A Buyers Consideration on choosing a Chess Set
Please browse our selection of chess sets below:
When I choose a chess set I look for two things mainly.
The first one is the playability. For me, this is a very important aspect, because I like to eventually play with any set of my own. I don't have a way to show them, but taking them to the club from time to time and play with friends. Staunton, Dubrovnik or Russian sets are a must. I usually avoid figurative chess sets.
About playability, that also means that the pieces must be clearly identificable and the proportions and design must be good enough. There is no bigger pleasure than the touch of a well done wood chess set or even a plastic well proportioned set. For me all pieces must be sturdy and playable.
The second thing I look for is the value from a collection point of view. That does not mean that the set must be very valuable by itself, but it must have a manufacturing, historical, personal or competitive background that adds value to the set.
It's a very open definition that allows me to enjoy almost any set.
On this topic it is great to find reproduction of historical sets, they allow me to dream with the old chess days and imagine the "legends" playing with similar pieces.
The historical accuracy is important, but I can tolerate differences. To find customized or modernized chess sets is not a problem for me and I even find pleasure finding the differences with the original one. At the end it is not so important to have a exact copy of the original but to have a good artisan work.
The carving can be important sometimes, we need to remember that although the lathe work and computers allow a lot of precision in most cases the knight carving is done by artisans.
Although I like wood I also enjoy plastic. Vintage plastic or the current everywhere and classic sets are wonderful. I can collect dozens of plastic sets with small variations. For me even the most simple chess set has value if you put it in context. That means to find if it has been used in tournaments or it has an historical background.
I can spend a lot of time researching about and specific chess set, just to find which other one inspired its manufacturing. For example, It was a great pleasure to find that the basic club chess set is inspired in old French Lardy sets, and since then I use to collect them by manufacturer or by their differences in proportions or materials.
To conclude, as many collectors, when I choose a chess set it is also a matter of guts, somewhat you have to fell in love with the set when you see it. It can be a matter of seconds or years, but at the end you feel the need to buy it. Anyway, as I said, there are some still some objective reasons, in my case: Playability and the value as a collectable item.