8 Best Chess Sets 2021 | The Sun UK

CHESS is having a major moment, spurred on by the success of TV series The Queen's Gambit and our increased time at home.

It's a great life skill – and game – to pick up at any age. We've rounded up the best chess sets for all players below.

There are lots of different kinds of chess sets to buy, whether you want something traditional, portable or even themed.

Chess sets can be functional and practical – as well as works of art, with some boards and pieces costing into the hundreds (and even thousands).

Newbies can find chess sets at affordable prices – often including checkers pieces, too – for under £20, which also have the advantage of being portable.

If you want your chess set to be a statement piece, look out for colourful boards, interesting materials (Lucite, anyone?) and unusual designs, like Umbra's Wobble Chess Set, which is a visual feast where the game pieces seem to interact as you play.

From wizards to Mario characters to Star Wars favourites, there are chess sets to appeal to everyone. Top tip: novelty sets are a great way to get kids interested in the game.

This article and featured products have been independently chosen by Sun journalists. It contains links which are ads, and if you click a link and buy a product we will earn revenue.

1. Peradix

  1. (AD) Peradix Chess board game set, £18.99 at Amazon – buy here

This plastic chess set includes magnetic pieces which attach to the board to stay standing (bonus: reviewers say you can play this in the car as a result).

The portable design can be folded in half for easy travel and fans are impressed by the durability of this set, especially for the price.

The general consensus is that this makes a great starter set for chess newbies, who are less likely to knock pieces over thanks to the magnets, and who find it easier to learn with black and white pieces (as opposed to wood).

The pieces store away easily in the board-box, too.

2. USAopoly

  1. (AD) USAopoly Super Mario Chess Game, £39.99 at Amazon – buy here

If you're despairing at your child's inability to separate themselves from a screen, then we'd recommend this Super-Mario themed chess game, featuring Mario's Heroes vs. Bowser's Troop.

Recommended for kids 7 and up, reviewers are impressed with the quality and design of the chess pieces (they're hand-painted), and insist kids like to play this version more than traditional chess.

Toy Story, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Fallout versions are also available.

3. Sunnylife

  • Sunnylife Lucite chess and checkers game, £170 at Amara – buy here

Yes, looks are absolutely allowed to influence your choice of a chess set.

This twist on the traditional chess set made from colourful Lucite allows for chess on one side, checkers on the other.

Ideal for game night with the family – and for brightening up a display shelf, too.

4. Kasparov

  • Garry Kasparov Wooden Chess Set, £20 at Argos – buy here

Designed in collaboration with number 1 ranked chess player for nearly two decades, Garry Kasparov, this is another budget board – except this one has wooden pieces to appeal to traditionalists.

Fans rave about the quality and design, as well as the affordability of this set, which is sturdily built.

'My daughter wanted a chess set after watching The Queen's Gambit and we have been playing every day since.

'This wooden set is really nice and great value for money', writes one reviewer.

5. Umbra

  1. (AD) Umbra Wobble Chess Set Walnut, £250 at Amazon – buy here

Anyone worried that chess has a reputation that borders on 'boring' should check out Umbra's walnut and maple chess set, which is anything but.

The eye-catching design consists of a concave wobble board which makes the pieces seem as if they're in motion, interacting with each other as you play.

In addition to helping bring the game to life, the wobble board pieces are beautifully made, with spherical bottoms and plated chrome detailing.

It's a gorgeous statement piece for the home, too.

'I stumbled across this set by accident and knew I had to have one. It looks every bit as good as I hoped.

'Clearly high quality and beautifully designed. Each piece is like mini modern sculpture, as is the board with its wavy structure. Looks like a painstaking product to construct', writes one reviewer.

6. Skyline Chess

  • Skyline Chess The London Edition Wood Board Chess Set, £165 at John Lewis – buy here

This 32-piece chess set features a London skyline of architecture turned chess pieces, including Big Ben, The Shard and the London Eye.

Made from moulded acrylic, the pieces are double-weighted with felted bases, while the wooden board is cleverly designed to look like a London city map.

You'll also find New York (and New York vs London editions) available at John Lewis.

7.The Regency Chess Company

  • Isle Of Lewis Compact Celtic Chess Set 9 Inches, now £60.99 – buy here

If you like your chess with a side of history, then you'll enjoy this mini replica set of the 12th century Isle of Lewis chessmen, believed to have been crafted in Norway once upon a time and discovered in a chest on the Isle of Lewis in the 1830s.

This stunning set is made from crushed stone resin with heavy pieces, intricately carved with painstaking attention to detail.

The pieces fold nicely into the board for easy storage when not in use.

8. Urban Outfitters

  • Pendleton Chess & Checkers Set, £28 at Urban Outfitters – buy here

This portable chess set contains a patterned canvas board and 32 silkscreened wooden pieces for chess and checkers fun.

Just zip the pieces in the pouch, roll up the board and take this beautiful chess set with you wherever you go.

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Need some more game ideas? These board games are sure to be a hit.

Enjoyed our roundup of best chess sets? Then you might like our selection of eco-friendly toys for kids, too.

This article and featured products have been independently chosen by Sun journalists. It contains links which are ads, and if you click a link and buy a product we will earn revenue.

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