Cool Chess Canada FAQ

What IS chess all about and why is it so cool?

Do you really know how to play a game of chess? You think you do, but do you? If you're someone who plays chess frequently then perhaps you do know. Perhaps you play in club or national tournaments, or perhaps you play friends and relatives regularly. For most people, however, chess is a bit of a mystery and seems to be a game that only super smart people play at recess or lunch break. But if you take a closer look, you will see a world of intrigue and cunning. You will see that it's easy to understand and become good at chess, then you will start to appreciate the game. When you start to understand what makes chess tick, you'll start to see exactly how cool this amazing game is.

What can chess do for me?

Modern society: Get home from work. Pick up the kids. Cook dinner. Watch TV. Sleep. Same again next day. Well, why not try playing chess? We're talking real chess. A real board. Real pieces. Real opponent. Take some time to sit down across a table with your friend, your husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend. Chat and play the best game in the world. Sit in a coffee store, a mall, or in the comfort of your own home. Interact. Most people see chess as an intellectual pursuit that takes masses of brain power and the ability to stay awake for hours at a time while nothing happens quickly. People in the know say that chess improves a child's learning and problem solving capabilities. Maybe it does, and maybe it doesn't. But the real reason why we play chess is because it's a lot of fun and very cool!

But what about my computer?

Why not play video games or hang around on social networks with your friends for hours on end! We think this is fun too. But try laying out your chess board on the table, pouring a nice cup of tea (or whatever tipple you fancy), and waging a battle with no modern technology around you. We think you will have an enlightening experience where all the devices of modern society drift away from you and good old human-to-human fun starts happening. Use chess as a tool to get closer to your kids, husband or wife. Or use chess as a tool to hang out with a friend.

Will chess make me (or my child) smarter?

We don't know! But it's a game that can provide a lot of hilarity and fun! Perhaps it's true that some of the worlds best chess players have been very very intelligent. Perhaps chess does help in math and problem solving - but we're not scientists, and we don't have any evidence to indicate that chess really does help with scholastic endeavours. And we're not selling chess to you as something that will solve your academic troubles. We really just think chess is plain fun! Now that's got to count for something, hasn't it?

What is Cool Chess Canada about?

We started our store because we found it hard to buy the products we wanted in Canada. We wanted chess sets that we could use a lot for games rather than using as tableware. We wanted chess sets that were cheap, tough, and would stand the test of time! For years we had been using wooden and plastic chess sets for exactly this reason. But they were hard to come by in Canada. Bringing them over from USA meant exorbitant shipping fees for a low cost set. Many chess merchants in Canada and USA sold high end chess sets outside of our budget. We wanted economy! Fast food chess! And so we set about creating our store. Sure we stock high end chess sets, but we really wanted to stock affordable sets that could be used by anyone, anywhere! So that's what we sell.

Are your chess sets toys?

No, our chess sets and chess equipment are not toys! Chess sets contain small parts that if swallowed by a child could cause choking or other harm. We also ship some of our chess equipment in plastic bags, with packaging material that could be harmful to a child if misused - so please, make sure that you dispose of this packaging responsibly. We recommend that an adult be present when using our equipment with children. If you are an adult purchasing chess equipment for a child we strongly advise you to get involved - it could be a life changer!

Why do some of the pieces you sell weigh so much?

Some of our chess pieces combined into a set, weigh a whopping 1.24kg. The pieces are weighted to stop them toppling over during a game. This is particularly important when playing a tournament game, as flying pieces may mean a loss! Traditionally weighted pieces contain lead to make sure they stay put. Our manufacturers prefer to use steel, as lead is seen as potentially unsafe if misused. You'll still find lead weighting many high end chess pieces, as collectors of these expensive sets demand this metal in order to give authenticity to their collection.

Are the club pieces weighted?

No. The club pieces are not weighted. This allows us to provide a really cost effective chess set for those on a budget, such as schools, clubs, or people who want to learn chess without committing too much money into the hobby. The club pieces don't scrimp on quality compared with other pieces that we sell - just give a different buying option.

What is a vinyl chess board?

A vinyl chess board is a cloth-backed board with a vinyl surface on which the image of a chess board is printed. Our boards also contain the letters a-h and the numbers 1-8 for files and ranks. Vinyl boards provide a convenient playing surface and are traditionally used in conjunction with plastic pieces. A vinyl board can be rolled up, stored, and transported more conveniently than a wooden board. Generally vinyl boards and plastic pieces are the tool of choice for tournaments, clubs and schools. They are also a great low-cost option for playing games whenever you want - at home, work (during lunch break, of course), school, the park, or the library. They are virtually indistructable and work really well with our plastic pieces as game boards or analysis boards. Green is a great colour for a vinyl board as it's easy on the eyes.

How should I store my vinyl chess board?

If you don't store your board flat you'll want to roll it up! The best way to roll up a vinyl chess board is with the squares on the outside. This helps the board lay flat once you unroll it. Roll it with the cloth back facing outside and the corners might lift up when you bring your board out for battle! For convenient storage try using one of our tournament bags.

How do I become a good player?

Simple! You got to play! Lots! Play with friends, parents, your kids, and anyone else you can find! Learn all you can about how chess pieces live their lives on the board. Learn what aspects of the game that Bishops, Knights, Rooks, and Pawns like! Learn how to take advantage of where pieces are positioned, and how to blockade your opponent or cause them so much trouble that they have no choice but to let you win! Take a look at our how-to-play eBook. We wrote this in the hope that you will get a quick-start to becoming good at chess. Coupled with one of our low cost sets, we are sure you can improve your game and have many hours of fun and chess interactions with friends and family for a long time to come.

How do I buy a set?

Enter your details after you make your choice and add it to your shopping cart. Once you head through the checkout, we'll verify your payment (we take major credit cards), we'll start to process your order right away! We'll try to send your purchase to you within 48 hours so you can start finding out exactly how cool chess is, as soon as possible.

Is your website secure?

Our website is outfitted with an industry standard 128-bit SSL encrypted checkout, so your private data is protected. Our hosting solution also guarantees that we adhere to Payment Card Industry Data Security (PCI DSS) compliance rules, and has ScanAlert certification so that your data is kept safe.

Do you ship outside of Canada?

Yes, we currently ship to USA as well as Canada.

What if I don't like what I buy? 

Take a look at our return policy. We've laid out simple details about how to return merchandize. We seriously hope you'll like your shopping experience with us and the product we send you, and we'll do everything in our power to make you happy with your purchase.