How to Choose the Best Chess Set, A Step-By-Step Guide

The chess board allows you to put all that you've learned and practiced into action. Without a board, you can't play chess!

Sun Tzu advised generals to choose the ground on which to fight. Chess players, like you, have the opportunity to do just that. You don't have to go to a chess shop in order for you choose the chessboard that suits your needs.

The choice between a chess board or a chess set depends on both practicalities and taste. Are you more comfortable with a wooden chessboard than vinyl? Knowing what you want will make everything much easier.

It would be foolish to walk into a car yard without knowing what you are looking for. It might be possible to find the perfect board, but it is more likely that you will have to compromise on certain aspects.

There is an enormous market for chess equipment, so you will be overwhelmed with many offers.

This article will help you choose the best chessboard for your needs. We'll be focusing on six criteria.

  1. Travel versus Home
  2. Practicality vs. Aesthetics
  3. Size
  4. Material
  5. Design
  6. Price

These are the questions you need to ask yourself in order to select the best chess board.

This is the chess board that you can use at home or on your travels.

When choosing a chessboard, the first thing you should decide is whether you prefer to play on-the-go or at home.

It is not a good idea to bring a bulky or expensive set with you on the road. This will make it difficult to carry other holiday essentials.

Nomadic chess players need a board that can be easily carried in their luggage, and doesn't get damaged while they move around.

These portable sets will likely be less attractive. These boards are better suited for use in the home and will be discussed later.

You can choose to fold the board or keep your chess pieces in place.

I have found that the hollow board is more practical because you don't need to carry each piece in separate bags. If you are concerned about the size of your chessboard, a wooden folding chessboard set may be larger.

A magnetic board might be a good option. This allows you to play on planes and buses without worrying about the pieces flying around. You can use chess to relieve boredom on long journeys.

There are two options: one larger, more expensive chessboard for your home, and one smaller, more utilitarian one for traveling.

This board can be used for decoration or chess.

You will need to consider if you're looking for a chessboard that you can use at home.

Perhaps you're looking for something to impress visitors with. A chessboard is a great way to show that you are intelligent. People order stacks of chess books even though they have never read them.

Colours are more important when the set is used for decoration. For example, a chessboard might match the curtains. For the pieces, you can also choose to use esoteric or antique designs.

If you have wooden furniture or shelving in your room, consider buying a wooden board.

There are many combinations of squares on chess boards. Not all are made up of black or white squares. You can have dark brown or light brown, like a wooden chessboard, as well as red and pink .

The colours that look like wood or stone are more conservative. This is the equivalent to a blue suit and a blue shirt. Bright colours can show off some flair and can be quite fun.

You should choose a set with easily identifiable chess pieces if you plan to use this set. It can be difficult to tell the difference between a bishop, pawn, or rook.

Choose a set that is suitable for practice or serious play.

Would you rather have a small or large board?

The size for your chessboard will depend on whether it is intended to be used at home or abroad. The cost of a set will also be affected by its size, since larger sets are more expensive.

For the visually impaired, it is important to play with a larger board. If your eyesight is poor, it can be difficult to play with smaller sets.

If you're buying the board apart from the pieces, make sure the pieces are the same size as the squares. The king's base should be 75% of the square on the chessboard.

You don't have to worry about the size of the pieces and board if you purchase them together.

What materials are you interested in?

A Tournament Chessboard made of Mahogany Wooden and Folding Maple

Take a look at the chessboards of others and decide on your favourite material.

The most appealing materials, such as wooden and marble chessboards, are usually more expensive and less durable. A wooden chessboard is susceptible to scratching, while marble can be easily chipped.

This shouldn't be an issue if your board doesn't allow you to travel.

Plastic Chess Sets on the other hand are cheaper and more durable than traditional chess sets, but feel less authentic and mass-produced.

Numbers or letters at the edges?

Some boards have numbers and letters printed on the edges of the board that identify each square. These sets display the letters "a", through "h,", and the numbers [1] through [8].

This makes it easier to record the moves on your scoresheet , especially for beginners.

Some consider with numbers and letters printed on the chessboard a bit amateurish.

They can be compared to training wheels for a bicycle. An experienced chess player should know the difference between each square.

You don't need them if you already know how to identify the squares.

What's your budget?

The price of a board will be affected by factors like its material and size. Many people spend thousands of dollars on hobbies. Just think about how expensive golf clubs and sports cars are. But it is rare for chessboards that cost more than a few hundred bucks (unless they are encrusted in gold, silver and precious stones).

Chess can be a time-consuming hobby. A wooden chessboard with wooden parts will give you more enjoyment and provide you with many hours of fun.

You can start with a cheap set of plastic chess pieces if you're new to the game. Once you feel you like it, you can upgrade to a more expensive set.

An great way of motivating yourself to improve, is to promise yourself a new set of chess once you have reached a certain milestone or beat a specific opponent.

More Questions and Answers about Chess Boards

1.) 1.) How much does a good quality chessboard run you?

A chessboard's cost can be as low as ten dollars up to several hundred dollars.

2.) 2.) Why is chessboard set so expensive?

Prices are determined by the material and how they are made. Chess sets can be bought in stores for much less than a tailor-made suit.

3.) 3.) What are the best chess sets to buy?

When deciding on a good set of chess pieces, there are many factors you should consider. You should consider things such as size, how it will be used at home, or if it will be taken with you on trips, and your budget.

4.) 4.) What chess sets do professionals use?

Vinyl chessboards with support pieces measuring 3.75 inches are the most popular. Staunton is the most commonly used and accepted chess item.

5.) 5.) What size chessboard should I purchase?

It is important to consider whether you plan on using the chessboard for games at home or while on the road. A set should be large enough to allow you to clearly see and move the pieces.

Begin with pieces measuring 3.75 inches. A chessboard is needed to support these pieces.

6.) 6.) Are chess sets really worth it?

You can find chess sets that are made of precious materials or gems, which are very expensive. The Jewel Royale chess set, for example, costs over £1.3 million. Yes, million.

7.) 7.) What is the oldest set of chess in the world?

The Isle of Lewis chess sets are the oldest and most similar to modern chess pieces. These pieces date back to 1150. These pieces are older than the Indian chat rang board game and date back to around 760 AD.

It takes skill and precision to make chess pieces. The mass-produced plastic chess set is injection moulded, which allows for the production of 1000s of functional and affordable chess sets. However, wooden chess pieces must be turned individually and carefully made by hand.

The first chess pieces are made from a single block of hardwood. Use only the highest quality solid hardwood. Any voids or knots in a chess piece will cause it to be rejected. Boxwood, rosewood and sandalwood are all good choices for making chess pieces. The most expensive sets of chess pieces have a lot of detail. For example, some of the knights display intricate teeth and strands of hair. Therefore, it is important to choose a solid, consistent wood that can be carved at this level of detail while also being strong enough to withstand daily use.

Wood turners who are not professionals may attempt to make their own chess pieces. However, this is often a failure and results can be inconsistent. A metal blade is the professional way to turn chess pieces. It's basically a reverse blank for a piece of chess. The finished piece of chess should match the pattern perfectly. The blade of metal must be very sharp and hard. The blade must be sharp enough to cut through dense wood without splinters.

This method allows skilled woodturners to quickly create uniform chessmen. Now the chess pieces have been perfectly formed and are ready for polishing or weighting.

Weighting chess pieces

High quality chess pieces used to be weighted heavily with lead in the past. The chess pieces were hollowed and then molten lead was poured into them. The unattractive base was covered with leather or a felt pad. This created chess pieces that were extremely heavy, which is what most players want.

Nowadays, lead is not allowed in products. This includes products that could come into contact with children. Many developed countries have even banned lead imports. Modern chessmen are weighed with small, stubby bits of iron or steel.

Finishing touches

High quality chess pieces have a shiny, smooth surface. This finish is often assumed to be achieved by applying a type of lacquer at first glance. Some chess pieces have been lacquered in a variety of colours, including black, white, and red. A natural wood finish is the best, which is then polished to a high shine.

Lacquer is applied to give the pieces a uniform shine. This would reduce any fine lines or intricate carvings. Wax polishing is the best option. This involves using a motorized polishing wheel which spins at high speeds. The rough chess pieces can be held against the polishing wheels until the grain is super smooth.

The spinning polishing wheel is coated with a very hard wax. The heat from friction melts a small amount of the wax embedded in the fibres. The wax transfers to the chess board and becomes part of it. The wax is pure and unprocessed. It becomes soft enough to be part of the polishing process when heated.

This process produces a beautiful chess piece that is shiny but not too glossy, yet still has detail and precision.

Piece by Piece

The Pawn

Although the pawn is the smallest of all the chessmen, sets in which the pawns exceed the other chessmen's pawns are rare. The pawns in every Staunton chess set are the smallest, and reflect their power in the actual game. A Staunton pawn is a classic example of a set where a round ball rests on a pedestal. Manufacturers of chess sets will strive to create pawns that have perfect round balls. A flattened top or a spherical top won't look great. The best pawns have the largest balls.

The Rook

The rook is portrayed as a castle-turret. Because of its importance in the game, it is not uncommon to see slightly larger rooks in a set. However, they should still be one up on the pawns. Even though they are a simple round castle, rooks can show incredible detail in their angles and turning. Perfectly made rooks are extremely satisfying.

The Bishop

A bishop is often seen wearing a hat. In real life, Bishops do wear hats so why not in chess. Without the slot in the hat, the bishop would be a very basic piece. You can choose from a simple cut for cheap sets or a beautiful bevelled design for luxury sets. This is a discussion about Staunton bishops.

The Knight

The knights, despite their importance in chess play, are undoubtedly the most important pieces in a set of chess pieces. Because of their knights, many people have purchased whole chess sets. Even the most obscure and ornate chess sets often depict a horse's head. But the Staunton chessmen were able to get it right. There have been thousands of variations on the original Knight design. This piece is often considered to be the most creative and complex in carving. It's not uncommon to see knights sporting flowing hair, smiles and teeth, pupils in their eyes, and very specific facial expressions on extremely expensive luxury chess sets. This amazing artistic carving can be replicated four times to create a set of knights that look identical.

The Queen

The queen is the tallest piece and has a graceful appearance. She is usually crowned in most chess sets. This is the Staunton design. It exemplifies this. The piece retains a feminine feel while still displaying authority. You will find the most luxurious luxury sets of chessmen with four queens.

The King

The king is last but not least. The king is the tallest of all chessmen, and undoubtedly the most magnificent. Collectors and enthusiasts often consider the king the most beautiful piece of the chess pieces. The iconic profile of a king is as famous as a coca-cola bottle. It has graceful curves and a unique shape. A finial , a cross-shaped piece that decorates the top of the king's head, is used. This piece, which is traditionally in the form of a cross, is usually carved apart from the rest of a piece. Luxury sets may have intricate carvings and polished finishes.