Tables: A step up in class and style
A chess table says something about how you view the game. Sure, every
chess player owns a chessboard, but it takes someone who really
appreciates the game to invest in a chess table.
While that chess table won't increase your skill level, it will make
playing the game more comfortable and will certainly raise your
"reputation" among other players. As an added bonus, the better chess
tables make a beautiful addition to the decor of any room.
Although you can find chess tables made from plastic and glass, there is
nothing that says "class" quite like those which are made from wood. You
can find some beautiful and affordable tables that are made from oak,
maple, mahogany, cherry and walnut. The price go up sharply when you
start looking at models that are made from more rare and exotic woods
like ebony, cocobolo, or teak.
Depending upon the style, the actual chess board is built right into the
table top using either inlaid wood or other material including marble.
Contrasting material colors are used to simulate the "black and white"
Chess tables usually come equipped with two felt-lined drawers, one on
each side, so you can store the pieces and pawns. Top-of-the-line chess
tables often times will have individual custom-fitted slots for each
piece and pawn.
The lower and mid-range chess tables, regardless of the material they
are made from, are usually mass produced in an assembly line
environment. The more expensive ones are usually individually handmade.
Prices range from under $100 for the off-the-shelf plastic, glass and
low-grade wood models, to over $1500 and up for top-of-the-line and
hand-made collector pieces. There are a great deal of selections
available in the under $500 range as well.
Most chess tables come in a uniform height of 30" although custom and
collector pieces may vary according to the manufacturer. On average, a
chess table will be 30" wide and 30" deep although, again, that can vary
greatly as well.
Of course, a chess table is of little use if you don't have any chairs.
Some chess tables include matching chairs, while others leave the chair
selection process up to you. The key element in selecting chairs is to
make sure that they position your comfortably in relationship to the
height of the chess table.
Keep in mind that many of the wood chess tables, especially those that
are made out of the richer hardwoods, will require occasional cleaning
and polishing/waxing. Most of them will also react unfavorably to the
presence of moisture, so remember not to place any beverage containers
or glasses on the table.
A good chess table is an investment that you can enjoy for years. But
don't worry if you can't afford the best. Just get the most table that
you can afford now and you can always trade up as time goes by.