This was purchased for a 14 year old young man who has been playing chess for about 6 years. He has started to collect chess sets and I was looking for something a little more sophisticated and elegant but rugged enough to withstand multi-game tournaments. I found that in this product. It is beautiful and wonderfully crafted. The wooden 'table' is a hinged case with a cushioned velvety interior with individual slots for the soapstone pieces. The chessmen are individual works of art. There is a note inside stating that each piece is hand crafted, caveat emptor in your belief of this, however true or not they are amazing to behold. The size of the pieces is perfect for a moderately advanced novice to start using. Each different man is easily distinguished from the others and that is important not to have a pawn and a bishop who resemble each other too greatly. This is an elegantly crafted sophisticated chess set that handles easily and is compact enough to travel and has become the favorite chess set to date.