World Championship Chess Set Review

Designed by Daniel Weil, the world-famous Pentagram architect, and designer, the World Championship Chess set is a piece of art.

However, this wooden set approved by the FIDE for world tournaments is quite expensive.

In this article, you’ll find a detailed World Championship chess set review. So, keep reading to know why it has such a high price tag and if it’s worth the money.

World Championship Chess Set: Overview

Once you lay your eyes on the World Championship chess set, you can’t help but notice how luxurious it looks. It’s one of the world’s most iconic chess sets. Inspired by the classic Staunton shape, this chess set is like no other.

This World Championship chess set combines traditional design with the distinctive touch of modern art.

Basically, Daniel Weil designed this set with the help of both chess grandmasters: Magnus Carlsen and Vladimir Kramnik. After all, they know everything about what specifications the board and pieces should have.

The World Championship chess set comes in a few editions, with the official premium set being the most expensive. Take a look at the various editions you should find on their website:

  1. Official World Chess premium set
  2. World Chess Championship set (walnut edition)
  3. World Chess Championship set (rosewood edition)
  4. World Chess Championship set (gray walnut board)
  5. World Chess Championship set (wenge board)

World Championship Chess Set: Detailed Review

All of the World Championship chess set editions have a spectacular design, from the packaging down to the smallest chess piece.

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Take a look at the set’s in-depth details and features.

Components

Here’s what you should expect to find inside the box when you purchase a FIDE-approved World Championship chess set.

  • A 50×50 cm wooden chessboard
  • Eight black chess pieces
  • Eight white chess pieces
  • Two extra queens
  • A black or gray canvas tote bag for the board (walnut editions only)

Packaging

The World Championship chess set comes in two boxes, one for the chessboard and the other for the chess pieces. Made from tough cardboard material, these boxes have superb aesthetics.

The first box is square-shaped, fitting the chessboard perfectly. Opening it, you find the chessboard inside a clear plastic bag, with the edges protected by foam.

As for the second box, you find each chess piece individually bubble-wrapped for protection against friction.

The box itself is a storage shoe-box-like container that you can repurpose for storing the chess pieces. On the inside, it has 34 indented circles at the bottom to place the pieces in.

Chessboard

The solid wooden hand-made chessboard is magnificent, combining fine details and a high-quality feel. It’s 50×50 cm in size, with each square being 5×5 cm.

As for the build, the chessboard is tight and well-crafted.

Additionally, this set’s chessboard has no notation on the surface and a decent layer of varnish, making it super smooth. Plus, it has two small hexagonal shapes, indicating the black and white sides.

Depending on the edition you choose to get, the board may have four circular felt pads at the bottom corners. Alternatively, the chessboard might also have whole felt padding on the bottom.

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This is especially great for preventing the chessboard from sliding around and protecting it from scratches.

Here’s a table showing each World Championship chess set and the material it’s made from.

 

World Championship Chess Set Edition Material
Official World Chess premium set Ebony, acacia, and Maple Wood
World Chess Championship set (walnut edition) Walnut
World Chess Championship set (rosewood edition) Rosewood veneer and maple board
World Chess Championship set (gray walnut board) Wenge veneer and walnut board
World Chess Championship set (wenge board) Wenge

Chess Pieces

Each chess piece of the World Championship chess sets shows extraordinary skills.

They’re made with specific dimensions approved by Magnus Carlsen for use in his World Chess Championship matches.

In addition, every single chess piece has felt padding to sit steadily on the chessboard.

According to Daniel Weil’s designs, all the chess pieces have specific widths and heights. For example, the king is the tallest piece measuring 95 mm long and 93 mm wide. Following the king in height is the queen, bishop, knight, rook, then pawn.

Chess pieces follow certain shape requirements as well. That’s why they take longer time to produce than regular chess sets. These specifications lower the player’s chances of making mistakes, which may affect the game’s final result.

Price

Here comes the critical part, which is the pricing. The official World Championship chess sets mentioned above are over $500, and there’s a reason for this.

Are the World Championship Chess Sets Overpriced?

If you think about how they’re made, these chess sets aren’t that expensive. Unlike mass-produced products, these chess sets are hand carved by professional craftsmen. Surprisingly, the factory only produces 250 chess sets each year.

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Just imagine the time and skill it takes to turn a block of wood into 32 hand-carved pieces of art.

In fact, most of the value comes down to how well-made the knight is. After all, it’s the most tricky chess piece to carve, as it requires high precision.

Among all those workers, less than ten artisans can carve the knights for these unique sets. Mastering the art of carving the chess knights takes years. Compared to the few months it takes craftsmen to learn how to make the other pieces, it’s a long time.

While an ordinary chess piece takes a professional artisan a few minutes to produce, a single knight can take up to two hours. Aside from the carving, which should be completely symmetrical, the four knights of the chess set have to be similar.

Similarly, the king in the championship set also has distinct features different from the regular set’s king.

Furthermore, the dying, puffing, and polishing processes also take days. So, it’s fair to say that the World Championship chess sets are not overpriced.

Conclusion

After reading the World Championship chess set review, you should have an idea about all its details. Whether you decide to buy one or not, you can’t deny how precious having a set of this kind is.

Having a World Championship chess set is great despite the high price tag. From the extraordinary design to the skill that went into making these sets, it’s safe to say that they’re definitely worth the price.

After all, you get what you pay for.