The Best Chess Sets in 2020 - a Detailed Review

Chess sets can be a great pieces of art if you make the right choice. The best chess sets can enhance the fun and excitement of a future game of chess, that is why we extensively researched hundreds of sets to finally come up with this list for 2020.

Often times chess set buyers find themselves overwhelmed by the number of options presented to them when it comes to sizes, materials, colors, budgets, and styles, so the only way to stop the confusion is by understanding what are the most important aspects to look for in a chess set for sale, in order to not regret the purchase later.

Our Top Picks For 2019



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Best Value Overall

The Grandmaster Chess Set: Box & Board Combination

“The Grandmaster Series Chessmen exemplifies a perfect combination of distinct beauty and functionality...”

Best with Self-Storage

chess set self storage

The Collector Series Library Chess Set

“A perfect combination of distinct beauty and functionality.”

Best High-End

The Golden Collector Series Luxury Wood Chess Set

“Handcrafted in the United States under the highest quality standards ever seen in a Chess set.”

Best for Travel

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Wooden Magnetic Travel Chess Sets 12''

“Safely store it and play while traveling through the roughest roads.”

Best Tournament Chess Set

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Design your Tournament Combo

“Create the chess combo that is perfect for you.”

Most Distinctive 

Combo Chess Set inspired by Marcel Duchamp

“Inspired by the great board and pieces handcrafted in 1919 by Marcel himself…”

The Best Handful of Chess Sets:

1. Best Value Chess Set: The Grandmaster Chess Set: Box & Board Combination

Made by one of the greatest names in the chess world, putting in the extra mile when creating their chessboards, and this is not an exception, as this chess set is for the avid chess player that is looking for a more affordable option while not sacrificing style.

The chess set pieces are made of top-grade wood and hand-carved by artisans. 34 heavyweight pieces (including two extra queens), made for sturdy play.

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The chessboard presents Mahogany and Maple 2.25’’ squares with a Mahogany frame. This awesome chessboard is 0.5’’ and is satin finished.

The chess box is the classic slide top lined in green velour, divided and is a good choice for a full tournament-sized set of Chessmen.

Someone that wants to transmit class, cleanliness and style would chose The Grandmaster Chess Set.


The Grandmaster Chess Set

Box & Board Combination

5 of 5 Stars

2. Runner-up Chess Set: Burnt Zagreb ’59 Series Chess Set, Box, & Board Combination

This is a unique masterpiece, each piece is hand-carved and strategically burnt creating an incredible product that is nothing else than an amazing piece of art. The Burnt Zagreb ’59 Series Chess Set is an exact reproduction of one of the most popular and attractive chess sets used in worldwide tournaments in the ‘50s and ‘60s.

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The chess set pieces have been carved from boxwood by experienced artisans to an incredible level of quality. Every piece is burnt and glossed to create a shiny impressive look that shows how durable and protected the pieces are in this chess set. Although they would certainly make a wonderful display, the billiard cloth base assures tolerance to heavy use, so you can play with no fear.

chess sets for sale

The chessboard in this beautiful chess set is created out of Maple and Blackwood with 2.25-inch squares. A satin finish was given to it. The board is half an inch thick.

The chess box presents brass quadrant hinges and has a green cushy velour maintaining the pieces in place and protected. The interior is divided into two compartments. It has a divided interior with two separate compartments, brass quadrant hinges, and it can be locked.

A person that looks to stand out from the Chess crowd will definitely go with this special & high quality burnt Chess set…

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Burnt Zagreb '59 Series Chess Set

Box & Board Combination

5 of 5 Stars

3. Outstanding Value Chess Set: Leningrad Series Chess Set

If you are looking for a chess set that has it all: amazing looks, good price, collectability and outstanding playability then I would highly recommend you to go for Leningrad Chessmen. It is great for a tournament or home play. This chess set is offered in boxwood with either black or golden rosewood pieces and weighed just over 3 lbs (1.3kg).

The chess set pieces are carefully turned and look quite similar to Jacques sets from the 1920s. They are nicely polished and finished. The king is 4’’ tall and 1,6’’ diameter base. Pawns are the right size, just 2’’ tall. The total count is 34 chess pieces (with extra queens) The Knight carvings are extremely well done. The Knights look similar to those in the Zagreb and Yugo sets, but with much more detail to the Knight's head which looks just great, Leningrad series.

The chessboard has been crafted out of the highest grade woods, exemplifying a perfect combination between beauty and functionality with its 0.5’’ height and 22.5’’ chessboard footprint, crafted in Spain featuring Coral Ash Root (dark) and Bird’s Eye Maple (light) squares.

The chess box is lined in green billiard cloth and features brass quadrant hinges with lock $ key to protect its precious pieces.

A vintage style lover would have Leningrad Series as his first choice.


Leningrad Series Chess Set

Outstanding Value

5 of 5 Stars

Crafted to replicate the design and proportions of the original Staunton pattern Chessmen, is by far one of the most elegant chess sets in this list. It’s warm colors give it an inviting and stunning look making it perfect for an office or study. Overall, the intense colors of this chess set give it a rich and inviting look that would make it perfect for an office or study.

The chess set pieces feature 3-inch tall Kings with 1.5-inch diameter bases. Master artisans have carved these heavily weighed chess set pieces. As a distinctive touch, the pieces are finished off with a lush billiard cloth base pad and a leather one for the King pieces. and the best thing is, you can choose whichever high-quality wood you want them made of, meaning you can choose from Indian Rosewood, Genuine Ebony, or Blood Rosewood to complement the Boxwood of White’s army.

All parts of this chess set are outstanding, but the greatest part is by far the chessboard, made out of Maple and Walnut woods with a Cherry frame, featuring two storage drawers preventing pieces from scratching or knocking, guaranteeing a long-lasting experience.

Someone that thrives for order and minimalism would definitely put an eye on The Collector Series.


Chess Set and Board Combination

5 of 5 Stars

5. Great Value Chess Set: Burnt Dubrovnik Series Chess Set

The Dubrovnik Series Chess Set is a full tournament-sized Chess set, with carefully hand-carved, heavily weighted chessmen made out of the highest grade woods.

The chess set pieces in this Chess set are naturally burnt and made out of ebonized boxwood. Among the 34 pieces, includes 3.75" Kings with a 1.75" diameter base, hand-carved by the greatest artisans. All pieces present a billiard cloth base pad to make the game smooth.

The chessboard in this beautiful chess set is created out of Maple and Blackwood with 2.25-inch squares. A satin finish was given to it and the board is half an inch thick.

The chess box has brass quadrant hinges and is lined in a luxurious billiard cloth maintaining the pieces safe. The interior is divided into two compartments that can be locked.

That person that looks for aggressiveness and power on his possessions wouldn’t doubt in going for this impressive Chess Set.


Burnt Dubrovnik Series

Chess Set

5 of 5 Stars

This is a high-end chess set that was produced by a well-known luxury chess brand. Each single element of this amazing chess set was handcrafted by top artisans out of the most exclusive and fine materials in the United States Of America. This, is by far, the best of the best Chess set on sale in 2019.

The chess set pieces are hand-carved and hand turned lifetime guaranteed pieces of art made out of boxwood and real ebony, completed with a weighting system which prevents hairline fractures from forming over time, even with low moisture. The kings are surprisingly 4.4’’ tall and have 2.0’’ base-wide making these the biggest kings in our list.

The chessboard has been made out of luxurious red amboynas burl and bird’s eye maple woods, with a spalted maple inlays and ebony frame. Offers an interesting and distinctive look that no other chess set can offer.

The chess box has individual paddled bays for each piece and the box is crafted out of the finest English leather protecting and keeping in order each piece. This box is as impressive as distinctive, showing this chess set cannot be accessed by everybody.

A person that only accepts the best and doesn’t settle for the second place in anything will get The Golden Collector Series. 

7. Great High-End Chess Set: The Savano Series Luxury Wood Chess Set

This list would fall short without the great Savano Series, the Chess set that is as luxurious as practical for play. This hand crafted chess set is heavily weighted as features a complex and delicate box with separate compartments for each piece. The high-quality materials, and outstanding design make this chess set one of the greatest of the list.

The chess set pieces are designed and hand-carved with extreme care, which makes them stand out easily from other chess sets in this list. Keeping The classical pattern but at the same time challenging the typical shapes chess set pieces exhibit. The Kings feature a distinctive English leather base pad, stand taller and wider than most Kings (4.4’’ x 2’’) displaying steady and elegant motions throughout the game. These pieces are heavily weighted providing a luxurious and comfortable feeling in the hand during play.

The chessboard displays contrasting Bird’s Eye Maple and Elm Burlwood, this time brought to you by the hand of Spanish master artisans. This chessboard is 23.75’’ square and features 2.5-inches squares which create a more classy view of the pieces.

In this Chess set you may choose The Chess box as this company makes available to you a variety of fine woods, ranging from Bird’s Eye Maple, Mahogany, or Red Burl.  a variety of different woods, including Bird’s Eye Maple, Mahogany, or Red Burl. Each of these chess boxes is coffered providing individual storage for each piece to keep them from scratching or damaging each other.

Rebellious but stylish minds feel compelled to this special chess set.


The Savano Series Luxury Wood

Chess Set

5 of 5 Stars

It is made in the United States of America and oozes luxury at first sight. This Collector Series Luxury Set was crafted as a replica of 1849 Nathaniel Cooke’s original pattern first manufactured in London by Jaques.  Everything in this Chess set transmits size and style.

The chess pieces feature specially designed knights, its downturned head and face details set this apart from any other Knights out there. These pieces feel nicely weighted and possess special base pads for Kings and classical base pads for other pieces (English leather and billiard cloth). Nathaniel design features very tall 4.4’’ kings with a wide 2’’ base diameter.

The chessboard is included as well, and is crafted out of Elm Burl (dark) & Bird’s Eye Maple (light) fine woods measuring over 25.5’’ wide with 2.5-inch squares and 0.5’’ thickness featuring a satin finish as well as an appealing moulded edge.

The Chess box unlike typical chess set boxes where the chessmen get stacked all together bumping against each other, this one provides a superior protection level for the chess set pieces as it includes individual compartments for each piece. Featuring brass quadrant hinges giving it a luxurious and stylish touch.


The Imperial Collector

Chess Set

5 of 5 Stars

9. Runner-up High-End Chess Set: The Hastings Chess Set

This is another interesting high-end chess set produced by a well-known luxury chess brand. This Chess set combines broad bases and board presence thanks to this brand’s craftsmanship and features an original Knight that was designed by the Master, Frank A. Camaratta, Jr. This Knight transmits ferociousness and is one of Camaratta’s proudest creations. This chess set has been designed in a way that can withstand practical play while maintaining style and touch.

The chess set pieces feature a 4.0-inches tall, heavily weighted King with a 1.8-inches base. These pieces have been thoroughly hand-carved by master artisans and created out of the finest woods available. Underneath the Kings, a gold embossed English Leather base pad protects them while a billiard cloth base pad serves the same purpose for the other Chess pieces. Each set consists of 34 Chessmen, with four Queens.

The chessboard is a 23.75’’ square traditional wooden one made out of Elm Burl / Bird's Eye Maple featuring 2.375" squares with an Elm Burl frame. This fine Chessboard is 0.5" thick, presents a satin finish and beautifully moulded edges.

The chess box is lined in a fine billiard cloth, divided into two comfortable compartments including a lock & key. An Individually Numbered Certificate of Authenticity is included inside, with an adhesive backing that would allow it to be affixed to the underside of a Chess box.

Someone that loves aggressive shapes and figures will definitely give this Chess set a go when the time comes.


The Hastings Chess Set

Chess Set

5 of 5 Stars

10. Best Travel Chess Set: Wooden Magnetic Travel Chess Set 12"

If you want to buy a chess set for traveling but are tired of the typical plastic materials and odd looking styles, you should take into account the Wooden Magnetic Travel Chess Set which is an incredibly beautiful hand crafted Square Chess Set.

Crafted out of Sheesham & Maple and is the strongest Magnetic Chess Set on sale featuring self storage with a smart pull-out compartment to individually store each piece, keeping them safe from scratching each other or losing them. This is clearly not the cheapest traveling Chess set but if you prefer quality and style over funds, you should get this one. The board size is 12" x 12" featuring 1.25" Squares.

The chess set pieces have the perfect height and don’t feel tiny like typical traveling

Chess pieces. It is proudly made in the United States Of America.

The hardcore chess lover will go for this highly adaptable chess set.


Wooden Magnetic Travel Chess Set 12"

Travel Chess Set

5 of 5 Stars

11. Great High-End Chess Set: The Savano Series Luxury Wood Chess Set

Imagine selecting the best chess set pieces, chessboard, chess set bag as well as clock and scorebook to go own the next tournament. This is what this brand allows you to do this time, design your Chess Combo. All of their most popular items are available.

The chess set pieces you can choose vary in material (fine wood, plastic, silicone) with a wide range of Kings from 3.75’’ to 4’’ tall. The color palette of the chess set pieces can be black & white, red & white, black & natural as well as red & natural.

The chessboard is a wooden foldable one, having a 20’’ square footprint with 2.25’’ squares presented in different combinations of fine woods such as African Palisander & Maple, Walnut & Maple as well as Mahogany & Maple.

The chess bag can be ordered with or without the logo so you can print your country flag, city badge or team logo on it.


The Savano Series Luxury Wood Set

Chess Set

5 of 5 Stars

12. Best "Different" Chess Set: Marcel Duchamp Vintage Chess Set

This is a special medium-end chess set offered by another famous chess brand. Each piece of this outstanding Chess set has been 100% handmade in Spain by master artisans out of the finest woods. This is by far, the best different Chess set on sale in this list.

The chess set pieces have free replacements and are hand-carved in Ebony Wood and Boxwood, featuring the tallest and thinnest Kings in the list (4.48’’ x 1.57’’). 32 pieces and the 2 extra Queens are included in this chess set. These pieces are heavily weighted and present a thick billiard felt on their bases.

The chessboard is a 24’’ square piece crafted out of Black Anigre and Maple featuring a matte finish to create a luxurious look. Square sizes measure 2.36’’ and the board is quite thin (13mm) exhibiting a fine touch. This chessboard has a longer life and durability as well as lighter weight than most other chessboards thanks to its veneer of hardwood applied.

People that find legacy as a priority often opt for this long lasting Chess set.


Marcel Duchamp Vintage

Chess Set

5 of 5 Stars

​​Buyers Guide: How to Choose a Chess Set

1) Purpose

Is it for playing or decorating at home? Then chess sets with resistant woods and light chess board should be the best option for frequent players, while for decorative chess sets fine woods thoroughly carved featuring big pieces combined with luxurious chess boxes should create an impressive rich look.

Is it for traveling or playing at work/school? Then magnetic travel chess set or a self storage chess set should be the safest options to make it more portable and harder to lose any piece. We include some of them on this list for you to check.

2) Establish Quality Level

If you want to know the level of quality that a chess set has, it is very simple, check the type of woods being used and have in mind that the finest the carving the higher the quality that the chess set will have, that’s why this list provides you with zoomed in pictures for you to establish the level of quality.

3) Budget

Depending on the level of interest you have in chess, your budget should increase accordingly, so if really love chess and normally hang out with chess players you should go for a higher budget to obtain a high quality, hand carved, fine set that will increase the experience in your games and the compliments you will get from them, while on the contrary if you sometimes play with co-workers or school-mates then you should go for a medium budget that can guarantee you mobility, protection, and durability on your chess set.