Good Wooden Play 'Anywhere' Set

essmanchay

Hi Everyone,

For many years, my take anywhere set has been a Cavalier plastic set which I purchased from USCF in 1984. It has held up extremely well.

However, I would like to retire that set and replace it with a durable set made of wood. I would like the king to be at least 4" tall with the black pieces being ebonized wood. My price range is between $100 - $200.

There are a few recommendations like this one by @sound67 - https://www.chess.com/forum/view/chess-equipment/two-great-value-classic-staunton-tournament-sets-4-1-popular-staunton-cb-vs-4-1-prof.

But, I would love to hear more of your suggestions especially from those who exclusively use a wood set to play at your club (especially blitz) and in tournaments.

Thank you!

Oliver

chessroboto

Are you sure you want to use a $200 wood chess set with 4 inch kings to play blitz at clubs?

You won't regret it when a king's finial or a rook's turret breaks?

essmanchay
Hi @chessroboto, no not concerned about pieces breaking. My observation is that they are durable. I want to know what other players are using.

Thanks,
Oliver
chessroboto

Let me grab some popcorn. This will be an interesting show.

Eyechess

The HoS Liberty Series sets are excellent for blitz, very durable and easy to play with.

I have used one since 2002 or so.

ChessAuthor

I'll second the Liberty Series - they are very durable pieces.

I also play with the HoS Classic series. They are weighted well and feel good in the hand. Had them since the early 2000s and still enjoy them.

https://www.houseofstaunton.com/the-classic-series-chess-pieces-4-0-king.html

 

theendgame3

just get more decent plastic pieces

https://amchesseq.com/products/we-games-ultimate-tournament-staunton-chessmen-with-3-75-inch-king-triple-weight-over-3-9-lbs?_pos=1&_sid=ef860e0c9&_ss=r&variant=7338016899130

Speak to @ShelbyLohrman for details of his new ones

RussBell

GM Blitz wood set from Chessbazaar.....designed and made to withstand the rigors of Blitz play....for instance a solid, single-piece Knight, and the points on the Queen's coronet are purposefully blunted so they are not easily chipped....plus they look very nice....I own the set and love it....

https://www.chessbazaar.com/the-gm-blitz-edition-staunton-series-chess-set-in-ebony-wood-natural-boxwood-3-75-king.html

Photos of my GM Blitz set, together with my solid wood board by ColoradoWoodWorker...

https://www.chess.com/forum/view/chess-equipment/cb-gm-blitz-set?page=4

chessroboto

I’ve never met anyone risk their HoS wood sets for clubhouse or street blitz games, so I’ll take people’s word for it. Even my most respectful players have repeatedly broken my 4 inch king plastic pieces on mousepad boards because of the heat of the action: broken finials, torn felts, dropped weights.

essmanchay

Thanks @eyechess and @chessauthor for the recommendations! Glad to know that HoS Liberty is a practical, durable set. The HoS and ChessBazaar's Liberty are on my list of potential choices.

essmanchay

Hi @theendgame3!

Thank you for the recommendation. I have seen this set and @shelbylohrman is fantastic at providing chess set advice. I love reading his posts!

However, I am looking for a wooden set and though his new offering has a wood option, I am more inclined toward a more traditional look.

Thanks for contributing!

Oliver

 

essmanchay
RussBell wrote:

GM Blitz wood set from Chessbazaar.....designed and made to withstand the rigors of Blitz play....for instance a solid, single-piece Knight, and the points on the Queen's coronet are purposefully blunted so they are not easily chipped....plus they look very nice....I own the set and love it....

https://www.chessbazaar.com/the-gm-blitz-edition-staunton-series-chess-set-in-ebony-wood-natural-boxwood-3-75-king.html

Photos of my GM Blitz set, together with my solid wood board by ColoradoWoodWorker...

https://www.chess.com/forum/view/chess-equipment/cb-gm-blitz-set?page=4

This is a really nice looking set @RussBell for sure! However, I am looking for a 4" king. Thanks for your recommendation!

Oliver

sound67

The RCM Professional set I reviewed in the link is certainly up to the task of club playing (and of higher value than that HoS set), but if you really mean anywhere, including games in the park, I would most definitely go with plastic. Or, if you insist on wood, the Dubrovnik style has the advantage that it doesn't come with crosses on the kings (balls instead), and it has other robust features, too: no clefts on the bishops' mitres, and short crenellations on the rooks that won't break off easily.

This set from The Chess Empire would do the job, and it's 4" king's size too:

https://www.etsy.com/de/listing/708493587/1950-dubrovnik-serie-4-buchsbaum?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=dubrovnik+chess&ref=sr_gallery-1-8&organic_search_click=1&pro=1&frs=1

If you can live with the unicorn knights (though less prominent here than on other Indian sets), i.e. If you want a closer reproduction at the best price, it would be Stasnton Castle's repro, but that's US$ 299 incl. shipping: - and "only" 3.75" https://stauntoncastle.com/products/dubrovnik-1950-vintage-reproduction-3-75-chess-set-in-mahogany?_pos=1&_sid=5661c1ff8&_ss=r

If you prefer the classic Staunton style, then the RCM pieces are hard to beat for robustness, and are decorative too. 

 

QtoQlevel3

Here's a set that you may want to consider someday, not quite 4" for a king but pretty close and is a variation of the Staunton style but with more of Eastern European influence. The Romanian Tournament Championships set still actively used in many of that country's national tournaments.

Durable

Nicely weighted

Knights are carved from 1 piece of wood.

Not many areas to break off easily into bits & pieces, despite possible rough handling during rapid timed game-play.

Well priced for Its size and purpose

Here's a link and take a look:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/733036605/38-romanian-hungarian-chess-pieces-only?ref=shop_home_active_85&pro=1&frs=1

 

theendgame3
essmanchay wrote:

Hi @theendgame3!

Thank you for the recommendation. I have seen this set and @shelbylohrman is fantastic at providing chess set advice. I love reading his posts!

However, I am looking for a wooden set and though his new offering has a wood option, I am more inclined toward a more traditional look.

Thanks for contributing!

Oliver

 

no probs bro- post whatever set you find

manfred_scriba_ms07

Hi,

I'd like you to check between these two sets. Very practical and value for money.

The Drueke chess set from HOS

1849 Chess set from CB

I also agree with @Russbell regarding the CB GM blitz chess set. That's a wonderful chess set.

Happy Chess hunting!

Cheers

Eyechess

Now that 2 people mention it, that HoS Drueke ( their 2nd, newer version) is excellent for all types of play.  I bought one and have played a number of games with it before this pandemic problem.  It really is a nice set.

essmanchay

Thank you for all the recommendations! I ordered the CB Liberty in ebonized boxwood. It is 4". It fits on a 2.25" board. It is weighty and from reviews and conversations with chess players that have played with it, it is durable. 

I got it for $99 on Amazon (it is now sold out). The Sheesham version is still available at $79. 

I will take heed from @sound67 and @chessroboto regarding the durability of plastic. After all, my plastic Cavalier from 1984 has lasted this long!

Again, thanks for all the suggestions. This chess.com community is terrific!

Stay safe and take care!

Oliver 

 

sound67

I think you made a good choice. May not be the most stylistically refined of the options mentioned above, but then, you were looking for a no-nonsense, rugged wooden set. It should certainly fit the bill. And you stuck to the lower end of your budget. Have fun with that set!

Eyechess

Excellent choice, that Liberty design is rugged and great for the kind of play you are wanting.