Have you ever wanted to have a large chess set?
Or even play with large chess pieces in your back yard?
I think it would be a fun and exciting way to enjoy playing chess using large chess sets with your family… 🙂
If you are interested in this type of chess set, then you are going to like this article.
In this article, I am going to share with you everything you need to know about large chess.
Here is everything you need to know about Large Chess Sets
What is large chess all about?
Whether you're familiar with chess or not, you've probably heard about large chess.
Yes, those giant chess sets that you find hanging out in the world.
Have you ever wondered how they ended up there, or what their purpose is?
Well, if you have, I'm going to show you everything you need to know about large chess.
Small chess might be enough for you, but there is just something special about seeing a giant chess board in the middle of a park or yard.
Plus, if you're not an avid chess player, you can still find value in large chess.
Why? Because the chess pieces themselves can make great decorations.
So let's dive on in and learn all about what giant chess has to offer you.
What large chess is being used for?
Before we get into the different ways large chess can be played or displayed, I want to touch on what the most common uses for large chess are.
Believe it or not, half the time, large chess is not correctly used for the actual game of chess.
Think about it… do you want to move giant chess pieces around all the time?
The answer is most likely not, and this is especially true if you're into competitive chess.
So what are people doing with giant chess then?
Giant chess is commonly known for its decoration element.
There is truly something special about seeing a giant chess board out in the wild.
It makes you think it makes you wonder, and it makes for great conversation.
People display large chess boards in plenty of ways, and we'll get into specifics later, but they're ways that might surprise you a bit.
Also, here are some of the coolest chess set to check out!
Believe it or not, large chess sets can be placed in some pretty exciting ways.
The most common methods include, but are certainly not limited to:
- Garden sets for backyards, or any other garden setting you may have
- A decoration piece for parks and backyards without gardens
- Using individual pieces to dress up a room or area indoors or outdoors.
- Using individual pieces to dress up an office or private study
- Using individual giant pieces that feel almost like a statue
So now you might be wondering, do people play giant chess?
The answer to that question is entirely dependent on the person.
Look, if you're a chess enthusiast, chances are if you saw a giant chess board, you would try and play it.
You might not play it competitively, but you might find great joy when it comes to moving pieces around the unusually large board.
I mean, come on, it sounds exciting, right?
So, if you might be tempted to play giant chess, others must be too… right?
Well, you guessed it, people do. It is common to see giant game boards in public parks because it can keep people entertained.
You can find kids playing giant connect four, and you can also find many people playing giant chess out there in the world.
Giant chess is much different than standard chess.
The enormous size attracts attention, so many people play this game in groups or teams.
The important thing, regardless of why you're using a giant chessboard, is that you safeguard the individual pieces.
You'll be surprised to see how much the average large chess board can cost.
You also might want to keep them in a fenced-in area, because people might be tempted to steal them.
We see this occur in public settings all the time, and while it is very unfortunate, it is a possibility you should consider.
So, before we go any further, I want to be open with you about the price of some giant chess sets on the market.
Giant chess sets vary in shape and size, but the cost generally depends on the size and material of the chessboard.
Check out my favorite chess set review here.
What do I mean by this? All this means is that it depends on how big you're going, so let's take a look at a brief price comparison.
- Standard large chess sizes vary, but typically have pieces between 8 and 49 inches (34-49 inches is considered giant)
- A good rule of thumb to follow is that the larger the pieces, the more pricey the set
- Materials vary, but fiberglass is generally the most costly and plastic is the most affordable
- If you're looking to purchase a giant chess set, you should expect to pay, at a minimum, be $500 and 10,000.
- If you're not looking to purchase the whole set or keep any pieces, you can also opt to rent a giant chess set.
The beauty of large chess is that you don't need to purchase the entire set. If you're not looking to play large chess, or have a completed board on display, you can buy individual pieces. So, if you're not looking to break the bank, you can still find large chess pieces on a solid budget. We'll get into the gritty details of individual chess pieces towards the end, but to start, let's take a look at some common giant outdoor chess sets.
Popular outdoor chess materials
If you're looking to spice up your backyard or keep your guests wildly entertained, an outdoor chess set is a way to go.
Consider the value that this set brings to the table because it will bring a touch of elegance to any outdoor area.
Let's take a look at some of the common materials being utilized for outdoor chess.
What is the absolute best large chess set material?
You might be wondering which chess set is held to the highest standard, and that answer is fiberglass. Large fiberglass chess sets are the most highly sought after chess materials for two reasons. The first reason is the sleek style that they can provide, and the second reason is due to their durability. Let's touch on both of these for a second.
- Fiberglass is an excellent material for outdoor chess because it provides a beautiful appearance.
- Fiberglass is unique because it truly has a wonderful way of reflecting light.
It is, without a doubt, the most luxurious chess set that you can by. So you might be wondering, if it is such a luxurious item, it must require high maintenance, right? Well, in this case, you're dead wrong.
Fiberglass is an excellent material for giant chess because fiberglass is incredibly durable.
Ready to check out our chess recommendations here.
You can even expose this set to the elements, and it will come out unscathed.
If you opt for a fiberglass set, you'll also be free of most forms of long term maintenance.
Fiberglass is also an excellent option due to the weight of the pieces.
You probably haven't considered this yet, but how hard do you think it is to move a 49-inch chest piece?
That chess piece is the size of a small human being. Sounds heavy, right?
Well, if you opt for fiberglass, you'll enjoy the ability to move these pieces around with ease.
So, for these reasons, fiberglass is one of the best materials you can have for an outdoor chess set.
What about wood?
Wood is also a very sought after option for outdoor chess sets.
Wood provides a very old fashioned look and can add a touch of wisdom to your outdoor chess board.
The set itself will also be expensive, but you'll be pleased to know that wood comes in at a close second to fiberglass.
In some cases, wood is better than fiberglass if you're looking for a more traditional look.
Large wooden chess sets are great because they have that traditional chess feels to them.
The beauty of large wooden chess sets is that they're entirely custom, and tend to pair well with most types of decor you may have in your outdoor area.
Also, check out some of the best chess gift ideas here.
Regarding durability, wood is an excellent choice.
You should be aware, though, that if your wooden set has a waterproof seal, you'll need to reseal it from time to time.
This will ensure that the wood pieces do not begin to decay over time.
So while it may look traditional and classic, a large wooden chess sets come with a bit more maintenance over time.
Unfortunately, your color choices are also reasonably limited, depending on the type of wood being used.
These are just a few things to keep in mind when looking at large wooden chess sets.
What is the best material to choose if I'm on a budget?
Look, I get it. Not everyone has $20,000 to throw at a large chess set. If this is the case, then you can opt for a plastic outdoor chess set.
Believe it or not, large plastic chess sets are some of the most common types that you find.
They range highly in customization, and you can even find sets that light up during the night.
Pretty cool if you're looking to play at night, right? These sets are not only affordable, but they're also extremely durable.
They can take quite a bit of punishment from being dropped, harsh weather, sunlight, and anything else you can think of.
Plus, if one piece does break, it is not too expensive to replace.
Large plastic chess sets are great for outdoor use because they're highly durable.
You can choose an array of colors, and they're very child-friendly.
You'll never have to stress too much about this set.
So, if you're looking for functionality, a game of large plastic chess set maybe your best option.
The only issue with these sets is that the plastic material does not shine very well, and some of them do not always come with the board.
You should also know that these pieces are lightweight enough to be easily used.
Plastic is no slouch compared to other large chess materials.
Check out a really nice and weighted chess set here
The uses of outdoor chess
Whether you're looking to use this as a decoration piece, or for playability, an outdoor chess set has some essential functions.
The primary use of one of these sets, if you plan on keeping it, is the wow factor.
Chances are, if you know someone has large chess set in their yard, you have some questions.
It can prove to be a great conversation piece.
Wanted to learn how to play chess alone? Read this interesting article here.
So, if I have a garden, how can I dress it up with a large chess set?
One of the most popular uses of large outdoor chess sets is the ability to dress up your garden area.
If you have a large garden and have plenty of patio space, a large wooden chess set can dress this whole area up.
It will end up adding a touch of class to your garden and can prove to be a fun way of passing the time.
If your garden does not have a patio, feel free to get creative.
You can go out and get a few square stone pieces, and end up building your very own chess board.
So feel free to get creative with your choices.
What if I don't have a garden?
Don't worry, because if you don't have a garden, you can still be very creative with outdoor chess.
If you have a patio, you can feel free to set some space aside to add one of these chess sets.
This can prove to be a great eyepiece and a great pastime at your next backyard event.
You shouldn't stop there because if you're looking to add giant chess to your lawn, it is entirely possible.
As mentioned before, you can get creative with the way you create the board.
Of course, you can purchase one, but if your set does not come with one, you can always create your own with color-coded stones.
If you're looking for decorative purposes, a large wooden set might seem the best if you have it out on your lawn.
Plus, most of the time, it can stand up to the elements.
What if I'm looking to play giant chess often, or if I'll only be using it when I have people over?
If this is the case, then you might want to go with a large plastic chess set.
Why? Because the pieces are lightweight enough to be used and stored with ease.
The main reason that plastic chess sets have the best playability is that they hold up well and can come in many different colors.
If you need to play at night, you can use pieces that come with lights.
This is guaranteed to make your events all the more enjoyable.
You should also feel free to get creative because you can easily create your chess board.
Plastic pieces are also great if you're not looking to use them as a decoration because you can store them easily.
Whether you'll be using a garage or shed, you'll be pleased to know that these pieces are built to last.
So, if you plan on only bringing this set out on occasion, you should probably go with a plastic set.
It might not look the best, but it has the most effortless playability.
Individual large chess pieces and their purpose
If you don't want to pick up a full-blown set, don't worry, because you can get your hands on individual chess pieces quite quickly.
Individual large chess pieces can be great for decorating your home, but they can also be used for replacement set pieces or custom large chess sets.
I want to add some large chess pieces to my home for decorative purposes, how should I go about that process?
If you're looking to add large chess pieces to your home for decoration, your options are limitless.
You can create all different types of dynamics with large chess pieces, so let's look at some common ways to display large chess pieces in your home.
The most common way for you to do so is to use them on the inside of your home.
Why? Because some larger pieces can undoubtedly add a touch of wisdom and class to any room. The best use for a large chess piece is definitely as an enhancer for a room. If you have a library or even a home office, you can use large chess pieces to add wisdom to the room. Some great uses of individual large chess pieces are as follows:
- Mixing them in with your bookshelves
- Placing them on, or around, your desk
- Placing them in strategic locations around your home (mostly shelves)
- If you opt for giant pieces (34-49 inches), they can become their statue or display in any area
- You can set them up around your patio outside, or utilize them in a display case set
While these display options are some of the most common, the potential is limitless.
Even if you just had one 49 inch piece sitting in your basement, it would be a conversation starter.
Something you should also consider when looking into large individual chess pieces is that the pieces you choose should be symbolic of you.
An excellent example of this is one that can be readily displayed on a nightstand and involves the king and queen pieces.
If you live with your partner, you can place a king piece on one nightstand, and the queen piece on the other.
While this may seem subtle, to anyone who enters the room, it makes a great statement.
What materials should I use for large individual chess pieces being used for decorative purposes?
If you're going to be using these pieces for decor, then you'll want to know which style does your home the most justice. The answer to this question depends on what you intend to do with the pieces. Here are some pretty enjoyable methods to follow when using large pieces as decorations:
- If you're placing the pieces in an office or library, custom wooden pieces are your best bet. The wood will reflect wisdom and competence
- If you're putting these pieces in a display case, feel free to get creative. They make large chess pieces out of all types of materials, so when it comes to showcasing these pieces, you might want to go with something more high-end
- If you're going to be using giant pieces as a type of statue, you might want to opt for fiberglass because it provides the most elegant touch
- If you plan on just scattering them around your home, with no rhyme or reason, plastic or wood is an excellent material to do so.
You may also be interested in learning some chess tricks here.
What if I need replacement pieces for my outdoor set?
If you're looking into individual pieces to serve as replacements for your set, it can get quite costly, depending on the material you need.
The most comfortable set pieces to replace are plastic because you can find the colors and style you're looking for with ease.
This does not mean you can't replace other materials, and it just means that it might be a bit more complicated to do so.
The first thing you should do is contact the company that designed your set.
Chances are they will offer additional pieces for you.
If this method fails, you should look out for companies that are offering individual pieces with a custom touch. This can help you get the exact pieces that you need on time.
Want to use a chess clock with your chess game? Check out our review about the chess clock here.
Renting large chess sets
You might not need to keep one of these sets.
Regardless of what you may need a temporary set for, there are plenty of companies that will rent them out to you.
Usually, you can do this at a much cheaper cost as well, and for most sets, you can end up renting one of these sets for less than $1,000.
How much time do I get it for?
Depending on the company that you use, renting a large chess set should net you much more time than you may need.
Including shipping and returning the set, you'll usually have about two weeks to use the rental chess set.
Plus, if you end up needing it longer, most companies will charge you a small fee to rent it for a longer period.
The quality of the chess set depends on the type of material you opt for, so make sure you choose wisely.
Unique large chess sets
If you're looking for something a little more unique, trust me, there are plenty of options for you.
While most materials provide you with standard chess pieces, you can start to get enjoyable with them.
You can find designs that genuinely appeal to your taste.
What do I mean by custom?
Look, at the end of the day, not everyone wants to have the same old bland chess pieces. If you're using individual pieces as a statue in your home or using an outdoor set for display, you can look at different themes. So, before we wrap things up, I want to show you what some of those interesting themes are:
- You can get your hands on medieval chess pieces
- You can get pieces with gothic designs
- You can get pieces that are religion-based
- You can even get chess pieces relative to your nation
The possibilities are truly endless, so make sure you take the time to choose the right theme. Nobody wants to look at a bland chest set, trust me on that one. So now that you know the themes that are out there, really ask yourself what theme might work best for you.
Also, check out our article about some best star wars chess sets.
When it comes to large chess sets, they might seem intimidating at first due to their sheer size.
Aside from how they may look, they're guaranteed to get you involved in the game of chess.
Large chess sets can make quite the decoration piece, and can also prove to be very fun to play in groups at events.
Overall, whether you come across one in a park or backyard, a large chess set is guaranteed to catch your attention.
The most important thing to understand about this type of chess is that you need to pay attention to all of your options.
It might seem easy to jump on a cheap large chess set, but you need to be asking yourself what you need it for in the first place.
For elegance, you'll want to opt for a large fiberglass chess set.
If you're looking for pure playability, then you might want to consider plastic sets as an alternative.
Try asking yourself why you need a large set.
Don't let the price of large chess sets dictate your decisions.
If you need individual pieces for interior enhancement, be sure to choose a material that you'll like looking at for years to come.
If you're using a large set to add extra appeal to your garden, make sure the materials that you use reflect that intention.
If you're looking to use large chess for a weekend game, and you're unsure about outright purchasing one, it might be your best bet just to rent one and see how you feel.
Chess is a game of the mind, so be sure to be mindful when looking into your large chess set options.
If you do find this article helpful please share it with your friends and family too… Have fun with your large chess sets! 🙂
Gary FloresGary is a chess enthusiast and has three children who also enjoy learning the game. He is a co-author of the "Chess Fundamentals" book's ChessDelights Edition. He founded ChessDelights.com in order to brush up on his understanding of this tactic and strategy game. He also enjoys encouraging those who are learning, re-learning, or instructing their children in the game of chess.
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