Many players find minimal chess sets to be more relaxing to play with and help them better focus. The minimalism of the pieces helps them declutter their minds too. Another reason minimalist chess sets are popular is because of their unique shapes and designs.
The top 5 best minimalist chess sets range from modern minimalistic sets that slightly resemble the traditional ones, all the way to El Kassouf’s extremely minimalistic chessboard and Lanier Graham’s genius chess set that doubles as a fun puzzle.
So without further ado, here are the top 5 best minimalist chess sets.
Top 5 Best Minimalist Chess Sets
Some minimalistic chess sets are designed to look like the traditional ones, but with fewer details and softer silhouettes.
Other set designs are out of the box and don’t relate as much to the traditional shapes of chess pieces, which makes them unique and eye-catching.
In this list, we’ve gathered a few examples of both to help you find the design that best matches your taste.
First and foremost on the list is the unique minimal design of Tarek El Kassouf’s chess board. El Kassouf followed the definition of minimalism to a tee to create such beauty.
This chess board doesn’t follow any traditional designs for chess sets. The board and the pieces are both minimized to their simplest form, without any unnecessary details or colors.
The board is made from Carrara marble to add value and richness to the set. Instead of the alternating black and white squares on the traditional board, El Kassouf designed the board to be all in one color, and the alternating squares are in different textures.
As for the pieces, El Kassouf designed them to be cuboids made from brushed stainless steel and gunmetal. He wanted the pieces to complement the square checkered board in its shape, yet contrast it in color.
The pieces differ in height based on their position on the board. To easily identify your pieces while playing, each piece is marked with a little symbol on the top. That way, you can see what each piece represents.
Simple, yet very sophisticated, and bears the true beauty of a game like chess.
Philion CGI Studio’s chessboard is what happens when chess is paired with art and traditions. Philip Oluwatobi Nwachukwu, the founder of Philion CGI Studio, was inspired by a local Nigerian game called Ayo to design this chess set.
Instead of the traditional square checkered chess board, Nwachukwu designed a board with round pockets and colored the insides of each pocket with alternating shades of dark and light wood.
To match the color pattern and the minimalistic aesthetic of the board, Nwachukwu managed to craft the chess pieces as softly curved figures in the same colors as the board. Each chess piece sits comfortably in the round pocket on the board.
The innovative minimalistic design and the warm wooden elements of this chessboard are truly a work of art.
Lanier Graham’s minimalist chess set is considered to be one of the OG minimalist chess sets in the world of chess. Not only is it designed with minimal details, but it’s also crafted to take up minimal space.
The chess pieces are created as cubes and cuboids with minimal details in each piece based on their position and how they move on the board — but that’s not all. Graha also designed the pieces to interlock with each other and create a simple rectangle. Genius!
That way, the chess pieces could double as a fun puzzle of their own as you try to gather them into a rectangle. Finally, they could be stored neatly in a box until your next game.
As for the chessboard, its minimal design consists of only the checkered cubes on which you play the game, nothing more. When you’re done playing chess, simply roll the board like a scroll and store it until the next game.
The golden rosewood and maple wood chess set is crafted with minimal details and designed to take up minimal space, which makes it the ultimate minimalist chess set in the world of chess.
This minimalist chess set is an abstract take on the design of the traditional set. The board and the pieces are much simpler than the original design and have far fewer details. However, the chess pieces still match the proportions of a Staunton chess set.
The chess pieces are all designed in an inverted conical shape with a few differences between each piece on its position.
The chessboard is similar to most minimalistic chess sets. It consists of only the checkered surface on which you play; no frames, borders, or unnecessary embellishments.
This set is the closest design to the traditional chess set. It’s perfect for any chess fan who fell in love with how the traditional pieces look, but still wants a simpler design that matches their minimalistic lifestyle.
The curvy design of the chess pieces may not be what you’re used to in traditional chess sets, but it all adds to the free-flow feel of the chess pieces. Each piece has a unique tip that represents the piece’s position on the board with a nod to the traditional designs.
The overall design of this chess set presents the traditional chess piece in a simple, unadorned minimalistic shell.
In a Nutshell
Minimalistic chess sets come in a large spectrum to fit all levels of minimalism and simplicity—starting from the minimalistic traditional design to the straight-up cubes that have nothing in common with the traditional pieces, in terms of design.
Every chess set mentioned above is unique and has its own simple beauty. However, it all comes down to each layer’s taste and aesthetic.
All in all, no matter how minimalistic you prefer your space, there’s a chess set that goes perfectly with your clean, minimal lifestyle.