I get a little paranoid when I see chessboards set up incorrectly in films and on the boxes of cheap sets. Well, I watched the star-studded film 'The Wild Geese' again a while back (the one in which British mercenaries are sent to an African country to free an imprisonment 'Nelson Mandela' type) and what I did see in one of the Last scenes? Stewart Grainger, brandy glass warming in his cupped hand, eyed his chess set and moved one of the 6 inch high pieces for all the world as if he knew what he was doing. And, yes, the board was set up with a black square in the right hand corner. If he'd really been a chess player (like Humphrey Bogart was), his professional pride would not have allowed him to make the move until the board had been properly set up.
Then, from the other side of the room with a gun in hand, Richard Burton quietly announced a mate in two. Clever stuff, indeed. From his angle, he could have seen nothing of the board through the forest of horrible, non-Staunton designed pieces. 'Who cares?' 'What difference does it make?' I do. It's easy to get something right; You've just got to bother to ask someone who knows. Next time you watch The Great Escape take a look at the orientation of the chess board which James Garner and Donald Pleasence are playing with.
Manufacturers of cheap chess sets go to the expense of printing their cardboard boxes … but invariably either the board is the wrong way round or the queens and kings are on the wrong squares. Am I the only nit pick who goes loopy at this inattention to detail? Do not these guys know anything about selling? You'd think that by the law of averages they'd get it right half the time … but they do not!
I do not really know much about backgammon but, if I was going to produce a backgammon product for the mass market and spending large sums of money in the process, I promise you that I'd be asking a couple of backgammon experts a lot Of questions. Why? So that I did it right instead of wrong and so that I did not lose sales by showing backgammon players that I knew nothing about their game – and that I could not care less either! There would always be the risk that some potential buyers would buy from somewhere else. Why does not anyone ever take the trouble to get it right?