Chess, the Game of Kings, is not just about the moves on the board; it’s also about the tactile experience of playing with the right chess equipment. If you’re in the market for a new chess set, you’ve come to the right place.
For over three decades, The House of Staunton has reigned as the embodiment of excellence in the world of chess. As a premier online shop, it has earned a stellar reputation for delivering some of the finest chess sets known to players, collectors, and enthusiasts.
In this in-depth review, we explore why the House of Staunton stands as the ideal destination for acquiring chess sets of unparalleled quality.
We will consider the aspects of quality, pricing, shipment, customer service, and overall shopping experience to give you all you need to make a well-informed decision.
A Legacy of Quality Chess Sets
If you’re looking for the type of chess sets that is featured in official tournaments, movies, television shows, and book covers, then head over to The House of Staunton.
The House of Staunton manufactures the world’s finest chess equipment, and has firmly established itself as the gold standard by which all chess pieces, chess boards and chess sets are judged.
Most recently, they partnered with Netflix to create a line of promotional chess equipment for The Queen’s Gambit, the most-watched miniseries in Netflix history!
They’re also the official equipment provider of the St. Louis Chess Club, where their patented chess pieces are played by the world’s greatest players at prestigious events such as the Cairns Cup and the Sinquefield Cup.
In fact, many renowned online chess stores are powered by none other than The House of Staunton itself. These include:
My initial plan was to compare and contrast between the four stores to help you decide on which one to buy a chess set from, but it turns out that the House of Staunton is the source of it all! So let’s cut to the chase, shall we?
Unveiling a Universe of Options
One of the standout features of the House of Staunton is the sheer variety of chess sets they offer. Catering to diverse tastes and preferences, they provide an expansive collection that ranges from traditional Staunton designs to artistic and themed sets.
Whether you yearn for a classic wooden set, an exquisite hand-carved set, or an artistic magnetic set, The House of Staunton has the perfect set to match your vision. The extensive range ensures that players, collectors, and chess enthusiasts can find the set that speaks to their individuality.
Here’s a very detailed unboxing video of a chess board, chess pieces, and chess box by The House of Staunton:
The items featured in the unboxing video are:
These three items are all eligible for Free Worldwide Shipping, which I will discuss in more detail in the shipment section of the review.
Quality (Rating: ★★★★★)
At the heart of the House of Staunton’s appeal lies craftsmanship beyond compare.
The House of Staunton is renowned for adhering to the highest quality standards. Their chess sets are a testament to meticulous craftsmanship, featuring premium materials and intricate designs.
Master artisans handcraft the chess pieces, chess boards and chess sets out of luxurious materials like Porcelain, Camel Bone, Genuine Ebony, Walnut Burl, and fossilized 40,000 year-old Wooly Mammoth Ivory.
The attention to detail is visible in every set they offer. Users consistently praise the exceptional build and artistic flair of their products. Whether you’re a tournament player seeking the precision of a Staunton set or a collector with a liking for aesthetic brilliance, these sets are a testament to the intersection of art and chess.
Pricing (Rating: ★★★☆☆)
The House of Staunton excels in quality, so I’m sure that by now, you must have gotten the impression that their pricing tends to align with the premium nature of their sets. However, the investment is justified by the craftsmanship and durability, as their quality products can very well remain in your family for generations!
Also, keep in mind that the website provides discounts and promotions, making their products much more affordable.
I’ve got you covered here with a few tips:
- For starters, you can save 10% by joining their newsletter, where you will receive the latest news and exclusive offers every week on your email.
- Save 30% during Black Friday deals with the coupon code: BF30
- As I’m writing this article, there is a national chess day sale going on. You can save 20% on all orders by using the coupon code: CHESSDAY
- Save 10% sitewide with the coupon code: VETERAN
Shipment (Rating: ★★★★☆)
The House of Staunton has recently pioneered the concept of Free Worldwide Shipping and now has more than 500 different available products that can be delivered to 137 different countries at no cost.
They offer a reliable shipping service, ensuring most orders arrive within the expected timeframe. They offer various shipment options, allowing customers to select their preferred method.
The exact delivery time depends on the location, but on average, the expected delivery time for a Free Worldwide Shipping shipment is 4-7 business days, as stated on The House of Staunton website.
If you want your package to be delivered sooner, you can select one of the priority shipping options such as Fedex or UPS that will be offered during checkout. In that case, you will be responsible for all shipping charges.
Customer Service (Rating: ★★★★☆)
A crucial aspect of any online shopping experience is the level of customer service provided, and The House of Staunton doesn’t disappoint in this department.
If you have a question about a specific product, need assistance with the ordering process, or have a post-purchase inquiry, the support team is quick to respond.
They keep buyers informed about order status, and in the rare instance that an issue arises, The House of Staunton takes a proactive approach to resolve it.
Whether it’s a shipping concern, a damaged item, or any other issue, they prioritize finding a solution promptly. The efficiency in issue resolution contributes significantly to a positive customer experience.
However, during the holidays, some people have had a few issues with late shipments and less responsive staff due to the overload of orders, so it’s worth keeping that in mind.
The House of Staunton guarantees that its branded Solid Wood products will have no manufacturing defects. Within one year from the date the product is purchased, The House of Staunton will replace any items that show manufacturing defects, at zero cost to the customer.
To give you a better idea, here are some examples of defects:
Examples of defects that are covered under this warranty:
– Hairline cracks in the base of wooden chessmen.
– Loose or wobbly metal weight inside a chess piece.
Examples of defects that are not covered under this warranty:
– Any physical defects that were caused by improper use of the product, like being dropped on the ground.
– Any pieces that are lost.
– Any pieces that are damaged due to improper waxing.
In general, all warranty claims are handled on a case-by-case basis.
Overall Shopping Experience
The House of Staunton’s website is a nice combination of elegance and functionality. The user interface is intuitive, the navigation is easy, and the browsing experience is pleasant.
The ordering process is straightforward and streamlined, minimizing any potential hurdles. From selecting your preferred chess set to completing the checkout, the steps are clear, and the website’s design provides a hassle-free experience.
Beyond the transaction, The House of Staunton fosters a sense of community. They have chess-related articles, forums, and educational resources which create an immersive experience for customers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1) What is the House of Staunton?
The House of Staunton is a celebrated manufacturer of high-quality chess sets, renowned for their craftsmanship and adherence to traditional Staunton chess piece designs.
Staunton chess pieces are characterized by their elegant style, intricate details, and timeless appeal.
Q2) Where can I buy a House of Staunton chess set?
House of Staunton chess sets can be purchased directly from their official website.
They offer a wide range of sets, from affordable entry-level options to premium luxury sets.
Q3) What are some of the best House of Staunton chess sets?
Some of the most notable and popular House of Staunton chess sets are:
1. The Championship Series Chess Set: (My Top Recommendation)
- Designed for serious chess players and collectors.
- These sets feature Staunton-style pieces with a focus on precision and balance.
You can choose from a variety of styles like Golden Rosewood, Purpleheart Gilded, Mahogany Gilded, Red Gilded, Ebonized Boxwood, and more.
The design of the Championship Chess set is an exact reproduction of the traditional European Pattern Chessmen that have been used at every major International Chess event for the past 10 years.
The prestigious list of tournaments that have used these Chessmen includes World Championships, FIDE Olympiads, Linares, Dortmund, Wijk Aan Zee and many more!The House of Staunton
The Championship Chess set is by far the best chess set in its price range. Its design, quality and craftsmanship is only matched by luxurious chess sets which have much higher price tags. That’s why it’s my top pick.
- Inspired by the 1959 Zagreb Chess Set used in the Candidates Tournament.
- Known for its historical significance and classic Staunton design.
The Zagreb ’59 Chess set is a beautiful blend between elegance and functionality, but it’s too expensive.
- Combines the elegance of rosewood with a unique burnt finish.
- Features ornate details and is often sought after by collectors.
The Burnt Golden Rosewood Chess set is unique and beautiful. Its price tag is decent, but perhaps a bit too high.
- Commemorates the historic 1972 World Chess Championship match between Fischer and Spassky.
- Captures the essence of that iconic match with carefully crafted pieces.
An exact reproduction of one of the most historically important Chess sets ever produced, the Chess set used in the legendary 1972 World Chess Championship, featuring Robert J. (Bobby) Fischer (USA) and Boris Spassky (RUS).The House of Staunton
The Fischer Spassky Commemorative Chess set is one of the most classic, elegant Staunton sets. Its price is reasonable, but still higher than the Championship Chess set.
Remember that the “best” chess set is subjective and depends on individual preferences, playing style, and budget.
When choosing a House of Staunton chess set, consider factors such as the type of wood used, the design of the pieces, and your own aesthetic preferences.
Additionally, the House of Staunton frequently releases new sets and limited editions, so it’s worth exploring their latest offerings on their website.
Q4) What is the difference between a House of Staunton chess set and a DGT chess set?
House of Staunton chess sets are primarily known for their traditional craftsmanship and aesthetic appeal, while DGT chess sets are focused on electronic functionality and integration with chess software and online playing platforms.
DGT chess sets often incorporate sensors and digital boards for recording moves, analyzing games, and playing against online opponents.
Q5) How do I care for my House of Staunton chess set?
Proper care and maintenance will extend the lifespan of your House of Staunton chess set.
Here a few tips to keep your chess set in great condition:
- Store the pieces: When you’re not using them, store the pieces in their original packaging or a dedicated chess case. This will protect them from dust, scratches, and other damage.
- Avoid extreme conditions: Protect your chess set from extreme temperatures and humidity. Avoid placing it near heating vents, fireplaces, or direct sunlight.
- Cleaning: If the pieces become dusty or dirty, clean them with a soft, slightly damp cloth. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials.
- Handling: Handle the pieces with care — of course, you shouldn’t drop them or throw them.
Q6) Are House of Staunton chess sets worth the price?
House of Staunton chess sets are generally considered to be worth the investment for those seeking a high-quality, handcrafted chess set that will last for years to come.
They are known for their exceptional craftsmanship, durable materials, and classic Staunton designs.
Keep in mind that the prices can range from affordable entry-level options to premium luxury sets, so the value proposition depends on your budget and priorities.
Q7) Can you compare House of Staunton chess sets to plastic chess sets?
While plastic chess sets are generally more affordable and lightweight, they often lack the refinement and durability of wood or weighted chess sets from reputable brands like The House of Staunton.
Wood chess sets provide a more traditional and luxurious chess experience, with heavier pieces that feel more substantial in hand. Additionally, wood chess sets often exhibit superior craftsmanship and attention to detail, making them more visually appealing and collectible.
Q8) What is the history of House of Staunton chess sets?
The House of Staunton traces its roots back to the 19th century, when Howard Staunton, a renowned chess player and writer, collaborated with renowned chess equipment makers to create a standardized set of chess pieces that would become the epitome of traditional chess design.
Staunton’s designs were widely adopted and became the benchmark for quality chess sets, and the House of Staunton brand continues to uphold that legacy today.
In the world of chess, the House of Staunton is more than just an online shop; it is a symbol of excellence, passion, and dedication.
If you’re seeking a set for competitive play or a collector’s piece, it is safe to say that The House of Staunton has set the bar for quality and craftsmanship.
The commitment to responsiveness and efficiency creates a generally positive shopping experience that extends beyond the checkout process.
If you have any questions or insights you’d like to share about the House of Staunton or chess sets in general, feel free to drop a comment. I’d love to have a chat with you.