Opening Gambits - The First Move When Buying A Great Chess Table Set
According to the 2015 movie 'Pawn Sacrifice,' there are more than 300 billion possible options after only four moves in a game of chess. This can be incredibly daunting to the novice player. But even those who have been playing the game for a lifetime can be a bit at sea when it comes to purchasing a competition level chess table set.
What makes it so challenging? Well, the fact that there are probably as many types of materials that can be used to produce a board and the pieces, as well as the fact that a championship quality set should be able to stand the wear and tear of daily use and still last generations.
So what do the best players in the world look for when they are in search of a great chess table set?
Firstly you need to decide exactly when you are going to be using the set. Will you be travelling a lot a meet people who will enjoy the odd game? Do you have a partner who shares your interest in one of the oldest and most challenging games in the world? Or are you just going to be spending the odd evening exploring the mystique of this challenging game?
You should also decide whether or not you want to stick with the classic shapes of pieces. For every classically manufactured Knight on chess boards around the world, there are probably just as many pieces that resemble Star Wars characters. There's nothing wrong with that - the rules remain the same and the moves that any piece makes have been standardized - but some people will prefer the classic set. This is the set that features what would become known as the 'Staunton Pattern pieces' in 1849.
Of course the design of your set should be a reflection of your own personal style - but the classic set designed and accepted as standard in the 19th-century features pieces that are easy to handle and very functional - as well as being immediately recognizable.
Top of the range chess sets can feature pieces that are hand carved from a variety of materials and can set players back anywhere from $15,000 to $20,000 - a serious amount of money for the casual player. These sets are best left to collectors and are very rarely used on a day to day basis unless you will be mixing it up with the cream of the chess playing world or you have large heaps of money to burn. Even experts are of the opinion that you can pick up a high quality set for a fraction of that price.
Don't turn your nose up at plastic sets either. Metal weighting at the bottom of the best plastic chess pieces gives them a heft that makes playing an absolute pleasure.
Perhaps the most important component is your board. If you don't want to spend a fortune go for a wooden board manufactured with a good quality hardwood. Make sure that each square is individually finished and you will have aboard that will last you a lifetime.
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