Best Chess Sets for Schools: Top Picks and Buying Guide 2023

Chess is an intellectually stimulating game enjoyed by players of all ages, and it has become increasingly popular for use in schools. Incorporating chess into the curriculum helps develop strategic thinking, problem-solving, and concentration skills in students. One of the essential tools for this learning experience is a reliable and durable chess set that can withstand regular use by young learners.

There are many types of chess sets available, from classic wooden designs to modern plastic options. When choosing the best chess set for a school environment, it’s important to consider factors like durability, ease of use, and affordability, as well as the size and weight of the pieces, which can vary depending on the age and skill level of the students. A suitable chess set should be made from high-quality materials, and its design should encourage learners’ engagement with the game.

Another critical aspect to consider when selecting a chess set for schools is the ease of storage and mobility of the set. Some sets come with a foldable board or carry bags, enabling easy transport and storage, which can prove to be quite useful in a classroom setting where space is limited. Additionally, it is always a good idea to look for a set that offers clear identification of the pieces and clear guidelines on how to set up the board for the benefit of new learners.

With these factors in mind, we rigorously tested and compared a variety of chess sets to develop a list of the best choices for school environments, striking the balance between quality, durability, and affordability. Our thorough research now offers you a comprehensive guide to help you make an informed decision in selecting the ideal chess set for your school or classroom.

Best Chess Sets for Schools

We have carefully curated a list of the top chess sets, perfect for educational environments. These sets are budget-friendly, durable, and specifically designed for school use.

WE Games Tournament Chess Set

WE Games Tournament Chess Set

The WE Games Tournament Chess Set is an excellent choice for schools and clubs seeking a high-quality, affordable set that meets tournament standards.


  • Meets FIDE and USCF tournament standards
  • Durable plastic pieces and easy-to-clean vinyl board
  • Roll-up board for easy transportation and storage


  • Pieces are unweighted, making them less stable
  • Initial vinyl smell might be bothersome
  • No storage container is included for the pieces

The WE Games Tournament Chess Set features Staunton style black and cream plastic pieces, which are both beautiful and durable. The pieces are unweighted but 90% filled with plastic, giving them more stability than hollow pieces. The green felted bottoms allow for smooth movement across the board, and the set includes 34 chessmen, with two extra queens, one of each color.

The black vinyl chess mat is easy to wipe clean and rolls up conveniently for transport. It measures 20 inches with 2.25-inch squares, making it perfect for schools and clubs with limited space. The board also features algebraic notation on the perimeter, which is helpful for game analysis and instruction.

Although the unweighted pieces are not as stable as their weighted counterparts, the overall quality and affordability of the WE Games Tournament Chess Set make it an ideal option for schools, classrooms, and chess clubs looking to introduce chess into their curricula. The only minor drawbacks include the initial vinyl smell, which dissipates over time, and the absence of a storage container for the pieces. Nonetheless, this set offers unbeatable value for the price, making it a top choice for any educational or competitive setting.

Story Time Chess – 2021 Toy of The Year Award Winner

Story Time Chess

A top-rated and award-winning chess set perfect for teaching kids as young as 3 the rules, strategies, and language of chess in a fun and engaging way.


  • One-of-a-kind storytelling approach to teach chess
  • Over 30 mini-games for learning the rules and strategies
  • Dual-sided chess pieces for regular or tournament play


  • Mildly heavier than other chess sets
  • Not designed for professional players
  • Requires parental time and involvement

Story Time Chess offers a unique and exciting way to introduce children to the world of chess. Forget the traditional, monotonous method of teaching; Story Time Chess leverages storytelling to make the learning process enjoyable, interactive, and effective. With a beautiful storybook drawn by an award-winning illustrator, the game is visually appealing and encourages children to dive right into the adventure.

One of the key features of Story Time Chess is its collection of over 30 mini-games designed to enhance your child’s journey through learning different moves and strategies of the game. These mini-games are not only educational, but they also keep the learning process stimulating and engaging for children of all ages. With this set, you and your child will learn together, making it a fantastic bonding experience.

Although it is an amazing product, Story Time Chess might not be suitable for everyone, especially for those looking for a lighter or professional chess set. Furthermore, it requires parents or caregivers to invest their time and energy into teaching the child, making it less suitable for busy families. Despite these minor drawbacks, the Story Time Chess set is perfect for sparking an early interest in chess and teaching children valuable cognitive and emotional skills that will last a lifetime.

Best Chess Set Ever 4X Classic

Best Chess Set Ever 4X Classic

The Best Chess Set Ever 4X Classic is a fantastic choice for schools, providing a travel-friendly and durable set with weighted Staunton pieces.


  • Portable, spill-proof silicone board
  • Quadruple weighted Staunton pieces
  • Comes with a 32-page strategy guide


  • Slight damage to the board during shipping
  • Not suitable for professional home use
  • Extra cost for 4X weighting

The Chess Geeks’ Best Chess Set Ever 4X Classic is undeniably a great investment for schools as it caters to both beginners and advanced players with its marked algebraic notation and 32-page illustrated strategy guide. The 20″x20″ double-sided silicone board is convenient for travel, easy to clean, and pretty sturdy for outdoor use.

One of the standout features of this set is the quadruple weighted Staunton pieces with felted bases, making them stable even in windy conditions. The 4-inch kings and 2.2-inch pawns, along with extra queens, add a touch of grandeur to the set. However, it’s worth noting that some buyers have reported slight damage to the board during shipping, which could be improved in future packaging.

Though the Best Chess Set Ever 4X Classic might not be the top choice for professional home use, it serves its purpose remarkably well for schools and casual games. Its travel-friendly design and comprehensive strategy guide make it an engaging and enjoyable set to use. Despite the extra cost for 4X weighting, the overall quality of this chess set truly makes it an excellent choice for schools.

AMEROUS 15 Inches Magnetic Wooden Chess Set


A great investment for chess enthusiasts of all levels, this set offers portability, magnetic pieces, and quality craftsmanship.


  • Portable and lightweight, perfect for travel
  • Magnetic chess pieces stay in place during the game
  • Handmade with premium wooden material for a smooth playing experience


  • One user reported a chipped piece upon arrival
  • Best suited for beginners and intermediate players, not for professionals
  • Magnet strength might not be suitable for very rough playing conditions

This beautifully crafted AMEROUS 15 Inches Magnetic Wooden Chess Set features a folding board and handmade pieces, making it a perfect choice for both beginners and intermediate players. Made with high-quality wooden materials, the board and pieces have a smooth surface, ensuring hours of comfortable play.

The magnetic chessmen are designed to stay in place on the board, which is a significant advantage for those who like to play while traveling or on-the-go. Even on bumpy rides, your game will stay intact, thanks to the magnetically attached pieces. With an added bonus of two extra queens, you can enjoy the extended gameplay.

Offering both function and entertainment, this set also encourages social bonding between children or parents and friends. However, if you are a professional player, this set might not meet your expectations or needs completely. Overall, the AMEROUS 15 Inches Magnetic Wooden Chess Set is a fantastic gift for chess lovers of various age groups and skill levels, as it combines practicality, aesthetics, and portability.

AMEROUS Magnetic Wooden Chess and Checkers Game Set

AMEROUS Magnetic Wooden Chess and Checkers Game Set

The Amerous Magnetic Wooden Chess and Checkers Game Set is an ideal choice for schools, offering a premium experience and easy portability.


  • High-quality materials and craftsmanship
  • Magnetic board for secure and portable gaming
  • Dual-purpose as chess and checkers set


  • Chess pieces slightly too large for dedicated checkers play
  • Possible polarity issues in some pieces
  • Board might be too large for some preferences

The Amerous Magnetic Wooden Chess and Checkers Game Set is made from solid wood, delivering a premium playing experience for kids and adults alike. The handmade wooden board features splicing grids, making it visually appealing and ensuring durability.

One of the standout features of this set is its magnetic base, allowing players to enjoy chess or checkers on the go. The high-quality magnets keep the pieces secure during gameplay, making it ideal for school environments where space might be limited or where students need to transport the set between classes.

The exquisite wooden pieces, including two extra queens, are carefully crafted with attention to detail. They are comfortable to grip and a pleasure to play with. The 15-inch folding board doubles as a storage box, keeping all pieces organized and making it easy to carry.

However, it’s worth noting that when used solely for checkers, the chess pieces might protrude slightly due to their size. There have also been reports of polarity issues in some pieces, which could be a minor annoyance. Lastly, the board’s 15-inch size may be larger than preferred for some players.

Overall, the Amerous Magnetic Wooden Chess and Checkers Game Set is an excellent choice for schools, providing a beautifully crafted, high-quality, and versatile playing experience.

Buying Guide

When selecting the best chess sets for schools, a few key factors should be considered. First and foremost, the material and durability of the chess set are essential. Since these sets will be used by students and stored in classrooms, they should be able to withstand frequent use and handling. Opt for pieces made of plastic or wood, as these materials tend to be more durable and less likely to break.

Size and portability are the next factors to think about. Chess sets for schools should be easy to carry and store, so choose sets with pieces that are not too heavy and boards that can be folded or rolled up. The size of the actual pieces should also be reasonable – not too big or small – to allow for comfortable play and prevent pieces from being easily lost.

Key Features to Look For

To identify the best chess sets for schools, take note of these essential features:

  1. Durability: Pieces made of long-lasting materials like plastic or wood
  2. Size: Pieces should be an appropriate size for comfortable play
  3. Portability: Easy to store and transport, with folding or roll-up boards
  4. Visibility: Pieces should be easily distinguishable from one another, with clear color contrast between the two sides
  5. Value: Cost-effective sets that offer a decent level of quality for their price

By considering these important features, educators can make a well-rounded decision on the best chess sets for their classrooms to deliver a rewarding and educational experience for students.


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