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Wooden Chess Sets in India

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #1


    Hi all, this is a question for the members in India. How good are the wooden chess sets in India when compared to something like House of Staunton? I heard it's possible to get a real high quality wooden set for under Rs.3,000 (about $50) especially since most of the chess pieces (especially that of rosewood) are crafted in India. I have a friend going to India in a month, so I'm wondering if it would be a good idea to get hand crafted chessmen from there rather than pay 3-4 times the price here. Any suggestion/recommendation is welcome! 

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #2


    I hope you get an answer. Most of the better sets are made in India. I have a couple from the 70's & no warping or discoloration after all that time. I don't know if its true but, I read somewhere that Jaques of London pieces are made there now.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #3


    Thanks for your reply. I do know Indian chess sets are known for high quality craftsmanship and many of the House of Staunton chess pieces are actually made in India (boards are usually made in Italy) and imported here in United States (not sure about Jaques of London). And when you buy in India, you avoid the transportation, inventory, tax and other charges. So you practically get the set at 1/3rd the price or even less! 

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #4


    Couldn't remember the city where most sets are manufactured so I looked it up on the web:

    The manufacturing facilities are mainly based in Amritsar, 

    Apparently my cut and paste skills still need polishing. Laughing (Amritsar)

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #5


    Amritsar is in Punjab in the northern part of India and my friend is going to Chennai, the city where Anand - Carlsen World Championship match is scheduled to take place in November! :)

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #6


    Gentle bounce so people in Indian time zone can see. 

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #7


    I've been to India twice (not in Amritsar) and there are good chess sets at the price range you mentioned with weighted pieces and very nice boards.

    You can get in anywhere they are really fond of chess.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #8


    House of Staunton is a marketing idea not a manufacturer.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #9


    Great thanks for the info. Hoping to get a really nice set from India. 

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #10


    Waiting for more suggestions. Thanks :) 

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #11


    Dang, if they are that inexpensive, I would get a better set than a $50 one.

    Check the different chess sets from different companies, get pictures, give to your friend, and have him get you a similar chess set. I would give him options/alternatives  as well, IE.. type of woods, and certain sets. Does your friend know what you like, in other words.

    The Andalusian set is made in Amritsar. Do a web search for it ( imo its a beautiful piece of art work, maybe not something you are looking for though). Not sure if that is what you are looking for, but I would think its a pretty good chance, that any set you see here, is pretty much available there as well. At least comparable to a large degree.

    Good luck.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #12


    @ CrimsonKnight7  Thanks for the reply and the great suggestion. Andalusian is a very expensive set. I'm looking to buy a $200-300 set (in US) for about $100 or less there. Mostly a standard well made staunton set at 3.75 or 4 inch king would do. I saw couple of websites that sell sets in Chennai (links below). I'm looking for more suggestion of retailers or popular chess stores in the city that sells quality wooden chess sets




  • 2 years ago · Quote · #13


    Anybody else have any suggestions? 

  • 23 months ago · Quote · #14


    did you buy a chess set crazyim?

  • 23 months ago · Quote · #15


    funny that no Indian has replied here yet!

    India produces at least half (just a risky guesswork though, but i first hand knowledge of that visiting amritsar/chandigarh and mohali -- the main export hubs to the world) of all your fancy chess pieces that you buy from those costly websites. if the chess men are made of rose wood/boxwood/sheesham wood or ebony wood be assured those have come from Punjab India (a northern state) while the wood come from the eastern part of india and the southern part. if the wood is wenge or maple or something that is not common to india, of course, they are not indian. when i was in mohali i asked a manufacturer about a beautiful chess set. he quoted a price of Rs. 10,000 for the chessmen alone. That roughly translates into $160. that's a big money in india. i stayed away from buying them. and after about a year i was checking a famous chess website and damn! the set is close to 1000 dollars! hah! 

    however, one thing i have noticed is that the boards may not be made in india, because the european boards are well made. they could be just outsourcing the chessmen because when it comes to craftmanship, nobody can beat my country!

    check out this website if you are interested (the indian price quoted is cheaper than the dollar price but you get free shipping. i have heard they are good dealers. i have ordered one and the set is yet to arrive. will give you a feedback how it went.


    take care!  

  • 23 months ago · Quote · #16


    just fyi, i am very impressed with the www.thechessstore.com honesty.

    "We work with the very best manufacturers in India that product nearly all of the world's wood chess sets" -- their website says.

    So, there you go! Even if you are not buying from India, you are actually buying from India! :)

    All the best!

  • 23 months ago · Quote · #17


    Do they ship their pieces from India to the USA and Europe in the chess boat?

  • 23 months ago · Quote · #18


    I think they make the boards in other countries, because making flat, square things is relatively easy.  I have made several quite beautiful chess boards.  Making chessmen, on the other hand, is ridiculously difficult and evil.  I bought a miniature lathe for this express purpose, and after trying my hand at making a set, I quickly determined that chessmen from India are of exquisite quality, and an excellent bargain compared to the blood lost and the frustration of making a grotesque mockery of what should have been a thing of beauty.

    I still have my knight though.  I figured if I could work out how to make a knight, I could work out how to make the rest of the pieces.  I did work out how, but my execution was abysmal.  The horse looks more like a sick jackal.  I had that thing hidden away in a junk box for maybe 10 years.  I recently uncovered it and finished it with a beautiful garnet shellac (another excellent product from India), putting it on display as a reminder why I pay good money to let real craftsmen make chessmen from now on.

  • 23 months ago · Quote · #19


    @discoweasel: they do, i am sure. that's what their website says anyway!

    @Silvan: if i were you, i would have flaunted my craftsmanship! irrelevant in this scope of discussion, i was a kid and was astonished to see a coconut vendor scooping up the white of the coconut so effortlessly! i asked how did you do it? i can never do it. he smiled and said i can never run my pen like you do.

    we all are trained differently, accept it. rejoice in any extracuricular activity and praise the Creator for making you an amazing and unique piece on earth!

  • 23 months ago · Quote · #20


    The Chess Boat!  

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