||Do you need algebraic notation? This is rank and files (1-8 and a-h) that are printed on the frame around a chess board. If you plan on playing in tournaments and keeping track of your moves, than it is a good idea to have the notation on the chess board. If you play over the phone, or by email this will help to make sure you place the pieces in the correct place for your opponent’s move and to tell your opponent your move. .
We have made it easy for you to select the perfect chess board by placing a chart with each set of pieces to help with chess board square sizing
Choosing Chess Pieces and Chess Board
||Matching the pieces and chessboard together for an aesthetically pleasing look is relatively simple. Think about the coloring. If you are selecting wood (the most popular type of chess pieces) than the dark pieces in your chess set and the dark playing squares of your chess board should look nice together. Match them accordingly. You may wish to try blending the colors or make a striking contrast. Also, take into consideration the frame of the board. Make sure the table is large enough to hold the board!
The white squares of most good chess boards, made from wood, are carved from Bird's Eye Maple (BEM). The dark squares are varied in material left to your personal taste. Consider where you plan to place the board. Will the chess board rest on a Rosewood table? Then you may wish to choose that wood for your chess board's dark squares. Or you may wish to contrast, such as a deeper-colored dark square like Striped Ebony to add grace and elegance. Make sure the table is large enough to hold the board!
Why is the Pricing so Varied?
Many factors combine to determine the cost of your chess set, including:
1) Type of Wood Used in Chess Sets and Chess Boards
Ebony is more expensive than Rosewood, which is, in turn, more expensive that Boxwood, etc. Exotic woods are more expensive still - and let's not forget 2,000 year old ivory chess sets! These reach into the £5,000+ range. You can learn more about the popular types of wood chess pieces and boards are crafted from in another article we have written.
2) Chess Set Craftsmanship
Look at the quality of the Knights in particular. A set of finely carved Knights can represent up to 50% of the total cost of the chessmen. Then, the quality of the turnings, the finish and the uniformity also add to cost. Another place craftsmanship can be seen is in the King's crown. Look at the craftsmanship displayed in the decorative crown. Remember that the Knight and King are the "crowning" pieces of your chess set.
3) The Number of Queens
This can determine the price. Many sets come with 4 Queens. Only two are necessary to play chess, but the other Queens are nice to have when you crown a lowly pawn and make it royalty.
||4) What makes a chess set valuable? Jaques of London is the gold standard in chess sets. Their pieces are considered the top of the line in design. Some become quite rare when after so many are crafted (usually 500) the design is retired. The higher end Jaques pieces (£1,000 to £10,000) come with certificates of authenticity with the number and design for collectors. These are heirloom chess pieces and will be an absolutely joy to play on and teach your children and grandchildren the game of chess. The memories will make any chess set