Best Chess Sets For Beginners (With Buying Guide!)

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Are you a chess beginner and looking for a decent chess set that is of good quality, with sufficient storage, portable, as well as budget-friendly? Then, you are at the right place!

The ‘best value-for-money chess set I can suggest for you to buy right now is the Amerous 15″ Magnetic Wooden Chess Set (on Amazon). It is made of premium quality wood and foldable, so the pieces can be stored inside. Also, it is a magnetic chess set and can be played even while traveling.

That being said, let’s dive in deeper and see all the 7 best chess sets along with their features, pros & cons, and a buying guide in the end.

So let’s start!

Here are the 7 best chess sets for beginners:

1. Winning Moves Games Winning Moves No Stress Chess

Winning Moves Games Winning Moves No Stress Chess, Natural (1091) for 2 players
7,234 Reviews
Winning Moves Games Winning Moves No Stress Chess, Natural (1091) for 2 players
  • CHESS IN SMALL STEPS: Finally, learn chess without stress! The secret? An innovative deck of action cards with moves determined by random draws.
  • LET'S PLAY: Player with white pieces begins the game by drawing a card. Move the piece indicated by the card any way you want - as long as it's within that pieces abilities.
  • LET'S MOVE: Can your opponent's card play his rook and take your queen? Beginners learn rules and movements of chess, yet fun for advanced players too.
  • WHAT WE INCLUDE: 2 sided chess board, 16 black pieces and 16 ivory pieces, 56 action cards, black plastic card tray and instructions. Age 7+


  • This chess set is made of plastic and would be good for you if you want a chess set that guides you on how to play at a low cost.
  • There are 56 action cards that show how each chess piece moves.
  • Even if you know nothing (absolutely nothing about chess) then also you can play with this chess set just by following the instructions given on the card as you pick it up.
  • There is a black tray for holding the cards.
  • On the chessboard, each square is labeled properly with the name of the particular chess pieces to be placed on it.

Pros & Cons:

IllustrativeNot foldable

This is would be the best choice (the ideal gift to a kid) if you want a chess set that would help to teach your kid to play chess using action cards in a fun and interactive way and on a friendly budget.

2. AMEROUS 10″ Magnetic Travel Chess Set

AMEROUS 10 Inches Magnetic Travel Chess Set with Folding Chess Board - 2 Extra Queens - Storage Bag...
  • Premium Material & Decent Packaging: Made of top-quality plastic, these chess pieces and magnetic checkerboards are sturdy, durable and feature smooth texture. And the exquisite packaging makes it the...
  • Perfect for Chess Beginner: This chessmen set is not only the best choice for professionals but also suitable for beginners. There is a user’s manual attached to the package that details the rules...
  • Portable & Lightweight: The foldable chessboard brings extra convenience when you are traveling or on a business trip. It is lightweight and compact when folded, and can be put into the suitcase or...
  • Extra Queens & Storage Bag: There is a saying that Every Pawn Is A Potential Queen. It comes with 2 extra Queens to help you win the game! And the free storage bag will protect all the chess pieces...


  • This chess set is made from good quality plastic and has a nice look.
  • Apart from chess pieces and the chessboard, there is a nice storage bag for keeping the pieces.
  • Plus a user manual that tells you all the rules of playing the game.
  • This is a magnetic chess set and hence you can play without any worry of chess pieces getting displaced from their positions.
  • Also, there are two extra queens with this set which is helpful in the case of pawn promotion.
  • In chess when a pawn reaches the last square on the opposite side then the player gets a chance to replace it with a queen, knight, rook, or bishop (mostly the queen). Read this article by me to know more.
  • So having extra queens becomes handy.
  • There is proper notation given on the chessboard from 1-8 and a-h. These are helpful in identifying the squares and describing the moves you make.
  • Moreover, since the pieces are made of plastic the chess set becomes lightweight and foldable so you can carry it anywhere.

Pros & Cons:

MagneticMade of Plastic
Extra Queens
With Notation
Storage Bag

This chess set is best for playing chess while traveling (because the magnets will prevent the chess pieces from getting displaced) and it is quite portable too. So if you want a nice-looking, portable, budget-friendly plastic chess set then this is for you!

3. WE Games Best Value Tournament Chess Set

WE Games Best Value Tournament Chess Set w/ a Green Roll Up Vinyl Board, Plastic Pieces & Bag
1,845 Reviews
WE Games Best Value Tournament Chess Set w/ a Green Roll Up Vinyl Board, Plastic Pieces & Bag
  • COMPLETE SET: Crafted with intention. Each set includes 34 plastic, Staunton style chess pieces (2 extra Queens) with a 3.75 inch King. Every piece is complete with green felt bottoms. Includes a...
  • TOURNAMENT READY: This set meets the World Chess Federation's (FIDE) height weight and proportions for tournament play. Our roll up board is equipped with algebraic notation on the perimeter for game...
  • ON THE GO: The perfect travel set! These vinyl chess mats measure 19.75 inches with 2.25 in squares but can roll up, great for your busy lifestyle. Comes with a black zippered storage bag. The bottom...
  • GOOD FOR YOU: The benefits of chess are enormous. Children who partake in chess boost their critical thinking, problem solving, spatial awareness and socialization skills, making it a great addition...


  • This is a vinyl roll-up plastic chess set.
  • Apart from chess pieces, there are two extra queens and a storage bag that has a groove for carrying the rolled-up vinyl chessboard.
  • The chess pieces are designed in Staunton style and the height of the king is 3.75 inches.
  • The chess pieces and the board are made following all the standard (FIDE and USFC) chess guidelines so ideal if you want to play in a club or in tournaments.

Pros & Cons:

With Storage Bag
Extra Queens
With Notation

If you want to play chess in clubs or in tournaments and want a chess set that is made following all the standard guidelines, then this chess set is for you!

4. Amerous 15″ Magnetic Wooden Chess Set

AMEROUS 15 Inches Magnetic Wooden Chess Set - 2 Extra Queens - Folding Board, Handmade Portable...
10,369 Reviews
AMEROUS 15 Inches Magnetic Wooden Chess Set - 2 Extra Queens - Folding Board, Handmade Portable...
  • INTELLIGENT ENLIGHTENMENT - Not only suitable for adults playing with fun, this magnetic chess set could be a useful tool to enlighten your kids and stimulate their intelligence. Chess learning is no...
  • MAGNETIC CHESSMEN - The hand carved wood chess pieces are magnetically attached to the board and won’t fall off during the game, which allows you to play the board game on the road, in car, airplane...
  • EASY TO CARRY - Lightweight and folding board design makes it portable to carry around and easy to travel with. Compact board size fits your luggage or bag when travelling while chess pieces are large...
  • PREMIUM QUALITY - Handmade with high quality wooden material, the smooth surface of the entire chess board ensures optimal touch comfort while playing chess and checkers game. 2 extra queens are added...


  • This chess set is handmade of premium quality wood with a nice smooth finish.
  • The height of the king is 3″ while the chessboard is of 15″ by 15″ dimension and the chess pieces are designed in the standard Staunton Style.
  • The chess pieces and the board is magnetic which helps to keep the chess pieces in their place even while traveling.
  • There is velvet padding at the bottom of each chess piece for preventing scratches.
  • The chessboard can be folded and the chess pieces can be placed inside the compartments for each piece.
  • Also, there is a warranty card inside and their support is quite good.

Pros & Cons:

Good Quality WoodMagnetic power is questionable
Good looking
Extra queens
Nice Support

If you want a good-looking quality wooden chess set that is portable, and magnetic, at a reasonable price, then this chess set is for you!

5. A&A 15″ Folding Wooden Chess & Checkers Set (2 in 1)

A&A 15 inch Wooden Folding Chess & Checkers Set w/ 3 inch King Height Staunton Chess Pieces / 2...
  • [Unbeatable Design] The chine of a traditional folding board always inevitably bulges, which creates a huge gap on the board centre.A&A original mini bracket supports the board like a table leg, so...
  • [Perfect Proportions] A&A is the only chess set on the market that meets the standard proportions of USCF and FIDE.Includes 24 checkers pieces. 15 inch board with 1.57 inch beech /maple squares, come...
  • [Premium Quality] A&A Chess insists on the natural Beech wood rather than staining to get the product's appearance color, and the first of its kind design of chess pieces tray makes you feel...
  • [Amazing Details] A&A Chess and checker set presents you with incredibly good details: the 0.5 inch thick frame with mortise and tenon joints makes the box sturdy; the rounded corners are visual and...


  • This is a (2 in 1) chess set that is handcrafted and made from birch wood.
  • Apart from all the chess pieces, there are two extra queens for pawn promotion and 24 checker pieces.
  • The finishing of the chess set is quite smooth and it is a foldable set which means you don’t need to worry about storing the chess pieces.
  • The height of the king is about 3″ while the overall board measures 15″ by 15″.

Pros & Cons:

Quality woodNot Magnetic
Good LookingLight Chess Pieces
Extra Queens
Extra Checker Pieces

If you want a 2 in 1 chess and checkers set with a nice wooden finish, storage and portable then this board is the right choice for you. (Best chess set to gift someone!)

6. Chess Armory 15″ Wooden Chess Set with Felted Game Board

Chess Armory Chess Sets 15 Inch Wooden Chess Set Board Game for Adults and Kids with Extra Queen...
18,313 Reviews
Chess Armory Chess Sets 15 Inch Wooden Chess Set Board Game for Adults and Kids with Extra Queen...
  • FREE ONLINE COURSE - Every Chess Armory chess set comes with a free online course taught by an expert chess player to help you start your chess journey!
  • ♕ INLAID WALNUT CHESS BOARD: The compact 15" x 15" chess board is made of smooth inlaid walnut, where every square measures 1.625" x 1.625". It folds in half, so you can store the chess pieces...
  • ♕ HANDCRAFTED CHESS PIECES: Every Staunton chess piece is made of light but sturdy wood that has a good solid feel. They all come with a felted bottom to protect the chess board from scratches. The...
  • ♕ EASY TO STORE & TRANSPORT: Store all the chess pieces in the felted interior of the chess board and secure them into place with the elastic straps. You can then move the chess board in the elegant...


  • This is a foldable wooden chess set and comes with two extra queens.
  • The chessboard size is 15″ by 15″
  • The size of the king is 3″ and the chess pieces are designed in Staunton style.
  • The chess pieces are felted which means there is velvet padding on the bottom of the chess pieces.

Pros & Cons:

Good LookingNot magnetic
FoldableNo notation

If you are looking for a good-looking wooden chess set at a reasonable price then this chess set is for you!

7. Wegiel Handmade Junior European International Chess Set

Wegiel Handmade Junior European International Chess Set - 16 Inch Folding Wooden Board & Pieces
  • This chess set is a "junior" chess set due to its small, compact size. Great Gift For Teenagers
  • The board is made from beech and birch wood that gives it a classic, handmade feel that many chess enthusiasts will appreciate; number and letter algebraic coordinates adorn the borders; it measures...
  • Handcrafted chessmen are felt bottom and weighted; they are made from hornbeam and sycamore wood; the king measures 3.4 inches (8.5 centimeters); the queen measures 2.6 inches (6.5 centimeters); the...
  • Secured chessmen compartments provide room inside the board to securely store each chess piece; each chess piece is individually protected in formed compartments inside the folding chess board


  • This is a handcrafted chess set from Poland, made using birch and beech wood.
  • The chessboard dimension is 16″ in length, 16″ in breadth, and 1″ in height. While the square size is 2 by 2 inches.
  • The chessboard is foldable and has compartments to place the chess pieces. So no storage issue.
  • The chess pieces are weighted and are made from hornbeam and sycamore wood.
  • There are metal locks that keep the board properly closed after folding it.

Pros & Cons:

HandcraftedNot magnetic
Good aestheticsLittle bit costly
FoldableNo extra pieces
With Storage Area

If you want a good-looking wooden handcrafted chess set with decent storage for the chess pieces, then this chess set is best for you!

These are the top 7 chess sets, especially for beginners. You may also like to check out my best-themed chess sets article. In that, I shared a detailed review of the best-themed chess sets available in the market such as the harry potter chess set, lord of the rings chess set, etc.

And, if you’re still having trouble making up your mind then I guess you need a bit more information. Right?

Don’t worry because I’ve provided everything you need to know before buying your first chess set in this article. So here’s the buying guide for you!

How To Choose The Best Chess Set?

Here are the few things you need to consider while choosing your perfect chess set.

1. Material Of The Chess Set

From a good chess set, it is expected to be made from good quality material that lasts longer. Isn’t it? Mainly, most chess sets are made up of three kinds of material:

  • plastic
  • wood
  • glass


Now there are advantages and drawbacks to each of these. Plastic chess sets as obvious are quite durable, cheaper, and lightweight. But they don’t look so attractive.


Wooden chess sets are a little bit costlier (and heavier as compared to plastic ones) but playing chess with them has a different kind of feeling. It looks quite nice to have a good decorative wooden chess board at home.

As the author of the book Chess For Dummies (Recommended for beginners as a reference) says if are not so tight on budget, wooden chess sets are the best choice. Apart from providing a calming wooden background, the weight and the feel of the pieces are far more satisfying.


Another type of chess set is the glass chess set. They are generally not as popular as their wooden or plastic counterparts because it is not so soothing while playing with them. It would be harder to distinguish the chess pieces.

Considering aesthetics they are good, so if you want to gift someone then okay.

2. Design And Weight Of The Pieces

The next thing you need to consider is the design and weight of the pieces. The design of the pieces is important because that helps to distinguish the chess pieces.

For example, it is quite harder to distinguish the bishop or a queen from the top view, especially with cheaper chess sets.

The standard design of the chess sets that are accepted worldwide is the Staunton. If you are interested to know the history of chess pieces then you can check my article: Why Are Chess Pieces Named What They Are? (With Facts)

The weight of the pieces is also important. If you buy cheaper chess sets then most probably the chess pieces you will get will be unweighted.

The main problem with unweighted chess pieces is that they are not stable enough so keep on tipping over while playing the game. Moreover, playing with a weighted piece is far more satisfying than with an unweighted one.

Also, if the chess pieces are quite lightweight then they would keep on displacing from their squares. So every now and often you would need to adjust the pieces.

By the way, as per the standard rules you are supposed to say words like ‘I adjust’ or ‘j’adoube’ while adjusting the pieces. Otherwise, it would be considered an illegal move.

To know more about this, you can read my article, Why Do Chess Players Touch The Pieces? (With Example Videos).

3. Notations On The Chess Board

Notations mean numbers and letters on the edges of the chessboard. These are important because they help you to identify the squares.

In tournaments, you are supposed to write down on a scoresheet each of the moves you make. So if you have such notations on the board then it becomes quite easy for you to determine the name of the squares the piece is standing and then write down the moves accordingly.

To get more insight on this, read my article: What Do Chess Players Write Down? (Why? And The Standard Procedure).

4. Portability And Storage

There are three types of chess sets available in the market.

1. The vinyl chess sets that are generally used to play in local chess clubs and small tournaments.

2. The wooden chess sets with boards that can’t be folded.

3. The boards can be folded and are sometimes magnetic.

Now although considering portability, vinyl chess sets are best because the chessboard is simply like a mat that can be rolled up whenever the game is over. But the chess pieces are made of plastic.

You can also choose the chess sets with chess boards that can’t be folded. But one of the main drawbacks is you can’t carry them everywhere.

What if you want the feel of wood while playing along with portability, a good amount of storage. That’s where the foldable magnetic wooden chess sets come into the picture.

Not just they are portable but because of the magnet, you can play with them even while traveling.

Final Verdict

At last, after researching everything I recommend the following chess sets for you. (Click the links to buy from Amazon.)


So that’s it! Hope you liked reading this article. If you found this article helpful then consider sharing this with others.

Also Read:

And wait, are you a parent and want to teach your kids to play chess. Then my article How To Teach Kids To Play Chess? A Helpful Step By Step Guide will surely help you a lot.

Till then, Thanks! 🙂