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Best Chess Sets For Beginners (With Buying Guide!)

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

Features:

  • 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 move.
  • 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:

Pros:Cons:
IllustrativeNot foldable
Lightweight

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 at a friendly budget.

>>Click here to check the current price (on Amazon)

2. AMEROUS 10″ Magnetic Travel Chess Set

Features:

  • 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 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:

Pros:Cons:
MagneticMade of Plastic
Foldable
Lightweight
Portable
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!

>>Click here to check the current price (on Amazon)

3. WE Games Best Value Tournament Chess Set

Features:

  • 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:

Pros:Cons:
LightweightPlastic
Rollable
Portable
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!

>>Click here to check the current price (on Amazon)

4. Amerous 15″ Magnetic Wooden Chess Set

Features:

  • 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 a 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:

Pros:Cons:
Good Quality WoodMagnetic power is questionable
Good looking
Magnetic
Foldable
Portable
Extra queens
Nice Support

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

>>Click here to check the current price (on Amazon)

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

Features:

  • This is a (2 in 1) chess set 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 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:

Pros:Cons:
Quality woodNot Magnetic
Good LookingLight Chess Pieces
Foldable
Portable
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!)

>>Click here to check the current price (on Amazon)

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

Features:

  • 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 a velvet padding in the bottom of the chess pieces.

Pros & Cons:

Pros:Cons:
Good LookingNot magnetic
FoldableNo notation
Portable
Lightweight

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

>>Click here to check the current price (on Amazon)

7. Wegiel Handmade Junior European International Chess Set

Features:

  • This is handcrafted chess set from Poland, made using birch and beech wood.
  • The chessboard dimension is 16″ length, 16″ breadth, and 1″ height. While the square size 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:

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!

>>Click here to check the current price (on Amazon)

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 of the chess sets are made up of three kinds of material:

  • plastic
  • wood
  • glass

Plastic

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

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, the 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.

Glass

Another type of chess set is the glass chess set. They are generally not as popular as wooden or plastic counterparts because it 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

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)

Weight of the pieces are 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 the unweighted.

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 which can’t be folded.

3. The boards which 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 which 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 magnet you can play with them even while travelling.

Final Verdict

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

Conclusion

So that’ 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! 🙂