A chess set can not only help you improve, but it can also serve as the first inspiration to take up the game. But most importantly, it makes the game a lot more fun to play.
In this article, we will share 5 reasons why a chess set is so important. Also, we'll share a few interesting stories on how some chess legends were inspired to play by their family chess set.
1. Make The Game More Enjoyable
Imagine playing on a tiny board with tiny pieces. The problem here is that the pieces don't fit into your hand, and are incredibly difficult to put on the right squares. Not to mention if you get a little too aggressive like the end of a blitz game they topple easily.
With smaller sets beginners have a hard time differentiating the pieces. For instance, mistaking the bishop and pawn, or the queen and king.
Most smaller sets are also magnetic, which can be nice of traveling, but can be a barrier to accurate play in a blitz game.
So does this mean larger pieces are always better?
It's all about balance. You want pieces that fit into your hand properly and that can stand distinctly on a particular square even in the heated moments of a match. You want the pieces to have breathing room and the ability to glide on a board with ease.
Tournament sets were designed specifically for these conditions.
With a good chess set, you can focus on more chess. There's a reason professionals use these sets for practice.
2. Inspire new and old players alike
There are countless stories in the world of those who took up chess after they saw someone in their family play it.
Judit Polgar, the strongest female chess player, started her journey when she saw her elder sisters practice chess and solve tactics daily.
Magnus Carlsen also picked up the sport after watching his sister play. A good set and little family rivalry motivated the best in the world.
In fact, for a lot of the top players, this is how they began playing the game in their formative years.
A chess set can often be a topic of conversation in your home. Having a handcrafted wooden chess set adds a layer of elegance that piques the curiosity of both the avid player and naive admirer. Fine wooden sets serve a dual purpose as functional pieces of art for your home.
3. Take it anywhere!
Imagine sitting on top of a mountain, surrounded by beautiful valleys, and being able to play chess with your mates, just like Eric Rosen is playing here…
Chess can be extremely fun to play anywhere, especially with the right board and clock. Whether that's at the beach, park, or cafe having a good travel set companion is key.
4. Be your own chess hustler
In different parts of the world, there are chess parks where locals often hang out and play the game. Sometimes, even top players decide to give such parks a visit and have fun with the locals there.
Here’s Hikaru Nakamura playing chess at a local park in Washington, disguised as a can!
These parks exist not only in the US but also in India, Russia, and across Europe where there’s a growing chess culture.
You know what happens when you have a chess set and a clock at the park? :) You can easily set up a board, and people would flock to play with you. No need to wait for anyone to finish their game! Your board, your rules!
5. More Fun With Different Chess Variants
There are so many different variants you can try with your friends when you have a chessboard. One that comes to my mind is Bughouse, a famous variant where you play chess on 2 boards.
It’s possible to play this variant online, but there’s a different joy of playing this with your friends at a cafe or outdoors. The piece-swapping, the banter, and everything around it will make you fall in love with the game more.
Conclusion: Which Chess Set Should I Buy?
If you’re just starting out, consider buying a normal tournament chess set. These sets come with a storage bag, plastic pieces, and a chessboard made of vinyl.
Because they’re made of plastic, they won’t break easily. At the same time, they are big enough to fit into your hand.
All of this makes them easy-to-carry, durable and gives you a smooth playing experience.
Check out all our tournament chess sets here.
A handmade wooden chess set can be a great showpiece in your living room or study. It’s usually these sets that fascinate guests and become a place to start a conversation. If you are looking to step up we offer an array of beautiful wooden Staunton chess pieces and different styles of solid wood and vaneer boards.