Chess has seen a resurgence in popularity as of late. People everywhere are dusting off their old chess sets, getting comfy, and settling in for long evenings of strategy.
We’re guessing that has something to do with being stuck at home for so long. However, we’re going to go out on a limb and say that a little Netflix show called The Queen’s Gambit has something to do with it!
Whatever the reason, we’re all about chess becoming cool again. Any time spent away from the screen is time well spent.
We did a little shopping around and drew up this list of unique chess sets that we think you’ll love as much as we do.
P.S. I see you Googling the definition of the word Patzer. Don’t worry, we did as well. 😀
Chess Sets to Suit Any Game
1. Olive Wood Rustic Chess Set
The board and chess pieces included in this set are individually hand-carved from olive wood, and we think they’re fantastic! Set it up on the coffee table to play a game of chess and when you’re done, leave it there. It’s a work of art you’ll want to display all the time.
2.Wall Hanging Long Game Chess Board
Want to keep the game going all the time? This is the board for you. It hangs on the wall and features a marker to keep track of the last move so you and your opponent can play as long as you want when you want. Its simple oak design looks great on the wall, too!
3. Red Cherry Straight Up Chess Board
Another iteration of the wall-hanging chessboard, this one’s made with lovely cherry wood and features traditional pieces. Make your move on the way to get the laundry, and mark your spot so your opponent can counter as they’re passing by—chess fo’ daaaaayz.
4. WE Games Tournament Chess Set
by WE Games
This set is for the competitive chess player. It meets the US and World Chess Federation proportions, height, and weight requirements, and it features Staunton style chess pieces. Ready to roll, you can easily pack up this set for travel tournaments. Now to channel your inner Bobby Fischer and win big!
5. Custom Made Chess Set for Late Nights
This cool, space-age chess set would be great for a date night over the chessboard! Pick your colors and prepare for a romantic night in. No, really, we’re not being facetious – chess is the perfect game to light the flames of love. Show off your prowess to impress and make sure to offer your opponent/date a tipple of whiskey to keep things interesting!
6. Chess Set with Retro Copper Plated Alloy Chess Pieces
Plated in a blue and red bronze finish, this chess set’s elegant pieces seriously caught our eye! The chessmen (and women) fit safely in the folding board when the game’s over. (Although we’re not sure why you’d want to put them away.)
7. Mini Wooden Chess Set
Wooden chess sets never go out of style. This hand-crafted compact wooden chess set is perfect for setting up on the back deck for an afternoon game over a glass of wine or three. It’s small enough to fit on virtually any table, and it features a velvet-lined storage drawer for the pieces.
8. Roll-Up Travel Chess and Checkers
This set is perfect for taking to the beach, on a camping trip, on the boat, on a plane, you name it. If there’s a table and two people who want to play, it’s game on!
9. Modern Marble Chess Set
Sleek and stylish, this black and white marble chess set would fit beautifully into a modern decor. Each piece is hand-carved and polished by artisans in India, so no two will be completely alike.
10. Magnetic Folding Staunton Set
Pieces crafted in the standard Staunton style stay put on this 15-inch magnetic chessboard for hours of play. The board is foldable, the pieces fit comfortably inside, and you can store it in the included carry bag for chess on the go.
11. Custom Personalized Chess Set
This beautifully handcrafted foldable chess set is carved from beechwood and walnut and comes with a velvet case for protection when you’re not using it.
Want to give it as a gift? Have a personalized message engraved on the board to make it even more special.
12. Lego Chess
Stay twice as entertained with this Lego chess set! First, have fun building your set, then make your moves. This would be an excellent set for a kiddo just beginning to learn the game.
13. Super Mario Chess Set
Choose the side of Mario and his do-gooding besties, or Bowser and his crew of misfits, then square off for battle. We can’t guarantee it’ll get the kids out from in front of the screen, but when they see you having all the fun playing with this Super Mario chess set, they’ll definitely be tempted.
Tips to Select the Best Chess Set for Your Needs
Find the Right Size
Check out the dimensions on the packaging or the product details online. You don’t want to get it home only to find it dwarfs your coffee table!
What’s Your Budget?
Decorative hand-carved chess sets can run for thousands of dollars. There’s no need to shell out that much dough for a quality set (unless you want to, of course). There are chess sets out there for every taste!
Will You be Playing in Tournaments or Clubs?
Do You Want Something Travel-Friendly?
We featured a couple of sets in our list that roll up conveniently and easily travel with you. Details like zippered pockets to store your pieces and a board that rolls up compactly make traveling with your chess set fun.
Don’t need to take it with you? Consider a decorative set that complements the decor of your home.
The Case for Themed Chess Sets
While a themed set may not conform to professional standards for gameplay, many themed sets become collectors’ items later down the road and can become quite valuable.
Rediscover Quality Time!
We chose the chess sets on our list because each of them has its own unique personality. Some are built for functionality, some for aesthetic beauty, and some for throwing down at a competitive tournament.
Regardless of its’ style, a chess set does something far more important than accenting a room or passing the time. Playing chess is a great way to spend quality time with friends and family. There’s nothing better than bonding over a little friendly competition, so grab your board, summon the loved ones, and get your game on!
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