Is an expensive chess set worth it?

Determining the true value of an expensive chess set is just like determining the true value of any other thing. We often hear that you get what you pay for, but that is not always true.

Expensive chess sets are just like expensive designer outfits or expensive gadgets – not every one of them lives up to the hefty price tag. Same goes for other things like jewelry, furniture, shoes etc.

For the Avid Chess Players:

If your goal is serious on the board play, you’ll want a set that justifies your investment. Here are some qualities that can make an expensive chess set a wise choice for your strategic battles:

  1. Material Mastery: Seek out top-notch materials. Wooden chess sets, like rosewood, walnut, or maple, often bring a touch of sophistication to your game.
  2. Exquisite Craftsmanship: Look for pieces that boast fine details – a knight that exudes readiness or a queen with an air of regal authority.
  3. Ideal Size: A chessboard that fits your playing surface and pieces that strike a balance between too small and overly bulky.

For the Decorating Enthusiasts:

If your aim is to embellish your living space, not necessarily for epic matches but for sheer visual delight, your criteria of choosing an expensive chess set should be:

  1. Visually Pleasing Design: Your chess set should resonate with your senses. Does it harmonize with your room’s aesthetics? Is it a classic Staunton design or an artistic masterpiece that tells a story?
  2. Material Elegance: Is it crafted from fine wood, elegant marble, or sleek glass? It should seamlessly blend with your decor, like a rook in its castle.
  3. Impeccable Craftsmanship: Pay attention to intricate details. The pieces should be so finely crafted that even the lowly pawns demand admiration.
  4. Space-Friendly Dimensions: Ensure that your set doesn’t overwhelm your available display area.
  5. Standout Display Stand: Some sets come with a display stand that adds to the allure. The stand should be as captivating as the pieces themselves.
  6. Thematic Allure: Does it align with your decorative theme? Whether it’s historical, fantastical, or out-of-this-world, a themed set can be a room’s pièce de résistance.
  7. Packaging Prowess: Don’t overlook the packaging! A well-designed storage case not only safeguards your treasure but also enhances its overall appeal.
  8. Lighting Enhancement: Consider the lighting in your chosen display location. Proper illumination can transform your chess set from a mere decorative piece to a visual masterpiece.
  9. Maintenance and Care: Decorative sets may require occasional attention. Dusting and cleaning are all part of the royal treatment.
  10. Personal Preference: Ultimately, trust your instincts and personal style. Your chess set should be an extension of your individuality and taste.


Whether an expensive chess set is worth it depends on your purpose. For serious players, a set with top-notch materials, craftsmanship, and ideal size can justify the investment. If you are decorating, focus on visual appeal, material elegance, and thematic allure to make it a room’s pièce de résistance.

Ultimately, it’s like any other expensive item – not all are worth the price, so consider your purpose carefully.

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