Ultimate Chess Pieces V3 Review – Perfect Blitz Set?

The Ultimate Chess Pieces Version 3 feature a new appliance white color scheme and an improved weight system that will not come loose and rattle. Does the latest version of this legendary live up to the hype? That’s what I’m going to talk about!

Ultimate Chess Pieces are available online:

The first version of this set was released around 1987 and featured white pieces that were a light yellow / cream color. The set’s overall weight was over 3 pounds making the set an instant hit with blitz and rapid players who loved the ease of handling and stability.

The set was recreated in 2018 by Shelby Lohrman and version 2 featured a 3.75″ king and was notorious for the butter yellow color of the white pieces. Unfortunately the weights on this set would give way and rattle.

Version 3 of this iconic set fixes all these issues and is about as perfect you can get for a plastic chess set. The white pieces are now an appliance white an the weight system has been redesign so they’ll never come loose.

These just might be the ultimate version of the ultimate pieces!

Get Your Ultimate Chess Pieces Version 3 Here:

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Filmed in 4K with this camera: ​
And this lens:
On camera mic: ​
Lav mic/recorder: ​

Filmed in Toronto with a Sony a7S III.

Ultimate Chess Pieces Version 3 Review – The Best Plastic Chess Pieces You Can Get!


  1. I bought one of these sets in the mid 90s and and still have it. It's a beautiful design and the heft of the pieces is spot on.

  2. That is my favorite design. I have three sets with that design; Excalibur Chess Gear (White), Ultimate Chess Pieces (Yellow), and the Bobby Fischer Series All Metal Chess Set. The Metal Set is my favorite. It is beautiful, shiny, expensive, and Heavy. The entire set weighs 9.5 pounds. That would be a fun set to watch people play Blitz, or Bullet. LOL!

  3. I love the new color and love the new weighting system. I wish there wasn’t such a drastic step created by the molds mismatching particularly on the bishops. Generally I don’t mind a bit of a mold line – I’ve enough experience sanding and polishing out mold lines in plastic modeling that I can take out a noticeable mold line. But this type of step is harder to smooth out than that, requiring you to remove more plastic and really work to maintain the shape and… honestly without a lot of modeling work and possible painting/varnishing it’s not something to consider hahah.

    But even at that… I really love this set and would recommend it to anyone.

  4. Excellent presentation, thanks! I own three versions of the Ultimate set – the original, the butterball, and the wooden version from Rochester Chess. When matched with a brown and tan vinyl board, the butterball looks outstanding, so I have no need for version 3 as I haven't had any issues with loose weights on any of my three sets. Besides, I find the bone-white and black color scheme of every plastic chess set I had as a kid to be ho-hum boring and somewhat passe. Out of all three plastic versions, I prefer the cream color of the original set. My ideal Ultimate set would be with almond-colored light pieces and light brown/tan dark pieces. After half a century of playing chess, I got tired of black chess pieces. In a collection of twenty wooded chess sets, only two have black pieces.

  5. I do like v3. The color though not my first pick for White. It's bearable and it's not a blinding white. The color is similar to the plastic DGT set. Since many sets do have a good version of Natural Boxwood color for White. I wish there could be an option for Natural or Camel as some vendors call that color. The only real gripe I have is that God awful Knight design. To me it doesn't look cute. I would have gone with more of a fierce knight look. Instead of a cartoony seahorse knight. Other than that I truly do love the set design.

  6. I might be in the minority I really liked the butter yellow sets. It made them so distinctive at the clubs or parks. Real players knew when you see the butter it was an ultimate chess set so you better tighten up your chin strap and get ready for some serious 2 hand castling blitz.

  7. Which version Chronos clock is that though?????

  8. Those knights are one of the worst I've ever seen and ruining an otherwise great set.

  9. I have a version 1 set that’s about 25 years old . . .still holds up.

  10. Big Lew BBQ & Other Things I Want to Do! says:

    I have the original in yellow and blue.

  11. The Ultimate Chess Set looks like an abortion on the chessboard! Avoid it like the plaque!!

  12. The new version rocks, no lead, and no loose weights, and the color is perfectly acceptable. Pieces play great either in regulation or blitz.

  13. I think pawn should be a little bit smaller.
    If so, pieces will be less crowded on board.
    Great job!

  14. This is an honest review of the most recent Version 3 of the Ultimate Chess Pieces. It is an excellent set in terms of design, durability, weighting, stability and overall playability. My only critique regarding this video review is that the reviewer spends too much time belaboring the controversial aspects of the "butterball" yellow (V2) set – enough already!. I believe most would agree that irrespective of color the V3 set is best edition to date in terms of the attributes previously mentioned. If I had to make one suggestion for a future V4 set, it would be to return to the iconic color of the original, V1 set. But at this point, that is probably nit-picking. Bottom line on the V3 set – well done Shelby!

  15. I've had the same wooden set since I was 6 (59 now); but I really would like the Version 3 set if I were to some day get larger pieces.

  16. I'd like to have one set. How that could be done?

  17. This is hands down your best video. That 10 second clip of you playing with the set sold me. you can just tell by the sound and the way the pieces shake around that it is what you are looking for. that 10 second play footage should become a standard in all your videos.

  18. I've had a wooden board with German-knight style pieces for a long time and never thought I'd go back to plastic, especially not during the pandemic. Funny thing is that I've played so much chess online during Covid that now I'm craving to go back to a park or coffee place and play in person, so now I'm geeking around for plastic sets. Thanks so much for this review. It was excellent. I also like the yellow better, but no biggie.

  19. I have a Druek set that I dearly love, but the dog chewed up. And I think this might be the closest to it and I think I will have to grab this.

  20. Do they have a hollow sound when they clink together?

  21. Do these pieces come in yellow and black? And what is the chess silicone board model? Does it come in green? Thanks

  22. Thanks for the review brother..I went ahead and ordered a set

  23. Great review – Shelby deserve an award for bringing these back – great plastic set would have been a same to let them fade into the abyss. V3 looks great, improved weight system sounds great, who likes rattling chess pieces? Nobody! I didn't mind the butter color of V2, it kind of grows on you.

  24. Shows my ignorance, I didn’t even know about this set two years ago when I was shopping for plastic sets. I ended up getting the HOS Reykjavik (‘72 F-S) 3.75” set, which is decently weighted, as well as their even heavier more traditional Staunton pattern “Collector” plastic pieces, also 3.75”.

    Of course the Reykjavik set is the closest in appearance to these men, especially the rooks, but I do like the style of this Ultimate set slightly better, (except for the knights! The HOS set handles those better.). The median set weight of the HOS Reykjavik set is 2.275 lbs., while the HOS Collector plastic set median weight is 3.18 lbs. For whatever reason though, these Ultimate pieces seem much more “playable,” if that makes sense.

    Thank you for the enjoyable review; based on this I’m a new subscriber, and look forward to additional videos. 👍

  25. I bought version 3, appliance white. Liked it so much that I bought two additional sets, just in case these are ever discontinued. I love the weight, the solid feel, the knights that don't have protruding thus breakable ears. Great set!!!

  26. Many years ago I had version one of this set. My recollection is that there was mold flashing on some of the pieces that I carefully trimmed off. Fast forward to now; I have purchased and have been playing with version 3. I like the appliance white, the better weighting system, and the heft of these pieces. I have bought three of these sets in the event they are ever discontinued again.

  27. I noticed that the black king on my Ultimate Chess set V2 and others the head and the cross is slightly bent to one side but the yellow kings are stright.

  28. I refuse to buy it because of the Bobby Fisher name.

  29. I have version 1 of this set. It is around 23 yrs old and still awesome. It has been my go to set for everything for decades now. It has wonderful weight, wonderful feel, and is nicely weighted for blitz play. I love my original set. I had no idea these were so popular but after owning mine for so long I understand why.

  30. Are you Daniel LaRusso's lost old brother? Either way, get ready cuz season 5 is gonna have some nasty wax-on-wax-off stuff.

  31. I have the yellow version of this set. and waiting for my purchased wooden version of this set arrive.

  32. I hope they make the knight more elegant. It looks like a sea dragon 🐉.
    Rest of the pieces are ok

  33. Thanks for the review. I still very much prefer the original Ultimate Set. The proportions and weight was just perfect and I prefer that size. For this 'fat' piece design, anything over 3.5" makes it too big somehow, and the pawns on the newer versions are too big for my taste.
    On a sidenote, they seem to have used a similar design set in the recently concluded Chess Olympiad in India. Considering it was a FIDE event, it must have been 3.75" sized pieces but looked nicer than the usual German knight DGT pieces.

  34. Love chess pieces, have a few sets, just bought this one, arrived today from Amazon, fabulous.

  35. I an surprised to hear "all" of the major chess tournaments have gone online. Isn't there one huge problem with online chess? Cheating?? How the heck do you stop someone from using a chess engine while playing online? You can't. That is in the advantage of playing in person across the board.

  36. Nice set. I prefer butter yellow and dar brown. Not a fan of white and black. I'm still using a my chess pieces from my 1985 CXG Computachess 3 set – plastic magnetic 6cm King, light cream colour and dark brown, well made. (NB: sadly the CXG set is faulty)

  37. I really appreciate this video! Thank you. It has helped me considerably.

  38. These were a good design and the "butter yellow" was ugly!
    Now, must share top position for plastic weighted sets!
    1) Chess house has eclipsed Ultimate with a better weighted, more height, and nicer design with the Emisario and they have the PRO set at 4 1/4 king and heavier, the quality/ durability is great!
    2) House of Staunton has passed the Ultimate set with multiple offerings, that include the "Marshall series, collector series, Fischer series and more! All heavily weighted, nice style and heavier in weight !

  39. This didn't age well. In person tournaments are back! Scholastic tournaments specifically have exploded in Southern California with turnouts of 200 to 350 players!

  40. I filed down all the knights tops which had a rather pointed top so that when grabbing the knight piece a player doesn’t get that “pricked” sensation to the fingertips. Now the set is prefect especially for blitz, bullet or lighting type chess games. IMHO.

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