Often heralded as a game for the intellectually gifted, chess is one of the best sports to exercise the most important organ — your brain. While chess became particularly popular in the 1950s and 60s, the game is still widely played around the world today, with players being part of all ages, classes, and cultures. The game of chess might not help you build your biceps and isn’t known as a sport that can tone your abs, but your mental health can certainly benefit from it. Here are some of the products offered by ChessUSA, and why you want to invest in quality chess sets.
The Value in Quality Chess Sets
Most sets can be obtained cheaply – but they aren’t made to last. A game of chess requires moving chess pieces, as well as storing them. Poorly made parts can have defects that will prevent it from staying on the chess board. If you decide to dump chess parts into a container, then there is also the real chance of chipping or damaging chess pieces. Regardless if you are buying ChessUSA’s marble, magnetic, or themed sets, they all structurally sound and are designed to last.
Choosing the Right Chess Piece
Chess pieces are extremely important. This is where durability, quality, and ease of use come into mind. However, not all pieces are created equally. When selecting a test piece, you want to consider if you want wooden or plastic parts. Parts that are made out of plastic are typically used for tournament play, while wood pieces are higher end, designed to be ornamental, aesthetic, and even a statement piece in your living spaces.
With plastic chess parts, you are typically saving money. They are more affordable than wooden pieces since they are hollow and very lightweight. This can make your chess set more transportation-friendly and versatile. In addition to traditional ivory and black shades, plastic chess pieces are also available in a wide range of colors. You also have the option of selecting solid plastic parts which are a bit more heftier than the hollow chess parts. They’re sturdier and stand up to abuse better.
Wooden chess parts are available in various wood finishes and are designed with different types of materials like ebony or rosewood. Each chess piece is unique to each other due to the nature of manufacturing them.
With ChessUSA, you will be able to enjoy a myriad of chess pieces and chess sets. It’s a brand that has pride in its products, with a brand history that shows its commitment to the sport.
About Traditional Flat Chess Sets. A chessboard that can fold has become the norm. But the traditional chessboard has always been a solid piece. For those who want a more traditional chess set, ChessUSA has a selection of conventional flat chest sets with accompanied chess pieces. ChessUSA carries large and small heirloom sets, with the Luxe Legionnaires Crimson Rosewood Chess Set and the Cardinal Rosewood Presidential Chess Set being crowd favorites. These are more expensive than the other sets offered by ChessUSA, but they are the hallmark of craftsmanship and form. These chess parts have been designed by Mark Of Westminster, who have built upon the Staunton design.
Luxe Legionnaires Crimson Rosewood Chess Set, $489.90. This set is known for its quality, with each set coming with a certificate of authenticity that guarantees a lifetime warranty for natural defects. While pricier, these chess pieces are designed to last a lifetime, within the generous warranty intended for that. The luxe Rosewood chess set also comes with a black humidor chess box for storage and easy transportation.
Cardinal Rosewood Presidential Chess Set, $319.41. This Cardinal Rosewood chess set is also a favorite for those who want a traditional flat chess board.
About Themed Sets
For those who have a more outlandish outlook on the hobby, then you might be interested in themed chess sets. There is a myriad of themes you can choose from — you can select
sets that are inspired by historical figures, popular culture, or movies. ChessUSA has several selections when it comes to theme chess sets that cover many categories, including American, medieval, European, fantasy, oriental, animal, and literary sets. Here are some of the more popular themed chess sets, including an overall review.
Metal Renaissance Chess Pieces, $386.95. These chess are imported from Italy, with each metal chess piece being unique and impressive. Not only is there a notable weight to these chess pieces due to the material that they are constructed from, but they are made to stand out due to the immense detail and character imparted with each chess piece. The knight, for example, is fantastic since you can tell that the artist took the time crafting a one-of-a-kind set. The metal Renaissance chess piece makes a great display and heirloom centerpieces. Thankfully the chess piece comes with a flip-top box designed with individual piece inserts in a styrofoam sheet, allowing you to store your chess piece set whenever it isn’t in use.
Dragon Kingdom Polystone Chess Set, $149.95. If you are a Game of Thrones fan, then you will enjoy this Dragon inspired chess set with wizards and knights. Each chess piece is made with a polyurethane resin mix, giving each piece an added weight that gives it a luxe feel. The resin provides each chess piece an almost stone-like feel, making it feel very expensive. But unlike porcelain, polystone is slow to wear and makes it ideal for collectors and casual players.
About Magnetic Chess Sets
With magnetic chess sets, you do not have to worry about a chess piece scurrying away or becoming lost. ChessUSA carries a selection of magnetic chess sets that will allow you to hone your skills while on the go. These are ideal for long commutes, or even taking out while in transit. They are versatile, making the perfect companion for air, train, or bus travel. Here are some of the more popular magnetic chess sets by ChessUSA.
Ultimate Magnetic Wallet Chess Set, $9.95. This is a very small chess set at just 6 inches. However, they are designed to fit in your pocket or purse. It’s a trifold wallet style chess set that is great for travel or analysis before a game. It’s magnetic, you can pause mid-game knowing that your chess pieces won’t be flying all over the place. If you worried about the chess pieces being too small, then don’t — the actual chess pieces are clearly identified, so there is no possibility for confusion.
10″ Folding Magnetic Chess Set, $15.95. If you’re looking for a compact chess set but still want something a bit more substantial akin to a traditional game, then ChessUSA offers a 10-inch folding magnetic chess set. The actual chess pieces are classic in their design, in a portable magnetic set. It’s large enough to allow you to easily see the pieces on the board, and a magnetic base that is powerful enough to keep the pieces on the magnetic base.
About Marble Chess Sets
The intrinsic beauty of marble chess sets comes from its unique veins and swirls due to the manufacturing. They are best used for display, but they make perfect gifts for casual and slow games of chess.
Black and Green Marble Chess Set, $199.95. Chess pieces have been designed from different materials for the ages — from wood, stone, and even bone. But there’s nothing like a marble chess set — it’s eye-catching, aesthetically pleasing, and offers for a unique game of chess. The marble chess is designed for collectors and chess enthusiasts that want something that will stand out from the rest of their collection. While made out of marble, this 16-inch set still uses a traditional style that makes it easy to play and intuitive for most players. It’s a great chess set that actually looks better in person.
About ChessUSA: History, Brand, Return Policy And Mentions
ChessUSA has a fantastic selection of sets and chess pieces that are made to fit the needs of the novice and the veteran in the hobby. There is a vast array of countries that manufacture chess products via from Greece, China, Poland, and so on. However, ChessUSA prides itself in being American-made by an American company founded on American values. While there aren’t many chess retailers that can proudly say that they are American founded, ChessUSA sticks out as a much appreciated enigma. ChessUSA has become the local hub for collectors in the East Coast who are looking for individual chess pieces to whole sets. Perusing through ChessUSA’s website, you will be confronted with a myriad of theme chess sets, tournament supplies, computer software and tools, and unique sets. In laymen’s terms, there’s a bit for everyone on their website.
ChessUSA Return Policy
During the holiday season, ChessUSA is known for extending their return and exchange window. Located in Massapequa New York, ChessUSA prides itself in quick shipping and handling. If you’re in the tri-state area, then expect your items to arrive within a day. If you’re farther away like Oregon, California or surrounding states, shipping would typically take about four days. Handling of product will take about two days before they officially ship out. While most items ship up from the store in Massapequa, some specialty products may be sent out from a different facility.
Does ChessUSA Offer International Shipping? You’ll be glad to find out that ChessUSA actually offers international shipping via FedEx international, Express Mail, or USPS Priority. If you have other special shipping requests, write them down in the comments section in the online order form. ChessUSA prides itself in forging relationships with people, and will always try to have an open channel of communication with customers.
ChessUSA has also been featured in several news articles. Grand Rapids Business News has recently featured ChessUSA, with the company partnering with a chess board maker to keep the tradition alive.
In the off chance that you receive a product from ChessUSA that you are unsatisfied with, you’ll be glad to know that they have a comprehensive return policy. Just return the product within two weeks of delivery for an exchange or a refund — it’s entirely up to the buyer. One of the best aspects of this return policy is how personable it is. In the chance that you need to return an item, you simply call them up to notify them of the defect that you’re experiencing and inform them of your interest in a refund or an exchange, and then you’ll just need to return the item. However — for transparency sake — ChessUSA does not provide a prepaid return label for returns — so returning an item will most likely be in your dime.
Shipping charges aren’t refundable, so aren’t gift wrap charges. There’s also a 5 percent restocking fee. This fee is nulled in the event of an item exchange. For specialty items like license boardgames, software items, and videos and DVDs – then these items are not refundable.
Other Products Offered by ChessUSA
ChessUSA does not only specializes in complete sets, but they also offer a myriad of board games as well. ChessUSA sells the classics like Monopoly, Super Scrabble, Legendary, Firefly the Boardgame, and Tanto Cuore Card game.
This ChessUSA review mostly mentions the more popular chess sets, but there also specialty chess sets that the site sales that are sometimes overlooked. While most are hurrying to get magnetic, traditional, and themed chess sets, there are also other types of test sets and variance. For example, ChessUSA’s Quick Chess ($5.95) has limited squares and pieces, allowing you to get a hold of the full experience but on a much smaller scale. There’s also the Chess4 Chess Set ($39.95) which allows for four players to engage in a chess battle. With ChessUSA, you will have access to a variety of chess sets and chess pieces from a few dollars up to a couple hundred dollars, which is why ChessUSA has set itself separate from its competitors.