On the internet, the other month, I came across an Indian fountain pen make – Vazir pens. Among their products was a very special pen – the Vazir Checkmate, a beautiful chess themed pen. Upon seeing it, I wrote the manufacturer to ask if they were going to make of them, as it was sold out. I got the reply that – yes in fact they were planning another batch of pens in early autumn. At USD 65 it seemed very affordable to I decided to keep an eye open for the event. And ordered one when they were available again. It arrived about a month ago.
Eagerly unpacking the package I found a nice chess themed case in hard plastic, an extra nib in size F (the one fitted was size M) and – as a sign of the times, an FP-themed anti-Covid mask. In particular the extra nib is a fine offering with the pen.
Then pen itself is very safely cushioned in the case, in a sledge with a broad but thin handle.
Unfortunately the sledge is slightly too loosely fitting in the case, so if you are not careful with how you carry then case, it might slip out and you may drop the pen – this has happened once (after the first game I played with it) but fortunately nothing bad happened to it. Maybe it’s only my copy that has this problem, but in case it’s a general thing, it’s one point one could improve in an otherwise excellent packaging.
The pen itself can easily be disassembled into cap, body, nib and cartridge/converter. Swapping nibs is simply a matter of unscrewing the nibsection and replace it with the alternative nibsection provided – very easy. The pen uses standard international cartridges or a converter, which is provided. The pen, as said, is charmingly chess themed, with a set of white pieces along the bottom of the cap, while both the cap and body have a checkered pattern to them. There is an attractive difference in texture between white and blue squares. Finally the cap has a clip, but it seems fairly flimsy and not solid at all – which isn’t problem for my intended purpose.
Using the pen
Upon unpacking the pen, I eagerly inked it up with (according to the mix of blue and white squares, and the fact I haven’t used the ink much) Lamy Turqoise. Putting nib to paper, nothing happened. Oh well, I’ll just coax it into writing by putting it under a tap. Still not writing. Giving it another couple of seconds thought I forced some ink out by turning the screw on the converter – and it has been writing very nicely ever since.
The writing experience is very pleasant, the nib very smooth and provides a solid medium flow. Besides the hard start, I haven’t had any problems with this pen. Maybe a F-nib would be better for a chess protocol but I’m keeping the M-nib for now, I don’t want to jinx anything as the result with my new “chess pen” is 2 games played, 2 games won. I posted a mention of the pen in a Swedish chess group on Facebook, and it generated some interest. If anyone else is buying remains to be seen but – “I hope not” =). Who doesn’t want to be unique at chess tournaments?