For a serious chess player it's just as easy to play on a cardboard board with plastic pieces as it is to play on a mahogany board with hand sculpted stone pieces. Just as easy, but perhaps not nearly as much fun. Luxury chess tables are, for some players, a necessity.
Why Do You Need a Luxury Chess Table?
Deluxe chess tables offer a number of key features that you're not going to get from that three dollar board you just picked up at the drug store. Here are just a few reasons why you might want to consider a deluxe chess table over a cheap, flimsy board:
Let's be honest: that chess set you have in the closet is probably frayed, the surface is peeling, some pieces are cracked, others are missing and you're using checker pieces in place of pawns, or mismatching from other sets with other missing pieces.
Having a heavy duty chess table, an honest-to-goodness piece of furniture devoted solely to chess, is a great way to keep your set in one piece. It's harder to lose those hefty pieces whether they're made of marble, wood or stone, and of course, a wooden or metal table is going to last a lot longer than a cheap chess set from the store no matter what you do with it.
There's something about having a chess board right in the middle of the room as a conversation piece that makes it a lot more accessible. You don't have to find a place to put the board whenever you have a game going, you just sit down and play. This accessibility makes it a lot easier to simply strike up a game with friends and it gives you a spot to sit and have a game in comfort.
Cheap, hollow, plastic game pieces just don't feel very good to move around. They slip and slide around the board, they seem to weigh less than nothing, they make an unpleasant little clicking sound when you put them down. It's just not really much fun to slide plastic pieces around on a paper board.
Moving a heavier game piece around, on the other hand, provides a tactile feedback sensation that makes the act of merely handling them a joy. Clunking them down on their felt bottoms onto the table seems to impart every move with importance. The heavy thunks of rooks and bishops being dropped in place, the feeling of felt on the polished surface, the weight of the piece in your hand, this is the way that the game was meant to be played.
Finally, there's really nothing quite like the bragging points that come from having a really nice chess table. At the end of the day, even if you lose a match now and then, you're still the one with the really nice table, and making your friends jealous of you has to count for something no matter how many games you win or lose.