The entire board folds in half with a felt interior for storage. Each chess piece has a magnetic base so that you don't lose your place during paused matches. The pieces are hand-carved.
Doesn't come with traditional chess notation for experienced players.
Each plastic game piece can withstand a good amount of play or falls. The chess pieces themselves are magnetic. It is very compact when folded for easy storage.
The magnets on the bottom have been known to fall out.
Inspired by the set seen in "The Sorcerer's Stone". Comes with bags for each color which makes it easy to organize. The board is durable and easy for newcomers to set up.
Some smaller parts of each piece can be broken quite easily.
Has a great aesthetic that makes it work well in a modern styled apartment. Compact design. Each piece has a felted bottom so that it slides well without causing scratches.
The board is on the smaller side compared to other products.
The carved pieces have a handmade feel that you can appreciate with every game. Includes chess notation for professional players. Has felt inserts within the board for every chessman.
The pieces feel a bit lighter than some users expected.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Chess sets run the gamut in terms of appearance, from simple and utilitarian to ornate and display-worthy. Some people buy chess sets because they want to play chess; others buy them more for looks than for actual chess play. If you’re in the market for a chess set, there’s likely one to meet your needs.
There are inexpensive plastic chess sets made for kids and other beginners. There are also highly detailed sets that cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. Of course, if you’re fond of the game, you could also play it online, eliminating your need for a chess set at all. But there’s something special about feeling the chess pieces in your hand and moving them across the board.
If you’re considering a chess set purchase, it helps to first look at the myriad choices available so you’re sure to get something that suits both your budget and your aesthetic taste.
If you’re just learning the game, you may find a chess set with standard chess pieces most helpful. Notably, there are some chess sets with “non-traditional” piece designs that can make it difficult to distinguish, say, a rook from a bishop. But beginners need to be able to focus on the game, which is easier with standard pieces.
Who would want a chess set with non-traditional pieces? Anyone who is looking for something unique and possibly display-worthy. Non-traditional pieces may be simple geometric shapes, or they may be highly detailed to resemble soldiers from past eras in world history.
Although traditional chess sets contain pieces that are black and white, other colors are available as well. For example, wooden chess pieces may be stained a light or dark shade. There are also chess sets with colors like red, green, or blue and sets with metal pieces of silver, pewter, bronze, and gold.
Wood is a common chess piece material, especially for sets of average and higher-than-average prices. Inexpensive sets often consist of plastic chess pieces. As for non-traditional sets, you can find those with pieces made of unique materials such as stone, glass, and metal.
The average chess set has pieces that are approximately 2 to 4 inches tall, making them easy to grab and move. The king, the tallest piece, is typically about 3.75 inches tall in a tournament-quality set. The pawn, which is the shortest piece, is about 2 inches tall.
If you want a chess set for traveling, something smaller is ideal; consider a set with tiny pieces that measure an inch or two in height. And if you want a “novelty” set to be used outdoors, you might consider a set with pieces that stand several feet tall.
Some chess pieces have extra weight in the base, which many players appreciate because it feels reassuring in the hand. The weight gives the pieces stability when you place them on the board. It also helps to prevent them from tipping over if you accidentally bump them while moving other pieces.
Some chess pieces have internal LED lights that cause them to glow on the board.
Play during travel: If you plan to travel with your chess set, a smaller one with a sturdy carrying case is a good idea. If you plan to play chess in a moving vehicle, you may want the board to support magnetic pieces so they don’t slide around.
Tournament play: If you plan to play chess in local tournaments, you may need to bring your own board to the venue. A set with a sturdy carrying case as well as tournament-appropriate pieces (and gameboard) is desirable. Tournament-size chess boards measure 21 inches on all four sides. The individual squares on the board measure 2.25 inches on all four sides.
At minimum, a chess set should include the 32 game pieces. Each side should have its own color and consist of 16 pieces. Individual pieces in a set include the following:
Some extra items may also be included:
Your degree of experience with the game may impact the type of set you need. Beginners may wish to seek a set designed for those still learning to play. For example, the manufacturer may print hints around the edge of the chess board, including the following:
Low-cost chess sets can be purchased for $5 to $25. The pieces are usually made of plastic, although some wooden chess pieces may fit into this price range. For the lower price, the pieces may be on the smaller side. If a board is included, it will probably be made of inexpensive cardboard. A carrying case is typically not included with a purchase in this price range.
The average price for a chess set here is $25 to $75. These sets may include high-quality plastic pieces or wooden pieces. You may even find some sets with pieces made of non-traditional materials like metal. If a board is included, it will likely be made of wood or plastic. A carrying case of wood or fabric may also be included. In fact, for some purchases in this price range, the wooden carrying case doubles as a chess board when it is opened and laid flat.
The most expensive chess sets tend to cost $75 to $300, though there are also some “limited production” sets that cost several thousand dollars. These highly expensive sets may feature chess pieces made with precious metals or gems. High-quality wood, stone, metal, and glass are common high-end chess piece materials. These pieces may sport detailed carving or another unique look that makes them ideal for display.
Wooden boards and stone boards are often found in this price range. If an expensive chess set ships with a carrying case, it will likely be made of high-quality wood.
Want a chess set with a modern twist? Look for “pop culture” chess sets that feature characters from movies or TV shows.
Do you want something unique? Look for chess sets with these themes.
A. No. Some chess sets include the board and the pieces, but others only include the pieces.
A. Yes. For this reason, it’s important to choose pieces that match the size of your board. The standard guideline is to choose a board that fits four of your pawns in a single square.
A. Common options include boxwood, ebony, rosewood, and walnut.