Best Chess Pieces To Buy
Chess sets across the board (excuse the pun) will include the same basic elements necessary to play (I.e. the board itself and all pieces) but chess sets vary in terms of construction and quality. Decorative chess sets may be handcrafted from materials like alabaster and marble, but most practical sets are made of wood or sometimes plastic, which can withstand a beating.
best chess pieces to buy
Regulation sets for competition have strict size requirements for pieces in relation to the squares, but for home use, size is mostly a matter of taste. There are, however, a few things we think are especially useful to keep in mind when shopping for a chess set.
Weight: Chess pieces should feel weighty and solid so they stay firmly in place on the board. For this reason, many wooden pieces include weights at the bottom. Sets made specifically for travel are often magnetized to keep pieces in place.
This chess board folds inward to provide storage for chess pieces, which are protected by the felt lining and secured with interior straps. Unfolded, the board is a standard 15 by 15 inches, and when folded up, is pleasantly compact and easy to travel with.
This board is definitely more teaching tool than erudite piece of home decor, with a cardboard playing surface and plastic pieces. If your chess board needs are more aesthetic than practical, this may not be the set for you.
The board is made of beech and birch wood, which gives it a certain heirloom-like feel. The handcrafted chessmen are made from hornbeam and sycamore, each intricately detailed in a way that feels particular to this board.
On the more practical side, this folding board has decent storage capacity, with secured, formed compartments to store each chess piece individually. The pieces themselves are felt-bottomed and weighted to protect the surface of the board and keep pieces put. That said, some people found that even with the weights, pieces could use a little more heft (a good hack for this is to secure washers and additional felt pieces to the bottom with heavy glue).
We like the classic wooden look of this chess set as well as the accompanying e-book of basic tactics and strategies, making it both attractive to play on and display, and an excellent choice to learn the basics and improve your chess skill.
This set also includes two extra Queen pieces for pawn promotion, and its interior storage secures chessmen with plastic bands to keep them in place. We did find that the pieces were particularly light and some bottoms are slightly uneven, which gives them a propensity to wobble.
Each variation has its own claim to fame. For example, American chess superstar Bobby Fischer was a fan of Dubrovnik-style sets (a precursor to the Zagreb seen above), while the German-style knight has been used in many world championship matches and is one of the most common variants.
Any choices based on aesthetics are ultimately going to come down to personal preference and taste, but these are good examples of chess sets that are wonderful to play with and can also serve as stately, permanent pieces of decor.
Why we like it: Designed in 2012 with input from chess world champions (including Magnus Carlsen) and used in every FIDE championship match since 2013, the FIDE Official World Championship set is the most modern-looking chess set that has an official pedigree. The more abstract design of the knight, which lacks distinct facial features that other sets include, provides a distinctive look without straying too far from the established Staunton aesthetics. Bear in mind that this set does not include a board, but the site offers a number of nice boards you can add on starting at $80.
Why we like it: This set uses a more classic design than the FIDE Official World Championship set. The pieces are made from rosewood and boxwood, with several color options, and the set includes a maple and mahogany board. Even with the board thrown in, the set costs significantly less than the FIDE set and still feels great to play with.
I grew up in a chess-playing household. My father put his woodworking skills to good use and built a chess table for us to play on, we purchased multiple collectors' sets online, and we even equipped ourselves with a tournament-style chess timer.
"The best way to help children learn chess right now is from YouTube videos or chesskid.com," Hartmann said. "I would also recommend the Chess Steps (or Stappemethode) and Coach Jay's workbooks as being excellent for young learners, provided they have an adult to help them."
If the show has piqued your interest in this highly challenging game, or you want a new hobby that stimulates the brain, give chess a try. Whether you're a beginner or, like me, you're looking to get back into the game, here are some great chess sets to get started.
Wooden-crafted chess boards are timeless and provide the feel of a tournament board. The Chess Armory 15" Wooden Chess Set is a quality option that's made with inlaid walnut and a felt interior with straps to store pawns, bishops, and others. The Staunton-style pieces are crisply designed, too, so you can tell which piece you'd like to move. It's classic, affordable, and great for players of all ages.
The Hey! Play! Magnetized Wood Chess Set is similar, but with a twist: magnetic pieces. This allows them to stay put when you're in a dual match, especially if playing outside in a breezy area or if you're taking a game break.
What's great about this one is its block-style, durable wood frame that provides more elevation while playing. The squares are well-contrasted against the brown and black Staunton-style pieces and the set includes fabric-lined drawers for storage.
If you're looking for a game room centerpiece, the Darby Home Co. 28" Kase Chess & Backgammon Table is a polished, cherry wood conversation starter. The only downside is that you'll have to buy the pieces separately, but the table will last you for years of saying checkmate.
As someone who grew up with multiple chess boards in my home, I always felt like a queen while playing with a state-of-the-art glass set. The Srenta 10" Fine Glass Chess Set is a mix of clear and frosted glass pieces, which doubles as a sophisticated decor piece. The board is elegantly-etched with a padded bottom to protect furniture, too.
As mentioned with wooden boards, they're one of the most durable types of sets to buy. So, if you're looking to play on the go, the LuckyWish Folding Magnetic Travel Chess Set is a great wood and plastic hybrid, clad with magnetic, Staunton-style pieces; felted bottoms for protection; and two velvet-carrying pouches for storage. And, most important for travel, the board folds up so you can play anytime, anywhere.
The Standard Club Weighted Plastic Chess Set is an affordable option if you want something other than brown and cream tiles and a crate-style board. The blue and cream tiles are bordered by alpha-numeric notation to make it easier to target specific locations as part of your strategy. To top it all off, the green felt-padded set comes with weighted pieces so, even though plastic isn't as sturdy as other materials, your pieces will stay put.
Not everyone is a chess pro, and alpha-numeric notation can sometimes throw off the inner workings of the game. The Chess Teacher Chess Board is unlike any of our picks because it has easy-to-follow diagrams printed on the base of each piece. The plastic, 15" board and accompanying pieces are especially great for children and shoppers interested in a budget-friendly set.
For visual learners, the iCore Electronic Talking Chess Board has a teaching voice system that speaks warnings and threats to pieces based on the opponent's move. The LCD screen also displays the game's 30 different chess levels and 100 preset exercises to improve skills game after game. You can also play checkers and six other games besides chess.
I have a plastic tournament set and I don't need another plastic set, and I'm not a huge fan of metal, or glass, or anything like that. I just want a normal kind of wooden set, of the best quality I can afford.
House of Chess I believe offers the best bang for your buck. They have a set I believe that rivials both the French Lardy and German Knight designs. It is called Popular Staunton. I have one in 3 1/4 inch and one in 3 3/4 inch size.
The ironic thing is, that your bad experience is the reason why I like using eBay. If a deal goes bad, eBay ALWAYS takes the Buyer's side. EBay will step in and force the Seller to refund every penny back to the Buyer. 100% of the purchase price, any taxes, and shipping costs back to the Buyer. Try getting a full refund + shipping costs from any of the popular overseas chess manufacturers without eBay on your side. Ain't gonna happen.
A good price for a chess set depends on the set's quality, material, and intended use, but Trodd offers a general rule. "Prices can range from $20-$2000," he says. "Travel chess sets are usually $20-$50, whereas in-home boards can easily range from $60-$2000.""}},"@type": "Question","name": "Where can you buy chess sets?","acceptedAnswer": "@type": "Answer","text": "Where you look for a chess set is based on a customer's preferences. "Boards can easily be purchased from Amazon or Google," says Trodd. Consumers could also choose to visit their local chess shop for an in-person, more in-depth buying experience, or visit big box stores offer more convenience and a wider range of options and prices.","@type": "Question","name": "What is a quality chess set?","acceptedAnswer": "@type": "Answer","text": ""'Good quality' chess sets allow the player to feel comfortable moving the pieces and to feel at ease while playing," Trodd shares. Truly, what a quality chess set looks like will vary from player to player, so you should consider your specific goals when shopping for your set."]}]}] .icon-garden-review-1fill:#b1dede.icon-garden-review-2fill:none;stroke:#01727a;stroke-linecap:round;stroke-linejoin:round > buttonbuttonThe Spruce The Spruce's Instagram The Spruce's TikTok The Spruce's Pinterest The Spruce's Facebook NewslettersClose search formOpen search formSearch DecorRoom Design
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