“One doesn’t have to play well, it’s enough to play better than your opponent.” – Siegbert Tarrasch
When you think of chess, you probably think of a black-&-white or brown-&-cream-checked board and little pieces sculpted into varying shapes to indicate their titles. It has an austere, classic connotation that can be inviting for adults and those with experience but may seem intimidating or even boring for newcomers and children.
To spice up the game for your child, or even yourself, consider acquiring a more exciting version of the game. There are so many different sets to choose from, with hundreds of different themes!
Try getting your child interested in chess by playing with a board that features all of their favorite TV or movie characters! You can even find extremely beautiful and refined novelty chess sets for adults, as well. All of these sets can be found on Amazon for easy buying.
The Best Chess Sets for Young Learners
The best way to keep a younger learner interested in the game of chess is to have a set that features large, easy-to-handle pieces and bright, exciting colors. Many of these sets also include instructions, tutorials, challenges, and quests to get you started with a specific goal in mind so you are not aimless.
Story Time Chess
Story Time Chess creates a whole animated world around the game of chess, complete with an engaging story and cast of memorable characters. All of the chess pieces come with cutouts of the various characters on the front, and the thorough instruction manual walks you through all of the different moves each of these pieces can make. One of the best parts about this chess set is that it is one of the only sets that are suitable for children as young as 3 years old, so you can introduce your child to the game from an early age. It's so well-made, it won the Toy of the Year Award from the Toy Association in 2021.
Chess Junior provides interactive elements including the board assembly, keeping things interesting. The chess pieces are chunky cubes so they are easy and safer for younger children to handle. This game won the Brain Child Toy Award and is highly rated as a fun and effective learning tool for chess for kids.
Since the board can be disassembled, it is also suitable for travel. Included with the board game is an instructional booklet full of minigames to help kids understand the functions of each piece.
The Best Chess Sets for Any Age Learners
You don’t need to be a kid to learn to play chess! For sets that help you learn, but are less childish, check out this list of sets designed to help anyone learn the game.
No Stress Chess
It’s right there on the box: No Stress Chess provides a game of chess while eliminating the stress of making decisions about moves. It provides a great way to ease into chess without diving straight into a competition-standard set. This is a bonus for parents who aren’t well-versed in the game of chess themselves, or who want to take a hands-on approach to teaching their child to play chess.
What makes this chess set so great for beginners is the inclusion of cards to explain how every piece moves. Each card displays the movement available to one particular piece on the chessboard, and the idea is that you pick up a card and then move the corresponding piece according to the illustration of how it can move. The idea behind this is that over time, you will become more familiar with each individual piece and exactly how it can move. As far as kids' chess games go, No Stress Chess is up there with the best.
On Amazon: Winning Moves No Stress Chess, available for Rs. 3589.
Magnetic Wall Chess
While Wall Chess isn’t instructional per se, it is still an excellent pick for new learners. If you are already familiar with the basics of chess, and you’re looking for new ways to visualize or understand the game, it can help to literally look at things from a new perspective!
Magnetic Wall Chess is pretty self-explanatory: The chess board and pieces are magnetic, and you are able to mount the board to the wall for vertical gameplay. This is a great option in order to keep the board out of the way while being set up for long periods of time. It can also be a good option if you have small children or pets where you need to ensure they cannot get a small chess piece into their mouths. Simply hang it out of reach and the problem is solved!
You are able to pause the game whenever needed, leaving the pieces as they are, and pick it up again later. A great option for a young learner who might not have the patience for a whole game at once.
On Amazon: Paramount Dealz Magnetic Vinyl Demo Chess Set with Drawstring Carrying Pouch (24 Inch, Multicolour), available for Rs. 3499.
If you have extra space indoors or outdoors, Mega Chess might be a good choice for you! It is not travel-friendly, but it is a fun, new way to interact with the entire chessboard. The board is roughly a 9ft (3m) square. The pieces are larger-than-life, with the king being 25in (63.5cm) tall! Just like Wall Chess, Mega chess allows the players to see things from a new perspective, entering the game with their whole body. To drum up interest and increase the fun factor, give Mega Chess a try!
On Amazon: StonKraft 17'' x 17'' Tournament Chess Vinyl Foldable Chess Game With Solid Plastic Pieces, available from Rs. 664.
For an interactive computer-guided learning experience, try this talking chess board! It can analyze and announce valid moves and threats to your pieces. You can play against a friend or against the computer. In addition, it also includes other games like checkers, halma, fox & geese, and more! You can choose between varying difficulty levels, so even if you already know some chess, this set can help you improve your game with more difficult challenges.
On Amazon: Electronic Talking Chess Board Games with 8-in-1 Talking Computer Chess set for kids, available from Rs. 12,000.
The Best Novelty Chess Sets For Kids
Personalization is one of the great things about this day and age. No matter what it is, you can find a version of it that portrays your specific hobbies, personality, and interests. Chess is no different! No matter what aesthetic you are looking for, you can find a chess set that matches your style. A novelty set is a lot of fun because you can play chess with your favorite TV, movie, book, or game characters!
Batman (Dark Knight vs The Joker)
Batman is a classic DC Universe superhero that is admired by both kids and adults. With the 32-piece Warner Brothers-licensed Batman chess set, you can enjoy a game of chess with a superhero twist! The set has many great reviews citing the comfortable weight of the pieces, good paint quality, and a sturdy playing board. This set is perfect for any Batman fan, or anyone who can appreciate a weighty chess piece and good craftsmanship.
Featuring many of the exciting characters from the Super Mario franchise, this chess set is both exciting and nostalgic. With intricately-painted pieces, you can be sure that kids and adults alike will have a blast playing with this exciting set. Reviews site how easy it is to keep children involved with the game because of the fun factor, and it is frequently used to teach kids how to play chess!
Harry Potter Wizard Chess
Harry Potter is a franchise that’s loved all around the world, and it’s sure to be a beloved chess set as well. This is another set that many reviewers say they have used to keep their children interested in learning the game. Each of the 32 chess pieces has been crafted to the exact detail and measurements, and this authentic replica has been officially authorized by Warner Brothers so you know it’s the real deal.
Who doesn’t love dinosaurs? With this chess set, you can be sure that kids and adults alike will be enraptured by the amazing dinosaur pieces and the intricately carved details. This set is probably best suited for slightly older players, however, since reviewers mention that the pieces are a little too easy to knock over due to their unique shape.
The Best Chess Sets for Adult Players
Some chess sets are simply too ornate, fragile, or dangerous for children to play with. This is where adult-appropriate sets come in!
Ornately engraved, with weighty pieces and felt bottoms, this chess set is a beautiful work of art. Meant for professional players, and it can also be enjoyed by any players with fine taste. Included is a felt-lined travel case to take your set on the road with you.
Amazon: SHORO Skywalk Hand Crafted Roman Brass Chess Set with Wooden Board for kids and adults,Brown.
Price: Rs. 3999
Metal Chess Set
Similar to the brass set, this set is weighty and luxurious in feel. But where the brass set is intricate, this set is sleek and minimalist. The wooden board doubles as a carrying case and boasts exquisite craftsmanship as well. It features a magnetic playing surface to keep pieces from falling or getting knocked over. There is also a polishing cloth to keep pieces fingerprint-free and in beautiful condition.
Amazon: BCBESTCHESS Wooden Handcrafted Foldable Magnetic Chess Board Set
Price: Rs. 1079
Review: 2500+ reviews
Fire & Ice LED Glowing Chess
For a visually exciting, futuristic game of chess, check out this red vs blue light-up acrylic chess set! The minimalist acrylic pieces have been polished to appear glass-like, and they light up with blue or red light, creating a Tron-like experience. This set is sure to bring new excitement to the game, and as an added bonus, you can play in the dark!
Amazon: Toyshine Wooden Chess Pieces, Tournament Wood Chessmen Pieces
Price: Rs. 400
Reviews: 230+ reviews
Learning With Your New Chessboard
So, you’ve got your favorite chessboard, and now you (or your child) need to learn how to actually play. Thankfully, there are many avenues to pursue when learning a new skill!
You can easily find a chess coach if you know where to look. Check your local area for game shops that host chess clubs, or see if you can find a chess club that meets independently. For your child, you can always check if their school has a chess club, or recommends one in the area. Many youth centers also hold activities like chess for kids in after-school programs.
Of course, you can also find a private chess tutor right here on Superprof. Using your own specific filters, you can find a teacher who is within your price range, is available at the best times, and who can teach you everything you want to know about playing chess!
In either case, you may be able to use your unique board to create a conversation with your new friends.
Online resources can make learning anything a real joy. Whether you’re trying to encourage your child to learn chess or pick up a new skill yourself, learning with online resources is one of the best things you can do. Even if you don’t have the foggiest idea how to play the board game, there’s plenty of hope to be found in the myriad resources which can be just as good as having a private tutor.
Some of the best online resources are Chess Kid, Chess Academy for Kids, and Chess Kids.
No matter your method of learning, with a shiny, new chessboard, it becomes a little bit easier to give your attention to the game. With a kid-friendly set, you can be sure that your child (and maybe yourself, too) will be learning the ins and outs of chess in no time. And the best part is that you can learn for years and years, getting the most use out of your chess set as possible. It may even be something worth passing down through generations!
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