To know if a chess set is good, consider its material, weight, and feel, as well as its design, craftsmanship, and your budget. Reviews and brand reputation can also help you make a decision.
In this blog post, I will discuss each of these quality attributes.
11 Qualities that make a chess set good:
Chess sets can be made from various materials, including wood, plastic, metal, glass, and more. The material can greatly affect the set’s durability, appearance, and feel.
Wooden sets are often considered high-quality, with different types of wood providing various levels of quality and aesthetics.
Check out our recommended best wooden chess sets.
2. Weight and Feel
A good chess set should have pieces that feel substantial and well-balanced in your hand. Light and flimsy pieces may not be as enjoyable to play with. They fall during a game either because of a minor touch of hand or because of little wind if you are playing outdoors.
Pieces should be weighted enough to stand and also feel good in the hand when moving them.
Here is a table of the standard chess pieces’ approximate weight in grams:
|Piece||Approximate Weight (grams)|
Please note that these are approximate weights, and actual weights can vary depending on the material and design of the chess set.
The size of the chessboard squares and pieces should be appropriate for your needs. Standard tournament-sized boards have 2.25-inch squares, but smaller or larger sets may be preferable for casual play or display purposes.
4. Design and Aesthetics
The design and aesthetic appeal of a chess set are subjective. Choose a set that you find visually pleasing and that fits your style, vision, and preferences. Some people prefer traditional Staunton pieces, while others may prefer themed sets with unique designs.
Look for well-crafted and detailed pieces. The carving and finishing should be of high quality, without rough edges or defects.
6. Staunton Style
The Staunton design is the standard for tournament play and is recognized worldwide. If you plan to play competitively or learn from instructional materials, a Staunton-style set is recommended.
7. Storage and Portability
Consider whether the set comes with a storage box or case, especially if you plan to travel with it or keep it in good condition over time.
Chess sets are available in a wide range of price points. Set a budget based on your preferences and how serious you are about chess. More expensive sets tend to have better craftsmanship and materials.
9. Brand Reputation
Some brands are known for producing high-quality chess sets, and you can rely on their reputation when making a purchase.
DGT is the most reputable brand and is the official sponsor of FIDE (The world chess federation).
Determine the intended use of the chess set. If it’s for casual play with friends, a less expensive set may be sufficient. If it’s for serious chess study or competitive play, investing in a higher-quality set is a good idea.
11. Reviews and Recommendations
Read reviews from other customers and seek recommendations from experienced chess players or enthusiasts to get insights into the quality and durability of a specific set.
Ultimately, the “goodness” of a chess set is a matter of personal preference and intended use. Choose a set that suits your taste, budget, and playing style, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player.