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How Much Does a Wooden Chess Set Cost?

Written by Jimmy Rustling

Chess enthusiasts and new players often want their own chess sets to practice with at home. This helps them use their skills and develop new strategies.

Even the most casual of chess players need to have their own chess set. There are so many different options on the market, it’s hard to know what’s necessary. Add to that trying to figure out what makes the cost vary so widely.

Chess players can choose from sets made with a multitude of materials. While a wooden chess set is the most popular and costs around $30, you can also find cheap plastic sets for around $10, and sets made out of jade and other rocks for upwards of $50-$100. There are many factors that go into pricing chess sets, here’s what you need to know.

Factors That Affect the Cost of a Wooden Chess Set

Type of Wood Used

A set made from pine is likely to be much more affordable than one made of teak or another precious hardwood. This is one of the most important factors to look at when determining the price of a wooden chess set. Different woods have varying values. It can be expensive to create a set out of rare wood.

How it’s Made

Machines can make most pieces nowadays, but some people love the look and feel of a hand-carved chess set. There’s something to be said for the slight imperfections made when hands carve the figures individually. Sets that are made by machines will be more affordable than chess sets made by hand.

How Detailed the Knight Is

Did you know that many wooden chess sets are made on machines, except for the knight? The intricate details that make the knight look like a horse mean that it’s more likely to be hand carved. If you have a knight that’s very generic-looking without a lot of detail, it’s possible that it was not handmade. But a very detailed knight will not only make for a more expensive chess set, but it’s also probable that someone carved it by hand.

Durability of Materials

Some materials are much more resilient and durable than others. Cheap plastic of course isn’t going to be as strong as stone, and softer woods won’t be as durable as walnut. When it comes to a wooden chess set, you need to look at the overall durability of the materials, including the board. Boards that are made from cardboard won’t last the way a quality wooden board will.

Differences Between Tournament Chess Set and Standard One

Another key distinction between chess sets is whether they are tournament ready or not. Playing on a wooden set has a certain feel that many people love. It’s okay to practice and play on a standard-sized board. But when you’re heading to chess tournaments, you need a board that’s 15”-18” square with a king that is 3.75”-4.25”. Any other size of board or king will not suffice for tournaments. These chess sets will cost anywhere between $10 and $40 on average.

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About the author

Jimmy Rustling

Born at an early age, Jimmy Rustling has found solace and comfort knowing that his humble actions have made this multiverse a better place for every man, woman and child ever known to exist. Dr. Jimmy Rustling has won many awards for excellence in writing including fourteen Peabody awards and a handful of Pulitzer Prizes. When Jimmies are not being Rustled the kind Dr. enjoys being an amazing husband to his beautiful, soulmate; Anastasia, a Russian mail order bride of almost 2 months. Dr. Rustling also spends 12-15 hours each day teaching their adopted 8-year-old Syrian refugee daughter how to read and write.