Chess is a popular strategy board game played by millions. A chessboard consists of 64 squares arranged in an 8×8 grid.
All you need is a challenging opponent and the right chess set. There are a variety of chess sets available on the market.
The best chess sets are chosen based on how often you intend to play, personal preference, and your skill level.
Many options are available when it comes to the material you prefer for your chessboard. Chessboard game are generally available in plastic, wood, and marble.
Portable chess sets are available for beginners looking to practice their strategy wherever they can, or even for those just looking to bring the game on the road.
Best Chess Sets in 2018 – Summary
What Is A Chess Playing Set?
A perfect chess set will cater to all your functional and aesthetic needs.
Aside from its obvious purpose, a chess game set can also serve a decorative function as an ornamental piece. A beautifully constructed chess set can be a marvelous addition to the home.
Depending on how much you are willing to spend and your preference in design, you can find some of the top quality chess sets under $100. Of course, luxury chess sets will run for a bit more.
The many variations available in design and material allows for a sense of customization when it comes to choosing the right chess set.
Our Favorites Chess Playing Boards on the Market
RADICALn Handmade White and Green Onyx Marble Full Chess Game: This is one of the most impressive marble chess board game sets available. There is an incredible amount of detail on each handcrafted chess piece.
The stark contrast between the white and green marble is stunning. It is a good value for its price.
This is a great option for those looking into luxury chess sets that will elevate the décor within their home.
How To Choose A Chess Board?
There are a number of considerations in choosing a chess-playing board:
What is the purpose of this chess board set?
A. Is it for serious use or decorative purposes?
Maybe you already own a chess set but are looking to purchase an additional one that is more portable and you can bring along during travel.
It makes a huge difference whether you are looking for a chess set for serious use or just for pure ornamental value. Some chess sets are incredibly beautiful, but more difficult to actually play on.
For example, with ornamental sets, it may be harder to distinguish the different pieces. Depending on personal preference, certain materials could make for much heavier pieces that are difficult to maneuver.
B. How often will you be playing on this chess set?
If this will be your only set and you intend to play very often, you will want to invest in a set that is lightweight and less decorative.
Excessively decorative elements could hinder your ability to play an effective game of chess.
Do you have a budget?
A. How much are you willing to spend?
The price of a chess set will solely depend on personal preference. Many practical versions are available for under $100. You can expect to find decorative versions runner at much higher prices, as they require more skilled craftsmanship.
B. Invest more money if:
- You are hoping to use it for decorative purposes
- If you wish to have your set become an heirloom
- If you are interested in possessing a collectible chess set
- You already own an inexpensive board set that you will use more often
Do you wish to keep this chess game set for generations?
If you wish to keep the chess set in your family, it makes sense to invest in quality.
The advantages of spending more:
- Better quality that will last a lifetime
- More intricacy in the details of the chess board and chess pieces
- Collectible items tend to retain its value over time if you wish to resell
Do you need a portable chess set?
Do you intend to travel with your chessboard?
Those wishing to bring their chess playing sets on the go should opt for:
- A portable or lightweight chess board game set that is easy to pack up
- An inexpensive set that you will fret less about in the case of damage or loss of individual pieces
What Are The Benefits?
A. Elevate the aesthetic appeal within any room of your home
A chess board set is not always used for entertainment.
Some of the chess playing sets available are only to be admired. These game sets are incredibly easy to look at, but not as easy to play with. You compromise ease of functionality in exchange for visual appeal. A well-crafted chessboard is a unique way to add a sense of sophistication to any room in your home.
Wooden chess sets are versatile. They have the ability to add a classic or sophisticated appeal to any traditional or modern interior.
Marble chess sets are incredibly captivating. Their details are clean and crisp – the perfect addition to elevate the appeal of any classic or contemporary space.
B. Make the chess set a collectible for generations
A quality board set could become an incredibly special heirloom to pass down the family tree over generations.
If you are hoping to have your chess set become a valuable heirloom filled with many everlasting memories, it is a good idea to invest in quality.
A chess-playing board will also retain their value over time. Unlike cars, valuable chess playing sets are collectible items that can be easily resold to those looking for a classic chess set.
C. Increase your skill level playing on a set you love
Chances are you will end up playing more often if you are in love with your chess set. With more practice, you will easily become a very skilled chess player.
Owning one of this chess playing sets has many advantages. It will either make you even more excited about playing the game, or even just to show off your precious collectible item to other skilled chess players.
11 Best Quality Chess Board Game Sets Reviewed Below
1. Trademark Games Deluxe Wooden Chess, Checker and Backgammon Set – The Multipurpose Set
This wooden set offers 3 classic games in one place. You are provided with all the pieces to play chess, checkers, or backgammon.
This set is ideal for those looking to own a chess set that could be brought out once in a while to entertain family or friends.
- 3 games in one set
- Game board folds in half for convenient storage
- There is a handle for transportation
- Game pieces look flimsy
- Less aesthetically appealing compared to other options on the market (there is a gap where the board folds in half)
2. Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Chess Set – A Must-Have for Any Street Fighter Fan
Many Street Fighter fans would be more than willing to buy this set off your hands if you decide to resell it one day.
The resin chess pieces are incredibly detailed making it easy to identify the characters.
The overall presentation of the board and its pieces are impressive and sleek.
However, it is on the heavier side. If you are planning on playing very often, you should opt for a chess game set that is more practical.
- Collector’s item (great resell value)
- Corresponding chess icon on the pedestal allows for easy identification of pieces
- Sleek storage case
- High quality for a decent price
- Heavy (10 pounds)
- Not portable
3. Agirlgle International Chess Set – Highly Recommended Classic Wooden Set
One of the best chess sets under 100 available on the market.
The handmade wooden chessboard folds in half and is easily secured by a metal lock catch. The metal pieces have a metallic finish that is visually appealing.
Overall, this chess playing set is quite affordable for its quality. This is a nice chess set to have at home for entertaining friends or family.
This chess set is middle-tier. It is highly recommended for those looking for a set that is slightly above average for consistent use.
- Folds in half and is secured easily
- Weighs under 3 pounds (2.6 pounds)
- Visually appealing
- Quality is middle-tier for those with high standards
4. Wholesale Chess Heavy Tournament Triple Weighted Chess Set Combo – The Chess Set that Rolls Up
This chess set is relatively inexpensive. It is a great option for those looking for a portable set to travel around with.
This set features plastic chess pieces and a vinyl board that can be rolled up.
There is nothing special about this chess board set, aside from its portability and easy storage. This set is a good option for those looking to own a board that can be brought out once in a while or along on the road.
- Easy and convenient storage
- Flimsy set up
- Not the most visually appealing option on the market
5. Chess Armory 15 inch Wooden Chess Sets – The Plain Chess Set
This is not one of the best wooden chess sets available on the market.
All chess pieces and the chessboard are made entirely of wood. There are straps underneath the board to secure individual chess pieces.
Overall, this chess game set is quite austere in its appearance. It is a great choice for those looking for an affordable wooden chess set of decent quality.
- Lightweight for a wooden chess set (2.1 pounds)
- Easily store and secure chess pieces with straps underneath the chessboard
- Plain appearance
- Fair quality
- No handle for easy transportation
6. Winning Moves Games No Stress Chess – Best Quality Chess Set for All Beginners
This is one of the top chess playing sets for beginners within any age group. Something about this set makes it a little different than the rest.
A deck of action cards is included. The moves you make are decided by the card that you draw.
This makes it easy for a beginner to learn the proper rules and movements of the game.
The board is 2-sided, allowing you to either play with the deck of cards or a traditional game of chess.
- An innovative way to learn the game (deck of action cards)
- Lightweight (1.6 pounds)
- Not suitable for non-beginners
- Lackluster chess set
7. CHH 15” Standard Wooden Chess Set – Least Impressive of All
Its manufacturer has discontinued this specific version.
Its features are similar to the Chess Armory 15” Wooden Chess Set. However, it is not comparable in terms of quality.
This set is incredibly cheap compared to a majority of other chess boards on the market. For its lower price, you will definitely compromise quality.
Overall, the chess pieces and the chessboard are poorly crafted. It would be wise to add a bit more money to your budget for a much better chess set.
- Easily folds in half and locked
- Lightweight (0.65 pounds)
- Poor quality
- Lackluster design
- No handle for transportation
8. Wegiel Ambassador European Chess Board Game – Highly Recommended Chess Set
This is a beautifully handcrafted wooden chess set. There is an incredible amount of intricate detail hand-carved into the board and its pieces.
The board is made from birch and beech wood.
It is quite affordable for the quality and detail you receive.
However, this set can be hit or miss depending on your personal preferences. Some may appreciate a rough “handmade” appearance, while others may feel it is crass.
- Intricate detail
- Chessboard easily folds in half
- Easily store chess pieces in hollow spaces under chessboard
- Some may feel the “handmade” aspect looks inferior
9. MegaChess Large Chess Set and Large Chess Mat – The Largest Chess Set
This is a gigantic chess board set. The King – which is the largest chess piece – stands 16 inches tall.
This set is ideal for outdoor and commercial use. A large set is great for events or themed parties.
Its material is durable against harsh external conditions. Being made of high-density plastic, the pieces are resistant to fading and stains.
The mat is easily secured to the ground with metal grommets.
Although it is fairly pricey, you are receiving great quality.
- High-density plastic, waterproof, UV protected, resistant to fading and stains
- Metal grommets to secure mat on the ground
10. Wegiel Chess Set Consul Pieces and Board – The Smaller Version of A Highly Recommended Chess Set
This is essentially the same exact chess board game set, but a smaller version of the Wegiel Ambassador European Chess Board Game.
Wegiel Chess Set, Consul Pieces and Board:
- King 3.54”
- Queen 3.11”
- Pawn 1.77”
- Board 18.58” W x 18.58” D
Wegiel Ambassador European Chess Board Game:
- King 4.5”
- Queen 3.66”
- Pawn 2.28”
- Board 21.65” W x 21.65” D
11. CHH Dragon Chess Set – The Dragon-Themed Set
This is a unique 3-D fantasy dragon-themed chess set. It is a great display to have in the home for dragon-themed enthusiasts.
The pieces are made of pewter along with a polyresin base. The base is a solid structure.
Although the detail on this game set is quite impressive, it is not practical for consistent use.
The pewter chess pieces along with its glass surface make this chess set incredibly delicate and fragile.
This is definitely not the best choice if you do not already possess a board that you can actually play on.
- Intricate detail on the base and chess pieces
- Glass chessboard is sleek
- Extremely fragile
- Too delicate for practical use
Time to Make a Decision
Now that you are an expert on chess playing sets, your chances are high at avoiding buyer’s remorse.
If you are incredibly indecisive here is the main takeaway.
For a classic set that is relatively inexpensive, the Agirlgle International Chess playing board is inarguably one of the best chess sets.
If you are hoping to spend under 100 on an intricately handcrafted wooden set that is also easy to play on, the Wegiel Ambassador European Chess Board Game is the best option.
If you don’t mind splurging – well, not too much of a splurge since it is just a bit over $100 – then definitely look into the RADICALn Handmade White and Green Onyx Marble Full Chess Game. This is a beautiful board for those looking for a remarkably striking addition to the home.