The holiday season sure comes quickly! If you're shopping on a deadline, you may be wondering what to get your favorite chess enthusiast. In addition to our usual gift ideas, we know that wooden chess sets are always a good idea. Because there are a lot of options available, we are going to once again briefly explain the differences in wood types you can get pieces, boards, and boxes for chess sets.
Wood Chess Pieces are available in sheesham, ebonized hardwood, rosewood, ebony, or bud rosewood for the dark pieces. All sets come with boxwood for the light pieces.
We also carry some wood sets and pieces from the House of Staunton. Those come in many, many other types of wood that won't be covered in this article.
Rosewood is a deep, reddish-brown wood with dark grain. It is elegant for chess pieces and also becoming increasingly rare as time goes by. In some lighting, these pieces can look extremely dark, but they always have a reddish hue.
Bud rosewood is the most rare of the chess piece woods, and it's worth every penny! This gorgeous wood is even more deeply grained and red-tinted than regular rosewood because it is taken from a specific part of a rosewood tree.
Our wood boards generally use maple or bird’s eye maple for light squares. Bird’s eye maple is a light wood with swirling grain spots that resemble eyes. The particular board shown below has alternating bird’s eye maple and ash burl squares for a very unique look. Ash burl has a distinctive and unusual grain.
How do I Care for My Wood Chess Set?
Simply put, treat your nice wood chess pieces as you would fine furniture. First, and above all, avoid leaving them in direct sunlight and keep them away from extreme levels of humidity. A nice chess box or bag will help keep the humidity away. Second, many fine wood chess pieces are finished with a nature wax polish that requires careful attention. Do not use harsh detergents to clean them – the wax doesn’t play well with solvent based cleaners. For a longer, polished look – keep your pieces away from dusty environments and use a clean dry cloth to wipe them clean after use.