What to look for to find a quality chess set and set of chess pieces



Most of the chess boards are made of wood of different varieties. The quality of chess board is dependent upon factors like the type of wood, workability on the wood, size of the pieces, craftsmanship involved, weight of the pieces and extra pieces provided.

The quality of the set is majorly dependent upon the type of wood used. The more rare and exotic the wood is, the better is the quality. Wood like ebony and redwood (budrose) are the best for high quality chess sets. Further, other wood types like rose wood, maple, sheesham, chidar etc. are used for high quality sets.

Workability is another factor for determining the value of the sets. The concept is, since the pieces are carved and generally hand carved, the harder the wood is, the more difficult it is to carve the pieces. Ebony and rosewood are more difficult to carve on and thus make the pieces more valuable as compared to others.

It goes without saying that the larger the size of the pieces, the better is their value. Everything else remaining same, the more material is used, the more is the value of the chess set.

The craftsmanship involved is a driving factor of the value of the set. The more detailed the carving, the better will be the value. For example, the king’s crown, queen’s coronet, bishop’s mouth, knight’s mane etc. involve much detailing to enhance the value of the chess set.

The value of the chess set is also variable depending upon the weight of the pieces. The pieces can be standard, double weighted or triple weighted. To enhance the weight, metal discs are put in the hollow of the bottom of the pieces.

Extra pieces like extra queens, if offered in the set, then the value of the set increases.