Chess Sets - a customers buying preferences
I have a theory that a chess player's taste in equipment is heavily influenced by how they love the game.
Many chess players are driven almost exclusively by their playing results. They focus completely on rating points and winning. The equipment they play on does not make much difference to them and they use simple equipment or a computer for online chess. They love the competition.
Some other players are highly driven by the beauty of the game. They admire chess as an art and get pleasure from playing over great games of the past. (Of course they also hope to create some brilliance of their own as well!) These players tend to like nice sets that enhance the beauty of the chess experience. Some of these players also become collectors of chess equipment, especially chess pieces
Many people are some combination of the two types above: they really like to play and win yet they also find chess to be terribly beautiful. I fall into this camp.
My own personal taste in chess sets has been heavily influenced by my love of the game. I revere the rich history of the game and the great players who have played it over the years. It seems that today's strongest players and tournaments all tend to use the same type of equipment. I find that I relate better to the diversity of equipment used in the major events of the 19th and 20th centuries.
I love the look and feel of wooden chess set. I play with wooden sets and boards at every opportunity. I prefer the pieces to be made of boxwood and ebonized boxwood since I find that ebony and some of the other more exotic woods suffer from the dry indoor climate of Michigan winters. I prefer boards made from solid hardwoods versus wood veneers even though I own examples of both. My favourite board is an old Drueke from about 1985. (I actually visited the Drueke factory right before I bought the board. LOTS of sawdust!)
My preferences in piece design reflect my interest in the past: Staunton designs are my foremost passion followed by the Dubrovnik design. I like my chess sets to be simple because I play with them whenever I can. Exotic sets with ornate knights and pieces with spires on top just don't seem to work as well for me during play. People may have a hard time believing this but nice sets that meet the criteria above always seem to make me play a little better than when I play with plastic. My fondness for playing with a 4.4 inch king size whenever possible probably runs a little counter to the norm. I know it sounds silly but I feel like I'm channelling my inner Emanuel Lasker when I play on a nice large set.
While I don't currently own any nice storage boxes I think I will need to be looking at some to help add humidity to my piece storage. Nice things need to be cared for.
What ever you preferences are in equipment I think you will find that you can get what you want at The Official Staunton Chess Company. I have experienced excellent service from Mr. Carl Miceli and I think you will too.