Friday, January 3, 2014

Taking Chess Seriously

For many, chess is just a hobby, something to pass the time between classes or during lunch. The more you play chess, though – especially the more you play it with skilled and experienced players – the more you realize that it is a game with a lot of depth, depth that you can begin to explore if you so choose. You’ll find that chess isn’t just a game of move and countermove, but rather, it is played several turns beyond the first initial moves, a game wherein strategies have been developed, tested, and refined over hundreds of years.

Chess By The Numbers

At first, all you need is your chessboard and pieces, but you’ll probably soon realize that your opponents are doing more than just playing lots of chess – they’re reading, the villains! Volume after volume of chess strategy and analysis can be found at your library, at bookstores, and online at chess blogs. Videos of matches, great and small, can be found online or at other archives. All of these resources provide opportunities for study that can’t be ignored if you intend to improve your game.

Once you have really taken the dive into chess, you will find that your simple chess set – cardboard and plastic, in all likelihood – just doesn’t cut it. True devotees to the game tend to invest in a set that either has some meaning to them or which they simply really enjoy the look of. At The Chess Store, a wide variety of styles are available, made from many different materials, painted and unpainted. Regardless of your tastes, the chess set for you can be found with us.

The Wood Option

You can never go wrong with the classics, which is why wood chess sets are among the most popular chess sets for players who are getting serious about chess – or their loved ones who are simply looking for a great gift. Wood chess sets come in two varieties: natural, and stained. Obviously, the wood used varies; maple, elm, ebony, rosewood, and ebony are just some of the types of wood frequently used to craft these works of art. Staining creates even more variety among sets, rendering them darker or lighter, and adding a smoother finish to the board and its pieces.

If you’re looking for something a bit more on the rustic side, an unstained set is probably for you. If you prefer a more refined and practiced look, a stained set will give you exactly what you want. Regardless of the material and staining – or lack thereof – you can trust that these pieces are sturdy. Only the finest wood is used in the chess sets offered by The Chess Store, and this is a set you can use for decades to come. You may even end up giving it to a child or grandchild, continuing the tradition of chess in your family with what has become an antique.

The Metal Option

Of course, for lasting power, nothing quite beats metal. A variety of materials, from brass to nickel to silver, are available; all of them finished beautifully. Some pieces offer a blend of metals, and others are even a blend of metal and wood for those interested in both materials for their set. Metal pieces can also be treated to look “aged”, giving them that green tint that old copper – like the Statue of Liberty – has to it. If you’ve ever wanted to play with a chess set that seems like medieval kings also had a crack at it, a metal set may be for you!

Themed metal sets are also available, with some of them harkening back to the Middle Ages in Europe, and others attempting to call up figures of Greco-Roman mythology. All of the pieces are finely articulated, however, with some surprisingly in-depth and detailed metalwork. When combined with a metal chessboard, the whole set can look incredibly beautiful, as well as somewhat foreboding!

Regardless of whether you choose metal or wood, you can trust that the detail and durability of your set is of the highest caliber when you’re buying from The Chess Store. Whether you’re an enthusiast, a professional, or just getting into the game, the chess boards, pieces, sets, and cases we offer are of the highest quality and used around the world. Once you play with our chess sets, you’ll never want to use another set again!

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