Getting started in the hobby of playing chess requires that you have a chess set upon which to play. There are a large variety of chess sets out there to choose from, from cheap dollar store versions to thousand dollar versions and beyond. When it comes to making the decision on a chess set, the two things to consider are the chess pieces and choosing a chess board to match them.
The chess board is made up of 64 tiles, alternating between white and black, in eight rows and eight columns. The board can be made up of any number of materials, from woods and plastics to marble, glass, granite and more. There are mass-produced models as well as expensive handcrafted chess sets that are one-of-a-kind.
The question you should first ask is to what size of chess board do you want? Chess boards range from pocket size for travel purposes to larger boards and pieces meant for those with diminished hand dexterity. Whichever board you choose, there are a number of things to check for. Are the squares of the board equal in size with similar features (for wooden boards)? Are the square patterns easy on the eyes? How sturdy is the board, and how well can it travel? When looking at marble chess sets, are the tiles chipped? There are many things to look for in a chess set. If you need help, ask for assistance from store employees.
After deciding on a board, it's important to pick out a set of chess pieces. The chess pieces should match the board they are going to be paired with. There are a number of characteristics that describe a chess piece – height, base diameter, finish, material and many other characteristics should all be considered. Many chess sets will have different styles for the various pieces but in terms of height, the king and queen will be tallest, followed by the knight, bishop, rook and finally pawn. It is important that the piece set is consistent and that the pieces match the board.
When it comes to finding the perfect chess set, it is a matter of picking what features are important. While the choice is mostly a matter of taste, be sure to look into the quality of both the pieces and the board before you buy.