They call it the Game of Kings, but the truth about chess is that anyone can learn it in a few hours. You’ll then spend the rest of your life exploring its nearly infinite variations and intricacies. The game has brought challenge and joy to billions of people around the world over the last 1,500 years or so, and now it’s your turn. Learning the game is easiest with a physical board. But what’s the best chess set to buy?
Take a scroll through our Buyer’s Guide and FAQ to get an idea of what we are talking about, then take a gander at our product roundup. It’s your move — time to check out just a few of the best chess sets on Amazon.
- Best for Fantasy Lovers: Harry Potter Wizard Chess Set
- Best Overall: ASNEY Upgraded Magnetic Chess Set
- Best for Checkers Lovers: Pawnson Creations Magnetic Wooden Chess Set
- Best Value: Chess Armory Magnetic Chess Set
- Most Unique: Agirlgle International Chess Set
- Best Traveler: WORUIJIA Folding Magnetic Wooden Chess Set
- Most Classic: Fun+1 Toys! Classic Wooden Chess Set
- Best Board Construction: A&A Folding Wooden Checkers & Chess Set
- Best Learning Tool: Top 1 Chess Board Game Chess Set
- Best Metal Pieces: Feilengs Large Metal Chess Set
The Best Chess Set
The wizard’s chess scene from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is one of the most memorable moments from both the book and movie. Now you can relieve that sense of excitement and magic with our Best Choice–the Harry Potter Wizard Chess Set. Warner Brothers officially authorized this cool chess set and features pieces that range from two to four inches on an 18.5’’ x 18.5’’ inch board. The set comes with two drawstring pouches for piece storage.
Each piece is rendered in fine detail because if there’s one thing we know, it’s that Harry Potter fans take their fandom seriously. So pull up the film on your streaming platform of choice and break out the board–it’s time to play some wizard’s chess. Full disclosure–the pieces are made from plastic, and the game board is a coated cardboard. We’d normally recommend that you stay away from such a cheaply made set. But, it’s Harry Potter, so we will make an exception this time. The youngest players will love these amazing chess sets for kids. Check them out.
Plastic pieces and cardboard game board
Piece styling matches the movie
Comes with two drawstring pouches for piece storage
- BrandThe Noble Collection
- Weight3.75 pounds
This 15’’ foldable board is ideal for traveling and taking your game to the park, on the road, or to the barbershop. The powerful magnetic board holds the pieces in place even if you turn it upside down, and the inside of the board features individual slots for each piece, so nothing rattles around as you carry it from place to place. On top of that, this travel chess set comes with extra queens and kings!
The pieces are cut in classic Staunton style out of dutch wood. Each piece is smoothly finished for minimal scratching and board friction. ASNEY Upgraded Magnetic Chess Set comes with a high-quality carry bag and weighs just 3.14 pounds.
Powerful magnetic board
Individual storage slots for each piece
Comes with extra queens and kings
- Weight3.15 pounds
A Staunton-style board that also includes checker pieces? What’s not to like? Pawnson Creations Magnetic Wooden Chess Set features powerfully magnetized pieces, extra queens for pawn promotion, and pieces with anti-scratch velvet bottoms for smooth movement. The polished board features inlaid walnut for a handsome, always-in-style look. 15’’ x 15’’ is pretty standard for a chessboard and is large enough for plenty of exciting piece movement without knocking anything over.
We love the individual storage slots for each piece, as well as the included E-book “Chess Game: Basic Tactics and Strategies.” It’s thoughtful touches like that that make this relatively in-expensive chess set a winner for the beginning player in your life. And the bonus checkers pieces provide an alternative game for the younger members of your family. In any case, it makes a perfect gift for chess lovers.
Extra queens for pawn promotion
Inlaid walnut board
- BrandPawnson Creations
- Weight2.3 pounds
As another standard example of a wooden chess set, this Chess Armory Magnetic Chess Set only stands out by dint of being slightly less expensive than some other options on our list. Otherwise, it features all the classic hallmarks–15’’ x 15’’ inlaid walnut board, magnetic Staunton pieces with felt bottoms, folding capability with individual piece storage slots, and metal clasps. Unlike a few of the other top chess sets on our list, this one doesn’t come with extra pieces.
15’’ x 15’’ inlaid walnut board
- BrandChess Armory
- Weight2.01 pounds
Here’s one of the most unique chess sets on our list. The folding pear-wood board is handsome and a little smaller than the standard size at 11.4 x 11.1 inches. But it’s the exquisitely rendered pieces that really caught our eye—they are crafted from burnished metal that won’t rust or chip. Just a heads up, though; unlike a lot of chess boards in our guide, Agirlgle International Chess Set isn’t magnetic.
We also like the individual piece storage, metal clasps, and easy portability of the smaller board. This is a chess set that will look great in a place of permanence on your coffee table!
Smaller than usual board
- Weight2.64 pounds
WORUIJIA Folding Magnetic Wooden Chess Set stands out by dint of its portability and travel-friendliness. The 11-inch foldable board is svelte enough to slide easily into a purse, satchel, or backpack, while the magnetic board keeps pieces in place during play. A stylish metal clasp keeps the board closed when traveling. Staunton pieces and an inexpensive price-tag make this board worth a buy if you want a classic chess experience on-the-go.
Small size is great for travel
- Weight1.32 pounds
There’s a reason the 15-inch classic dark and light Staunton boards keep showing up on our list–they are timeless, elegant, and what most people think of when they think chess. Fun+1 Toys! Classic Wooden Chess Set has an average price tag and average features–it’s foldable, average-sized, and appears to be of serviceable quality. It doesn’t have individual piece storage or magnetic properties like a few of our high-end chess sets, but it does feature two velvet storage bags and a plush velvet interior. Sometimes classic is best. If you are looking for a no-frills chessboard that facilitates a straightforward gaming experience, look no further.
15’’ x 15’’ foldable board
- BrandFun+1 Toys!
- Weight2.14 pounds
At first glance, A&A Folding Wooden Checkers & Chess Set might not appear much different than any of the other options on our list. But close examination reveals a lot of quality and thoughtful touches for a relatively affordable price tag. The Staunton pieces are carved from birch, and the set includes two extra queens for pawn promotion. You also get 24 checkers pieces for when you feel like changing things up.
The foldable, lockable 15’’ x 15’’ board is handmade from beech with inlaid walnut and maple and features individual storage slots on the interior. Each piece is finished with a high polish and velvet bottoms for no scratching. The board ships with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Great quality and feature to price ratio
Handcrafted of birch, beech, walnut, and maple
Standard foldable 15’’ x 15’’ board with individual piece storage slots
- Weight2.2 pounds
Top 1 Chess Board Game Chess Set is a unique chess set for the chess-hungry, eager-to-learn member of your family. The built-in chess computer and skill-improvement features (puzzles, time settings, and difficulty levels) are the perfect way to learn chess or improve your game. The magnetic board, voice-instruction feature, and LCD screen are nice touches as well. This 8-in-1 set also features Checkers, Reversi, 4 In-a-Row, Fox and Geese, Halma, Northcott’s Game, and Nim.
Built-in chess computer helps with learning and skill improvement
Includes seven other games
Pieces are magnetic
- BrandTop 1 Chess
- Weight1.69 pounds
We have to admit; we are suckers for this style. There’s just something about the heavy zinc-alloy pieces in a blue-and-red-bronze finish that really captures our attention. The handmade 11.5-inch x 11.5-inch walnut-inlaid foldable board isn’t bad either. Feilengs Large Metal Chess Set has individual piece storage inside the felt-lined interior round out the features.
Zinc-alloy pieces finished in blue and red bronze
Handmade 11.5-inch board
Walnut inlaid foldable board win individual piece storage
- Weight3.53 ounces
Why Trust Us?
I’ve been playing the game for close to fifteen years, and I’ve used a ton of different boards. The answer is there’s no one board that is perfect for everyone. What to buy depends on your needs.
Who This Guide Is For
You won’t find higher-end chess boards in this guide — if you are looking for collector’s items or decorations, browse elsewhere. This guide is full of basic, affordable boards.
How We Selected Chess Boards
We chose from among the hundreds of available options on Amazon. We included one or two interesting variations, but for the most part, stuck with classic boards with classically styled pieces.