Entering the world of chess, you might notice that chess boards vary in price widely. Yet, there’s always a chess board for all budgets, ranging from cheap plastic to fine collectible wood.
When it comes to the wooden chess board price, it can be anywhere from 50 to several thousand dollars. It depends on a few factors, including the type of wood used and the brand name selling the chess board.
This article is a guide about wooden chess board prices and why some of them can be so expensive.
Keep reading to find out more about it.
Why Do Wooden Chess Board Prices Vary?
No doubt that a unique wooden chess board can bring the whole set to life. For hardcore chess enthusiasts, the game isn’t just about winning or losing. The chess set itself plays a huge part in how they feel about the game.
A. The Type of Wood
One of the main factors contributing to the price of a chess board is the type of wood used to make it. Although there are limitless options of wood types in the manufacturing of wooden chess boards, all of them fall within two main categories.
1. Veneer Chess Boards
This is the most common and affordable type of chess board. Starting at around $50, veneer chess boards are of acceptable quality and have good designs too.
Most veneer chess boards have a high-density fiber core, which is quite sturdy. The outer layer of these boards, on the other hand, is a thin wood veneer.
Veneer chess boards aren’t as low quality as some people might think. However, if you’re more into solid wood, they may not be the right choice for you.
2. Solid Wood Chess Boards
This is a higher-priced wooden chess board option. Consequently, it’s more expensive. The majority of custom-made chess boards are almost always solid wood.
Basically, solid wood chess boards are the top choice for those aiming to own a high-quality heirloom. That’s because a well-made solid wood chess board can last for hundreds of years.
Most Common Chess Board Wood Options
Wooden chess boards are usually a combination of two types used to make the 64 dark and light squares. Having said that, it’s possible to make a wooden chess board with just one type of wood. In that case, the darker color is probably lacquer-painted.
Take a look at some of the most common types of wood used for making chess boards.
B. The Brand Name
You can be looking at two identical wooden chess boards with two completely opposed price tags. The only difference is the brand name. This is a common practice in most industries, not just chess sets.
While the base cost of the two wooden chess boards may be the same, the brand name adds to the cost. However, this isn’t a haphazard process, as a brand name is a guarantee that you purchased a high-quality product.
By default, a smaller chess board is almost always cheaper than its larger version. It depends on why you need to buy it and where you’re going to use it. For example, it’s not practical to use a full-sized chess board on a picnic or a trip.
Alternatively, if you’re participating in a tournament, purchasing a small chess board is the worst idea.
D. Mass Produced or Handmade
There’s nothing wrong with buying a standard mass-produced chess board. It’s actually quite affordable and cost-effective. However, for some, owning a handmade wooden chess board is something else.
The price of such a piece depends on the amount of work that went into making it. The aesthetic value of wooden chess boards adds a lot to their final cost. It may be hand carved with some unique designs. Plus, it may feature gorgeous features and patterns.
Thus, the more intricately made the chess board is, the more expensive it becomes.
E. Customized Chess Boards
Apart from the standard-looking chess boards, some manufacturers offer several customized options. Some chess board designs are inspired by motifs from history, methodology, pop culture, design styles, etc.
While many of these designs aren’t that practical, they’re pieces of art for collectors to admire. So, if you’re into a specific movie or historical era, these types of chess boards may appeal to you.
The cost of such a custom-made chess board typically starts at over a hundred dollars. Although this is a high price to pay for a chess board, the product you get in return is a statement piece of art.
Some customized wooden chess board examples include
- Chess boards with storage drawers
- Tree log chess boards
- Minimalist chess boards
- Chess boards with oriental engravings
- Chess boards with inlaid mother-of-pearl pieces
Top Chess Vendors and Their Prices
- Wholesale Chess:has a great collection of wooden chess boards starting at $69 for the tournament type. Their luxury chess board prices reach over $5,000. Plus, they offer you the option to order custom-made chess boards.
- The House of Staunton:also has a tournament chess board option starting at $69. As for their luxury wood collection, it sells for over $6,000.
- ChessHouse:has impressive collections with unique designs. A standard chess board starts at around $70, while a more luxurious option is well over $500.
A Final Thought
In the majority of cases, a wooden chess board’s price is an indication of its quality. It’s like a trade-off where you give more money in exchange for better conditions. So, it’s safe to say that the more money you spend on a wooden chess board, the more quality you get in return.
Despite that, this argument is only viable up to a certain point. That’s because there’s a certain level of craftsmanship you can get with a wooden chess board. Anything after that is just a mere luxury.
You can easily buy a decent wooden chess board for under $50. Yet, if you’re after a unique piece, expect to see a multi-thousand dollars price tag.