A chess set is so much more than just a game, which is why they come in a myriad of designs. A modern chess set makes a magnificent decor piece that easily adds elegance and sophistication to your house or office.
So if you’re looking for a modern chess set that matches your aesthetic, we’ve brought you the top 5 best modern chess sets to choose from. These chess sets all have conceptual designs that add a fresh touch to the traditional game of chess.
Our personal favorite is the Bauhaus set. The design of the chess pieces is just genius!
But before we go through our list, let’s talk about what makes a chess set modern. How different is it from the traditional sets? And how can I identify a set as modern?
What Makes a Chess Set Modern?
Modern chess sets are known for their untraditional designs and materials. They add an element of refreshment and excitement to the classical game. But what exactly makes modern chess sets identify as such?
1. Chess Pieces
Chess pieces are usually the first thing you lay your eyes on when you see a chess set. Traditional pieces are known for their classic shapes and designs, with possibly little variation between one set and another.
Meanwhile, modern sets created a whole new concept behind their designs. They don’t follow the traditions of the original pieces, which gives the designer the freedom to let their creativity soar.
Modern chessboards, as opposed to traditional ones, often add new features and designs to the chessboard. Some of these new features include hidden hinges and stackable sections to ensure a fun game and safe storage.
3. Chess Set Material
Traditional chess sets are made from wood, with a few portable variations made from plastic. Modern sets, however, can be made from almost anything, including metal, plastic, concrete, stone, glass, and resin.
Top 5 Best Modern Chess Sets
Now that you know more about modern chess sets in general, let’s move to the top 5 modern chess sets. These sets offer a variety of aesthetics, so you could choose the one for you — or look for something similar.
Best Price: Black Berliner on Black Birdseye Board
The Black Berliner set nods at the traditional shapes of chess pieces but with a modern twist. You still have the knight’s horse and the king and queen’s crowns, but in a much more contemporary outfit.
This chess set is the perfect match for those who want to explore more options in terms of design, yet still don’t want to go too far away from the traditional design. The price also helps the buyer in exploring new options, since it’s relatively cheaper than most modern sets.
The pieces are handcrafted from high-quality wood to give you great value for a competitive price. The only downside is that this set sells out almost instantly, so you need to keep an eye out for it if you want to buy one.
Most Elegant: Metal Art Deco Chessmen
The sleek design of the metal art déco chess set is one of its kind. Its unique design will add a touch of sophistication to your place, along with the artistic satisfaction of owning a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.
As a bonus, its chessboard doubles as an organized storage box with a designated place for every piece. That way, you could store each of your shiny metal pieces in a specific place and protect them from scratches and dust.
The whole set comes with an average price that perfectly matches all its benefits.
Best Deal: Australia Diaxi Modern Chess Set
The Australia Diaxi chess set is a modern masterpiece. It’s designed for people ready to let go of the old and go all out for the new. The chess pieces’ design is modern, yet minimalistic, to complement a modern, clean aesthetic.
The pieces come in two shades of brass and an overall homogenous design for all the pieces, which all come together to create an elegant unorthodox chess set.
As an extra feature, the board has a lockable hidden hinge to hold it in place. Additionally, it folds towards the inside when closed to protect your playing surface from being scratched.
All of these features are available for a pretty low price compared to the other sets. What a deal!
Best Quality: Man Ray Chess Set
The designs of the Man Ray chess pieces may seem abstract at first; however, every piece has a meaning behind it.
The king is inspired by the pyramids of Egypt because they represent kingship. The queen’s design is created after the medieval queen’s conical headwear. As for the bishops, they’re presented as a flagon to represent the bishops’ tradition of creating spirits and liqueurs.
The knight is inspired by the head scroll at the top of a violin. Finally, the pawns are almost as big as the rooks to represent their importance in today’s modern chess play.
The only downfall to this masterpiece might be its price. Since this set is more of an art piece, it’s the most expensive one on this list. However, the quality of the pieces and the concept of the design make it worth the price.
Best Design: Bauhaus Chess Set
The Bauhaus chess set looks different from what you might picture when you hear the word chess, but that’s the best part of it. This set’s pieces are brilliantly designed based on the movement of each piece. So the knight piece is L shaped, the bishop is X shaped, and so on.
However, a design this special comes with a hefty price tag. This set comes in second place as the most expensive one on this list — but it’s absolutely worth it.
It also comes with a frameless wooden chess board to complement the modern aesthetic of the pieces and add to their uniqueness. The whole set together makes an eye-catching duo that will definitely blend in with any contemporary aesthetic.
In a Nutshell
There are a ton of designs when it comes to modern chess sets, all of which have their own personality and aesthetics.
This list should give you a broad idea of what you could find when looking for modern chess sets. The designs and prices may vary, but the concept stays the same — a fresh take on traditional chess sets.
We recommend you start with the Australia Diaxi if you’re looking for the best value, but if you’re looking for a uniquely designed set, then the Bauhaus is the one for you.