What Chess Set Should I Buy? Questions You Need to Consider
What is the best chess set to buy? As the supplier of the finest chess sets in the world, we get asked that question a lot at the Official Staunton Chess Company. The fact is, that the answer will depend very much on what you want to use it for, as believe it or not, there are several deciding factors that will guide your hand.
With so many different chess sets, boards and pieces available online, it can be difficult to answer the question of what chess set should I buy quickly. So, with this mind, we thought we would be our usual helpful selves and address that question head on. By reading to the end, you should have a better idea about which type you should go for.
What Size Chess Set Should I Buy?
This is the first point where the question of the purpose of your chess set purchase comes into play, as this will inform you about any chess set size criteria that needs to be met. Now, if you want to use your soon-to-be-purchased set for decorative purposes or for general use, there is no right or wrong size of chess board or chess pieces.
On the other hand, if you are buying a set for official tournament purposes, your chess board should have 64 squares of between 2-2.5 inches. The King’s height will be between 3.375-4.5 inches, with the piece’s diameter not taking up more than 75% of the square it sits in. That said, it will depend on the tournament in question on how strictly they apply these guidelines.
Another use for a chess set that would determine its size is whether you’re playing on the move. If this is your intended purpose, then you’ll be looking at travel chess sets, which understandably tend to be much smaller, so that they can be stored conveniently and played with whenever a spare moment presents itself.
What’s the Best Material for a Good Chess Set?
Another consideration you’ll have to make is what material you want your chess set to be made of. What are chess sets made of? Well, over the centuries, chess sets have been made of all kinds of natural materials like wood, stone, clay, pewter, glass and even the now outlawed, ivory. There are even modern and contemporary chess sets that are made from metal.
Your ideal material will likely depend on what style pleases you the most and you have some amazing metal, glass, alabaster, marble and wooden chess sets to choose from. For decorative and occasional use, you really have the world as your oyster when it comes to choice, as it really is a matter of taste. However, if you want something for everyday use, you might want to opt for a material that can stand up to daily wear and tear like wood or plastic.
How Do You Pick a Chess Board & Chess Pieces Separately?
If you can’t find a chess set that meets your aesthetic needs or you already have a chess board that you need a set of chess pieces for (or vice versa), you’ll have to find a suitable product. Much of what you need to think about is the colouring, as when set up, everything needs to look good, with nice, pleasing, complementing or contrasting colours.
As we mentioned earlier, sizing is an important factor too, as you don’t want to match your chess board with chess pieces that don’t fit comfortably in the squares provided. Aside from these considerations, it really is up to you, but if you had to push on it, we’d say that in many cases, a nice good-quality wooden board made from rosewood or red sandalwood will fit the bill perfectly.
Can You Have More Than 2 Queens in Chess?
This is an interesting question and one that can have a bearing on which chess set you buy. That’s because some chess sets come with up to 4 queens, which obviously makes them cost more, but it also offers an enhancement to the game itself.
Why? Well, when a pawn makes it all the way to the other side of the board, it gets ‘Queened’ and with an extra Queen to use for each side, you get to represent this on the board with an actual piece. Without it, you’d have to mark it another way. A small difference, sure, but it can make a difference to your enjoyment of the game.
Why Are Chess Sets so Expensive?
Well, admittedly, there are some chess sets out there that are very expensive, but it’s not something that’s true across the board (pardon the pun). In fact, you can buy a top quality luxury chess set for just a few hundred pounds. Is this a lot of money? Well, it may well be, but you spend this amount not just for the materials, but also for the supreme craftsmanship that goes into creating them. Like many different products out there, you get what you pay for.
You can get a chess set for under £10 if you just want a way to play, but you invest more when you want to enjoy and appreciate the majesty of a centuries old pastime. You’ll notice where every penny that you spend on a luxury chess set goes every time you get it out and play it. It’s why we often get told by our customers that buying a higher-quality set has encouraged them to play the game more frequently.
What Chess Set Should I Buy? That’s For You to Decide!
So, as you can see, choosing your ideal chess set takes a bit of thought, as there’s more to it than a lot of people realise. We’ve covered just a few of the considerations you need to make when choosing your ideal product, which has already shown us that it’s often more complex than just saying “I like that one”.
At the Official Staunton Chess Company, we offer the best luxury chess sets you’ll find anywhere online and we have a huge and stunning range of chess equipment to enhance your enjoyment of the great game. If you take a look at our website www.officialstaunton.com you’ll see that we have choices for every purpose and every taste, so you need not look anywhere else to find the perfect option to suit your needs.
We hope you have found this blog helpful in choosing the best chess set. If however, you need further assistance in identifying your ideal product, please don’t hesitate to call our friendly team on (0) 1948 880 060. We’re still open for business during lockdown and we’ll be more than happy to assist.