Best Chess Set for Beginners (2024 Ultimate Guide)

Embarking on the fascinating journey of chess? Selecting the right equipment is crucial for your growth and enjoyment in the game. In our 2024 Ultimate Guide, we delve into the realm of chess sets, offering invaluable insights to help you find the best chess set for beginners.

Whether you’re taking your first steps into the world of chess or seeking to refine your skills, this guide provides comprehensive reviews, expert tips, and tailored recommendations to ensure you make a confident and informed choice.

Join us as we explore the perfect starting sets that will transform your learning experience and set you on the path to becoming a chess enthusiast.

Chess SetSizeMaterialSpecial FeaturesPros
AMEROUS 15 Inches Magnetic Wooden Chess Set15 x 15 x 2 inchesWoodMagnetic, portable, durableIdeal for beginners, good for travel
Wegiel Handmade European Ambassador Chess Set21.65 x 21.65 x 1.2 inchesWoodHandcrafted, large size for easy playVisually appealing, good for learning
Chess Armory 15″ Wooden Chess Set15 x 15 x 1 inchesWoodInlaid walnut, felt interior, Staunton piecesCompact, travel-friendly, classic design
Kangaroo Folding Wooden Chess Board Set15.7″ x 15.7″PineMagnetic closure, ornate trim, gift boxAesthetically pleasing, good for casual play
Wegiel Handmade Jowisz Professional Tournament Chess Set16.54 x 16.54 x 0.98 inchesWood (Birch, Hornbeam, Sycamore)Unique design, algebraic notation on sidesArtistic, suitable for beginners and travel

In a hurry?
If you don’t have much time please check the table below for quick access to our favorites. Detailed guide below.

AMEROUS 15 Inches Magnetic Wooden Chess Set

AMEROUS 15 Inches Magnetic Wooden Chess Set

  • Dimensions: 15 x 15 x 2 inches
  • Brand: Amerous
  • Material: Wood
Check At AmazonRead Review Below
Wegiel Handmade European Ambassador Chess Set

Wegiel Handmade European Ambassador Chess Set

  • Dimensions 21.65 x 21.65 x 1.2 inches
  • Brand: Wegiel
  • Material: Wood
Check At AmazonRead Review Below
Chess Armory 15

Chess Armory 15" Wooden Chess Set

  • Dimensions: 15 x 15 x 1 inches
  • Brand: Chess Armory
  • Material: Wood
Check At AmazonRead Review Below
Kangaroo Folding Wooden Chess Board Set

Kangaroo Folding Wooden Chess Board Set

  • Classic Chess Game; Board Game; Chess Set is (15.7" x 15.7")
  • Chess Board Game Comes In Beautiful Gift Box
  • Made Of Pine; Chess Game With Ornate Trim For Unique Classy Style
Check At AmazonRead Review Below
Wegiel Handmade Jowisz Professional Tournament Chess Set

Wegiel Handmade Jowisz Professional Tournament Chess Set

  • Dimensions: 16.54 x 16.54 x 0.98 inches
  • Brand: Wegiel
Check At AmazonRead Review Below

Chess Sets Buying Guide

So, you’re a beginner looking to dive into the fascinating world of chess? The first step is choosing the right chess set, and it’s not as simple as you might think. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the key factors you should consider.

Types of Chess Sets

  • Wooden Sets: Ideal for those who appreciate a classic look and feel. Wooden sets offer durability and a timeless aesthetic.
  • Plastic Sets: Affordable and lightweight, these sets are great for casual play and travel.
  • Magnetic Sets: Perfect for on-the-go gaming, magnetic sets ensure your pieces stay in place.

🔗 For more on travel-friendly options, check out our Travel Chess Sets guide.

Size and Board Preferences

  • Standard Size: A board with 2.25-inch squares and a king height of 3.75 inches is generally considered standard.
  • Large Boards: These are often used in giant chess sets and are more for outdoor or exhibition play.
  • Compact Boards: Ideal for travel or smaller spaces.

Pieces Design and Material

  • Staunton Design: The most universally accepted design, especially for tournament play.
  • Themed Sets: These sets feature unique designs based on various themes, like history or fantasy.

Included Accessories

  • Instructional Materials: Some sets come with beginner-friendly guides or apps to help you learn.
  • Storage: Look for sets with built-in storage or carrying cases for better organization and portability.
  • Chess Clocks: Advanced sets might include a chess clock for timed play.

🔗 If you’re looking to advance quickly, don’t miss our tips on how to improve your chess game.

FactorWhat to Consider
Type of SetMaterial and functionality (wooden, plastic, magnetic)
Size and BoardStandard, large, or compact
Pieces DesignStaunton or themed
Included AccessoriesInstructional materials, storage options, and chess clocks

By considering these factors, you’ll be well-equipped to choose a chess set that not only suits your level but also enhances your learning experience. Whether you’re a casual player or an aspiring grandmaster, the right chess set can make all the difference.

Best Chess Sets for Beginners

Chess Armory 15″ Wooden Chess Set

Just because you don’t want plastic chessmen and a vinyl board doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. This is a very affordable chess set that offers a lot of value for your money. It also has features that make it a nice set for travel.




  • The pieces have been handcrafted in the standard Staunton design.
  • The king measures three inches tall.
  • The chess board with inlaid walnut measures 15 inches on each side, with squares measuring 1⅝ inches.
  • The interior of the board is covered with felt, and the pieces can be strapped into place.
  • The hinges of the board lie flat so that there aren’t any protruding pieces that could scratch your coffee table.
  • It comes with a chess guide for beginners.
  • The chess pieces are just the right size, for both experienced players and children alike. They’re easy to handle.
  • It’s also great that the chess pieces are easy enough to distinguish from each other with the traditional Staunton design.
  • The size of the board seems optimal as well. It’s not so large that you’ll find it cumbersome to bring with you but not so small that you can’t tell the pieces apart or move them easily.
  • The overall look is especially pleasing. It’s neat and functional, and the wood has variations that make it uniquely interesting.
  • It’s great that it has features that protect the pieces when you travel (or even just when you move it from room to room). The felt keeps the pieces from rubbing against the chess board wood. The straps also keep the pieces from bumping into each other when you’re bringing the set with you to the park or to a friend’s house.
  • Also, the hinges won’t scratch the table of your friend when you lay the board on the table to play a game.
  • Handcrafted pieces can look great, but a few boards may need a touch of sanding to smooth the rough spots.
  • A few people may feel that the pieces are a bit too light. It’s time to stick washers to the base of the pieces.


You’ll be hard-pressed to find better wooden chess sets at this price range. It looks great, and the size is just right. The straps work well, too. Bring this with you for your games and you won’t be disappointed.

Read the Full Review

Amerous Folding Wooden Chess Set 12″x12″

If you want something a bit smaller for younger children, then this may suit your needs. It also may be a good choice for people who travel a lot, as it isn’t all that bulky.




  • This features easily recognizable chess pieces fashioned in the traditional Staunton design.
  • The king stands about 2¼ inches tall.
  • The chess squares measure about 1¼ inches across.
  • Inside the folding chess board storage space, there’s a specially designed slot for each chess piece.
  • The chess pieces also have magnets that stick to the board.
  • The chess board is made of kembat, which is quite smooth.
  • The bottom of each chess piece is also extremely smooth.
  • The size of the pieces and boards is optimal; there is plenty of room to easily make moves.
  • The magnet feature is quite nifty, as it can keep the pieces upright even you brush against them with your fingers as you move.
  • The pieces also stay upright even when the table is moved or bumped slightly. You don’t have to worry about toppling pieces when you adjust the chess board on the table.
  • The smooth bottom of the chess pieces prevents any irritating sounds when you move a piece. They also won’t scratch the surface of the chess board.
  • The special slots inside the folded board storage space keep the pieces in place. The board doesn’t rattle when you carry it, and you keep the pieces from getting damaged because they don’t move around or bump into each other.
  • The size makes it very portable, but it’s not too small at all. It’s also ideal for younger kids.
  • Just because it has magnets doesn’t mean you can easily play with this in a moving vehicle.
  • Some people may prefer a larger size.


This is really great starter chess set for young beginners, though it also works well as a travel set. It does offer a nice-looking board with great features such as slots and magnets. All in all, it’s a handy chess board for casual players.

Read the Full Review

Kangaroo’s Folding Wooden Chess Set with Magnet Closure

Looking to play at home with friends or at a café with a nice cappuccino? You may want to bring this along with you, as it looks very impressive for kibitzers and players to gaze at.

You can also just give this as a gift, and the recipient may think that you spent a lot more money for it than you actually did.




  • This comes with a folding chess board that measures 15.7 inches across.
  • The king measures around three inches in height.
  • There aren’t any metal clasps here. Instead, it uses magnets to keep the board closed.
  • Inside, the container has felt lining, and the pieces are also secured with a strap.
  • The wooden board comes with a nice light gloss.
  • The pieces are crafted in the Staunton design, but they all have special touches. They also have felt bottoms.
  • The look of the pieces is quite interesting. The pieces are all handcrafted, so none of them look exactly alike.
  • With a magnetic closure, there aren’t any hinges that can mar the table when you flip the board over to return the pieces inside the board.
  • The pieces inside the board stay in place when you travel because of the straps. This keeps them from making too much noise, and they don’t bump into each other, which could lead to damage.
  • The board and the pieces look finished, and there aren’t any rough spots that the makers forgot to sand smooth.
  • The size isn’t too big for travel, but it’s large enough that you can really see what’s going on in the game.
  • Despite what some sellers may say, the chess pieces are not magnetized.
  • The weight of the pieces may be a bit on the light side, so you may have to employ the trick with the washers.


Just attach a washer to each piece and then cover it with felt, and you have a truly nice chess set. This will be easy to play, easy to carry, and easy on the eyes.

What’s more, it’s easy on the wallet, too. It’s a great set that casual players can admire.

Read the Full Review

Wegiel Handmade Jowisz Professional Tournament Chess Set

If you’re getting tired of all the basic Staunton designs but don’t want anything too weird, then you may want to look at this Wegiel set. This is also designed as a travel set, as you may have surmised from its size.



  • The chess board measures 11.81 inches across, with squares measuring 1.18 inches on each side.
  • The king is about 2.6 inches tall.
  • The chess pieces come with the Staunton details that distinguish each piece, but this particular variation is unique and interesting. It really has a very different look than conventional chess sets. Also, like many Wegiel sets, the top parts of the king and queen pieces come with contrasting colors. So the white king has a dark cross, while the black queen has white tops for the crown.
  • Each piece is handcrafted, which gives the set a unique touch. The handcrafting gives each piece nice details as well.
  • The wood board is made of birch while the pieces are carved from solid hornbeam and sycamore wood. There’s also felt at the bottom of each piece.
  • On the sides of the boards, you have the letters and numbers to help with algebraic notation for moves.
  • This is a gorgeous chess set, and the pieces can qualify as art. They’re unique and quite remarkable. You may even want to just display it if you’re only using it at home.
  • The wood comes from a farm, so it uses sustainable materials.
  • The size isn’t all that small, and you can still play with it. However, this size is geared more toward travel.
  • This works well for newbies because of the algebraic notation markers on the sides. Beginners can note their moves more easily.
  • The pieces aren’t weighted.
  • You have to be very careful when you place the pieces inside the storage space. You have to make sure that no piece is lying on top of another. That can cause damage when you close the folding chess board.


This can satisfy many types of chessboard users. It’s small enough for easy portability. The algebraic notation markers help beginners learn how to note moves.

Those who are bored with basic Staunton designs will also appreciate the artistic look of the chess pieces.

Read the Full Review 

Wegiel Handmade European Ambassador Chess Set

When you’re in need of larger chess boards, you need the Ambassador class of chess sets. This one from Wegiel certainly qualifies, and the company provides a great look for chess pieces.




  • This board measures 21.65 inches on each side, with the squares measuring 2.24 inches per side.
  • Around the board you have letters and numbers that help newbies with the algebraic notation for moves.
  • The pieces are also suitably large, with the king measuring 4.5 inches in height.
  • The board and the pieces were all handcrafted in Poland. Beech and birch wood were used for the board, while the pieces were made from sycamore and hornbeam wood. These pieces all display incredible detail.
  • The board is large, so you can really see the pieces and tell what’s going on in the game. You can also move the pieces without having to bump other ones each time.
  • This is a gorgeous chess set, and the contrast with the board colors makes it easy on the eyes. The kings and queens also have contrasting tops.
  • Since there are letter and number markings on the sides of the board, newbies can learn algebraic notation form moves more easily.
  • Inside the board, you have indented slots form-fitted for each chess piece. The inside of the board is also lined with felt.
  • The weight may be lighter than the standard triple weighted set, but you can play with this and move pieces quickly without knocking other pieces over.
  • This still won’t qualify for tournament play. Of course, why would you use this at such an event?
  • For those who wish for a greater weight at the base, the washer solution awaits.


Many casual players will love this, as the great size looks impressive and the game play is easy when you look over the board and move pieces. The chess pieces are also simply beautiful.

Most people would consider this the perfect chess set for this price range, if only it had extra queen pieces!

Read the Full Review

Final Verdict

Each of these chess sets will do, and you may of course opt for smaller ones if you want to buy a chess set for children or for travel. But with all factors considered, you should really do yourself a favor and buy the Wegiel Ambassador set.

The large size doesn’t really make it difficult to transport. It helps that the pieces come with their own form-fitting slots so that they don’t bump each other.

Furthermore, the size makes it really easy to play the game. You’re better able to look at the overall position and discern your next move, and it’s a true pleasure to gaze at the board and the pieces.

The weight of the chess pieces may be a bit light for some, but there’s a handy solution for that. For most people, the weight is enough that the pieces don’t topple frequently even in fast-moving blitz play.

Overall, it’s a great chess set that you can play in cafes, parks, or your own home. At this price range, the Wegiel Ambassador is definitely a steal.


Which chess board is best for beginners?

For beginners, a standard-sized board with 2.25-inch squares is ideal. It provides enough space for comfortable play while adhering to commonly accepted dimensions.

Which is the best chess set?

The “best” chess set depends on individual preferences and needs. However, a Staunton-design set made from durable materials like high-quality wood or plastic is generally recommended for both beginners and professionals.

What is the most common chess set?

The Staunton design is the most common and universally accepted chess set. It is used in tournaments and casual play alike.

Is an expensive chess set worth it?

An expensive chess set can be worth the investment if you’re looking for exceptional craftsmanship and durability. However, for beginners, a moderately priced set is usually sufficient for learning and casual play.

Is chess a cheap hobby?

Chess can be a relatively inexpensive hobby, especially if you start with a basic plastic set. However, costs can escalate if you invest in high-quality sets, tournament fees, or advanced learning materials.

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