When you’re ready to purchase a chess set, you should make sure that you get one with which you will be happy. A chess set is a very special kind of purchase. It may not always be best to go cheap. Having a chess set that you are proud of and that you feel good about will increase your enjoyment as you play. It really makes you feel a connection with all the great traditions of the wonderful game of chess.
When you are ready to buy your chess sets, then here are a few ideas to think about..
Looks are important
Chess sets are available in a wide range of styles and with different level of quality. You can buy anything from a very cheap starter set to a stunningly beautiful hand carved set. The wooden chess sets on the are all made from sustainable sources. Whether you are looking for a future family heirloom, a personal set for yourself, a set for the children to start playing or a present for that chess enthusiast in your life, then look for something that impresses you. Something you will be proud to use yourself or give as a gift.
When looking for the quality of the carving, then looking at the Knight will probably give you the best impression of the quality of carving. The Knight is the piece where the craftsmen usually excel witheir skills. After comparing the knights from different sets you will realise that there can be quite a large difference between the details in the pieces. Look to see how the craftsmen has interpreted the eyes, nostrils, teeth and manes of the piece.
A Weighted piece can be important
A well made chess piece should be properly balanced so it acts, looks and feels right either when it is moved around the board, or sits on the board. Chess pieces should move with elegance, and they should be stable when sitting on the board. Correct weighting can avoid ruining a game with an accidental nudge of the board. Of course unweighted pieces might be suitable if the set is just for decorative purposes. There are also wooden sets with magnets in the base which offer another way to counter any accidental nudges.
Get the right size board
Choosing a board of the correct size takes a little more thought than you might initially think. First, it must fit the space in which you are most likely to use it. Second, it has to work with the size of your chess pieces. Third the colours and materials of the board should complement your chess set. And finally, you need to be able to have some space for putting down your captured pieces.
You could begin by measuring the diameter of the base of the King. The squares on the board should be slightly larger than this diameter. Typically the king’s base diameter should be at least 3 or 4mm smaller than the chess board square..
So if the King has a base of 47mm then you will need 50mm squares. there are 8 squares across, that means the board will be around 400mm”. Allow about 50mm all around to give some space for placing captured pieces. That means to accommodate the pieces you would need a board that is at least 500mm square.
Of course if you buy a folding chess set that includes the pieces as well as the board, then the sizes of the pieces and the board are already matched for optimal use.
Put a bit of thought into your chess set purchase and it will give you many years of enjoyment.