Chess Sets from Cool Chess Canada

One of the things we really want to do is show everyone how beautiful our chess sets are. You can do this through photographs and over time you can make those photographs better. We also love customers making appointments to come into the office to visit us. Often we will put the coffee on and we will have a selection of chess sets ready for them to touch and look at. I've wanted to put some videos together for quite some time and never been quite sure of the best way to do this. Well, now we've started! And we hope to continue with more videos that help you see the sets as if you were there touching them yourself.

Enjoy this short video. For best results, be sure to play back in High Definition.


French 375 Sycamore Board

New Economy Chess Sets

Occasionally we throw caution to the wind and create some new and exciting products using different combinations of chess sets and chess boards. The Fall season is almost on us, and one of the most popular products in our catalogue is the Economy Chess Set Collection.

There are a few good reasons why these products are so popular. Parents buying a first chess set for their kids often want a better quality set than you can get at a big-box store. The economy chess sets give parents exactly this without having to spend hundreds of dollars on a 'fancy' chess set that may not get any use.

German Ebonized 375 Sycamore

The economy chess sets are very rugged and meant to be played with. Chess is a lovely slow game, but any chess-addicted player will play game after game.

The economy chess sets provide a wooden chess experience where the board and pieces are made to be used. No worries about ears or noses falling off here. Pound away at your chess set and don't feel bad at knocking the pieces over in frustration.

German GR with Sycamore Board 3.75 Close View

One of our recent additions is a bit of a twist on our successful and popular mahogany and sycamore chess board. This is a very popular European made board that is great for beginners and experts alike. The classic orange coloured wood has been flipped around and for these new products, sycamore is the dominant wood.

The chess sets are a joy to own have great contrasting colours on both a light and dark tabletop. If you're not keen on the orange of mahogany, why not turn things on their head and try a sycamore and mahogany chess board. The boards are as hardy as ever and super fun to play chess on.

Zagreb Chess Set

Chess sets and chess boards for the Fall.

The summer has been a busy time for Cool Chess Canada and we are shorty to be heading into the Fall season. This is where things traditionally start getting busy. But so far the year has been a very good one for us.

We would certainly like to extend thanks to all of our customers who have made this year so memorable. It has been fantastic to talk to so many of you and help you find your perfect chess set. Where you have had problems, I hope we have helped. And where you have had difficulty making a choice, I hope we have given good advice.

We have moved our office from Mississauga to Aurora, made improvements to the on-line store, and opened another website catering to a different niche (Knight's Writing Company).

But don't worry - Cool Chess Canada is here to stay.

The Modern Chess Set

The year has seen us restrict the introduction of new products to Cool Chess Canada. We have concentrated on our existing line of chess sets and worked on solidifying a greater number of sales prior to expansion in 2016.

We have also concentrated our efforts on streamlining our business model and improving our marketing, listening to customer feedback, and changing our internal processes, packaging, and shipping options so that we can provide better service to all of our customers. 

A number of products have sold out! A full compliment of plastic chess sets should be back in stock toward the end of August and a number of wooden products will be re-appearing in the Fall. These include the popular Modern design chess sets, the Royal, and others.

Next year will see an additional range of chess sets from both India and Europe, but for this Fall we will offer a few different combinations of existing chess pieces and boards. Hopefully you will find them unique and interesting. Keep an eye on the Cool Chess Canada store and be sure to check the blog occasionally for updates - I promise I won't be quite so tardy in posting from now on...

Millenium Chess Pieces - Black copy


Choosing The Right Size Chessboard

Finding a chessboard to fit your space can be a challenging prospect - but we have a few simple guidelines to help make things go easier. Before you decide on a size, however, be sure to consider the colour of the furniture and other items that will be in the same room as your chess set.

More often than not the wood that the chessboard and chess pieces are made from provides a contrast or a blend of colours to compliment the room. Once you've decided on a list of possible woods and colours, you need to then find out if the chessboard you want will fit! Here are some things that you can do to help:

  1. Once you know the dimensions of the chessboard you are interested in, stick together some sheets of plain paper and draw the outer dimension of the chessboard on them. Fill the rest of the paper with squares and borders of the correct measurements. Carry this fake board around your home and try it out on your table tops.
  2. Consider making two or three fake boards of different dimensions to see which looks best. You can't be sure that the chessboard you want is really the one that you should have for the space. It makes sense to give yourself some options so you really know.
  3. If you already have chess pieces that you are going to use, be sure to place those on your fake chessboard to make sure that the bases of the pieces fit as you'd like them to. As important as it is to have the right size chessboard for your tabletop, it's also important to have the right sized squares for the pieces. There are no rules and beauty really is in the eye of the beholder! Seeing the whole setup in front of you will give you an idea of how the final chess set will look.
  4. Get someone else's opinion - this can't be overstated! You can easily become blind to an ideal, but a second opinion can go miles before you spend your hard earned cash.

With a few scraps of paper and some tape you can be sure that you will find the right sized chessboard for your space! Of course it won't improve your chess, but your chess set is sure to look fantastic!

The Sheffield Chess Set

The Sheffield. A Larger Chess Set.

One of my all time favourite chess sets is a new style that we shipped in last year. The Sheffield is simply beautiful. Of all the shipping boxes we received, the one containing the Sheffield was by far the heaviest. Noticeably. After several hours of lugging boxes around the warehouse, two of us attempted to pick up one of the last boxes only to find it carried something rather heavy. Our further investigation turned into giddy excitement as we pulled out two cardboard boxes containing large and heavy chess pieces. My, those are heavy chess sets!

Indeed, the volume of wood and the excessive load of the steel weights used to anchor the chess pieces firmly to the board was impressive. At nearly four pounds, I believe this may just be the heaviest mid-range chess set we have in stock. When you consider that the King's base is approximately 1.96 inches - or 50mm - then you can see that the chess board to go with these pieces also has to be large. 

Most of our tournament chess sets fit on a 50mm square. It's standard. Some of the larger sets require a 55mm square. But the Sheffield King's base being a whopping 55mm requires the largest board that we have in stock. And what board would look better than a Santos Palisander chess board from Rachapados Ferrer. With a 60mm square and length of almost 24 inches, the owner of the Sheffield had better make sure they have a large living room.

The Sheffield Chess Set

The Sheffield comes in both golden rosewood (sheesham wood) and ebonized boxwood as the black pieces and standard boxwood for the white pieces. The chess pieces feel extremely sturdy and the Knight has, much like most of my favourites, a gnarly set of teeth which it bares, along with flaring nostrils and aggressive ears.  It's not quite a Fierce Knight, but it's close enough to make me giggle when I play a game. The King height is four inches and the other pieces are well proportioned - oftentimes you can find other pieces appear relatively small compared to the King, but it's not the case here. You can find the Sheffield in the mid-range chess set section of Cool Chess Canada..

The Sheffield Chess Set

Paulson Antiqued Chess Set

The Lincoln, An Antiqued Luxury Chess Set

Do you have a love for luxury chess sets? We do! Exotic woods such as ebony and padauk are coupled with high grade boxwood to give you a stunning and unique chess playing experience. This year we have had quite a hankering for antiqued boxwood! One of the wonderful qualities of wood is that it can be stained to give a different look and the process of ageing wood by staining works well, particularly with light coloured woods such as boxwood (the white pieces).  

Older chess sets circa 1900 are naturally aged through exposure to sunlight, air, and greasy fingers. But the cost of a genuine antique chess set can be extremely high. Consider investing in an antiqued chess set to get the look without the price. A chess set that looks aged will display great on a table top and last for years.

Lincoln Chess Set

The Lincoln is a great introduction to luxury chess sets of the antiqued variety. The King height is 3.5" and the other chess men are correspondingly smaller than a standard 3.75" chess set. Where the height of the chess set lacks, the base of the pieces make up. With a King base of 1.77" the set fits nicely on a larger chess board (in this case a chess board with a 2.16" square).

Often you'll find similar dimensions on an antiqued chess set following the Staunton pattern as chess makers try to reproduce turn of the century sets. The Lincoln fits extremely well on our Santos Palisander chess board from Rechapados Ferrer of Spain.

If you're in the market for a luxury chess set then why not try something a little different? Beautiful wood turning and finishing as well as the gnarly teeth bared by the angry Knight make the Lincoln a lovely chess set to own. Every time I touch the pieces I feel like I'm stepping back in time. The set always turns the eye of visitors and its unique qualities make me want to play chess more than ever. You can find the Lincoln at Cool Chess Canada in the luxury chess set section. Now, if only I could find my top hat and tails!

Silicone Tournament Chess Set

Which Tournament Chess Set Should You Choose?

Not sure which tournament chess set to buy? At Cool Chess Canada, tournament chess sets are close to our heart. We work closely with clubs and schools and often get asked which chess set is a good choice to purchase. They are a low cost product that provide a great deal of fun but can also cause some confusion. Read on and the choices will become clear.

Chess Set Choices

Tournament Chess Sets come in a variety of materials, colours, shapes, and sizes. Most plastic chess sets are mass produced in the far east and enter Canada in their thousands through the shipping lanes of the Pacific Ocean. From there they wind their way via the Canadian Pacific Railway, onto a truck, then into our warehouse for processing. Vinyl boards and chess pieces make their way into clubs and schools and homes where they hopefully live a long and prosperous life on a table top.

In the last few years, Cool Chess Canada has seen a number of different styles of tournament chess sets from a number of different manufacturers. We constantly work hard with our manufacturers to keep prices down but improve quality. Every year we strive to produce a better product.

Cool Chess Canada currently has six types of tournament chess set available for purchase:

  1. Mini analysis chess set.
  2. Club chess set.
  3. Pro-am chess set.
  4. Weighted tournament chess set.
  5. Weighted Guardian Staunton chess set.
  6. Silicone chess set.

The trick to finding the right set is deciding on it's function. Below you'll find a breakdown of each type together with a recommendation of where it is most appropriately used:

Silicone Chess Pieces

Mini analysis chess set

A tiny chess set ideal for the serious player who needs a portable set to carry around. Fits conveniently in a bag or brief case and fits in a small space when set up. Not recommended for schools or clubs as the chess pieces are small and easy for kids to misplace (lose).

Club chess set

A full-sized tournament set ideal for elementary schools, clubs with small kids or clubs on a budget. The club chess set is a good option for teaching and works well for serious games. The chess pieces are not weighted. Kicking the table as you walk past could result in a chess game ending up on the floor, but that just adds to the fun!

Pro-am chess set

A little bit of an old fashioned style gives this full-sized solid plastic chess set a bit of a unique look. The chess pieces are heavier than the club set and are solid plastic all the way through. Rather than being ivory or white in colour, these pieces are natural. This means they have a brownish yellow colour to them that makes them a little bit special. Ideal for the individual chess player but usually not purchased by schools or clubs.

Weighted tournament chess set

The weighted tournament chess set is ideal for the serious player, clubs, or schools with older kids. The pieces are weighted with steel and kicking the table doesn't necessarily mean your chess game will fly in all directions. This set is ideal for blitz or fast games as pieces tend not to topple.

Weighted Guardian Staunton Chess Set

Every so often we change the higher end plastic set. Our current model, the Guardian, is ideal for individual use at home or a coffee shop, etc. The pieces are bigger and heavier and good for small hands. Perhaps not the best suited to schools and clubs as the chess set doesn't follow the normal Staunton pattern expected in touraments.

Silicone Chess Set

My current favourite chess set, but not to everyone's taste. The chess pieces are made from food-grade silicone and are almost indestructible! All of the chess sets above have green felt bases, but the silicone does not. Because it's a flexible plastic, it's impractical to have felt. Hardened plastic can chip if you're not careful (the weighted tournament set being extremely heavy can be prone to this if you throw the pieces from height onto a hard floor) but flexible silicone does not. The result is a chess set that is guaranteed to stand the test of time. The down side is the fun younger kids might have throwing the pieces around. They really do bounce well!

You can find all of the above chess set options at Cool Chess Canada in the Plastic Chess Set page. If you're a school, call or email us for a quote or details on volume discounts, and also take a look at our School and Clubs page.

Llama Chess Set

The Hollingsworth Chess Set

If you're looking for a new chess set, either for yourself or as a gift for someone else then why not try something a unique? The Hollingsworth chess set is a stunning mid-range product that recently hit the Cool Chess Canada warehouse and it's definitely worth checking out!

The Hollingsworth is not your average Staunton offering - you can tell that from the wild looking Knight. It reminds me more of a llama than a horse, but that just adds to the warm feeling I have for this chess set.

We categorized this chess set with the mid-range products and it can be purchased with the dark pieces manufactured from either ebonized boxwood (that's a very dark black stained boxwood) or golden rosewood (also known as sheesham wood).

The King is 4" tall and its base is a good size at 1.65". The base sizes are slightly larger than many you'll find for sets in the 3.75" - 4" height range. Aside from the King, the other chess men are relatively tall compared to standard Staunton design sets. Turning-wise the chess pieces are unique. They have a modern look about them and the elongated Pawns, Rooks, and Bishops just add to the aesthetics of the chess set.

New Staunton Chess Set

The lines on the pieces are sharp and crisp and make you take a second look at the chess set every time you go to play. At 2.51 lbs, the Hollingsworth is weighty enough that you'll think of it as a serious chess set, and playing with it is a pleasure! We've had a set in the office for a few days now and visitors can't help but be drawn to it.

We opted to couple this chess set with the black anegre board from Rechapados Ferrer for our collection. The ebonized chess pieces look particularly stunning with this chess board! Suffice to say that this particular chess board isn't to everyone's taste and you could most certainly swap it out for another. A 50 mm square is just fine for the set, but if you prefer a little extra space between the chess pieces then opt for a 55 mm square.

The Hollingsworth is a worthy addition to any library or living room, and you can find it at the Cool Chess Canada website. I would certainly recommend taking a look if you fancy chess pieces that are just a little different from the norm!


Our Chess Sets Have A New Office

We've moved offices! Previously located in Mississauga, we have now given our Canadian e-commerce chess store, Cool Chess Canada, a new home in Aurora, Ontario.

The location is 95 Cousins Drive, L4G 1B5, Canada. Our telephone number remains the same: 416-705-5168.

Cousins Drive is a corporate location for paper-pushing and we don't stock any chess sets on site, however if you'd like to visit feel free to do so. Call us first to make sure we're in the office and we'll do everything we can to accommodate your schedule.

Give us a heads up if you'd like to come in and view a chess set or pick up a product that you have pre-ordered from us. We can swipe Visa, Mastercard and American Express on-site as well.


Cool Chess Canada Updates

You may have noticed a while ago that we closed down the Cool Chess Canada blog that was on our e-commerce website. We honestly couldn't figure out the best way to bring you chess set news and product reviews in a useful and meaningful way. Well, we're hoping that things are about to change as we start to add content to this new blog.

You may also have noticed that we closed The Chess Room - the sister e-commerce site of Cool Chess Canada. We decided to work solely on a single website and improve our focus, build our brand, and try to bring better chess sets to Canada through one location. So The Chess Room becomes our blog, and Cool Chess Canada our one and only e-commerce store.

Being of an entrepreneurial nature, of course are also working on other things - if you like inks, pens, and high quality paper, then check out Knight's Writing Company.

Cool Chess Canada continues to grow with gusto and we have firm plans over the coming years to make chess in Canada as exciting and enjoyable as it should be! We hope you enjoy our new blog, improved website, updated products and the journey we are going to take.