The game is an old favorite for strategy lovers, and in recent years it has become a must-have style, too. A lot of modern designers have re-imagined the classic chess set, leaving behind cumbersome, old-fashioned games for sleek and elegant sets that are essentially art.
Nowadays, you’ll find graphic chess sets made in vibrant acrylics, sleek chess sets with subdued palettes and plain shapes—and all in between. After all, why buy a chess set that’s fun to play when you can buy one that’s fun to play and beautiful enough to show off?
Here the best chess sets you can buy right now.
Best Chess Sets 2021
CB2 Marble Chess Game, $99.95
CB2’s Marble Chess Game provides a sophisticated look at the classic chess set. Made entirely of marble, this choice is elegant and durable—perfect for contemporary spaces. The heavy game board is practically asking to be left out between uses, and its weighty pieces are pretty enough to double as decoration. While the shapes in this collection have been revised in a contemporary way, the chess game palette feels absolutely traditional.
For those who ask, the Man Ray Chess Set isn’t just influenced by Man Ray’s visual artist—it was actually designed by the Surrealist himself. But not only does it act as a decoration, but it also doubles as a full-blown piece of art. As expected, every piece in this chess set is elegant, pretty, and a bit whimsical. The rooks became squares, the knights became swirls, and the pawns became spheres. Each piece is made of beech wood, and the corresponding game board is made of beech. It’s pricey, but it’s worth it to hardcore design lovers.
Jonathan Adler Acrylic Chess Set, $595 (On Sale 20%)
Jonathan Adler’s glamorous chess set is ideal for both minimalists and maximalists alike. It’s available in neon for people who want something completely new and contemporary, as well as a more conventional black and brown color scheme for those who want something classic but still really cool. The chunky bits stand out on their own, but it’s the oversized acrylic board that’s going to catch your eye. Give this game a place of honor in your living room—all it’s right.
Ian Flood & Chris Prosser NYC Skyline Chess Set, $120
This is one of the best chess sets that you’ll love at the first sight. In the NYC Skyline Chess Set, every classic chess piece has been replaced by an emblematic piece of architecture. Your King is the Freedom Tower, your Queen is the Empire State Building, your Bishop is the Chrysler Building, your Knight is the Flatiron Building, and your King is the Guggenheim. (Your pawns are modern New York townhouses that are emblematic in their own right.) All of these pieces are acrylic and rest on a flat, classic game board.
This acrylic chess set by Urban Outfitters easily doubles as a piece of art—but don’t worry, it’s still fully functional! Although the board and the pieces are clear, thoughtful details ensure successful gameplay.
The acrylic board is printed with a white checkerboard pattern that adds both a modern and functional touch. Each of the 34 pieces comes in various shapes and colors, with rich Aquas and cerulean denoting one side and light lavenders and dark maroons denoting the other. The acrylic lid fits on the top of the board, and it’s easy to keep it next time.
These best chess sets for all skill levels and needs will surely make you happy. They are not only fantastic for gift-giving but they also perfect for home decor gifts. If this post is useful, don’t hesitate to share it with your loved ones.
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