You can play chess with any set, but not every chess set is suitable for professional games. Professional chess sets aren’t about being top-of-the-line or aesthetics. They’re all about functionality and comfort.
When competing in tournaments, your chess set should adhere to chess federation guidelines to ensure fair play for all players. You should also look for a chess set that feels “right” so that it doesn’t detract from your game.
Still, it can be difficult to choose when many tournament chess sets are available in various styles, sizes, colors, weights, and materials.
For that reason, we offer you an extensive review of the top 5 best professional chess sets.
The Deluxe Chess Set Combination is a US Chess Federation (USCF) chess set from the world-renowned The House of Staunton. It’s a high-quality and tournament-ready set that’s also convenient and portable.
The chess set includes durable plastic chess pieces that are triple-weighted, so they feel comfortable and stable when moving. The set also comes with two extra queens, one for each color, which come in handy during pawn promotion.
The chessboard is a vinyl mat that’s similar to those used in local chess club events and tournaments. Since it’s made from high-grade vinyl, the board is smooth and won’t tear or become dirty. The best part is that it rolls out easily and lies flat while in use.
While the chessboard is suitable for professional chess games, it’s also marked with rank and file labels on all four sides for move notations. So, beginner chess players may also find this chess set easy to use.
In addition, the set comes with a spacious bag designed to carry the chess set, as well as other chess equipment.
What’s more, as a bonus, The House of Staunton offers a variety of bag and chessboard color options for those looking for a chess set that adheres to regulations while adding a unique twist.
- Suited for beginners and top-chess players
- Chess pieces and board are made from durable, high-quality material
- Responsive and thorough customer service
- The quality of the chess bag isn’t the most durable
The Wegiel Professional Tournament Chess Set combines the aesthetics of wooden chess sets with the functionality of standard tournament chess sets in one set.
Every part of the set is handmade from high-quality sustainably-sourced Polish wood, giving it a more authentic and traditional feel. It’s also built as per the standards of chess equipment, making it tournament-ready.
The chess pieces are well-weighted and durable. However, they don’t come with extra queen pieces. The chess board, on the other hand, is a thick hardwood folding board that feels solid but not too dense.
Instead of a chess bag, you can fold and close the board with attached hinges. It keeps your chess pieces and board in one place, but you’ll have to carry other chess equipment in a separate bag.
Another potential issue is that there’s a slight misalignment where the two halves of the board connect. This misalignment can prevent you from seamlessly sliding the pieces across the center.
That said, at this price point, the Wegiel set is ideal for those looking for a classic chess set that’s affordable and regulation-approved.
- Hand-carved Staunton-style chess pieces that are both traditional and comfortable to the touch
- Has the algebraic notation markers on the sides for newbie chess players
- Highly portable
- The hinges are slightly misaligned, making the seam of the board less smooth
The A&A Tournament Chess Set may not be the most popular on the market. However, it doesn’t fall short of the quality of other top professional chess sets.
The chess set includes a tournament-size chess board made from high-quality silicone that can be folded without causing damage.
The downside, however, is that the board may take some time to lie completely flat. Dirt and hair also easily adhere to the board. Luckily, you can wash it, and it won’t shrink or wrinkle.
The chess pieces are also of high quality. They’re a set of 34 plastic quadruple-weighted pieces that feel heavy, smooth, and well-built. They also have felt pads on the bottom to reduce friction and steady them.
One exceptional advantage is that the A&A chess set has a soft matte texture and low-saturation colors. Using such textures and colors helps players maintain focus and prevent eye strain during long game sessions.
A&A has also taken the liberty of including a zippered traveling case and two drawstring storage bags. The case is small and portable, but it can hold all of the chess set’s accessories. It’s also made from Oxford fabric and EVA with sponge filling, making it sturdy and long-lasting.
The drawstring bags are white and black, respectively, and made from velvet to provide the chess pieces with maximum protection.
- Designed to maximize player performance
- Highly functional, durable, and portable for its price
- Comes with a 12-month after-sale service for refunds, replacements, or exchanges
- The silicone board doesn’t lie completely flat and collects dust easily
At first glance, the Wood Expressions chess set and the USCF chess set appear to be one and the same.
Like the USCF set, the Wood Expressions set includes weighted Staunton-style plastic pieces in black and cream. The board is also a green-and-white roll-up vinyl mat that’s regulation size. It’s also marked with the rank and file labels along the side.
Nevertheless, the Wood Expressions pieces have felted bottoms, which not only stabilizes them on the board but also makes moving them smoother and more effortless.
That said, the queen pieces can be uncomfortable to hold and move around. The crowns are sharp and prickly where you would hold the queens, so they can detract from the game.
Nevertheless, the Wood Expressions set, as the previous chess sets, comes with a carry case. The difference is that this set’s case is more durable and spacious. It also has a shoulder strap to make it easier to carry.
- Meets the International Chess Foundation (FIDE)tournament play standards
- The chess pieces are usually bigger than what’s expected but they fit well on the board
- Extra compartment for the chess clock in the carry case
- The prickly crowns of the queen pieces are uncomfortable to touch
Similar to the A&A chess set, the Best Chess Set Ever includes a silicone board that you can roll and fold without any hitches. In addition, even though it can become dirty easily, it’s stain-resistant and easy to clean.
The pieces, however, are the most praised part of the set. Best Chess Set Ever’s pieces are large, quadruple-weighted, and have felted bases. They’re fun and convenient to play bullet chess or blitz chess with because they’re hard to knock over.
While this set is suitable for professional games, beginners may find it useful and informative. On the sides of the chessboard, algebraic notation markers allow players to track their own and their opponent’s moves.
The set also includes a strategy guide that explains some of the fundamental principles of chess.
What’s more, the set comes with a cardboard box for storage. While the box is compact, the cardboard can get damaged easily and isn’t the best storage method to carry around.
Luckily, the set also comes with two drawstring bags that are large enough to fit all of the chess set’s accessories.
- Large, sturdy chess pieces that are suited for fast-paced chess games
- The silicon board lies flat immediately when unfolded
- Comes with an illustrated strategy guide for players looking to improve their game
- The chess box is low-quality and isn’t easily portable
There you have it: the top 5 best professional chess sets!
The Deluxe Chess Set Combination is a pretty straightforward set. It adheres to standard chess set guidelines, is made from high-quality material, and can withstand frequent play, which is why it’s a popular and common option at tournaments.
However, if you’re looking for a more classic chess set that’s equally functional, the Wegiel Professional Tournament Chess Set combines the best of both worlds.
Remember: the best professional chess set is the one that allows you to see the entire board and easily move the pieces around without affecting your game. That’s why any of the five chess sets listed above can help you perfect your moves and demonstrate your skills.