What your chess style says about you | So Good News
Back in May, I told you what your Chess.com board theme says about you…but what about your pieces? That’s right, your preference between the snowman style pawns of the Ice Sea and the fancy pointy pawns of the Alpha set really speaks volumes. Do the style of your artwork and the theme of the board complement each other, or do they reflect two opposite sides of your personality?
They say the most important thing to consider when choosing a chess set is the knight… and they say the quality of this little wooden horse can really make or break your entire army (or at least the aesthetics of your entire army). . In order to give a knight its due, I’ve included the most important “name factor” out of five for each set’s knights in evaluating what each set says about you, the player.
- Neo, Classic, Wood, Bases, Neo-Wood, Glass, Game Room, Alpha, Marble, 3D ChessKid, 3D Staunton, Blindfolded
Neo pieces are practical and modern with smooth edges. It’s a minimalist choice, or maybe you just left them at default. In your incredibly serious chess studies, you probably forgot that you can change them. You really don’t think there’s any substance, too much decoration or too much style.
You’ve never been a chess set or book collector because you enjoy creating online libraries and annotating games. This is a proactive approach, but leaves little time for other things…like figuring out which set has the best bishop. Don’t you want to know?
Horse factor: 2.5/5.
The classic pieces are retro-a little nostalgic. You’re not ready to switch to Bases or Ice Sea, sleeker versions of the piece style. They are practical enough and feel like they were ripped from a chess book from a bygone era. You prefer bishops to knights and have read Silman’s chapter How to Reevaluate Your Chess “in the upper small parts” several times. I’d say you’d sacrifice a knight for two pawns if it seemed justifiable.
Horse factor: 4/5.
I bet you love sitting outside with your folding chess set, your annotated game book and a cup of tea to learn chess. The knights in this set look angry, and so do you…when your opponent deviates from the basic theory on the fifth move. The pawns in this set resemble real Staunton pawns…like, this is a serious chess set. Paired with a wooden board theme, you might forget you’re playing online. And I’m sure you’ll like it.
Horse factor: 3.5/5.
Basics / Icy Sea
The two sets are basically the same, but the Basics pieces have a yellowish tint on the white side that makes them feel dated and familiar. Like plastic that’s starting to rot a little…high school chess club vibes. Honestly, they are comfortable. You have been playing chess for a long time and are very confident in your repertoire. You shoot on instinct and muscle memory, but that’s why your rating hasn’t gone up for a while.
Icy Sea units are a slightly cleaner, slightly more modern cousin of Bases. The same familiar forms, in new generations. If it ain’t broke, why try to fix it?
Horse factor: 4/5.
This Neo piece is a cottagecore version; The wood texture is completely felt by them fancier, and you are totally for it. Chess? You mean one of the oldest games of all time? Well… why would you modernize it? You, chess, belong in dark wood libraries and little stone cottages, and these pieces live up to that vibe. Despite your traditional inclinations, you spend far too much time scrolling TikTok chess and uncovering traps in YouTube shorts. that’s all right; I don’t judge.
Horse factor: 2.5/5. (He seems to lose the race to knights in other sets. Sorry, but it’s true.)
Glass pieces have some advantages that a real-life glass chess set doesn’t have…namely, they won’t break or shatter after just one session of blitzing! And the knight is somehow dangerous. It’s great if it’s your knight in an outpost in your opponent’s territory, not so good if it’s your opponent’s and your king and queen are split. What did this horse see? I don’t know if it was mockery or fear.
These pieces are polarizing… and so is your opening repertoire. You say you play the London system the and Defense of France?! Maybe it wouldn’t be bad if the pawns were destroyed anyway….
Horse factor: 1/5. (It would be 0, but these knights get +1 to intimidation.)
These parts say, “I love going to Renaissance fairs!” I don’t know if it’s the funny queen’s crown or the brick texture of the rocks, but somehow the pieces in this set feel like they’re cosplaying themselves. Game room users see the chessboard as a real medieval battlefield and are ready to play an exciting game of chess full of gambits and sacrifices.
If you see a good move, you will look for aggressive moves and take any opportunity to sacrifice your queen for three pieces. You also like to push the f-pawn.
Horse factor: 2.5/5.
Alpha units are for players who take themselves very seriously. You play 1.e4 and 1…e5 because you’ve been taught that open games are the “right way” to learn chess. You have a chess curriculum. I bet you’ve even read at least half of your pile of chess books. It’s impressive, I’m not going to lie, but I’m sure you’ve played more Juoko pianos than a single person at 10+0. Have you ever thought about… just… maybe… changing things up?
Horse factor: 3/5.
You have a chess coach and even know how to make a knight+bishop checkmate… if your opponent has cornered his king. But still, it’s great! You spend your free time practicing the latest game on Chess.com, and you even held a record once.
You don’t have time for gambits or trap-opening or bullet chess (despite your mouse-quick skills in pairing two bishops). You like hard chess and don’t take big risks to attack the enemy’s king. I’d say you’ll enjoy the Carlsbad pawn structure on both sides and get excited when you have the opportunity to attack the minority. You do.
Horse factor: 3.5/5. (Knights are the best pieces in this set; they have ambition; they go somewhere…namely, the central outposts.)
Anyone who has volunteered to play with 3D ChessKid pieces should be in awe. With the ability to see well enough to focus on anything but the menacing grins of your opponent’s army, I can’t imagine how much your rating would go up if you chose to play with a different kit.
You love new chess sets and even boast a small collection of them at home. So far, you’re invincible with your very own Shrek set. Thankfully for the rest of us, you don’t take chess too seriously or you’d be a grandmaster. You love the options, especially Duck Chess, but you want to customize the theme of the piece to be more… 3D.
Horse factor: 5/5. (They are the only non-threatening pieces in this set style.)
Of course, these are the closest pieces to a real chess set, and it’s like “I want to play on the board.” You are a bit of a traditionalist; without the hyper-modern discoveries, you won’t die playing Grob, but you’ll still indulge in occasional gambits (as food). Your Chess.com rating corresponds exactly to your FIDE Elo, and your chess books are organized alphabetically. You religiously attend chess club every week and love to help others improve their game. You like to play online, but you don’t check out too much chess content on YouTube or Twitch. Maybe you should.
Horse factor: 1/5. (They’re the worst knights ever. Sorry.)
No, you can’t convince me that anyone uses Blindfold as their standard set. It’s like completing the game, getting all the achievements, and going back through expert mode. Sometimes it’s scary to be blindfolded. Sure, you’re good at tactics and visualization, but why do it to yourself? every game?
In real life, you are very creative. You like to plan and organize things in advance and to see your plans come to fruition. Your chess set at home consists of several old sets… you lost a few pawns along the way, but they have been replaced over time. Until it works, right? You spent countless hours playing ChessMaster as a kid before Chess.com came along. You are an experienced chess player the player.
Horse factor: ∞/5. (Unknown!)
As you can see, the set of parts is definitely important. Maybe not as much as hanging your queen, but it’s still important. Personally, I use Icy Sea pieces and a Bubblegum board, a potentially controversial combo!
With so many combinations and options, you can customize your Chess.com profile to your heart’s content. Which kit would you choose and why? What’s your favorite set of pieces and board theme combination? Let us know in the comments section below!
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