Multi-use Chess Table: space-saving elegance

Multi-use Chess Table: space-saving elegance

For years I wanted a chess table that was well made, not too big or overpriced, and one with some elegance, but not so immaculate that I would have to play it with caution.  Add to that, I wanted four stable legs, not a pedestal style.

Since I couldn’t find any well made chess tables that fit this criteria, I decided to design one and bring it to market in small numbers. Although the initial design received some very positive comments it was missing adequate space next to the chess playing area for those captured pieces and if desired, a chess timer. For a chess table that will be played often that’s pretty important!

Now I had to rethink the design without sacrificing key aspects of the unique design, namely

– The chess table should not take up too much living space, yet be comfortable to sit and play.
– It must setup and take down efficiently for easy, ultra-compact storage.
– Be a multi-use table with a JLP Chess Board playable without the table frame when desired.

After considering all the input and reworking the design slightly, the new table was finalized. I am very pleased with the design and proud to have it on display.

Chess Table

The unusual design makes it compact for storage and shipment, and quite easy to assemble and disassemble. This is what you would receive. And if you already own the chessboard, you need just the table frame portion.

Chess Table Ready to Assemble


An elegant, spacing-saving chess table design

Furniture smooth clear coat finish brings out the solid construction of the maple and walnut hardwoods. Subtle arcs soften the entire design.


The playing surface is slightly raised and there is plenty of space for captured pieces


or a chess timer.


For an entirely minimalist look, the side shelves release and store inside the table.


Brass bushings then punctuate the side panels.


Personalize the chess table

Multiple chessboard surfaces let you customize the table to your liking, even with engraved personalization.

Personalize the chess table

Raised Panel

Personalize the chess table with a raised panel wooden board

Queen Anne

Personalize the chess table with a Queen Anne wooden board


Personalize the chess table with a Designer wooden board

Unique Chess Table Design

The chess board is easily raised and removed with a lever beneath, revealing additional storage inside the table.

The chessboard shown removed from the chess table

If you prefer a felted side panel, simply invert them.

Chess Table with side shelves shown felted side up.

Chess Table Assembly

The chess table is assembled relatively easily with interlocking parts.

Interior of the chess table

Here, the lever that raises the chess table board surface can be seen.

Interior and side panel of chess table

The entire kit is very compact, and comes with everything short of a rubber mallet, the only tool you’ll need to supply.

The chess table kit.

Making a Chess Table Uniquely Yours

The chess pieces you choose make the table completely your style.

Chess table with matching hardwood box in walnut and maple.

This is one of our in-house designs.

Chess Table with box and in-house design pieces

Piece movement is depicted on the top of each piece. There are even extra queens.

Chess table with in-house design pieces setup.

Imagine this chess table in your home.

The chess table as it might look in your home.

Key features at a glance
– Multi-purpose table surface is also chessboard you can play independently
– Inside storage for pieces, chess clock, etc.
– Assembles easily with no specialized tools
– 100% USA made from sustainably sourced Walnut and Maple
– Each chess table hand made with great care by experienced craftsman
– At 30″ height with arched skirting, it’s comfortable to sit and play.

30″ Table Height (29.5″ without board)
22″ Width
3″ Inside Storage Height
25lbs Table Weight with board
18lbs 10oz Table Frame Weight (without board)

Video of chess table assembly and features


Discuss the chess table design

I welcome your comments! Like, dislike? Have you made your own table? Do you own a table?


Choosing an Ideal Travel Chess Set

Choosing the ideal travel chess set that’s suitable for your needs can be a bit challenging so I shot this video to help give you an immediate frame of referencing in making your decision whether it’s for yourself or someone else.

Travel chess sets range in price typically from $5 to $100 with styling, weight, and function that varies immensely.


Keys to evaluating a potential travel chess set

Magnet Strength. Magnets are important with travel chess sets and some are strong enough to allow the set to be inverted or shaken without disrupting your game. The strength of the magnets will vary from one set style to another so watch for that factor. The very strongest magnets are found with the Drueke Travel Chess model 87730. So strong in fact that it’s great for instantly putting the game aside, storing on edge, inverted, or however you imagine, and the pieces will stay exactly where they were last played.

87730-1-travel-chess-set  E8EB-187730-1-travel-chess-set E8RWD-187730-1-travel-chess-set ST3882-187730-1-travel-chess-set


Time savings. Ease of storing the set is another factor. I like to be able to swipe the pieces off the board into a pouch, and then fold the board and be on my way. That’s why the 9″ Milled Leather Travel Chess Set is my favorite. The chessboard is encased in leather, the pieces are real carved shishamwood/boxwood with decent magnets. There’s a pouch for the pieces that sits alongside the board inside the larger pouch – a very attractive and what I like most, efficient design.



Size and Weight. Some travel chess sets are very small and lightweight. If you’re looking for the lightest options, here’s are the ones to consider.

ST3882-187730-1-travel-chess-set 87730-1-travel-chess-set GWMG1-187730-1-travel-chess-set


Fold or Flat. Most travel chess sets fold between the 4th and 5th rank of the chessboard. This detracts from the appearance, but it does help with the portability. The Drueke 87730 mentioned already does not fold. The travel chess sets also shown here and released in July 2016 feature a flat, completely smooth, non-folding playing surface. If you prefer a seamless non-folding design, here are my best recommendations.

87730-1-travel-chess-set  E8EB-187730-1-travel-chess-set E8RWD-187730-1-travel-chess-set E12EB-187730-1-travel-chess-set E12RWD-187730-1-travel-chess-set ST3882-187730-1-travel-chess-set


Great Style. This will vary between me and you, however, I’ll put forward some suggestions that I and many others would call very attractive travel chess sets. The first of the three shown below here is the 10.5″ Magnetic Wooden Travel Chess Set. The painted accents on the wooden board, well matched pieces, clasp, and coordinates make this a fantastic affordable travel chess set that’s also good for display in a place of business or at home. It’s also fantastic for young players who are enjoying the game with a family member on a table with limited space. The only thing to keep in mind is that the magnets are not super strong and the pieces are not as detailed as some of the more expensive wooden sets.

CHW10-187730-1-travel-chess-set GWMG1-187730-1-travel-chess-set ST3882-187730-1-travel-chess-set


Storage Method. The methods of storing pieces vary greatly and some take more time than others to take out and put away. But that also means the pieces will be more secure if placed in an individual piece slot. For those in a hurry, just swipe the pieces off the board, fold it up, and you are on your way. The Drueke set of course is unique in that it has a lid and keep any position in the way it was last played. There’s even a checkbook style that double folds with flat pieces pictured on magnets.

Storing-travel-chess-set-E8RWD-5T Storing-travel-chess-set-E8RWD-6T Storing-travel-chess-set-E101-2T Storing-travel-chess-set-GWMG1-3T Storing-travel-chess-set-ST3882-4TStoring-travel-chess-CHW10-5TStoring-travel-chess-set-87730-2T


Affordability. If you want to spend the very least possible, here are the most affordable travel chess sets. The first one shown is the Checkbook size magnetic folding set with flat pieces. The second one is the Chess House Mini Club Chess Set with a 14″ vinyl rollup board and 2 1/2″ club style pieces.

Storing-travel-chess-set-E101-2T E100M-2T-travel-chess-set


You can also view more travel sets available at Chess House including some interesting and unique designs not found anywhere else. Remember Chess House is easily reachable and takes care of customers if anything goes wrong or a piece is list in the future, so you’ll have a fantastic experience.

Drueke Chess Games

Drueke chess games were prominent in the USA from nearly 100 years.  Established in 1914 by William Drueke, the Michigan based company thrived for decades until 2010 when the last remaining production wooden chessboards were sold.

Pronounced (droo-key), Drueke’s wooden chess boards were the mainstay of the product line ranging in sizes from 15″ to 26″. The walnut and maple hardwood furniture perfect finish and precision manufacturing were loved by chess players through the country and the world.

The Carrom Company today owns the Drueke chess line which has been reduced to a mere two products from the scores of products originally in the lineup which included luxury tables, chess boxes, pieces, wooden chess boards, travel sets, and so on.

The two products available today are the Travel Chess 87730 and Wooden Checkers 83124, both of which are quite popular to this day. In fact, the travel chess set is one of my favorites in that the chess position can stay in place even while the case is closed.

   Drueke Chess Travel 87730Drueke Checkers 83124

This video shares some insights into the product line and shows a 15″, 21″, and 23″ chessboard, and their well known plastic chess pieces which were produced starting in the 50’s when Drueke adopted injection molding.

This video was shot not only to give some background on the Drueke chess line, but also to showcase the JLP line that was produced in response to the discontinued Drueke chess boards. The JLP wooden chess boards are nearly identical in specs and styling of the 21″ board as this video shows. And, like the Drueke chess boards they are 100% made in the USA as well from sustainably sourced Eastern US walnut and maple.

The JLP boards even improve on some aspects of the Drueke design. Furthermore, there is even a JLP wooden chess table that compliments a JLP board and turns it into a remarkably attractive chess table as seen near the end of the video.

Chess Genius Pro chess computer next level of electronic chess

Chess Genius Pro chess computer next level of electronic chess

The Millennium Chess Genius Pro is the ideal chess computer for club and tournament players of all skill levels. It’s one of the most powerful chess computers of all time, featuring the world-champion software ChessGenius by Richard Lang!

After the much-publicized launch of MILLENNIUM Chess Genius in late autumn 2015, we now see the significantly improved performance and enhanced, more elegant, version of Chess Genius PRO. Many ideas expressed by users have been incorporated in this new computer.

Genius Pro plays at a significantly higher skill level of more than 2200 ELO (2400 USCF).

The changes are visual as well, new pieces in an exclusive white and black chrome, along with felt and significantly improved sensor board and pressure point. read more…

Lil’ Corkers – Kids Making a Difference and Making Some Money!

Lil’ Corkers – Kids Making a Difference and Making Some Money!

Recently we here at Chess House had the pleasure of supplying Lil’ Corkers from Blessed Trinity RCC in the United Kingdom with some bright colored plastic chess pieces. After checking in with them to see if they had received their package and if the pieces were up to par we were blown away to find out what Lil’ Corkers was all about. Mollie Bannister wrote us back to tell us all about it!

Bannister, is the managing director of a Young Enterprise company Lil’ Corkers.

Young Enterprise is the UK’s leading charity that empowers and offers training to young people to harness their personal and business skills.

Lil’ Corkers is a small company of students aged 15 dedicated to helping the community by making novelty chessboards.  As a company, not only do they want to make a profit, but also actually have an impact on their community. As a result they began to teach primary school children the rules and purpose of chess. They sell their product for £25 pounds and includes a brightly colored chessboard (that comes in a variety of themes and styles) and two sets of brightly colored plastic pieces.

Within Young Enterprise, they have won an award for “Best Innovative Product” and have recently been short-listed into the North-West finals, due to take part on June 14th.

The Company Program is the ultimate business challenge for 15 – 19 year olds. Over the course of a year students find out what it’s really like to set up and run a business – from raising share capital to designing their product or service to selling directly to customers.This event will see companies from across the North West battling it out to become North West Company of the Year 2016.

Feel free to contact them at

You can also check out their Twitter page HERE

If you would like to purchase a set from Lil’ Corkers email them at