Best Chess Set for Beginners and Under 200

Bernie Hubble
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Today I’ll show you the best chess set for beginners, under 50 dollars and under 200 dollars.

But I will also show you some other options, so you can choose the set that best fits your budget, as well as your chess playing ability and, most importantly, your preferences.

NameCategoryProduct
Wegiel Handmade European Ambassador Chess SetBest OverallWegiel Handmade European Ambassador Chess Set
Amerous Chess SetBudget PickAmerous Chess Set
16.25" Roman Gladiators 3D Chess SetUpgrade Pick16.25" Roman Gladiators 3D Chess Set

1. Wegiel Handmade European Ambassador Chess Set

Our rating: 9 / 10

Wegiel Handmade European Ambassador Chess Set

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Pros:

  • Each piece is hand-carved out of hornbeam and sycamore wood, and then painstakingly assembled.
  • Lightweight and compact chess set that’s easy to transport and store
  • Highly durable
  • The felt chessboard moves smoothly.
  • Drawer in the chessboard to store chess pieces
  • Complete with a chess clock
  • The pieces are very detailed and well-carved

Cons:

  • Only 2 colors to choose from
  • Costly

If you are a seasoned chess player and enjoy high quality and intricate handcrafted chess sets, then the Wegiel Handmade European Ambassador Chess Set is for you.

This prominent award-winning chess set was a labor of love that took 18 months to complete. They began with wood supplied by a 150 year-old furniture factory, after which they spent hours of painstaking carving, sanding and finishing in order to make your chess set as detailed as possible.

The chess pieces are hand-crafted from hornbeam and sycamore wood, and the chessboard is made from dark brown stained beech and birch wood. Made with a felt base, the chess pieces are movable on the chessboard. The chessboard comes with an internal drawer that allows you to store your chess pieces when you are not using them.

2. Chess Armory 15" Wooden Chess Set

Our rating: 9 / 10

Chess Armory 15" Wooden Chess Set

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Pros:

  • Sturdy and high quality components
  • Great pouch size
  • Can store entire set
  • Velcro on the chess pieces
  • Very stylish
  • Great customer service

Cons:

  • Eye-catching
  • Can’t move the pieces around on a soft surface
  • Can’t spread out on coffee table
  • Pieces slide around instead of staying on square

This chess set is high quality, with a beautiful finish. It is made of wood and comes with very smooth pieces. The round corners are a nice touch. The chess case is surprisingly sturdy. It is made of a felt material and closes with Velcro. The inside is padded with a lining that looks like velvet and offers great protection. With chess sets this large, you never have to worry about the pieces being damaged during travel. The chess board is also high quality felt and is perfect for travel.

One of the biggest drawbacks is you have to be careful when you play to make sure you don’t hit your pieces into the table or move them from the squares on a soft surface. Also, you cannot flip the board over to use the other side, which is a minor disappointment. The case slides open from one side, so this isn’t a problem.

3. Amerous Chess Set

Our rating: 9 / 10

Amerous Chess Set

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Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • Includes black and white magnetic chess pieces
  • Comes with a carrying bag to make it easy to transport the chessboard
  • Includes a magnetized plastic chessboard
  • Available in 4 different chessboard styles
  • Made of solid wood

Cons:

  • Colors may chip off over time
  • Pieces may be too small for some players

The Amerous Chess Set is a 12-inch square folding chessboard that is suitable for use by children and adults. It has a portable design that makes it easy to carry in a bag or suitcase for use while traveling.

This chess board measures 12 x 12 inches when unfolded and measures 12 x 4 inches when folded. The board is made using solid wood. It comes equipped with magnetic chess pieces for easy storage. It weighs 500g and measures 24 x 1 x 24 cm when it is in the box.

The board includes a chess board and 32 playing pieces. The board is magnetic and the pieces are black and white.

4. Harry Potter Wizard Chess Set

Our rating: 9 / 10

Harry Potter Wizard Chess Set

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Pros:

  • Highly detailed and well-crafted pieces
  • A solid foundation on which you can enjoy a game of chess
  • Easy to move and maintain

Cons:

  • The instructions don’t always make sense
  • It’s a pretty small board

Buyers are very pleased with the Harry Potter Wizard Chess Set by Noble Collection. The pieces are highly detailed and do not come unassembled.

The board itself is quite easy to assemble. Once everything is set up, the chess board still needs some pre-game preparation before you can start playing. You’ll need to make sure the board is leveled and that the game pieces are correctly placed. Most of the pieces are fairly heavy and can easily break the board if you’re not careful.

The other big issue that some buyers had with this game was that the instructions are a little hard to follow. You’ll probably need to look up some videos online to see how to properly play the game, which is an annoyance.

5. Dragon Chess Set

Our rating: 8 / 10

Dragon Chess Set

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Pros:

  • Fairly priced for the quality you get
  • Includes everything you need to start playing right away except the board
  • Great size for kids

Cons:

  • It is not heirloom quality
  • Appears to be non-representational

The Dragon Chess Set is a set of chessmen that includes a board, storage box, a quad-fold playmat, and a set of dice. The pieces are made of resin that has been hand painted and varnished. The board is made of wood with a three-ply birch finish and the playmat is also made of wood with a linen finish.

The Dragon Chess Set comes with a board that measures 34-inches by 22-inches and weighs 2 pounds and a storage box that is 4.5 inches by 3.5 inches by 8.5 inches and weighs 1.25 pounds. And let’s not forget the chess pieces and board dice. The storage box measures 4.5 inches by 3.5 inches by 5.5 inches and weighs 0.25 pounds.

6. 16.25" Roman Gladiators 3D Chess Set

Our rating: 8 / 10

16.25" Roman Gladiators 3D Chess Set

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Pros:

  • Figure set includes 2 Kings, 2 Queens, 2 Bishops, 2 Knights, 2 Rooks, 2 pawns and 1 lion
  • Handmade posh metal chess pieces
  • Set of solid heavy bronze
  • Strong Beautiful and Sturdy design
  • Nice weight and feel
  • High quality wooden chess board well constructed
  • Assembled Size: 16.25 (W) x 16.25(L) x 3.75(H)
  • Weight: 16 lbs.
  • Product Dimensions: 25 x 16.25 x 3.75 inches
  • Item Weight: 16 pounts

This is a high-quality chess set that does not cost a fortune. These Roman Gladiators Chess Pieces are fully carved with amazing detail and painted with beautiful finishes to give them the look of the ancient Roman Gladiators. The Chess set is crafted from bronze metal that is made to be long lasting. This set is hand-cast from high-quality bronze metal with great detail.

7. Chess Royal 30 European Wooden Handmade International Set

Our rating: 8 / 10

Chess Royal 30 European Wooden Handmade International Set

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Pros:

  • Comes with 2 – 16 inch pieces and 1 – 13.8 inch extra king
  • Each set is handcrafted and finger jointed with the pieces having smooth felt to prevent scratches
  • The board is made of rounded sturdy wood
  • The very best quality for the price
  • No assembly required
  • Available in two design patterns

Cons:

  • The board and pieces are much smaller than expected, but this is a pro if you intend to carry it around with you.

This Chess Royal 30 is one of the most beautiful chess sets you will ever own and made of the highest quality. It is a complete set of pieces to play international chess. Each black and white side comes with a king, a queen, 2 bishops, 2 knights, 2 rooks, 2 pawns and one empty place for your king.

This product doesn't require any kind assembling and arrives ready to play straight out of the box, the pieces are handcrafted and it comes with 2 –16 inch pieces and 1 –13.8 inch extra king. The round chess board is made of wood and has soft felt to prevent scratches on the pieces.

The board is made of solid wood and is made with a beautiful pattern design. You can choose between black and white for the board design.

8. WE Games Best Value Tournament Chess Set

Our rating: 8 / 10

WE Games Best Value Tournament Chess Set

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Pros:

  • Comes in 2 sizes: 32–inch and 37–inch
  • The wood is high quality and nicely finished
  • The magnetic chess pieces are clear and easy to see what they are
  • Made in the U.S.
  • Rolls up for storage and easy travel
  • Includes a storage bag for the chess pieces
  • Quality pieces
  • The price is great for what you get
  • Easy to clean
  • Best chess board for use in tournament play

This is a great chess set for the money. The wood pieces are printed on both sides so they look great from any angle. The magnets are strong enough to hold the pieces on the board, but not so strong that you can’t move them. The roll-up vinyl chess board is nice and stiff, so it lays out flat and is easy to put away. The only downside to the vinyl is if you spill coffee or soda, it stains.

9. Kangaroo Folding Wooden Chess Set

Our rating: 7 / 10

Kangaroo Folding Wooden Chess Set

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Pros:

  • This makes for an excellent travel chess set since it is small and folds up fairly compact
  • Covered with a nice oil finish that gives it a nice appeal
  • Includes four felt chessboard sets
  • Available in select sizes
  • The magnets on the inside are nice for holding the pieces in place
  • A great price for this quality of chess set

Cons:

  • The pieces are smaller than what you would expect for a standard chess set
  • You really do have to polish this chess set often to maintain its brilliant luster and/or you might find that both sides of the pieces get scratched over time.

At first glance at the Kangaroo Folding Wooden Chess Set, you might think you are looking at a fancy silverware set as the pieces are so shiny and beautiful. It is truly a high-quality chess set at an excellent price and makes for a nice travel set since it folds up fairly compact.

The greatest thing about this chess set is that you have a choice of sizes: big, medium, and small. You can learn more about it by clicking the link here. As one reviewer commented, "You can never go wrong with wooden [chess] sets because they don't scratch easily…the [size] is perfect for kids ages five to twenty. You can learn more from this review.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best chess set to buy?

Without a doubt, the ideal chess set for beginners and under 200 is the Smart Set by Franklin. It’s a complete set complete with board, pieces and storage bag. Franklin is a trusted manufacturer and makes durable and good quality products.

The Smart Set is ideal for people of all ages. The games in its manual are easy to understand, and you’ll be able to learn the basics very quickly. The book also includes basic explanations and strategies in playing chess.

For a chess set in this price range, the pieces are surprisingly detailed. They have a molded plastic composition that is slightly weighted and does not feel cheap. The board is plastic but well-made, and has a matte finish for that classic chess set look.

How much does a good chess set cost?

Chess sets can range from a couple of dollars to a couple of hundreds of dollars. I am an ardent supporter of high-quality, expensive chess sets over inexpensive ones. However, my kids use very high-quality and expensive chess sets, too, which means they are leaving with pieces missing. What is a parent to do? I would suggest purchasing an inexpensive chess set for children. I wish I had invested in a quality chess set for my kids, but I regret not doing so as you know what they say about hindsight.

What is the best size chess board?

A 12-inch chess board is a good size for a beginner. The larger the board, the harder it becomes to see the entire board, especially if you do not get up close to the board when you play.

A 12” board would also be best for a player that doesn’t like chess set or board that take up space. 12×12 inch is the general standard size for a set and most chess pieces sets are built around 12×12 inch.

How do you pick a chess board?

The first consideration in choosing your chess board is how you want it to look with your setup. Different boards come in various types of wood: rosewood, oak, maple, and more. Oak is the most popular choice for chess boards because it’s the most affordable and durable. It makes for a very traditional, flat surface that stands out on its own. Naturally grained wood is recommended because it’s visually appealing from a distance.

If you want background colors, maple is a good choice. Rosewood is also ideal if you want to showcase your pieces because it’s practically colorless. It is recommended to buy a varnished chess board because it remains smooth.

Chess boards are made out of wood, so there is a possibility that it may warp. While it can be straightened manually, it is best to consider a waterproof chess board for durability and ease.

Conclusion

Now, we understand that you may not have played the game before. But you will need to know the basic rules to play strategy and organized chess games. This article will definitely help you be a better chess player the minute you start playing it. So, go ahead, choose from the listed sets and get your game on!

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Wegiel Handmade European Ambassador Chess SetBest OverallWegiel Handmade European Ambassador Chess Set
Amerous Chess SetBudget PickAmerous Chess Set
16.25" Roman Gladiators 3D Chess SetUpgrade Pick16.25" Roman Gladiators 3D Chess Set