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  1. 09 Jan '08 03:51
    I've yet to get myself a good tournament chess set and I need your help. First of all, should it be a wooden board (with algebraic notation and everything) or roll-up? If roll-up, should it be vinyl or the mousepad material and what is the usual square color? I don't want my opponent complaining. I realize that a lot of it is preference, but it's hard for me to have a preference when I've never purchased a chess set before so I hope you guys will give me feedback.

    Here are my choices in random order:

    1. http://www.wholesalechess.com/chess/chess_sets/Tournament+Staunton+Complete+Chess+Set
    2. http://www.chessusa.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=65-907-QS&Category_Code=TCCS&Product_Count=8
    3. http://www.wholesalechess.com/chess/chess_sets/Super+Tournament+Chess+Set+Combo
    4. http://www.thechessstore.com/product/TKCSBBKC/Crown_Series_Tournament_Chess_Black_Bag_Kit_in_Black_Camel.html
    5. http://www.houseofstaunton.com/cgi-bin/cart.cgi?store=houseofstaunton&category=House+of+Staunton+Chess+Tournament+Kits&exact_match=exact
  2. 09 Jan '08 04:07 / 1 edit
    I've always gone with chesshouse.com. From what I've seen, they have great prices.
    I would go with vinyl, green squares and definently heavy weighted pieces. This seems to be the most common setup I see.
    Cheers.

    http://www.chesshouse.com/club_chess_sets_s/162.htm
  3. 09 Jan '08 04:17 / 1 edit
    For a tournament set, I agree with xnomanx that it should be vinyl (imo, not the mousepad kind) with green squares. It's easier to see and isn't so harsh on the eyes as black squares, and not too light where it's hard to distinguish the squares.

    I have a few vinyl sets like that. I have 2 large ones and 2 small ones (for analysis). They're great for the price.

    If you were wanting to get a wooden board, I'd get a Drueke board.

    I just now read your options. That "Super Tournament" board from Wholesale Chess is exactly the one I have. It's a good board for such purposes.
  4. 09 Jan '08 13:04
    Originally posted by Chesswick

    I just now read your options. That "Super Tournament" board from Wholesale Chess is exactly the one I have. It's a good board for such purposes.
    AMEN ! The "Super Tournament" set from wholesale chess is it. Don't get a wooden board, you'll look like a n00B if you show up at a tournament with one under your arm.
  5. 09 Jan '08 13:12
    The folding boads are usually ok, and take up half as much space.

    Wooden boards are nice for playing games at home, or in a club, but not really great to carry around.
  6. 09 Jan '08 13:17 / 1 edit
    I'd prefer a vinyl board to the thicker ones like in the second link above (I assume that's what's meant by 'mousepad type' as it's hard to slide the pieces on the thicker ones as the friction is too high. Not a huge problem but it can be annoying. Wooden boards look like a pain to carry around.
  7. Subscriber duecer
    anybody seen my
    09 Jan '08 14:10
    try the uscf chess site, they have a great selection. just picked one up myself.
  8. 09 Jan '08 14:19 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Tyrannosauruschex
    The folding boads are usually ok, and take up half as much space.

    Wooden boards are nice for playing games at home, or in a club, but not really great to carry around.
    Show up at a tournament with a big wooden board under your arm and you will look like the biggest doofus in the room. The other players will make fun of you and laugh behind your back. They will smile and wink at each other as you pass by. The tournament director will point you out as "the guy with the lumber yard".
  9. 09 Jan '08 14:21
    Wooden boards are a pain to carry, but the first time you bust somebody over the head with one your tournament reputation as a dangerous man will be assured.

    If you must go with vinyl, follow my example. My plastic board is huge (4 foot x 4foot) with pink and purple squares most with questionable stains on them. Each square is labeled (from both sides) in large letters with old fashion notation, KR2..QKt6..etc. My playing pieces are a mish-mash collection from about eight or ten different sets I have collected over the years ranging from ultra modern abstract to Bugs Bunny to American Civil War. I've had opponents quit in frustration just trying to figure out what's a rook and what's a bishop.

    Of course some people may complain about your oddball distracting set-up. Well, you have kept your wooden board handy, right?
  10. 09 Jan '08 18:59
    Based on everyone's comments, I've decided against a wooden board. It will have to be a roll-up. Moreover, it will be vinyl because I've read that the mousepad material may smell, peel more easily and as mentioned here, makes sliding pieces more difficult. However, in that case, it is strange to me that it is advertised as the higher end version. Anyway, it will have green and white squares (or maybe with a slightly brown shade so as to not be too bright?) For the chessmen, I suppose traditional black and white would be preferred, but I have seen red ones too: http://houseofstaunton.com/Store/product_name=The+Collector+Series+Plastic+Chess+Set+-+4.0+inch+King/exact_match=exact Is there any standard or potential for the opponent to complain?

    Since, I've eliminated all the choices given above except the last one, I'm leaning towards buying from the House of Staunton (http://houseofstaunton.com/Store/product_name=Design+Your+Own+Standard+Chess+Tournament+Combination+/exact_match=exact). Does anyone have any experience with them or heard anything of their reputation?
  11. 09 Jan '08 19:14
    Originally posted by exigentsky
    Based on everyone's comments, I've decided against a wooden board. It will have to be a roll-up. Moreover, it will be vinyl because I've read that the mousepad material may smell, peel more easily and as mentioned here, makes sliding pieces more difficult. However, in that case, it is strange to me that it is advertised as the higher end version. Anyway, ...[text shortened]... ch=exact). Does anyone have any experience with them or heard anything of their reputation?
    Don't take what they say as gospel. A nice wooden set an board is a lovely thing though the boards may be difficult to transport. I personally prefer the higher end boards with more friction where the pieces don't slide. They tend to also have better material on the bottom so the entire board doesn't slide. I would make your judgment based on budget, price and if you care to carry a large board to a tournament.
  12. 09 Jan '08 23:36 / 1 edit
    In the end, I went for the House of Staunton standard tournament combination: http://houseofstaunton.com/Store/product_name=Design+Your+Own+Standard+Chess+Tournament+Combination+/exact_match=exact It's more expensive than I planned but I hope that its quality and beauty will make up for it. Plus, unlike the others, it actually has a brand name with a real company behind it and that gives me extra confidence. This is especially true if I need to use the warranty or get piece replacements.
  13. 09 Jan '08 23:55
    Does anyone know how square size is measured? Is it diagonally or just one side?
  14. 10 Jan '08 00:10
    Originally posted by exigentsky
    In the end, I went for the House of Staunton standard tournament combination: http://houseofstaunton.com/Store/product_name=Design+Your+Own+Standard+Chess+Tournament+Combination+/exact_match=exact It's more expensive than I planned but I hope that its quality and beauty will make up for it. Plus, unlike the others, it actually has a brand name with a real ...[text shortened]... ra confidence. This is especially true if I need to use the warranty or get piece replacements.
    I'm not sure beauty is something I'd associate with a vinyl and plastic chess set Anyway, I'm quite sure the quality is pretty much the same between them all. House of Stauntun just paid to have their name branded on the side; it's not like they manufactured them.

    To your other question, the squares are measured by their sides.
  15. 10 Jan '08 00:11
    In early December, I purchased a set, board, and bag at wholesale chess. The item numbers were 0130, 0212, and 0311. The pieces are triple weighted and feel great. The entire order was $19.95 INCLUDING shipping. I got the black and white board--I don't see what the problem is with black, yet. You can order a few sets of these (shipping cost, which was a lot since the pieces are heavy, might decrease for multiple orders) for the cost of the one set you're leaning toward. The set looks great--I wouldn't need anything else unless I wanted an ornamental set, which I already have. And I'd hate to take something more expensive on the road and get it dinged up.