introduction to chess sets
There are almost as many different types and styles of chess sets as
there are chess players. It may be hard to decide upon a particular set,
but it's relatively easy to narrow your choices down to a particular
category. Here's a look at the major categories that are available
Theme Chess Sets
These types of chess sets depict characters, movies and events. There
are theme chess sets for most major sports teams with pieces and pawns
that resemble positions like quarterback and cheerleaders.
There are entire categories of cartoon character chess sets that are
perfect for attracting younger people to the game. You can even get
Civil War or WW II sets as well as Roman Gladiator and even old West
You'll pay anywhere from $20 to over $2,000 for theme sets depending
upon the theme and the materials used to make the set. Some sets are
made with silver, gold and precious stones. Choose platinum if you have
plenty of money.
Travel Chess Sets
If you're on the go then folding travel chess sets are for you. They're
usually magnetic to protect against bumps and jolts. The pieces and
pawns can be stored inside the board when folded. You can get a nice one
for somewhere around $20, or a very basic one for $10 or less. You may
even find miniature ones in the dollar stores!
Wood Chess Sets
Wood is a great material for chess sets. The pieces, pawns and board can
be made from less expensive oak, pine or walnut, or you can choose
exotic woods like teak, ebony, or cocobolo.
Wood sets are impressive to look at and the pieces feel solid. Because
of the weight, they don't make good choices if you're looking for a
portable set, but they are wonderful additions to your home or office.
Wood sets run between $50 and $5,000. Let your budget be your guide!
Glass Chess Sets
Glass is the generic term used to describe chess sets which are made
from crystal or bone china. Although these types of sets generally come
in the theme or collector's categories, you can fine regular pieces and
pawns as well.
Crystal pieces have a good hefty feel to them, but china pieces will
usually feel a bit light unless they have weighted bases. Although
beautiful to look at, the pieces will break if dropped and fingerprints
can become a problem on some models. They're dust collectors too. Many
people keep a glass set for "looks" and another type for actual play.
Glass sets average in the $300 to $2,000 range, but you can pay a lot
more if you want to.
No matter what material you choose, there is a chess set that's right
for your taste and budget. Instead of buying a set, consider buying the
board, pieces and pawns separately. That way, instead of ending up with
a chess set that's another "me too", you can design one that's uniquely