When you’re in the market for a new chess set, your budget is always at the top of the list. But, the most affordable chess sets should also come with a certain amount of quality. Here is a list of some of the other factors you should keep in mind when looking for a new board.
1. The Look of the Pieces
Are you able to tell the rook from the knight? The queen should be distinctly different from the pawns. While you may want a themed set, you still need to be able to tell what each piece is. It shouldn’t take a lot of thought from your or your partner to tell which piece is which.
2. Don’t Be Afraid of a Standard Set
Sure, it might sound boring and cliché. But it’s the standard for a reason. This set is universally known and will be in the most affordable chess sets category. If you want something fancier, you’ll have to pay more. With a standard set, you still get all the fun of the game without the hassle of trying to figure out what piece your themed characters are supposed to be.
3. Weighted Pieces
This is especially important if you’re playing speed chess. You don’t want your pieces falling over with a simple brush of the hand or a stiff breeze.
If you’re going to be playing often, you want something that will withstand the test of time. If you’re traveling with your board, you need something that won’t shatter if you drop it. A plastic set will last much longer than a glass or wooden one.
5. Choose the Right Board
There are three different types: vinyl rolflex, one-piece wood board, and folding wood board. If you’re on the go and want something light and easy, go for the vinyl. The other two are much heavier though. They compound durability with aesthetic. The folding wooden board, while heavier than vinyl, is much easier to transport than the one-piece board. This might be the best compromise between attractiveness and maneuverability.
6. Find the Right Store
Do your research before purchasing. Many online stores will bundle board and pieces. Bundles are almost always cheaper than purchasing separately. Plus, this means your board and pieces should end up matching. You might have purchased a standard board, but at least it’ll look nice. If you go for a theme, make sure everyone who is playing is up to speed on which piece is which.
The most important thing, as with any other hobby, is to have fun. Whether you are hoping to become the next Bobby Fischer, or you just want something to do in the park with others, finding the right chess set shouldn’t be stressful. It should be an expression of who you are and what you want to portray to the world. Have your dragon themed set, or maybe your fairy princess set. It doesn’t matter as long as you’re having fun and playing the game.