The summer is a time when families should try and spend more time together, catch up with each other's news and do some serious bonding. Invite relatives to the house for a barbeque on the few warm nights the UK gets, set up some chairs and a table, crack open a beer, and gossip about family, friends and local news.
One way to really enjoy yourself on a night like this where the mood is relaxed and the conversation, and wine, flows is to invest in a garden chess set and have some intellectual fun.
Oversized chess sets bring a sense of adventure to the game, it's challenging and stimulating but can be seen as too serious by some to get them interested. However, combine it with the outdoors and a giant board with life-sized figures easily set-up in the back garden, and suddenly you'll even have the kids interested in garden chess with everyone wanting to participate.
When deciding on a board to suit your needs there are 3 main elements to consider, the size of the board, your budget, and the type of material it's manufactured from. Before rushing out to buy anything measure the garden area as you'll need room to set it up and still move around comfortably, anything from 12 to 120 inches is available.
A giant chess set designed specifically for the outdoors looks just the same as regular tabletop sets, but the pieces can be up to 25 inches high and the actual board twenty times bigger. Commercial garden sets have special features to ensure they last longer, polyurethane plastic means they are resistant to rips and breakages and harsh weather so can be left outside.
The traditional black and white colours make outdoor boards more visible for play, and the pieces are weighted down to prevent them from being blown over or knocked down during play, but are still light enough to be moved around easily enough. Some have two-part screw off bases that are filled with sand or water to weight them down. Pieces are generally made from premium plastic molding which is suitable for all kinds of hot and cold weather.
Nylon chessboards fold up really small for fast, trouble-free setup and storage, however if you prefer something more durable then it might be better to take a look at conventional plastic interlocking chessboards. Although they involve more work in setting up they are sturdier and withstand tough surfaces. Supplied as 64 individual squares you put them together yourself which isn't too difficult.
First-class jumbo-sized garden chess sets should be weatherproof, and windproof as the board is pegged down in each corner. They are great fun for picnics, barbeques, family trips to the countryside, and any other kind of festive occasion. Kids and adults alike will get enjoyment from them, making them a sound investment. Mesh designs are better for the lawn as they enable the grass underneath to still have access to the light and moisture keeping it healthy.
Wooden chess sets, such as House of Staunton, are increasingly popular due to their durability and classic, simple style. Prices are low and they last for years. They are a good choice for a family to play on as they are strong and sturdy. Take a look online as there are many bargains to be found in traditional timbers such as walnut and mahogany, and boxwood and red sandalwood, each with their own unique grain.
Garden chess sets are a lot of fun and ideal for kid's parties, family barbecues or any other kind of celebration that can be taken outside in the summertime. They are also a subtle way to encourage your kids to learn to play; with figures almost as big as them they'll never think of chess as being boring again!
James Bennett has the ideal job. He's an enthusiastic player of chess and 3 years ago won the title of Grandmaster chess player. Travelling all over the world looking for high quality and affordable folding chess sets for the past year means he is a very lucky guy.
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