Best Chess Sets for Beginners: Top 5 Picks to Start Your Journey

monkeys playing on the best beginner chess set, imagined by midjourney

For those just starting their chess journey, a beginner-friendly chess set is an essential tool to learn and build expertise in the game. With various designs and materials available, finding the right chess set can be an intimidating task for newcomers.

A great chess set for beginners should strike the perfect balance between aesthetics, durability, and affordability. Simplicity in design that allows for easy identification of each piece and a focus on gameplay is essential at this stage. Material choice can impact the longevity and stability of a chess set, with options ranging from wood, plastic, to marble or glass.

When considering a chess set, beginners should explore options that meet their level of comfort with the playing experience while ensuring that the set is easy to maintain and clean. Additional accessories, such as chess clocks and storage cases, may come as added benefits and enhance the overall experience.

With these factors in mind, we meticulously curated and tested various chess sets to identify the best options for beginners that offer an ideal combination of functionality and value for entry-level players. Our adventure in finding the finest chess sets will help you make an informed decision and embark on a fulfilling and enjoyable chess journey.

Best Chess Sets for Beginners

We have carefully selected the top chess sets for beginners, providing an excellent starting point for those new to the game. Discover our diverse range of choices, designed to enhance the learning experience while offering quality and style.

Bobby Fischer Learn to Play Chess Set

Bobby Fischer Chess Set

A perfect choice for beginners to learn chess quickly and level up their skills with the included equalizer dice.


  • Award-winning set for kids and beginners
  • Illustrated chess board for easy understanding
  • High-quality plastic Staunton pieces


  • Cardboard board may wear out over time
  • Additional chess bag not included
  • One-off piece defects in some sets

The Bobby Fischer Learn to Play Chess Set is a fantastic way for beginners to start learning the art of chess. We love that this chess set comes with an easy-to-understand guidebook containing tips from chess masters and a comprehensive history of the game. The included equalizer dice are also a great add-on to help level the playing field between experienced and novice players, keeping both sides engaged and challenged during the game.

One of the standout features of this set is the illustrated chess board, which shows the proper setup and allowed moves for each piece. This makes it very easy for beginners to grasp the basics of chess quickly. The plastic Staunton pieces are of high quality, meeting USCF and FIDE requirements for tournament play, and even come with two extra queens. The king measures 3.75 inches tall, giving it a striking presence on the board.

While this set is perfect for beginners, there are a few minor downsides. The board is made from quarter-fold cardboard, which may wear out over time with extensive use. Moreover, the set does not come with a chess bag for easy storage and transport. Finally, some users reported receiving a single defective piece, which caused some disappointment but did not impact the overall experience.

In conclusion, the Bobby Fischer Learn to Play Chess Set is a superb option for those looking to dive into the world of chess. With its useful guidebook, easy-to-understand board, and high-quality pieces, this set makes learning and playing chess enjoyable for anyone.

AMEROUS 15 Inches Magnetic Wooden Chess Set


This chess set is a fantastic option for beginners and experienced players alike, offering a high-quality, portable experience with magnetic pieces.


  • Suitable for all ages and skill levels
  • Magnetic pieces for stable gameplay
  • Portable and lightweight with folding board


  • Some minor quality control issues
  • Not suitable for professional or tournament play
  • Limited aesthetic variety

We recently tried out the AMEROUS 15 Inches Magnetic Wooden Chess Set and found it to be an excellent option for those looking to learn the game or play casually with friends and family. The set is made from high-quality wooden materials, giving it a smooth and comfortable feel during play. The magnetic pieces ensure a stable game, even when playing on the go, which is a significant advantage for those who enjoy playing while traveling.

One of the things we loved about this set is its portability. The folding board design makes it easy to carry around, and the compact size fits easily into luggage or bags. The chess pieces are large enough to handle comfortably, and the set even includes two extra queens, which is a nice touch.

However, this chess set might not be the best choice for professional or tournament players as it lacks the aesthetic variety and luxury feel of more expensive sets. Additionally, there have been some minor quality control issues reported, such as chipped pieces, but these seem to be relatively uncommon.

Overall, the AMEROUS 15 Inches Magnetic Wooden Chess Set is an excellent option for beginners and casual players looking for a portable, high-quality, and affordable chess set. We highly recommend it for those interested in learning the game or simply enjoying a recreational match with friends or family.

Story Time Chess for Beginners

Story Time Chess Set

An outstanding option for introducing young kids to chess with engaging stories and characters.


  • Adventure-based learning
  • No prior chess experience needed
  • Over 30 mini-games for immersive learning


  • Not suitable for children under 3
  • Might not appeal to older kids
  • Limited design options for chess pieces

We recently tried out the Story Time Chess set, and it’s a game-changer for teaching beginners, especially young children. The unique approach of using stories and relatable characters to explain the rules and strategies of chess makes the learning process fun and accessible.

For our children, who had no prior experience with chess, the game boosted their interest in learning the various moves and strategies. With over 30 mini-games included, it kept them engaged and excited to learn more. The quality of the chess set itself, featuring dual-sided pieces and a beautifully crafted storybook by a former Disney illustrator, added to the overall appeal.

On the downside, the game is not suitable for children under 3 years of age, but this is a small disadvantage considering the target audience. While the engaging storybook format works well for younger kids, it might not have the same appeal for older beginners. Lastly, the chess set comes with limited design options, but that did not detract from the overall learning experience.

In summary, the Story Time Chess set offers an innovative and fun approach to teaching chess to young kids. It makes use of relatable stories and characters to explain chess moves and strategies effectively. If you have young children looking to learn the game, this chess set is definitely worth considering.

Spin Master Games Chess Made Simple

Chess Made Simple

This beginner-friendly chess set is perfect for those looking to learn the game and have fun doing so.


  • Easy-to-understand Learning Cards
  • Detachable bases with move diagrams
  • Durable and simple setup


  • Designed mainly for beginners
  • May be too basic for advanced players
  • Lacks additional accessories

We recently played with the Spin Master Games Chess Made Simple set, and it’s undoubtedly the ideal option for anyone new to chess or looking to teach others. The Learning Cards genuinely simplify the learning process, guiding players through three levels – The Basics, Simple Strategy, and Mighty Moves. We found these levels well-structured and engaging.

One of the most helpful features for beginners in this set are the detachable bases on the chess pieces. They display each piece’s moves, making it easy to remember how to play. The 17″ double-sided chessboard is easy to set up and transport, making it suitable for game nights or bringing to a friend’s place.

Although this set is aimed at beginners, it’s not just for kids. Adults new to the game can also benefit greatly from this chess set. With its 32 sturdy, solid chess pieces, it will undoubtedly stand the test of time. However, advanced players may find it too simplistic, and it doesn’t come with additional accessories like a chess clock.

In conclusion, the Spin Master Games Chess Made Simple set is a fantastic option for anyone eager to learn chess or teach it to others. Its clear instructions, helpful Learning Cards, and detachable bases make it an engaging and user-friendly choice.

Vahome Magnetic Chess Board Set

Vahome Chess Set

This chess set is an excellent choice for beginners and experienced players seeking a portable, handcrafted wooden chess set.


  • High-quality wood chess board
  • Strong magnetic chess pieces
  • Beautifully carved, handmade wooden chessmen


  • A bit expensive for some
  • One review mentioned a missing magnet in a piece
  • May be too small for some preferences

The Vahome Magnetic Chess Board Set is a well-crafted chess set ideal for players at all skill levels. We appreciate the use of high-quality pine and peach wood materials in crafting the chess board, resulting in a smooth surface with magnetism. This ensures that the beautifully carved chess pieces stay in place even if the board is turned upside down.

Besides the impressive craftsmanship, the magnetic chess pieces are a significant advantage while playing outdoors or while traveling. We love how the 15-inch chess board can be conveniently folded, and the foam insert securely holds the pieces inside the box. This feature not only saves storage space but also allows for easy transportation.

Despite its superb quality, some might find this Vahome chess set a bit expensive. Additionally, one user noted that one of the rook’s magnets was missing, which could be an isolated quality control issue. Lastly, for those who prefer larger chess boards or have difficulty handling smaller pieces, this 15-inch set might not be the perfect fit.

Overall, the Vahome Magnetic Chess Board Set showcases impressive craftsmanship and is ideal for beginners, experienced players, and those on the go. Keep in mind the few cons mentioned above when making your decision, but we believe this set will offer a fantastic chess experience.

Buying Guide

When looking for the best chess sets for beginners, there are several factors to consider in order to make a well-informed decision. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the key aspects to keep in mind during your search.


The material of the chess pieces and board plays a large role in the overall experience. There are a variety of materials available, such as:

  • Plastic: Budget-friendly, lightweight, and durable, it’s a popular choice for beginners.
  • Wood: Offers a classic, timeless look and feel, but can be more expensive.
  • Metal: Provides a distinct, luxurious appearance, but it’s often heavier and pricier.

Choose a material that suits your budget and preferences.


The size of the chess set also matters. A larger set is easier to handle for beginners, but takes up more space. Consider if portability is important to you, or if the set will mainly stay in one place. Sizes to consider include:

SizeBoard Dimensions (square)King Height
Compact10″ – 12″2.5″ – 3″
Standard15″ – 18″3.5″ – 4″
Tournament20″ – 24″4.5″ – 5″


Weight is also a factor to consider. Lightweight sets are easy to transport, but can be knocked over easily during play. Heavier sets offer better stability and a premium feel. Determine what type of balance works best for your needs.


As a beginner, you’ll likely play a lot of games to improve your skills. It’s crucial to choose a set that can withstand regular use. Opt for a chess set that’s crafted with quality materials and built to last.

Additional Features

Finally, some chess sets come with additional features that can enhance your learning experience:

  • Numbered and lettered coordinates: Helpful for referencing board positions and learning how to read chess notation.
  • Storage options: A built-in storage compartment can keep your pieces secure and organized.
  • Beginner-friendly instruction booklet: Some sets include a basic guide on how to play the game and understand chess strategies.

By carefully considering these factors, you’ll be well-prepared to choose the perfect chess set for your needs as a beginner.


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