Friction Test

Blitz players usually want their chessmen fast and sliding smooth. On the other hand, some detest the superfast action and prefer more solid grip on the chessboard.

The materials used are all-important. Here are the differences in friction:

Indian noname cloth on a noname sheesham tournament pawn. At the low price end one gets what one pays for. Should outperform leather, amazingly, it does not. Cheap and mushy:


Slovenian blue leather on a BCE Stage 2 Western collared pawn. Elegant deliberate slower action:


Croatian HQ billiard cloth on a Dubrovnik 1950 pawn. We are talking old style 1950 coffehouse billiards here. Rough but surprisingly fast. Generously cushioned feel:


Belgian Simonis 860 billiard cloth on a BCE Stage 1 Eastern pawn. Designed for maximum speed. Difficult to cut with machine, frays easily. This felting is optional on BCE sets, requires custom gluing and manual scissor cutting. Results in somewhat uneven cut:


The Simonis is best by far if speed is what one wants. Slides perfectly across any chessboard including plastic. Custom job only. This is as good as it gets.