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What Should I look For In A Chess Set?

Updated: Mar 19, 2021

Choosing a new chess set for yourself can be difficult, especially when you want to find one to your liking that matches your available budget. While you can play chess with any set, you don't want to waste your money on a set that isn't esthetically pleasing or has chess pieces that feel uncomfortable to the touch.

When you are playing a game, the last thing you want is for your chess set to distract you from concentrating on your chess strategies. You need to choose a chess set that feels comfortable and looks good.

Buying a chess set

Let's look at some top tips to help you find a high-quality chess set that lies well within your budget.

While themed chess sets may look cute and would make a great novelty gift for a chess lover, it is important to consider whether you would buy a themed chess set for yourself to use every day. What if the chess pieces are so artistically stylised that you cannot tell the king from the queen?

When buying a chess set for yourself for everyday gameplay it may be worth looking at a traditional tournament board style where the pieces are very distinguishable from each other, thus causing no confusion or distraction while you play.

A standard tournament chess set

A standard tournament chess set is a good choice because it has a nice size and weight. While it is fine to play casually with friends on any type of chessboard, a tournament chess board has nice sized squares and good-sized chess pieces.

The squares a tournament chess board measure 2 ¼ inches from one side to the other and the king will measure around 3 ¾ to 4 ¼ inches tall, which makes it very comfortable to move around.

Playing speed chess?

There can be nothing more exhilarating than playing a few games of speed chess. If this is something you like to do often, then you should choose a chess set that has weighted pieces.

Playing a game with unweighted pieces, especially if they have small bases, will increase the risk of accidents where pieces can fall over when being moved. You should also make sure that the chess pieces are robust and durable to ensure a few good years of play.

Wooden chess set or plastic chess set?

When choosing between a wooden or plastic chess set, you need to consider the durability and longevity of each type. A good quality plastic chess set should deliver you with years of play.

However, wooden chess pieces and boards may look stunning, but they can become susceptible to chips and scratches that may make your set look a bit shabby after a lot of use.

It really comes down to personal taste and your available budget. While wooden chess pieces can look more aesthetically pleasing, they can be far more expensive to buy and maintain than plastic pieces.

No matter whether you decide on a plastic or wooden chess set, it is worth browsing the House of Staunton's incredible selection. They offer a wide range of durable, well-weighted plastic sets and beautiful wooden chess sets that will look stunning set out in any room of your home.

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