Chess is a popular board game across the world. While many people are content to play chess on a regular board with plastic pieces, many players who truly love the game take pride in their unique chess sets.
There are many different kinds of chess sets to accommodate all chess players. Chess sets are made out of many different materials such as glass, ivory, marble, and wood. Some chess sets are especially small or have magnetic pieces, perfect for taking on trips and playing while traveling.
People have been playing chess for many centuries. No one knows for sure where or when it originated, but it is known that people in Persia, India, and China played chess in the Middle Ages. The game spread to the Middle East next, then to Spain and the rest of Europe. It is very likely that the game pieces were altered once the game spread through Europe to take on the forms that they currently have.
The different pieces in a chess set each represent parts of medieval life. The pawns represent peasants. Just as peasants were considered unimportant to people in power, pawns are the weakest pieces in the game of chess and are used primarily as sacrifices. The rooks, or castles, represent home and sanctuary. The knight represents soldiers, who, at the time, were held in high esteem, but not as much as the church or royal family. The bishops represent priests and are considered more valuable than knights. The queen is probably the most powerful piece on the board, but the king is the one that must be protected at all costs, or the game is lost.
Chess players at all skill levels marvel at the craftsmanship that goes into creating fine chess sets. It takes true artistry to create chess sets out of wood, stone and glass. Many chess sets are extremely rare and are valuable collector’s items.