Chess was outside the media spotlight for a while, then the hit Netflix show “The Queen’s Gambit” brought it back. It was one of the biggest drivers of the recent chess boom alongside the current health crisis.
With people locked down in their homes, many turned to online chess games. By October 2020, Chess.com reviewed a total of 125 million games – up by 66% from the prior year.
These factors also fueled a lot of people to buy chess boards for their homes. And what does your classy home lack? A luxury chess set.
Keep on reading to learn how to pick and buy the proper chess set for you.
Consider Why You’re Buying a Chess Set
The qualities to look for in a chess set depend on your purpose. Do you need one you can take on your travels? Do you want a luxury chess set you can use every night?
You may want a spare set when you want to play a game with a friend coming over. Perhaps you want a set matching the aesthetics of your office.
Finding out your needs helps you set priorities when looking for a suitable chess set. For example, when traveling with a chess set, look at its portability. Folding chess sets are popular, and so are roll-up sets.
Decorative sets are those you can display in your office, den, library, and so on. Luxury chess sets are often decorative, but they’re still good to play with once in a while. Their purpose is to look pretty and get admiration from your guests.
If you want to play every day, get a practical chess set. They’re durable enough to withstand the punishment of regular play.
When looking for luxury sets, you may also encounter theme sets. The themes include civil war, dragon, medieval, sports, and so on.
What to Look For in a Luxury Chess Set
Once you know what you want, it’s easier for you to find and compare chess sets. Here are a few features to be on the lookout for.
Whatever your purpose is, durability is one of your main concerns. Chess sets’ primary purpose is to play with. As such, they must withstand the impact of the constant or occasional play.
The material plays a huge role in the durability of a set. However, you must consider the details as well. Those with intricate details are more vulnerable to chips and scratches regardless of the material.
It’s one of the most important factors in choosing a chess set. Make sure the chess pieces are discernible from each other. You must know which is the king, the queen, and so on at a glance.
It’s essential in tournament chessboards. You’ll find their pieces have distinguishable styles. It allows players to focus on strategizing and making their moves.
Themed sets are primarily notorious for the lack of detail in their pieces. The minimalist styles are the biggest culprit.
The pieces should not fall over because of a slight breeze. Weighted pieces help them stay grounded and on the board.
When you want to play speed chess, it becomes all the more important. The fast movement can cause non-weighted pieces to topple over. You might also graze some pieces, but it’s not a big deal if your chess set has proper weights.
Does the board’s size matter? In tournaments, yes.
The United States Chess Federation (USCF) uses chess boards with 2.25-inch squares. According to their standards, the square sizes should be between 2 and 2.5 inches.
They have specifications about the king’s height, as well. It should be 3.375 to 4.5 inches tall. The standard USCF tournament set has a 3.75-inch king.
Take note; other countries may have different standards. However, it isn’t as crucial if you’re playing casually or buying a decorative piece.
The material dictates the durability and appearance of the chessboard. If you want the most durable chess set, go for vinyl. They’re great for traveling because you can roll them up.
However, there’s a reason you won’t see vinyl luxury chess sets. They’re not attractive.
Many luxury sets have glass boards and pieces, but some use marble. You may even consider getting a chess set made with silver and gold coating.
For both looks and durability, a wooden chess set is a great choice. It ranges from cheap to luxurious, depending on the wood and design. Luxury sets usually use ebony, maple, acacia, redwood, and such.
For a decorative piece, the design is one of the most critical factors. It should fit your desired room’s aesthetics. Consider the luxury furniture and the color scheme.
Even if you’re buying a chess set for practical reasons, it’s not harmful to consider the appearance. You’ll see it every time you play. You should like what you see.
Pick the Right Chess Store
Did you know you can buy the board and pieces separately? Specialized stores offer this option, allowing you to choose in both aspects.
You need not look for a physical store if you want to buy a set. You only have to ensure the store is legitimate, especially if you’re buying online.
Find a store with high-quality sets and affordable pricing. For beginners, buy a package with the chessboard, pieces, and bag. You don’t have to worry about compatibility.
Find the Right Luxury Chess Set for You
A luxury chess set is far from the regular ones in your friends’ house, on TV, and everywhere else. They can be pretty expensive, making them more of an investment. It’s why you must know how to choose the right one for your home.
Featured image source: Pexels.com