does anything like this exist? I would like to own a nice chess set, but I really do not want to buy anything made of ebony, rosewood etc.
It seems that for chess sets high quality seems to be synonym with "exotic wood", which I really do not want. I have thought about going for metal/stone but those never seem to be available in "classic" Staunton shapes.
I would also be ok with a "plastic" set that felt high quality (in terms of weighing, molding, ...) but it seems plastic sets only seem to exist for the low-end (which is puzzling as I am sure you could make a really nice set with materials like ivorite etc. used for some digital piano keyboards).
I have been looking at local 2nd hand listings (craigslist etc.) for a while but quality chess sets never seem to come up, it's always the typical "7-in-1 games" shot glass kind of stuff.
Indian rosewood isn't endangered, is it? If you want to be very safe you can get an ebonized boxwood set from HOS.
Boxwood and ebonized boxwood.
I thought Drueke Boards were endangered
thanks for the boxwood tip, I for some reason thought boxwood was risky in terms of provenance but it seems ok from the looking up I did on wikipedia
the interesting thing is also that I have found a Canadian company that mail orders boxwood sets too, but ALL of their boards are rosewood or ebony, you'd think it'd be easy enough to make a board of local woods like maple etc.
Also, in addition to kingpatzer's suggestion, HOS also do some very nice plastic sets (here) (I dont own any but have used them). some of their sets are also offered in woods that are not endangered, and then there are the options for lacquers which I believe use boxwood as a base. This set seems to show most of the options.
It's also important to know that not *every* type of rosewood is endangered, only the most common ones - I'm sure if you send them an email they can fill you in on precisely what woods they use.
I just received my first quality chess set, from HOS. The classic set in boxwood and ebonized boxwood is just a work of art. It can be had for about $52 delivered from USCF website, with discount code. I am extremely happy with this set. Next up, a quality board.
I bought the collector's series from HOS, and many of the white pieces came with visual flaws. Specks of black, streaks of red, translucent places where you could see through to the weights inside. It's like there was debris in the plastic mix when they were formed.
Sounds crappy. There was a recent post here where a re-seller of the HOS plastic Collector was quoted as saying they were typically defective these days, and recommended other HOS sets such as the Marshall (iirc).
My older plastic Collector is just fine. In fact, I think it's the best plastic set I've seen, though not perfect. Too bad standards seem to have dipped with this set.
was this the quadrupled weighted pieces?
The price I paid of about $52 delivered was for a wooden set. The classic series in boxwood. I found no flaws and was very happy with the purchase.
It was the $40 set that includes Seirawan chess pieces. 3.75" king. Without the S-chess pieces, it's $35.
I have really beat up metal travelling one. The magnets fall off constantly, so I rubber cement them back on. It was probably really nice at one point, but when you carry anything around with you every day for months, it gets destroyed. I know I'm strange.
that was good price, not so good on that you could see through the piece
the price I saw was at wholesalechess, for the 4' King
I wish...God, I hate those things!
Actually, I'm referring to those gross old plastic sets they used to make (not the boards).
Update to this: HOS sent me a full replacement set at no charge.
I'm hardly suprised, tbh. Their customer service is excellent.