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Saturday, 14 May 2011


Luckily a fellow puzzler friend of mine was able to win one of Marcel Gillen's rarer chess piece puzzles, and I'm really glad he did as he's been kind enough to let me borrow it for the sake of this review. Thanks Ali!

For those of you who are just picking up my blog here, I have also written reviews for a couple of other chess piece themed puzzles from puzzle designer Marcel Gillen. The others are; All Hail The King and All Hail The Queen.

As you can probably tell from the very distinctive design of this puzzle it is called 'Rook'. Like the others I reviewed it stands at a quite impressive size, this one being 9.5cm tall. The top of the rook is engraved with the letters 'M' and 'G' (Marcel Gillen's initials), and it will depress several millimetres down into the body. And if you shake it you will be able to head rattling from the inside, but you cannot see what is causing it (although you might be able to make an educated guess).

When I originally reviewed the King and Queen I pointed out one main thing that bugged me about them, and that was the quality.  That was because of the fact that they were quite cheaply manufactured by Bits And Pieces, and as such they were cast moulded which resulted in unsightly casting lines down each side of the puzzle and a sort of hollow feeling when holding them. I am happy to report that the Rook suffers from no such markings. Unlike the other two the Rook is machined from solid aluminium, and not only does this make it look nicer but you can also feel that the quality is higher when you hold it.

Just like the other two puzzles in the chess piece series, the objective is to find a hidden object within the piece. And in this case you are trying to find the rather nice looking miniature pawn piece which you can see in the picture below.

As a puzzle the Rook is about on par with the King and Queen, but because the manufacturing quality is better the mechanism is not temperamental, it actually works every time! If you've solved the other two you will be able to solve the Rook without too much hassle, although I will say that I prefer the mechanism of the Rook to the others.

Sadly once again I have reviewed a puzzle that is quite difficult to get hold of. The only way you will be able to add one of these to your collection is by bidding on online puzzle auctions just like my friend did to get this one. Check out Puzzle Paradise and Cubic Dissection.

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