Indeed buying a chess set may present with many decisions. Size of the chess pieces, the base diameter of the king (usually the largest piece) will the pieces fit on the board you may already have? or thinking of buying. The standard size as used in tournament chess competitions is approx 3.75 Inch (95mm)
First you need to consider the size of playing square of the chess board where the pieces will be used. For example; a chess board with a square size of 2 Inch would require a kings base diameter to be no greater than 75% and no less than 60%. This method is used in respect of different sized chess sets also.
When considering a chess set, first consider your budget and what the set will be used for; if it is for example a set used for a beginner then perhaps a simple economy set would suffice. Then if the beginner decides to stay with the game they could always upgrade to a decent set of staunton chess pieces.
There are so many wooden chess set designs to choose from and a fair choice of plastic chess sets usually used in schools and chess clubs worldwide. The main wood used to carve and turn a chess set is Boxwood. Boxwood is almost always used for the lighter pieces. The darker materials used varies for example- Ebony, Sandalwood, Padouk, Rosewood, Sheesham make very attractive counterparts to Boxwood. The most expensive and somewhat restricted is Sandalwood.
Making a chess set is somewhat considered to be a masterful art, indeed not many understand the process and labour intensive procedure to make just a single set! Some of our sets in the luxury chess range take up to and over 40 hours to complete! For example, the work a carver has to undertake from choosing the dried wood to completing a single chess knight piece.