Chess is a pastime that has been handed down for a long time to cheer young and old. But chess is not played without chessboards; they are indispensable for each other. Standard or mini, classic or decorative, themed or stylized, chessboards exist for all tastes and any occasion, amateur or professional, as a game tool or furnishing element.
In addition to being a great pastime, many studies have shown that chess is indicated to improve children’s learning skills and social skills. Those who believe that they have gone out of fashion, therefore, are wrong.
Discover with us everything you need to know about chessboards and which are the most popular models on the market to be prepared when you decide to buy one too.
Here we had listed out the best chess sets for you that are given below.
Things to Consider Before Buying Chess Sets
Without a doubt, chess is the king of traditional board games. Their origin is still shrouded in an aura of mystery, despite being one of the most popular and most beneficial games, not only for children but for people of all ages. Below, we answer the most frequently asked questions about this game, so that you too can learn more about it.
What Are the Origins of Chess?
Historians believe that chess was invented in India around the third century BC. C. From that moment, the game spread to the rest of Asia. In the 6th century AD. C. the first written reference to chess appeared in Persia, an area where the first pieces of the game were also found.
After the Arabs conquered Persia, they brought chess to northern Africa, the Iberian Peninsula, and then to the rest of Europe.
However, in Europe, the game reached its maximum expansion only in the fifteenth century, when the first treatises on chess also appeared, where the queen and the standard-bearer were also described, pieces that did not exist until then.
What Are the Benefits of Playing Chess?
Any board game has a positive influence on our mind. Chess, however, stands out among all for the extraordinary benefits they bring to players of any age. First, they improve memory and concentration, because to win, we have to try countless moves and patterns in our mind.
In the case of children, it has been shown that playing chess habitually promotes an increase in IQ. Thanks to this game, the little ones will be able to solve problems and perform mathematical calculations more quickly, as well as to make difficult decisions when facing a conflict.
Why Are Chessboards so Useful for Children?
Although chess is not part of primary and secondary school curricula in Italy, learning is promoted through extracurricular activities. Among other things, UNESCO recommends member countries to include this game among the subjects, as one of the causes of school failure is the lack of attention and concentration, qualities that chess helps to develop in children.
The short and long term memory of the child is exercised considerably with chess. To take advantage of the game one must remember the moves made, hypothesize those of the opponent, and consequently create other futures, all during the same game.
Also, you must remember the winning strategies or moves of previous games to take advantage of them and obtain the desired victory. Chess trains children’s mathematical reasoning just as calculations and problems do.
In some German schools, pedagogues have come to replace some of the weekly hours of mathematics with chess lessons, aware of the benefits of this game on students. Another critical challenge that children face is the improvement of self-esteem.
Anxiety to improve in play and to overcome oneself increases the child’s self-esteem. At the same time, defeats develop self-criticism. Learning to reflect or anticipate circumstances are other qualities that a child can improve by playing chess.
How Many Types of Chess Are There?
There are more than 50 variations of chess, although some scholars count more than 2000. Games with a different chessboard, with various pieces or changed game rules, are considered variants of chess.
In Fischer’s random variant, for example, the pieces of row 1 and 8 are placed at the beginning, where the players prefer. Another curious mode is the Dunsany chess, in which one of the opponents plays with 16 pieces while the other with 32.
The “peasant revolt” is a variant created in 1947. In this version, the white pieces include only the king and eight pawns, while blacks have a king, a pawn, and four horses.
Why Are Chess Considered Sport?
Since 2000, chess has been considered a sport by the International Olympic Committee and, although not yet an official game of the Olympics, it is hoped that this will happen during those of Tokyo 2020.
The reasons why they are considered a sport are many and very important. , contrary to what one might think. First, for competitiveness, much more accentuated than in most sports, since the slightest mistake can lead to defeat.
Also, it is a discipline with a large organizational structure worldwide, with millions of federated players all over the world. A vital tournament requires many hours of concentration, i.e., considerable physical and mental fatigue.
The strategic component, inherent in any sport, is linked to chess in an indissoluble way. Finally, there is a rigid player classification system that has even been adopted by other sports.
Is It Better to Play Chess Against a Computer or A Person?
Any current computer program would surpass the first automaton of the chess game built by Leonardo Torres Quevedo, in 1912. Nonetheless, many famous players agree that playing against a computer loses the psychological component of the game because you don’t have to think, but calculate.
Although winning a game against a computer is a difficult challenge for many to overcome, one must not be discouraged, but learn to know the machine. Winning against a digital opponent will, therefore, serve as training for future games against human opponents. Plus, there isn’t always someone on hand to play with!
Things to Consider Before Purchasing
Computer programs have replaced mainly physical chessboards. However, the rediscovery of this game, as well as the confirmation of the beneficial effects in the intellectual development of children, have brought the sale of chessboards to the stars.
But how to choose which chessboard to buy? Below you can find some fundamental purchase criteria that you must keep in mind.
- Who will use chess?
- Consider purchasing the pieces (figurines) and the chessboard also separately
- Foldable or traditional?
Who Will Use The Chessboard?
The numerous benefits of the game on developing children should be reason enough to consider buying chess for your kids. However, we recommend you not to invest too much in a children’s chessboard. They must be able to learn to play without fear of breaking the board or the pawns: keep this in mind.
If, on the other hand, chess will be used by two adults, it is appreciated that the chessboard and figurines are of higher quality. The ideal? Stauntons, both made of wood, used in official tournaments. Some players prefer leaded pieces, with a small weight inside for more excellent stability.
Consider Purchasing the Pieces and The Chessboard Separately
Most chess pieces already have the pieces included; however, in some instances, it is best to purchase them separately. For optimal play, the ideal is for the king’s base size to occupy about 75% of the square or checkmate.
In this way, you will avoid the bad feeling of accumulation of the pieces as happens on certain chessboards. To choose a chessboard suitable for the pieces, another trick is to check that the height of the pawn (the smallest figurine in the series) is the same as the width of the chess.
Also, check that the board is opaque because reflections can distract you from the game. The pieces, however, are at the discretion of the player. Coordinated chessboards are also particularly useful for writing down moves during games.
Foldable or Traditional?
If you like to take chess everywhere, the folding chessboard option is the most suitable. For travelers, there are magnetic ones, which avoid accidental movements or falls of the pieces. Other models include a roll-up chessboard in which to store the pieces.
Check that it is quality, to avoid creases or wrinkles on the surface. Many folding travel chessboards are of the same condition as traditional ones.
There are magnetic models with excellent wood finishes and at a high price. This range generally complies with the Staunton standard and includes spaces for storing checkers inside.