A QUICK CHESS SET BUYING GUIDE
Chess is one of the oldest board games in the world. It is an easy game to play and is a test of intellect, concentration and strategy. The equipment used to play the game is simple. There are 16 white pieces, 16 black ones and a board of 64 squares.
Many people treasure their chess sets and often chess sets are a lifetime heirloom. It is all worth it in those moments when the chess board is brought out and the opponents gleam with admiration.
There are a huge variety of chess sets available. The question is how to choose one that's right for you, are you looking for one that's decorative to or just one that's practical? Chessboards come in plastic, stone such as marble and a variety of woods. This goes for chess pieces as well. When choosing a chess set, you can choose a combination that already includes pieces matched with an appropriate board or pick the chessboard and chess pieces individually.
PRICING YOUR CHESS SET
If you love the game as i do it is a good idea to buy the highest quality set you can afford. There will always be a look of respect from your opponent when a beautifully made chess set is brought out! Like most things, you get what you pay for and if your set is going to last for generations, you'll want a good one that will stand the test of time and will continue to bring great memories for years to come.
DETERMINING THE QUALITY OF A CHESS SET
There are a few ways to determine the quality of a chess set. One way is by the weight of the pieces. Many pieces (particularly wood pieces) are double or triple weighted, giving them a sturdy and more solid feel. The quality of carving - especially of the knight - is another indication of the quality of the chess set. A set of finely carved knights can represent up to 50% of the total cost of the chessmen. Then the quality of the turnings, the finish and the uniformity also add to cost. Another place craftsmanship can be seen is in the king's crown. Look at the craftsmanship displayed in the decorative crown. Remember that the knight and king are the "crowning" pieces of your chess set. The higher the quality, the finer the carving of the pieces and the more intricate the detail.
The type of wood used in chess sets and boards is also a determine factor in the quality. Ebony is more expensive than rosewood, which is, in turn, more expensive than boxwood, etc. Exotic woods are more expensive still - and lets not forget 2,000 year old ivory chess sets! These reach into the £3,000+ range.
MATCHING YOUR PIECES AND BOARDThe size of the king determines the size of the chessboard. More specifically, the base of the king should measure roughly 3/4 of the size of one of the squares on the board. If the base of the king is any larger then your pieces might look too cramped when placed on the board. If the king measures too small, there will be too much empty space and things will just look a little 'off' if you know what I mean.
The size of the chess pieces in relation to the board is however a matter of personal taste. Tournament play is the exception, since very clear specifications are given for piece sizes and boards. USCF equipment are outlined in their rules. For pieces they specify a king that measures between 3 3/8" to 4 1/2" with abase diameter of 40-50% of the height.
As you look around you'll see there are a wide variety of chess boards out there so there's certainly going to be one that's just right for you or that would make the perfect gift for someone else. By choosing the right one, you'll be able to enjoy hours of game play with a quality chess set that you'll be proud to own and that will last for years, without spending a fortune.
HOW WILL YOUR CHESS SET BE USED?
If you are planning to make daily use of your chess and carry it to tournaments and clubs, you would want to choose an extremely durable chess set. Now is the time when a weighted plastic chess set would be of most use.
If you need a chess set for the office or to keep handy, you may prefer the convenience of a travel chess set. These sets are small and compact, usually magnetic or pegged. Some are finely crafted enough to be kept on your coffee table, ready for immediate use.
Chess sets are often chosen as a wonderful way to decorate a room. Many studies libraries and dens have a chess set as their centerpiece. These chess sets can range from practical, which are used often for play, to simply for show with truly heirloom and collectible quality.