Chess sets have been crafted from a variety of materials over the years, ranging from ivory and glass to wood, clay, pewter, stone, and various metals. Nowadays, the most common chess sets are made of plastic, which is a blend of high molecular weight polymers and filler materials. For those looking for the ultimate in luxury chess pieces, magnificent sets are available that are made of 24-carat brass plated with gold and silver and maple and walnut woods. These sets come in two styles: one with the wooden parts dipped in gold and silver paint to create a unique marbled finish, and the other with the wood left natural.
Handmade by Italian artists, these sets feature 5 inch tall kings that draw attention. Glass chess sets are also available, but they are not suitable for FIDE events or friendly games due to their transparency. They are also very fragile and expensive. The only real advantage is their beauty; crystal chess sets are usually very artistic and ornamental.
Therefore, they are best suited for passionate collectors who can afford them. The Burnt Zagreb 59-foot chess pieces receive a glossy transparent lacquer to keep them well protected and in good condition for many years to come. Some chess players choose to bring their own sets when traveling so they can practice their moves. Marble chess pieces are beautiful but often have the wrong weight and can be difficult to play seriously.
This particular set is a tournament-sized reproduction of an ensemble used in the World Championship Candidates Match held in 1959 in Bied, Zagreb. It is a rare find as there are relatively few chess pieces for sale that represent this period. For those looking for a more affordable option, handmade wooden chess sets of considerable quality can be found without sacrificing quality. This game is an adaptation of the popular chess game used in the major international tournaments of the 1950s, including the World Championship Candidates Match held in 1959 in Bled, Zagreb and Belgrade (hence its name).
If you're looking for something truly unique, there are works of art that double as chess games such as the modernist chess set created by Dadaist Man Ray which is exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. There are also dozens of vendors who offer thousands of possible configurations of pieces and boards. For those who want a modern aesthetic with stylistic options and bright finishes, Cooke luxury chess pieces from the Camaratta Signature series offer great value for money. These elegant pieces can be purchased with a discounted chess board and box.