What is in a chess set and is it really worth investing in one yourself? Many novice players ask whether it is worth buying their own chess sets since many sets are very expensive.
For those who love playing the game and want to improve their skills through daily practice, a chess set is a must. Meanwhile, those who aren’t very serious about playing chess can make do with borrowing a chess set from a friend or using the chess set at school.
However, there are still some people who are on the fence about whether or not to buy a chess set. To help you better understand what is included in a standard chess set here’s what you need to know:
What Is in a Chess Set: The Two Main Parts
When you buy a chess set, there are two main components included in your purchase: the chess board and the chess pieces. Together there are usually 33 pieces in a set if you count the board.
Sometimes there are extra pieces, usually 2 extra queens, in which case you would have 35 pieces in your chess set.
The Chess Board
Generally the size of a chessboard differs depending on the manufacturer, but you can expect 64 squares in two colors. Each color is the same or similar to the chess pieces included in your set.
The chess board can be made using cardboard, plastic, wood or another sturdy material. There are some chess boards that are foldable into a thin, easy-to-store sheet while others can be rolled into a more compact size or are flipped open when being used and then closed into a box for storage.
Some chess boards also come with compartments inside the interior. This is intended for keeping chess pieces safe when they are carried around.
The interior compartment can either be made with plastic material or felt, depending on the price and quality of the chess set. Boards that do not turn into a box usually come with pouches for storing chess pieces and preventing them from getting lost.
Some boards also come with their sides labeled. They have the numbers 1–8 for vertical squares and the letters A–H for horizontal boxes. This makes it easier for players to analyze the game during and after playing.
The bulk of what is in a chess set is the chess pieces. There are 32 pieces of 2 colors: dark and light, which means each player gets 16 pieces each. All chess sets should have the following pieces per player:
- 8 Pawns
- 2 Rooks
- 2 Knights
- 2 Bishops
- 1 King
- 1 Queen
This is what the most basic chess set contains and these pieces are necessary to play a game. There are other sets that will include 2 extra queens—one per player in case one gets lost. Pieces are sometimes weighted or magnetized to maintain their balance on the board, but not all sets offer that as a perk.
Another added feature often found on chess pieces is a felted bottom. Pieces with felt at the bottom tend to have better grip and gliding ability, an added bonus that many chess players prefer.
Chess pieces are usually either made with high-quality plastic for durability or wood for a touch of class.
Aside from the two main parts of a chess set there are some accessories that serious chess players adore. They may cost extra, but for some they are worth having.
This is an external compartment for storing chess pieces. These are high-quality boxes lined with felt and they look absolutely stunning. These are great for chess players who put a lot of value on their delicate chess pieces.
This accessory is commonly found in competitions. These clocks are tapped when a player is done making their move to record how much time was taken before the move was made.
This is an alternative to a chess board. This is a table that has a chess board printed on it for easy access. Many parks have these and chess players only need to bring their chess pieces to play.
Investing in a chess set can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. If you know where to look, you can get your hands on quality chess sets at affordable prices.