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July 7, 2006

Why have weighted Chess Pieces?

Filed under: Chess Design, Chess Sets — Baron Turner @ 6:33 pm

Good chess sets have weighting added to the bottom of the pieces. The base is hollowed out, lead poured in, and the base sealed and capped with a leather or felt disc to hide any imperfections. When I first saw a chess piece without the weighting and with the base apart from the piece, it was a kinda let-down. You realize that there really is not much to it - a hollowed out common base with the important part mounted on top. Of course, as with much else in life, the skill and dexterity is still very much a part of the finished article, even if we see it uncovered momentarily.

The value of a weighted chess piece is obvious in the use of the pieces during chess games. The pieces don’t easily fall over when nudged, don’t shift when the board is knocked, and just feel like something that is quality, thus enhancing the enjoyment of the game. The feel of lifting a triple weighted chess piece somehow makes you think more carefully about the move, move more definitely and move with greater confiidence. If the move is wrong-headed, the piece can then be offensively used as a weapon instead to save face whilst accompanied with the phrase ‘You Bounder! How dare you?’.

Actually humor aside, there is a wonderful weighted chess set we sell which is close to dangerous as I’ve ever seen a set. It’s the Triple Weighted Conventional Staunton Chess Set which  has spikes on the Queens coronet that could do serious damage to someone if misused it. Maybe we should issue a health warning with that one along with the Certificate of Authenticity that  comes with the more expensive weighted chess sets.

Weighted chess sets are wonderful. The general weighting is standard, then double weighted, then triple weighted. No actual standard exists for the gramme measurement, but chess specialists have come to know what is triple and what is double or standard. If you can afford it, put on a little weight!

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