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Good Chess Equipment

Page history last edited by Mike Games 14 years, 1 month ago


Any questions contact:  Mike Games 864-389-1180 (anytime) or MGames@Yahoo.com

Cost and purchase information below.

ESCS Chess Club does not have any club owned chess sets yet.  Students must provide their own. 

Eventually, through fund raising and donations, the club hopes to acquire chess equipment.



Adviser and information guide for a first chess set.

When a club does not provide, chess players should own an unbreakable, solid plastic, basic club chess set. They are all-purpose, inexpensive, and ideal for all ages.  You will appreciate it’s rugged durability.

A basic club chess set is ideal for learning or practice, and it’s the building-block of chess learning and competition.  Plus, if you get solid plastic quality pieces, they will last for 10+ years.  Oddly, these sets are NOT sold by big chain stores and rarely by local game store.  You pretty much have to shop online to find these.


Along with the basic club chess set (chess pieces and board), I also recommend a chess set carrying case or a piece bag.  The case or bag will keep all pieces zipped up for storage and some will also keep a rolled up board.  Always identify your chess equipment with perm marker.


Choice of chess set

Standards among chess sets have developed over the years. Official regulation standards of size and style are common to tournaments, clubs, scholastic chess, home study, and personal use.  This means, that if you know these standards you can own a chess set that will be accepted ANYWHERE and be a long lasting chess set for at home.


Generally, the King is 3 ¾” tall and the chessboard square size is 2 ¼”, usually 20” square in all. Most often the pieces will be solid plastic, or with extra weight, and the chess board green and white.  This standard in the United Status is known as the “club” chess set.


As an at home study chess set, the “club” chess set is ideal for parents who want to jumpstart their child's chess enthusiasm with a solid, practical set.



Purchase of chess set (coach Mike’s online site recommendation)

Purchase online at US Chess Federation Sales - http://uscfsales.com – (on left side of their screen) see equipment, then select tournament combos or search for Catalog #  COMBO3 & COMBO4


$12.95  COMBO3 – includes:  8.5" x 6.5" vinyl bag easy-to-open/close zippered pouch to store chess pieces.


$14.95  COMBO4 – includes:  12" x 9" vinyl bag has handles with a zippered pouch to store chess pieces and a loop beneath the bag to store the roll-up board.


Both COMBO3 & COMBO4 above include:

* 20" x 20" vinyl board with 2-1/4" squares and Algebraic notation on all sides

* Durable plastic Staunton-designed set with 3.75" King Height and Triple Weighted

* Choice of colors for bag and board

* Exceeds all tournament requirements





Chess demands concentration and focus.  Certain rules have been adopted for pieces, boards, and clocks to reduce confusion or distraction by players or their opponent from the chess game.



Style:  Chess pieces must be of the Staunton style. The Staunton style is the very classical look of pieces.  This includes the King with a cross, a queen with a spiked crown, a rook that looks like a tower, a bishop with a diagonal slit, a knight that looks like a horse head, and a round-headed simple pawn.


Color:  Each set of chess pieces must also be significantly different in color - one light set and one dark set (usually white/cream/natural/light wood vs. black/dark brown/dark wood).


Size:  Chess pieces are generally measured by the King's height. Tournament chess pieces should be between 3.5" and 4.25" (King height). The base should be 40-50% as wide as the height. The pieces should not be overly shiny and should be made of plastic or wood.


Weight:  The pieces should also be significantly weighted as to not tip over easily. Generally if your pieces weigh at least 1 lb. for all 32 pieces you are fine.  The heavier the better.


  • Classic Staunton style
  • 3.5" - 4.25" King height
  • Made of plastic or wood
  • At least 1 lb set of 32 pieces



Chessboards must be plain squares of alternating light and dark colors and should have algebraic notation on all four sides.


Color:  The colors should not be too bright and should also not blend in too much with the pieces.  For this reason the most popular colors are matte green and blue (and why black/white is usually not recommended - it blends in with the pieces).


Material:  The material may be any material that is not too shiny. Generally vinyl chessboards are recommended or folding paper boards. Wood may also be used, but is more difficult to transport.


Size:  The squares must be between 2" and 2.5". They must fit the pieces proportionally - not too crowded, not too spread apart.


  • Alternating light/dark squares
  • 2" - 2.5"
  • Made of vinyl, paper, or wood
  • Not too bright colors



OTHER CHESS EQUIPMENT – score books or score sheets – NOT YET NEEDED.


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