My family always loved chess. They helped me learn basic chess moves from a very young age. But in school I got to learn in more detail. One of my clearest memories was the day that I received my first very own chess set. It was a vinyl set made for competition. One that me and my classmates could all take home and practice on wherever we went. And believe me that set went everywhere with me.
I loved it when I got to play with my father on my set, instead of playing on his. And taking my set to my very first chess tournament was such a thrill. It is something that I will never forget. Of course, that means that I get an obvious feeling of nostalgia when I play on a vinyl set.
But there are a lot of reasons to have a good vinyl chess set. For competitions these are normally the sets that are used. And they are great to use for travel and playing outdoors. You can roll them up and take them with you and they are relatively lightweight. And they are easy to store when you aren’t using them. Let’s take a look at some of the best vinyl chess sets.
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Chess Armory Large Chess Set with Canvas Carrying Bag
- What I love: It comes with weighted pieces
- What I dislike: Not much to hate but it is more expensive than some of the others on offer
This is a favorite on this list. It comes with a vinyl board that is a little heavier than some of the normal vinyl boards. That means that it lays flat when you set it up. Even when it has been stored rolled up for a while.
It also comes with weighted chess pieces that are a bit higher quality than the chess pieces that normally comes with a vinyl set. The weighted pieces means that you can play chess anywhere. Including outside when wind is blowing.
One of the best parts of vinyl sets is that they are lightweight and can be easily carried around. This set isn’t heavy enough to make that more difficult. It is just heavy enough to make the set feel higher end.
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It also comes with two extra queens to make certain moves possible. And the entire set is very easy to clean.
It is a bit more expensive than many other vinyl chess sets but when you play with it you will feel the quality that those few extra dollars give you.
The set is also a bit larger than many other travel sets and that could be a good or a bad thing depending on preferences. But the carry bag makes it easy to store and travel with.
WE Games Best Value Tournament Chess Set
- What I love: It comes with a chess instruction booklet to help young players learn the game
- What I dislike: When the set is new it starts with a strong odor
This set is many people’s choice when it comes to tournament chess sets. It has black and white squares and some feel like that is a bad choice combined with black chess pieces.
The set meets the World Chess Federation and US Chess Federation’s height and weight and proportion standards for tournaments to play.
It is also set up with algebraic notations on the perimeter of the board to help with game analysis. It comes with Staunton Style plastic pieces with felt bottoms and two extra Queens. Added to that is a zippered storage bag with a board carrying loop.
One thing that I really love about this game brand is the fact that they support foundations that help children. They donate time and resources to the Toy Foundation to help kids who are sick or in foster care or impoverished. They also help children living in U.S military bases and who are facing any other difficulties in life.
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It has a chess instruction booklet and that will allow children who are just starting their chess journey to learn the game. It is a great set to travel with and light and small enough to take everywhere.
The only negative on this board is that many who have bought it has reported a very strong odor from the vinyl board. It can be bad at first, but it gets better after the board has been opened up for a while.
Juegoal 20’’Portable Chess and Checker Set
- What I love: Dual set with mousepad mat
- What I dislike: The packaging it comes is too small and wrinkles the board
A mousepad mat is always a great addition in a vinyl board set. It is a bit thicker than most vinyl mats and allows the board to sit flat easier than it would be for most other vinyl sets. It folds easily and can be kept rolled up for travel. It is wonderful for playing on any surface and allows a pretty solid foundation to play on.
The only problem with that is that many customers who bought this set have found the packaging it comes in to be problematic. They don’t send it rolled up but rather folded and that can wrinkle the board. Normally it will eventually lie out flat after a while, but it is hard to use straight away.
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Besides that, it is a wonderful set. It is a 2 in 1 chess and checkers set that comes with chess pieces but also comes with checkers set. It is a tournament set that comes with a storage bag that makes to take wherever you want to travel.
It also comes with easy-to-understand instructions for young chess players just starting to learn the game. It a great board for family time. And to teach new players both chess and checkers.
Get your own vinyl set
Vinyl sets are wonderful to travel with or when you are just starting to learn the game. They are more affordable than most other materials and a great starter set. It is a wonderful addition to your game room.