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When it comes to playing board games, chess is the most popular of all. To make the most of the game, all you need a challenging opponent and the best quality chess set. There are so many different types of chess sets available. Usually, players pick the best chess sets according to their preference and level of expertise. Professional players typically invest in unique and best quality sets. It is highly recommended for beginners to go for a portable and budget-friendly set to practice their skills. We have reviewed the best chess sets under $100 to help you find the one for you.
What Is A Chess Playing Set?
Chess is a two-player strategy game that has a board with 64 boxes in a grid of 8×8 with 32 two colored pieces. People collect unique and different chess game boards for sentimental and decoration purposes. Moreover, a unique chess set is aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but it should also have a durable construction. You can get a chess game board and pieces separately to customize it according to your liking and preferences. But, customizing your own chess-playing set can be quite costly. If you are on a budget, then we recommend you to get a complete chess playing set.
How to Choose the Best Chess Sets under $100
If you are a chess lover, you must understand how important it is to have your own chess set. The easiest way to do this is to get a chess set with a matching board and pieces. Though you also get board and pieces separately, it is almost impossible to find those that match each other. That is why we recommend you to get a chess set instead of getting pieces separately. If you have a limited budget and still want to invest in a good set, then we have selected the top best chess sets under $100 that you can choose from. In a standard chess set, three things come together.
Board of the Chess Set
A chessboard is the most crucial part of a chess set. It is a base where all the chess pieces are going to be set for playing games. The board has very distinctive checkboxes on it. Different kinds of materials are used in the manufacturing of the board of a chess set. It can either have a wooden, cardboard, plastic, metal, or glass body. Some boards are designed keeping portability in mind, while some are crafted with incarnate designs to be set at home or office for decorative purposes.
Chess Set Pieces
Chess set pieces are also an essential part of a chess set after the board. Without chess pieces, it may be challenging to play a game of chess. A chess set comes along with its chess pieces that match the whole group’s color and theme. Most chess set pieces have a Staunton design, especially if you are playing in an event or a tournament. If you prefer innovation and variety in your chess pieces, you can get themed chess pieces.
Some Chess sets come with unique packaging. But, it’s not necessary that every chess set is available in a special pack. A unique packaging design adds to a chess set’s overall appeal and gives a place to keep the chessboard and pieces safe in one place.
Comparison Table of the Best Chess Sets under $100
6 Best Chess Sets under $100 Reviews
This felted game board by Chess Armory is one of the best chess sets for beginners. It is manufactured by Chess Armory, who is well known for making innovative chess sets for over a decade. This wooden chess set has a strong and sturdy wooden construction. Crafted by hand with attention to every slight detail, it has a walnut inlay for playing. The size and the foldable design of the chess set make it easy for you to carry it along.
Features and Specifications
- High-quality wooden construction
- Easy to fold
- Felted interior
- Inner storage
- Classic Staunton style pieces.
- Large size has a dimension of 15″ by 15″
- The size of the King is 3.”
- Hinged clasp with magnetic locks
- Chess pieces have felt bottoms.
The best thing we love about this chess set is its handcrafted wooden design. The chess set’s classic Staunton pieces are also handcrafted and have felt at the bottom to provide a soft cushioning. It ensures that the pieces don’t make any scratches on the surface of the board.
The reason why this chess set is so popular among users is not only just because of its compact design. The wooden board can be folded to take along wherever you go.
It includes a space to store chess pieces. The storage area has a foam inlay with elastic straps to keep the chess pieces safe and secure in one place.
But the pros overshadow the cons. Are you looking for a chess set to give your kid? Then look no further as it is one of the best chess sets under $100. Plus, the foldable design and compact size are perfect for taking along traveling.
This handmade chess set has a sturdy classic wooden construction along with a beautifully crafted design. It makes it on our list of the best chess sets under $100 because of its reasonable price. The attention is given to even the chessboard’s slightest detail, and the chessmen are merely brilliant. Moreover, the board has alphabetic and numbers on the board’s side to make the gameplay even more fun and entertaining.
Features and Specifications
- It is manufactured using birch and beech wood.
- Board has numbers and alphabet coordinates.
- The board has a foldable design.
- Two brass clasps securely keep the chess set locked.
- Handcrafted chessmen
- Felt cushioning on the bottom of chess pieces
- Sycamore and hornbeam wood chessmen
- Includes an additional storage compartment
- The storage compartment is lined with foam.
- The King’s size is 4.5 inches, the size of the queen is 3.66 inches, and the size of the pawns is 2.28 inches.
The wooden chess set uses birch and beech wood for the construction of its board. While the chessmen are crafted by hand using sycamore and hornbeam wood. It makes it durable and difficult to break.
The dark and light-colored squares on the unique handcrafted chess set wooden board and chessmen give a very classic and appealing look. They have a weighted body with a Chessmenng on the bottom to ensure that they stay put on the board.
Another thing that we love about this chess set is that the board folds in for easy portability. Plus, the brass clasp ensures that the chess set is locked securely and doesn’t open during transportation.
The classic handmade and aesthetically pleasing design of this chess set is perfect for keeping as a collectable. Not only this, but it also makes an ideal gift to your loved one.
The QuadPro magnetic chess set is one of the best chess sets under $100 that you can get at a very reasonable price. It has an exceptionally sleek and stylish design that is best suited for kids and adults both. The set has a very durable construction and a compact size that fits perfectly in small backpacks too. Plus, the chess pieces have a felt lining underneath them with a magnetic inside to stay put on the board.
Features and Specifications
- It is manufactured using high-quality plastic.
- Lightweight and easy to take around.
- Chessmen have a magnetic attached to them.
- Compact size
- Travel friendly
- Foldable body
- The chessboard has inner storage.
- Support feet underneath the board.
- Storage pouch for pieces
- Secure closure
This lightweight and foldable chess set is the best budget chess set with the most outstanding high-quality plastic construction. Due to its lightweight, it’s super easy for kids to handle it without any problem.
Magnetic Chess Pieces
Chess pieces included in the chess set have a magnet inside them. It helps keep the chess pieces to stay put and stand firm on the board.
The compact size of the chess set makes it perfect for taking along while travelling. Plus, the foldable design easily fits in a backpack, and the inner compartment is conveniently used for the storage of chess pieces.
It is undoubtedly one of the cool chess sets with a very modern and sleek design that is one of the best chess sets for beginners, mostly for kids to play with and take along during travelling.
This metal and wood chess set has an excellent finishing with an exquisite and beautiful look. It has a very high-quality wooden inlay chess board that fits in an elevated board. To add more finesse to the chess set’s look, it has metal chess pieces with bronze and silver color. The elevated base’s inner portion can be used for an additional storage area for putting in chess pieces.
Features and Specifications
- Crafted wooden inlay chessboard
- Metal chess pieces
- Double Inner storage space
- Elegant and sophisticated outlook.
- The chessboard is set on an elevated base.
- Durable body
- Two velour pouches for storing chessmen
- The chess pieces are crafted with a Staunton theme.
- Unique dark brown color
- It has a fine finishing and a luxurious look.
This chess set has a very luxurious outlook with a wonderful design. If you are looking to invest in a good quality chess set, this is undoubtedly one of the best options in the best chess sets under $100.
The elevated base has a deep storage area that you can use to put the chess pieces inside when not in use. Plus, it also includes two velour pouches to store the chess pieces so that they don’t lose their shine and luster.
The wooden board with the base of this chess set has a solid build designed to last for an extended period.
It is one of the best chess sets under $100 worth the money, with a beautiful and elegant look, the same as any high-end luxury chessboard, making it the perfect addition to your chessboard collection.
Your quest for the best chess sets under $100 ends with the Amerous Wooden Magnetic Chess Set. This best budget chess set can be used as the first set for kids. Not only suitable for kids, but it has all the fantastic qualities that an adult will also enjoy. The chess set’s handmade wooden design ensures that you enjoy your game of chess to the fullest. Plus, you can also use it as the best checker set as well.
Features and Specifications
- Magnetic chess pieces
- Foldable design
- Compact size
- Hand made
- Wooden body
- Travel friendly
- Traditional Staunton themed
- Cushioned inner storage space
- Chess pieces have an anti-scratchpad
Easy to carry
The lightweight and foldable body make it very easy to take along. Moreover, the compact size fits perfectly in backpacks. Plus, the magnetic pieces stay in place even when you are playing in a moving car or train.
Pleasing to the eye
The beautifully handcrafted body of the chess set and its pieces have a very durable wooden construction that looks very pleasing to the eye.
Inner storage with cushioning
There is inner storage on the board to ensure that the chess pieces remain safe from getting scratched or damaged. It has foam cushioning inside with spaces to fit every piece in place.
If you are going on a long journey, this magnetic chess set will keep you entertained throughout. It is meant for adult players, but kids can learn their way around chess on this chess set.
This chess sets is best for its anti-scratch velour pad on the bottom of the chessman and consider as one of the best chess sets. It is also one of the highest rated product and customers are happy buying it.
If you want a big sized chess board while staying within your budget, then the Chess armory wooden large chess set is the one for you. This is one of the Best Chess Sets Under $100 with a solid wooden body. The inlaid walnut chess board has a very classy look to it. Folds effortlessly and locks securely, perfect for taking along on a journey.
Features and Specifications
- Large size
- Foldable body
- Safe storage area
- Felt cushion on the bottom
- Elastic straps to keep pieces in place
- Durable wooden body
- Handcrafted chess pieces
- Classic Staunton style
- Inlaid walnut chessboard
- A beautiful contrast of shades of brown
The best thing about this chess set is its big size. It gives a clear visual of the chessboard to not make any mistake when planning your next move.
The chess pieces that come along with this set are handmade with extra superior quality. Each one of them is lined with felt to ensure that the board doesn’t get scratched.
The chess set has an impeccable finish with a contrast of dark and light brown colors that show excellent craftsmanship. It is exceptionally good, just as high-end chess sets.
Overall, we can say that it makes a perfect choice of a set to introduce kids to the game of chess. The solid wooden construction is made to last for a long time.
Buyers Guide for the Best Chess Sets under $100
Getting the best chess sets under $100 can be very confusing, especially if you are a beginner player looking to invest in a game of chess for the first time in your life. To land on the most suitable chess set option, you need to keep a few things into consideration. In our buying guide, we have listed the most important things that you need to look out for when looking for the best chess sets under $ 100.
Use of the Chess Set
The first and essential thing you need to consider when getting a chess set is how you will use it? If you are looking for something to take along with you, search for a chessboard that you can keep at your home for playing. If you are looking for portable boards, foldable boards, or magnetic boards are the right ones. Chess game boards with a wooden construction are beautifully crafted to serve as beautiful ornaments and play.
Player expertise is a critical factor in deciding when looking for the best chess sets. The basic chess games board is more suitable for players who are learning to play the game as they are still learning their way around the pieces. At the same time, hardcore professional chess players are more inclined to choose elaborate and aesthetically pleasing themed chess boards to elevate their gameplay to the next level.
Construction of Chessboard and Pieces
Chess sets are available in various construction materials. Glass and wood are the most popular choice of both pro and amateur players. Moreover, you can find different marble, metal, plastic, and other construction of chess sets. No matter whatever material you end up choosing, make sure that it is durable enough to last for smooth gameplay.
You can find a whole variety of chess sets, all having different price ranges. From best chess sets under 50 to luxury best chess sets under 200. The price of the chess set you end up choosing depends upon your budget. If you are a beginner, then getting a cheap basic chess set will help you learn your way around the game. If you are looking to invest in the best chess sets, then the options are limitless.
Size of the Board
Another critical factor that you need to consider when looking for the best chess sets is the board’s size. The size of a chessboard depends upon the purpose that you are getting it for. For a competition or an event, it is better to get a large-sized board. If you want to take it along with you, you need to get a compact-sized board that folds and is easy to carry around. But, if you’re going to keep it at your home for playing and display, then even a large-sized board will do.
Types of Chess Sets
If you are a beginner chess player, then it may not be obvious to differentiate between the different types of chess sets as all look the same. But in the truth, that’s not the case. You can find different types of chess sets manufactured using other materials and with variable sizes. You don’t need to worry as we will help you identify different chess sets to make it easy to find the best chess set.
Classic Chess Sets
Classic chess sets are the most common sets that are very popular among players of different levels of expertise.
Magnet Chess Set
These are super easy to take along wherever you go. You can even use a magnet chess set while you are in a moving car. These come in compact and big sizes.
Foldable chess sets are one of the most common chess playing sets out there. These are available in the market at a reasonable price, which is another big reason for their popularity. They are manufactured using wood, while some even have boards made of cardboards with plastic chess pieces.
Professional sets of chess are usually used during competitions, events, and games. They are made of an easy to roll vinyl material with chess pieces made of plastic.
Figure Chess set
The figure chess set is perfect for those people who love collecting unique chess sets. It is manufactured using high-quality materials and is mostly the choice of hardcore chess enthusiasts.
Checkers and chess playing board
One playing board can be used as the best checkers set and for playing a chess game.
Innovative chess sets
Chess sets with innovative and different designs are a collectibles item for people who enjoy playing chess in their free time.
Chess set for teaching purposes.
The best chess sets for beginners are used for teaching proposes. They don’t have anything distinctive about it. You can only use it to teach the basics of chess.
Type of Boards
You can find a wide variety of chess boards; whichever board you end up choosing depends mainly on how you plan to use it. We have mentioned some types of chess boards for your guidance.
- Vinyl board – It is the most commonly used board for beginners. It has a very nominal price, and you can roll it easily.
- Single piece wooden board – This board is made up of a single piece of wood.
- Foldable wooden board – These boards are easy to fold, mainly manufactured, keeping portability in mind.
- Chessboard for three players – These either have a vertical style like a dartboard and a circular style board with 16 squares and four rings.
What Are the Sizes of Chess Sets?
Chess sets are most commonly available in three different sizes. We have listed them down below:
Standard sized chess sets are reasonably common in players who play the game regularly or in a competition. According to the USCF, measurements of a square on a standard size chess board is 2 to 2.5,”. And the height of the king should be around 3.375″ to 4.5″.
Typically a game of chess is played by two people. But, some giant-sized chess sets can be played by more than two people as well. Most people prefer using large-sized chess boards in large scale competitions and outdoor events. You can find different sizes of large chess boards that start from 8″ and go as big as 72″.
Chess is a very addictive game of strategy that, once hooked on, it’s challenging to take out of mind. Keeping this in mind, you can find different chess sets having a very compact size. Due to their compact size, taking them along with you on the go is super easy. Compact sized boards can measure up to 4″ and also include foldable and magnetic options as well.
What are the Different Materials of Chess Sets?
Nowadays, there are so many different types of chess games boards available; this may make it difficult for you to make the right choice of what you should get for yourself. Some unique chess sets are made with expert craft, giving attention to even the slightest details. Such sets are used for showpieces to enhance the aesthetic of your place. Simultaneously, some sets are made of sturdy and durable construction, especially for practical and smooth playing experience. Let’s talk about the different materials for chess sets.
Wooden chess sets are the most commonly used due to their sturdy construction. There are so many different types of wooden chess sets you can find. We will talk about a few most common choices of wooden boards.
Rosewood is the most common choice of wood that is used in wooden chess boards. It is a dark-colored wood with a reddish tinge to it. Usually, they used to make high-end products like musical instruments, furniture, and wooden flooring.
Rosewood bud comes from the tree base that gives rosewood and has high quality compared to standard rosewood. It is used in a lot of high-end luxury chess sets.
As the name suggests, Ebony wood has a black color with brown color streaks that also falls in the category of high quality of wood. Ebony chess sets are very attractive and are considerably expensive. They may have an attractive look, but they are super sensitive to humidity as it causes it to crack and get damaged.
At a glance, ebony and ebonized seem like the same type of wood. But that’s not the case. They both are very different from each other. Usually, boxwood is given an ebonized finish to it to provide an effect of an ebony board. As ebony wood is costly, many best budget chess sets are manufactured using ebonized boxwood.
Golden Sheesham Rosewood
Sheesham rosewood has a medium brown tone to it and has a thicker density. Due to its sturdiness, golden Sheesham rosewood is a viral material used in chess boards. As this wood is readily available in the market, chess boards made using it have a nominal price.
Boxwood has a light brown color to it and is used mostly to manufacture chess pieces or some chessboard parts. It is not used to manufacture a whole chess set. Granular boxwood is easy to craft and model.
There are so many other kinds of wood used to make chess sets, including walnut, wenge, Palisander, red sandalwood, briar, Mahanoy, maple, erble, beech, birch, white wood, and hornbeam. Wooden chess sets are made with machines, but some collectible items are handcrafted too.
Metal is another material that is commonly used in making chess sets. You can find many different, beautifully crafted metal chess sets. Various metal forms like gold, silver, bronze, pewter, and ivory are used to manufacture chess sets.
When it comes to metal, then pewter has the most reasonable price and the most amazing construction. Bronze chess sets have a very classy look and well-made pieces that double the professional players’ enjoyment level. Gold and silver chess sets are the most expensive high-end chess sets that you can get. These are indeed collector’s items. Ivory chess sets are very rare to come across since the ban on ivory started. They have the perfect combination of quality and class altogether.
It is a material that is very commonly used in many different products nowadays. These chess sets are the best chess sets for beginners as they are inexpensive and easy to use to hone your skill and learn your way around a chessboard.
The tradition of manufacturing glass chess sets goes back to the ninth century. They are very delicate and used for their ornamental and artistic value as showpieces. You can find different glass chess sets in either transparent Glass, opaque, and colourful pieces.
Themed Chess Boards
Themed chess boards are very innovative and creative that stands out among the different options of chess boards. These are super cool chess sets based on the other fictional characters, icons, historical eras, and different stories. Let’s talk about some of the most popular themed chess boards that are available.
Fantasy-themed chess boards are based on different movie characters or story characters. Like the Harry Potter-themed chess board is made exactly the way the chessboard was in the story. Different Avengers-themed chess boards have pieces shaped in the form of different Marvel characters.
Chess sets based on historical eras are relatively widespread among people who have a keen interest in history, like chess boards based on the Medieval era depicting Romans, crusades, robin hood, and so on. You can get historical themed chess sets in different materials like wood, glass, metal, or plastic.
This chess sets cool look is inspired by different battle scenes and has two sides: Confederacy and Union. With chess pieces in the shape of Thomas Jefferson, Lincoln, and so on.
Animal themed chess sets are cool chess sets depicting normal animals, and some even are based on dragons. Such chess sets have chess boards with a 3D model design to elevate the game playing experience.
What Are the Benefits of Playing Chess?
Chess is highly strategic and it is the king of all games. It resembled an era where kings and queens used a strategy to wage war and defend their kingdom from enemies. It is the reason why highly intellectual individuals love playing a game of chess. But, it is not like there are so many other benefits associated with playing a chess game.
It helps in IQ building.
People with high-level IQ level plays chess. But, a study shows people’s IQ levels increases by regularly playing a game of chess.
The strategy game of chess helps to stimulate your brain to the maximum level. Studies have shown that people when playing chess, tend to use both sides of the brain effectively.
A chess game is sure to give the right amount of exercise needed for the development of the brain. A good chess player knows how important it is to remember the moves of your opponent. Adults and kids who are regular chess players have a better memory and perform better in their academics.
Chess is an intense game of strategy that requires an immense amount of concentration of both players. One wrong move and you can lose the match. Playing chess helps develop concentration levels in players.
Strategizing and problem-solving
Strategizing and problem-solving are two things a chess player needs to do frequently while playing a chess game. You face new challenges and problems that you need to find a solution to get ahead of your opponent. Strategizing and problem-solving skills are also a great help to you in your real-life issues.
Frequently Asked Questions for the Best Chess Sets under $100
What chess sets are used in tournaments?
People use plastic chess sets the most commonly in tournaments and competitions. Thay has a Staunton set of 3.75 inches standard size with an easy to roll vinyl board.
Who makes Chess sets?
Different manufacturers make a diverse variety of chess sets. Some high-end chess boards and pieces are handmade with attention to the slightest detail.
What is the 20 40 40 rule in chess?
It means that a player under the rating of 2000 gets to spend an opening time of 20%, mid-game time of 40%, and an endgame time of 40%.
What is the most dangerous chess piece?
Queen is the most dangerous chess piece who is always on the attack. It can move in both diagonal and horizontal direction. One queen is equal to 9 pieces of pawns.
What is the best size chess board?
The standard size recommended by the World Chess Federation has the measurements of 2 to 2.5 inches of chess squares, and the whole board of 16 to 20 inches.
Is chess an expensive game?
You can get the best chess sets under 200 and as low as the best chess sets under 50 as well. It depends mainly on your preference and skill level, the amount you want to invest in your chess set.
What wood uses for chess boards?
Wood is the most commonly used material in chessboard. In our article, we have listed different types of wood used chess boards.
What is the size of a professional chessboard?
Professional chess boards have a preset size. It should have two ¼ inches of squares; this size is ideal because it can easily fit many different areas without being too big or small.
Will kids or adults play?
Chess is a game that both kids and adults can play at the same time. This brain-stimulating game has several benefits for both kids and adults that reflect in their normal lives.
Where will you use the set?
The options where you can use your chess set are limitless. You can take it along wherever you go for enjoyment. You can even keep it as a showpiece at your place to add to the beauty o
How much do you want to pay?
The amount that you want to invest in depends upon your preference. You can find fairly expensive sets that cost even more than $200. But, if you have a preset budget and you are a good quality chess set. Then do go through our list of the best chess sets under $100.
Our Recommendation for the Best Chess Sets under $100
After reading this full guide, now it’s time to get the best chess sets under $100. Although all of the chess mentioned above sets are best yet if you ask for our recommendation, you will buy one from the 6. We will recommend you Wegiel Handmade European Ambassador Chess Set.
We recommend these chess sets due to its outstanding features.
Poland makes a high-quality board which is a beautiful handcraft folding wood board. Board is the ideal aesthetic website for everybody. It’s a great color blend of brownish and off white. This board’s edge is decorated using amounts and algebraic coordinations, which may make anybody love the chessboard.
Birchwood and Beechwood make the Board, who ensure the sturdiness of this board. Chessmen are butt and weighted and made from the special hornbeam and sycamore wood. Two folding clasps could fold the board. There’s just a unique space assembled for every one of those bits to fasten it safely for procuring the chessmen. All of this comes at a very reasonable price. It’s acceptable for a lot of the players. The sole outcome that some could find is the fact that it’s a bit less weighted. This could, at times, induce your chessmen to collapse.
- This chess set is a "Ambassador" chess set due to its Incredible Detail Great Gift For The Holidays
- The board is made from beech and birch wood that gives it a classic, handmade feel that many chess enthusiasts will appreciate; number and letter algebraic coordinates adorn the borders; it measures 21.65"W x 1.18"H x 21.65"D (55cmx3cmx55cm), Squares measure 2.24"x2.24" (5.7cmx5.7cm) when folded, the board is held securely shut with 2 brass clasps
- Handcrafted chessmen are felt bottom and weighted; they are made from hornbeam and sycamore wood; the king measures 4.5"(11cm), Queen 3.66"(9.3cm), Pawn 2.28"(5.8cm) the elegantly intricate detail of each playing piece is impressive
- Secured chessmen compartments provide room inside the board to securely store each chess piece; each chess piece is individually protected in formed compartments inside the folding chess board
- Classic aesthetics are embodied in this complete chess set that is handcrafted in Poland from farm-grown wood; its exceptional craftsmanship makes it worthy to be put out on display
Read More: Can a Queen Move like a Knight in Chess?
Now Make a DECISION
A good chess set will surely double up the fun you will have when playing a chess game. You can find many different types of chess sets from different themes to different materials and sizes. All this makes getting the best chess sets can be a difficult feat. Even if you have a preset budget, you can surely get a good quality chess set. We have put together all the information you need on the best chess sets under $100 to help you decide the chess set you want to get for yourself.
Veronica is a Green Bay-based freelance writer and editor with extensive experience in covering different sports and games. When not busy scribbling her thoughts, you might find her in her garden, hiking out in the woods, or exploring new food joints.
Veronica is a die-hard board game and chess hobbyist by night. She likes to try out new games and is always on the lookout to recruit new players for her game night (so beware!). When not playing her favorite game is Dart Playing, She is usually busy painting miniatures (or doing other nerdy stuff).
She is the CEO & Content Writer of Indoor Games Zone. She shares her expertise on chess, board games, and dartboard on our website to help people get the best tips and products they are searching for.
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Last update on 2021-04-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API