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.

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!

June 20, 2006

Whats the Appeal of a Theme Chess Set?

Filed under: Chess Sets — Search Engine Optimisation @ 4:02 pm

civil war chess set
In our online chess store in the UK - 25% of the chess set range are theme chess sets. They are wonderful productions with great attention to detail in the design of the chess set. Whether Isle of Lewis, Battle of Culloden, or Sherlock Holmes, the designs are sumptuous and wonderful. I haven’t done much statistical analysis over the last year, but I’d estimate that 10% or so of our chess set sales are theme chess sets. Why is there a market for theme chess sets?

SAC and Mascott both say that the theme chess set market has changed radically over the last few years. Mainly that it has reduced considerably in size after cheaply made products largely from China ruined the appeal. The market that is left is generally a gift oriented market. They are somewhat ideal as fairly expensive discerning gifts. A theme chess set as a gift is a gift that is remembered and on display for years, very gratifying to the giver if growingly a dust collector to the recipient. But the magnificence of the figures are surely admired.as a gift is a gift that is remembered and on display for years, very gratifying to the giver if growingly a dust collector to the recipient. But the magnificence of the figures are surely admired.

Theme chess sets such as The Battle of Waterloo, The Battle of Culloden, or The Isle of Lewis, may rarely be used to actually play chess, they may be used occasionally for a social game, but they’re really there for ornamental purposes. There is also an element of oneupmanship involved too. Better to display books than CD’s. Better to display a chess set with a historical theme than a pottery figurine or some other passe ornament. The theme chess set is seen as discerning, interesting. Only a thinking person would decide such an ornament which also has a practical side. You must therefore be such a person…

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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