New Products and a wrap up of the store at the US Open

Posted by Shelby Lohrman on 8/18/2017 to News
WOW,  What a productive 9 days!  I just want to thank everyone that made the bookstore at the Norfolk,  VA US Open such a success.  It has been a long time since I have run one of these,  and I would not have been able to do it without Franc and Boys from the USCF,  Rhoda from the Sheraton,  Greg from Chess4Less, and my staff here back home keeping me straight.

Fixing weighted chess sets with loose weights

Posted by Shelby Lohrman on 5/10/2017 to News

I appreciate the loyalty of all my customers.  Most chess retailers would NEVER tell you how to correxctly fix a loose weight because they want you to buy another one.  That is one of the things that make me different from the rest. I know how annoying the rattling pieces can be. 
This is how to fix a loose weight on an Ultimate Chess Set Piece.  For the rest just ignore step 3 and 6 
If you want to take care of the rattle this is what I would do:

Playing your first chess tournament

Posted by Shelby Lohrman on 1/6/2017 to News

So you’re looking to go to your first chess tournament!

By Shelby Lohrman

So after taking chess class you have decided to join your first chess tournament!  Congratulations!  You’re one of the best players in your school.  You just went from a big fish in a small pond to a regular sized fish in an ocean.  This is the first step in a long journey.  Remember you are there to have fun and experience something new.  The wins will come over time.

Let me just make this clear.  You will not win every game.  In fact, if you end up with a positive score you are doing great.  You are going to experience a lot of new things at your 1st tournament and you will have to handle them correctly.

Before you even get to the tournament there are many things you will need to do:

1)        Pre-register for the tournament.  Make sure your parents sign you up for the tournament early.  There is nothing more annoying than waiting in line to sign up before the tournament.

2)       Get a good night’s sleep!  It is hard to concentrate if you are tired.  You brain works better with a bunch of sleep the night before.

3)       Eat a good breakfast.  Tournaments can last over 5 hours.  Without a good breakfast you will start to run out of energy as the day goes on.

4)       Check out the rules of the tournament as soon as you decide you want to play in it.  See if they make you write down your moves or use a chess clock.  The earlier you know about these rules, the more you can practice them at home.  Having to write down the moves or use a clock for the first time at a tournament will mess with your game.  If you have to write down the moves practice with your parents of siblings at home.  If you need to use clocks borrow one from your coach or friends to work with at home.  The first couple of times using a chess clock you will start to move too fast.  You should try to take around a minute a moves until you have to speed up.

When you get to the tournament figure out an area you can stake out for you and your family.  You want to be far away from the commotion of the sales and food areas.  Try to introduce yourself to the tournament directors.  They will be the ones making decisions in your games if there is a problem.  If they know you they will probably be nicer to you if they have to make a decision.  Make sure to figure out where the pairing will be posted.  That is where you find out who you are paired with and what board you should go to.  Chill out till the round start time is announced.

Once they announce the pairing are up go to the correct pairings board to see how you have to play and what board you are supposed to be on.  Remember that if anything that does not feel right happens during a game raise your hand and get a tournament director over there.  It is there job to make sure everyone is acting correctly.  The Tournament Director (TD) will start the round.  When this happens reach across the board and shake your opponents hand and wish them “Good Luck!”  Now the game really starts.  Make sure not to get too excited.  You will notice that most players are moving really fast.  Remember to give your brain time to think.  If you start to get worried look at the top player and see what they are doing.  They must be doing something right!  You’ll notice that many of their games are the last to finish.  You will also notice that most all of them are writing down their games and moving slower than everyone else.  I always ask the 5 questions to keep me from going too fast and missing the obvious mistakes. They are:

1)        How safe is my king?  The king is your most important piece and you need to keep him safe.

2)       How safe is my queen?  She is the most powerful attacking piece on the board and I don’t want anyone to be able to capture her.

3)       Do I have any HANGING pieces?  A hanging piece is one that can be taken by your opponent without being captured back.

4)       Do I have any LOOSE pieces?  A loose piece is attacked the same amount of times as they are defended

5)       How is my pawn structure?  This is Isolated Pawns, Doubled/tripled pawns, or backward pawns.

 

You are supposed to ask the 5 questions about your pieces and then your opponents pieces.  Asking these questions give your brain extra time to think. 

 

Remember that it takes time to be great at something!  Surround yourself with people that challenge you.  Make friends with the higher rated kids at the tournament.  Ask them how they got so good and what they think you need to do to get better at chess.  They are usually VERY helpful and friendly.  They want to be around people who love the game as much as they do.  See if the tournament offers game analysis.  Getting to see what went right and wrong in a game is crucial.  Think of writing down a game the same way a math teacher tells you to show all your work on a problem.  If you did something wrong, you will be able to correct it.

The main thing is to have fun and learn something.   Winning games will come naturally over time as long as you put the work in. 

 

Need your ideas...

Posted by Shelby on 12/28/2016 to News
The Chess Industry is a funny thing.  Everyone sells the same products and we all beat each other up on the price.  You would think that one of us would figure out a way around this...and I think I have.  The idea is to come out with new products the customers want and need.  To do this correctly we need your help!  I am nothing without ideas from outside sources.  Most of the crazy ideas that have come out of American Chess Equipment have at least been ideas started by my customers.
After doing an analysis of weaknesses in the industry,  we noticed there was NOTHING that schools and clubs could buy for the beginner chess player.  This is not to say that the clocks out there are bad,  just they offer functions that 95% of the chess players would never need.  How many beginning chess players out there use INCREMENT or a second time control.  The idea was to get a basic chess clock out there that is inexpensive and easy to use.  This way parents of the scholastic chess players can get a exceptional product and save some money at the same time.  As a player gets more experienced they can graduate into a ZmartFun Chess Clock or a DGT North American.  See our new clock here:  WE GAMES Basic Chess Clock with delay - IN STOCK NOW
For another product we noticed on Amazon and Ebay there were a bunch of complaints about losing pieces from the Checkbook Magnetic Chess Set.  The old design had a pocket attached to it for storage of the pieces.  I mean what good is a pocket for something magnetic that is supposed to fit into your pocket?!?!  We ran with the idea and came out with our  Checkbook Magnetic Pocket Chess Set - New and Improved.  We made it a LOT harder to lose the pieces and even provided 2 blanks in case you did somehow.  
American Chess Equipment is the top provider for custom chess boards in the nation.  We sell more custom boards than anyone else.  Most of the people who offer this service actually use us for the product.  SHHHHHhhHHhHhhh!!!!  It's a secret!  The problem with custom printed vinyl chess boards is that adding colors gets real expensive.  The cost of a 3 or 4 color board will curl your toes.  We were thinking how can we get the extra colors on the board without adding too much extra cost?  The answer is to have custom mousepad material we can print in house.  If you want one color on the board or you want 20 colors the price is the same.  Yes,  the material does not allow the pieces to slide as well,  but you get the advantage of the material not having a memory.  We can also do some wicked designs on them too.  Wait till you see our wooden grain mousepad boards...you'll flip your lid!
The whole point of this article is I need your ideas.  ACE is driven to get their customers the products they need,  but the ideas have to come from somewhere.  How cool would it be to have one of your ideas actually made into a product?  We will give credit where credit is due.
By the way,  I am need of someone who can write code.  I am looking to do a computer program that I have no idea on how to get started.  
Happy Holidays,
Shelby Lohrman
American Chess Equipment
Wood Expressions
310-329-9143 ext 222

Laser engraver - Our new toy!

Posted by Shelby on 9/1/2016 to News
ACE can now Personalize most of our wood products!

Bringing back the Ultimate Chess Set

Posted by Shelby on 8/24/2016 to News
Bringing back the Ultimate Chess Set
We are proud to announce the re-launch of the Ultimate Chess Set

Welcome to our online store

Posted by Shelby on 6/4/2016 to News
Welcome to our online store! Our team is proud to announce that we're now open for business, and we look forward to serving you all in the future. If you have any questions about this store or the products found within, please don't hesitate to contact us any time. Our website has been carefully designed to provide you with an amazingly flexible online shopping experience, and its ease of navigation is something we think you'll grow to depend on and appreciate. Feel free to browse our entire product catalog, and let us know if you have any questions, comments or concerns about the items housed within. Our team is always ready and willing to assist our customers, and we are happy for your visit.