Welcome to our store for Chess Sets, Chess Boards, Chess Computers, Chess Software and Chess Clocks. We have hundreds of fine chess products from the world's finest chess store - ChessBaron. We ship worldwide. Our chess pieces are of the finest woods such as ebony, redwood (also known as bud rosewood and red sandalwood), rosewood and sheesham. Our boards are solid genuine wood products, not the veneer that most chess stores supply.

June 16, 2006

Which Wood is Preferred in Chess Piece Design?

Filed under: Chess Sets — Baron Turner @ 10:52 pm

Bronte Chess Set
It seems traditionalists prefer Ebony Chess Pieces, whilst the asthetically minded prefer Bud Rosewood chess - what have you found? I run a store in the UK and people choose Bud Rosewood chess pieces much more than Ebony - with a ratio of around 70/30. The deep colours possible with Bud Rosewood are quite beautiful and the chess sets really have a warmth that people remark on and find beautiful. I’m not yet seasoned at this game - but I understand that there is little distinction made across retailers in differentiating between Red Rosewood, Bud Rosewood, and Redwood. Redwood is from the Californian Redwood, whilst the other two are synonymous and are from the root of the Rosewood tree, Bud Rosewood being the more often used term. Some customers just go straight for Ebony, I find it it also depends on the set - some just look better with the classic Ebony finish, or it’s cheaper Ebonized equivilent.

Then there are Rosewood, Boxwood and Sheesham - woods used in the manufacture of chess sets across India. Cheap rubbishy sets of the genre sold in large superstores are usually reconstituted wood that has no weighting added to the chess piece. Even Harrods has chess sets (with some hefty price tag of course) of this type of wood. But Rosewood is the other chess wood used which has significant credibility (Note - not Bud Rosewood). This is the middle part of the Rosewood tree. The colouring attained isn’t quite as rich as Bud Rosewood, but the wood is significantly cheaper and results in a great balance between quality wood and chess set price.

Sheesham is generally reserved for the cheaper chess set, but is a very respectable wood. Also known as Golden Rosewood, Sheesham is best deployed for chess boards. The chess board using this wood is great for chess sets of Ebony or chess sets of Rosewood. Customers are much less fussy with the board type of wood than with the chess piece type. Sheesham gives a more robust chessboard, less susceptable to light scratches rendering the board a ’second’.

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