Herman Steiner Master Chess Set
by Paul Mentzer

The first time I saw the Herman Steiner Master Chess Set was at the “Second Piatigorsky Cup” tournament in Los Angeles (July 17 to August 15, 1966). I was so impressed with the beauty of the set, of course, since the Grandmaster’s were playing with them added even more. I started to ask around at the tournament where a person could purchase such a set. Mrs. Selma Steiner’s name was given to me and I followed through and talked with her about getting such a set. Since I was an undergraduate student at U.C.L.A. at the time and had little money I was able to purchase an unfinished set for $40.00 and felt wonderful to have such a set in my possession. Mrs. Steiner had talked to me about purchasing all of the sets that she had for a very reasonable price but it was out of my capability at the time; I proceeded to finish the set and talk to my friend and neighbor (Lynn Hinojosa upstairs in married student housing) who became interested and we pooled our money and bought the remaining sets.

Herman Steiner was the U.S. Champion in 1948. International Master Herman Steiner had designed the players set to only hit in one place if it was knocked over and basically it is similar to the Staunton set except for the knight which is unique. Herman had also designed chess tables, clocks and was preparing to go into market when he died November 25, 1955.