably more than the $180.00 I had spent for my recent set.  But having been spoiled by the Jacques set, I had to have heavier pieces.  So I splurged!

When my set arrived, I immediately weighed each piece and totaled the weights.  Well it weighted only 3.84 lbs. But the description of the pieces as massively weighted was accurate.  And frankly, the pictures in the catalog did not do the set justice.  It was both exquisite and flawless.  To my wild surprise my friend’s Jacques se, in no way measured up to my new acquisition, despite costing several times what I paid for the Ebony Pioneer Elite.  My new set was much heavier and didn’t suffer from undersized, minuscule Knights.  The design of every piece was qualitatively better than on any other set I had ever seen.

I showed my new set to my friend who shortly thereafter ordered the Pioneer Monarch Staunton Chess Set.  (First Production, only 9 were made.)  He invited me over to play on it once it came, and again I must confess to becoming a victim of envy.  This set was even more beautiful than mine, the Queen’s coronet and the Knight’s mane was breathtaking.  However, the set was less than massively weighted weighing only around three pounds.  Thus the Monarch is undoubtedly the most beautiful set I have ever seen but my preference remains for the Pioneer Elite whose weighting is unsurpassed in my experience.

These two sets described above, in my opinion, are vastly superior aesthetically and a better value, than both the Jacques sets I have seen as well as the recent House of Staunton sets advertised by the USCF (all of which are fine sets) If you are in the market for a very reasonably priced, high-end chess set I can recommend, without reservation, the Legend Ebony Pioneer Elite, and the Pioneer Monarch Staunton Chess Set.  These Ebony sets play very well on the Etimoe board offered by the USCF.  All told, I have to agree that, based on my experience. Legend’s claim to offer the finest chess sets in the world is accurate!

Legend offers many other sets, in a wide variety of price ranges, in their extensive catalog.  They also sell boards and other chess equipment.   I encourage readers to get the catalog and see for themselves Legend’s excellent offerings.  Frankly I would like to see more players bring sets like these to tournaments – thus this review!  Legend Products advertises normally with a picture of a set in Inside Chess.  They also advertised in Chess Life but without a set depicted in the ad, which really doesn’t do their product justice.  Starting this month, I am pleased to announce that Legend Products will also be advertising in Empire Chess.

Next issue it is my intent to review chess databases.  I own both Chess Assistant and Chess Base and intend to compare them. I would greatly appreciate hearing from readers who own multiple database programs, especially anyone who can compare NIC Base to either Chess Assistant or Chess Base.

This review has been reprinted with the permission of Bruce Steffec Editor of Empire Chess Magazine, any mistakes you might catch are likely mine, and I would appoligise to Bruce.

(New production arriving September 2018! E-mail to reserve a set now, with nothing down.)
Additional Images
Style: Legend Staunton
Materials: Ebony and Boxwood
King Height: 4 inches
Weight: Massively weighted
Price: $349.00
U.S. Shipping: $18.00

King 4" 0.24 lbs 1¾"
Queen 3 7/8" 0.2 lbs 1 5/8"
Bishop 3" 0.15 lbs 1½"
Knight 2 7/8" 0.17 lbs 1½"
Rook 2 3/8" 0.17 lbs 1½"
Pawn 2" 0.07 lbs 1¼"
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