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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.