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
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
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
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
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
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
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.