Chess is an extremely popular board game that is now across the globe, and some chess sets are becoming both decorative and collectible items. While many people are content to play chess on a regular board with plastic pieces, many players who truly love the game take pride in their unique chess pieces and sets. It is this we will look at more closely here.
There are many different kinds of chess sets to accommodate all chess players. Traditional chess sets can be made out of many different materials such as marble and wood, glass and many other materials. There are many craftsmen produced chess pieces and sets that are extremely beautiful pieces of craftsmanship, with a expensive price tag to match!
Some older chess sets were also made from ivory before it rightly became a banned import. Some chess sets are especially small or have magnetic pieces, perfect for taking on trips and playing while travelling. Some chess sets are played entirely virtually, on a computer, where the players don’t even touch the pieces at all. Indeed, nowadays some matches are played over the Internet, with one player being perhaps one the other side of the world from the other!
More recently there have been themed chess sets that take their inspiration from a film or TV series. There are even now several versions of a Harry Potter chess set, and a Quidditch Chess Set Silver & Gold Platedversion for the true Harry Potter fan!
Others include Lord of the Rings chess sets
There is even a LEGO chess set for £899! Other examples are Star Trek, for example, where it is a 3 D representation. Another is the Disney chess set, with figures such as Tigger, Owl, Eeyore and Kanga as the main characters, with Piglet used as the pawns!
However, many chess players like the quality and feel of a craftsman produced chess set, as the game is taken very seriously, and is perhaps the most cerebral of all games that we know of. A distraction of Tigger attacking Eeyore for some would be too much when trying to concentrate!
History of Chess sets
People have been playing chess for many centuries. No one knows for sure where or when it originated, but it is known that people in Persia, India, and China played chess in the Middle Ages. The game spread to the Middle East next, then to Spain and the rest of Europe. It is very likely that the game pieces were altered once the game spread through Europe to take on the forms that they currently have.
The different pieces in chess each represent parts of medieval life. The pawns represent peasants. Just as peasants were considered unimportant to people in power, pawns are the weakest pieces in the game of chess and are used primarily as sacrifices. The rooks, or castles, represent home and sanctuary. The knight represents soldiers, who, at the time, were held in high esteem, but not as much as the church or royal family. The Bishops represent priests and are considered more valuable than Knights. The Queen is probably the most powerful piece on the board, but the King is the one that must be protected at all costs, or the game is lost.
Chess players at all skill levels marvel at the craftsmanship that goes into creating fine chess sets. It takes true artistry to create chess sets out of wood, stone and glass. Many are extremely rare and are valuable collector’s items. Many are collectable due to the place they were made, such as this Rajasthan chess set.