Best Chess Boards

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There are millions of chess boards for sale and costs can vary greatly. To the untrained eye the differences between them are confusing; some chess boards can be beautiful and while others are more practical and portable. Luckily, this chess board analysis article was created to help you find out, according to your preferences, which fits you the best.

Our Top Picks For 2020

The Boards

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Best Luxury

Signature Contemporary Chess Board - WALNUT BURL / MAPLE BURL - 2.5" Squares


​​Runner Up

Signature Contemporary Chess Board - BLOODWOOD / BIRD'S EYE MAPLE - 2.5" Squares


​Second Runner Up

Signature Contemporary II Chess Board - Peruvian Nogal / Curly Maple - 2.5" Squares


Best Electronic

The DGT Projects Electronic Chess Board (E-Board) - Bluetooth Connection


​Best Patterned

INLAID - Elm Burl & Maple Superior Traditional Chess Board - Gloss Finish


​Best Mid-Range 

​​Elm Burl & Maple Superior Traditional Chess Board - 2.5"


​Best Unique

​Licensed Man Ray Chess Board


​Best Straight-Up 

Straight Up Chess Board - Black Walnut Series with Checkered Bronze Frame


Best with Storage

​Walnut and Maple Antique Tiroir Chess Board with Storage Drawers


​Best Folding

Indian Rosewood and Bird's Eye Maple Folding Standard Traditional Chess Board


​Best Budget

​Olivewood and Bird's Eye Maple Standard Traditional Chess Board



The Best Handful of Chess ​Boards:

1. ​Best Luxury Chess Board: Signature Contemporary Chessboard

This luxurious chess board is 100% handcrafted in the U.S. and will impress anyone playing against you as it is made out of Walnut Burl (dark) and Maple Burl (light) squares with incredible Spalted Maple inlays and corner details, featuring a fine Original Ebony frame.

The Signature Contemporary Chessboard has a 25’’ footprint and an outstanding 1 11/16’’ height making it the thickest chess board in this list. The squares are quite big as well (2.5’’).

There’s the option of adding either a standard or deluxe chess board bag (not chess box) to protect and transport the chess board for a small price.
 
Unfortunately, because of the limited availability and high-grade materials and craftsmanship of this chessboard, only the lucky few people that want to have the best will order this chess board.

#1

Signature Contemporary Chess Board - WALNUT BURL / MAPLE BURL - 2.5" Squares


5 of 5 Stars

2. ​Runner Up Luxury Chess Board: Signature Contemporary Chess Board (Bloodwood + Bird’s Eye Maple Version)

​100% handcrafted in the United States but this time made out of different materials than the Super High-End Signature Contemporary Chess Board version​, this chessboard still manages to exude luxury while keeping a traditional design thanks to Bloodwood (dark) and​ Bird's Eye Maple​ (light) squares, with Spalted Maple inlays and highly detailed corners, as well as a stylized Bloodwood frame in this case.
 
The Signature Contemporary Chessboard dimensions are perfect for the advanced player as it eliminates piece congestion with its square ​25 inches ​but are slightly thinner (1.56’’)  than the super high-end version of this chessboard model but still super thick when compared to average chessboards. The squares are quite big and defined as well (2.5’’).

There’s two option of ​chess board bags, standard and deluxe 28’’​ to protect or transport the chessboard for a small extra price.

Anybody that loves the classic, traditional style of old school chess boards will love it and get generational enjoyment with it.

#2

Signature Contemporary Chess Board - BLOODWOOD / BIRD'S EYE MAPLE - 2.5" Squares


5 of 5 Stars

3. ​Second Runner Up Luxury Chess Board: Signature Contemporary II Chess Board

​Completely handcrafted by master artisans in the United States ​who used the premium Peruvian ​Nogal and Curly Maple​ woods, to create this masterpiece that ​transmits luxury and power while keeping a traditional Signature Contemporary design thanks to its Spalted Maple inlays design and fine square-shaped corners, as well as a stylized semi-gloss finish.
 
This Signature Contemporary Chessboard is a square ​25’’ ​chessboard and is slightly thinner (1.56’’)  than the super high-end Signature Contemporary chessboard but either way, it is still thicker than regular chessboards for sale. The squares are quite big as well (2.5’’).

There’s two option of ​chess board bags,​ which are standard and deluxe 28’’ to protect or transport the chessboard for a small extra price, which is advisable because of the good discount that is available when buying the chessboard.
 
This is still not an inexpensive chessboard, but it’s definitely worth it. And because of the few that have been made, if you like it, you should order it as soon as possible, since you might find out there is no more in stock any time soon.  

#3

Signature Contemporary II Chess Board - Peruvian Nogal / Curly Maple - 2.5" Squares


5 of 5 Stars

4. ​Best Electronic Chess Board: The DGT Projects Electronic Chess Board

​For the chess addict out there that many times find himself not being able to stop playing, but wants to skip regular e-boards, then the DGT Project's Electronic Chessboard is what this person needs as this is one of the top electronic chess boards on the planet. Made in Holland and Spain, this luxurious but smart chess board made out of​ Rosewood or Walnut​ (you decide which fits you best) allows you to connect it to the PC to recreate the tournament experiience while playing against one or more programs or even broadcast chess games.
 
This amazingly fast chess e-board runs different chess engines such as Craft, GNUChess, LambChop, etc, The chess ​board dimensions ​are  21’’ wide and 0.75’’ tall featuring 2.25’’ tournament sized squares. Unfortunately in this case there is no option for a chess board bag but you can still order a FREE DGT clock for your new e-board as an accesorie.
 
This amazingly smart and adaptable chess e-board is not for all chess players of course, but it can guarantee a 24/7 chess buddy that doesn’t complain, eat or go to sleep, so it’s definitely a very interesting option that can take your chess game to the next level when you play in the next tournament.

5. ​Best Patterned ChessBoard: INLAID - Elm Burl & Maple Superior Traditional Chess Board

​​Whatever purpose you buy this chessboard for, you won’t be disappointed, as this is one of the highest quality and best looking chessboards for sale not only in our list but in the WORLD. It was hand-crafted ​in Italy, out of ​Elm Burl (dark) ​and Maple (light) squares featuring an Elm Burl frame as well as an inlaid design.
 
​This very affordable but extremely sylish Chessboard dimensions feature ​0.5" thickness​ and has a shiny gloss finish, which gives it a very fine touch and its square size is 26x26’’ featuring big 2.5’’ squares, making it more portable than other chessboards for sale listed today. If you will, you can get a chessboard bag to help protect the board and to carry it in an easier way.
 
This chessboard sends a clear message of good taste, refinement and uniqueness, without being harsh on your pockets.

#5

INLAID - Elm Burl & Maple Superior Traditional Chess Board - Gloss Finish


5 of 5 Stars

6. ​Best Unique Chess Board: Licensed Man Ray Chess Board

​This chessboard was designed by Man Ray himself around 100 years ago. To celebrate his design it is made of ​beech wood​ to celebrate his original 1920 version. A visually pleasing chess board was created thanks to its high contrasting dark and light squares that exhibit ​no borders​, but still, the corners look as polished as any part of this beautiful chessboard.  
 
We couldn’t expect less from Marcel Duchamp’s friend, as this chessboard features a distinctive Satin finish while being given 2’’ squares and a moderated 16.68’’ footprint making it more pocket friendly (but not less fancy) than your average high quality chess board. For this chess board dimensions there is no chess bag available to order but it is a highly durable board, so you coueld be fine without the chess board bag.

#6

Licensed Man Ray Chess Board


5 of 5 Stars

7. ​Best Straight-Up Chess board: Black Walnut Series with Checkered Bronze Frame 

​ T​his is a unique item, made on a custom-order basis only so it would normally take 2 weeks to arrive to you, but it’s worth it since it is a one of a kind that will leave your visitors stunned by its uniqueness and elegance. Made out of ​Black Walnut​ exhibits a strong, hard look featuring a checkered bronze frame that not only assures durability but also distinction and style.  
 
​Straight up chess can be a great addition to any chess loving home. This straight up chess sets feature a picture frame style chess board that has an elongated surface to allow for piece movement, Each rank has a clear shelf for the pieces to sit on, the best thing is that you can choose the square size you want ranging from 3’’ to 4.5’’ in order to fit your favorite chess set pieces (order slightly bigger squares than the King’s height). The chessboard footprint can range from ​34" x 22" to a whooping ​46" x 28".  
 
​The board itself can weight up to 16 lbs so be sure to mount it carefully. The set includes a ‘’last move’’ marker for long matches to not forget where were you last time or who’s turn it was. Because of small details like these, ​this is not a chessboard, it is a great work of art.
 
This chess board is as fun as functional since it’s never in your way but can leave visitors speechless at the same time making it a must-buy for any proud chess player out there.

#7

Straight Up Chess Board - Black Walnut Series with Checkered Bronze Frame


5 of 5 Stars

​The Classical Tiroir Chessboard offers unmatched luxury and functionality at a very reasonable price. This veneered Chessboard is made out of ​Walnut Maple​ and features a satin finish.
 
This high-quality wooden board mode out of one of the toughest woods on the planet comes in two sizes, beginner friendly 1.75" Squares with an overall size of ​17.5" x 17.5"​ x 4.5" or tournament sized 2.25" Squares with overall chessboard dimensions of 22.5" x 22.5" x 4.5".  
 
Unlike most typical chessboards, this one does not require a chess board box or bag, instead, The Classical Tiroir provides you with individual ​self-storage​ allowing 34 pieces (up to 3.5" King Height) and additional compartment for holding draughts (checkers), making it the perfect anti-kids and anti-loss system ever created for valuable chess sets like the one you will create with this  chessboard...

#8

​Walnut and Maple Antique Tiroir Chess Board with Storage Drawers


5 of 5 Stars

9. ​Best Folding Chess Board: Folding Standard Traditional Chess Board

​​Because of this chessboard’s foldable design, its storage and transportation stops being a problem for most chess players. It is 100% crafted in Spain, featuring ​Rosewood ​(dark) and Bird's Eye Maple (light) beatifully finished with a satinated Rosewood frame.  

This veneered Chessboard is ​0.5" thick​, features two footprint options (22.5’’ or 23.75’’) divided in two durable metal hinges that fold the chessboard horizontally for a seamless chess experience.  

When it comes to ​chessboard bags ​this company gives us two amazing options, a deluxe tournament bag and a ultimate chess bag which allows you to store pieces, the scorebook, clocks, etc to prepare you for either the next tournament or chess night with your friends.

#9

Indian Rosewood and Bird's Eye Maple Folding Standard Traditional Chess Board


5 of 5 Stars

10. ​Best Budget Chess Board: Bird's Eye Maple Standard Traditional Chess Board

​The Bird's Eye Maple Standard Traditional Chess Board embodies a luxury premium chess set that is pocket-friendly for players on a budget. Completely crafted in Spain featuring Olivewood (dark) and Bird's Eye Maple (light) squares with a fine Olivewood dark frame and a beautiful molded dark edge.  
 
This veneered chessboard is 0.5" thick, has a satin finish and comes in three different square sizes (2.25’’, 2.375’’ and 2.5’’) with a footprint ranging from 22.5’’ to 25’’. Even though the bigger board makes playing with easier and clearer, it might be less practical to travel around with it since it.

If you are planning to move around a lot with your chessboard, it is advisable to order a chess bag to go with it, you can do it from the same product page for an extra fee.

#10

Olivewood and Bird's Eye Maple Standard Traditional Chess Board


5 of 5 Stars

​Buyer’s Guide

I​Chessboards dimensions can vary, aw well as colors, and materials that can leave you clueless if you want to buy a chess board. Because of this, you could end up buying the wrong one to just regret it later, for example plastic pieces that fall constantly the slightest movement or bad vinyl boards that end up scratched and torn apart in no time. So if you want to know which chess sets will be perfect for you, check this buyer’s guide out to serve you as a tool for chess board analysis.

1) ​Material​

​Not all chess boards are made out of wood, you can find cheap plastic ones for non-serious chess players, industrially created metal ones for the practical player and even marble or fine wood ones for the distinctive player that not only looks for a good chess board but also a piece of art. The inconveniences with marble are the heavyweight and proneness to breaking apart when falling, as opposed to wooden ones that can tolerate rougher situations.

2) ​Borders

​The elaboration of the borders will indicate the quality grade of the chessboard while letters and numbers located in the borders can help the newbie players practice their moves better.

3) Size

Is this a chess board to play with your buddies or are you going to give it to your kid? Having in mind that the thickness and size transmits a more luxurious look, while at the same time makes it more appealing to watch. The bigger space between pieces makes the game easier to follow by spectators as well. A smaller chess board can allow you to transport it easily but will affect the luxurious and visibility aspect of it.

4) Portability

Do you play chess in different places other than your house like your school, a park or your workplace? Then look for either a smaller foldable chess board or a chess board bag to transport the one you like.

​5) ​Chessmen storage

​ It’s annoying to have kids or pets losing or destroying expensive chess pieces so in this cases it is advisable to get a self storage chessboard or maybe a chess board bag to store the pieces together with the board.

EDITOR'S PICKS

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