The guys over at Gadgetify rounded up some really cool and unusual chess sets, including Rabbit Tanaka’s set, which has a blacklight-illuminated chess board along with UV-reactive pieces. This appears to be a relic of the 1990s, but you can get a glow-in-the-dark chess set from Etsy shop Crafty Canvas, and just BYO black light.
Muntok’s elegant roll-up chess set is handmade from vegetable-tanned leather. Its spaces are stitched in place, while its chess pieces are each made from a leather disc with a hand-embossed rank icon. The included storage tube holds pieces and stays closed with a leather strap.
Urban Outfitters sells this fun and fanciful chess set for opposing fans of felines and canines. The set comes with a folding game board that doubles as a storage box and a full set of handpainted kitties and woofers wearing playful hats to represent their roles in the game.
Matt Pritchard’s trick chess set took home first prize in the 2021 Best Illusion of the Year Contest. Using a mirror and an anamorphic camouflage shield, the moving white queen only appears in the mirrored image. Gizmodo compiled more of the year’s best illusions here.
This compact chess set from Letteroom is perfect for travel, measuring in at just over 4″ across. It’s constructed from rosewood with a brass inlay around its playing surface. A built-in drawer holds its game pieces and has a foam insert to keep them from rolling around.
TITANS of CNC: Academy presents footage of a truly epic creation – a hefty chess board machined from a massive hunk of metal. It’s got a grooved playing surface, and logo art on its sides. We’d love to see how they milled all of those beautiful titanium chess pieces too.
Umbra’s modern board game features a smart design for easy carrying while still offering a solid and stable surface when playing. Its board is made from vegan leather, which is attached to a segmented wooden base. When not in use, roll it up, store the pieces inside its center, and attach the end caps.
Darkboard offers a bold take on board game design. These eye-catching boards are made from laser-cut acrylic which sit on a backlit base. The designs create the illusion of depth and can be swapped out between Chess, Surakarta, Ludo (Parcheesi), and Nine Men’s Morris boards. Each set includes 32 acrylic chess pieces.
This fun chess set lets you enjoy a game without taking up table space. Made by Winding Hills Designs, the wall-mounted chess set features a metal backer under its printed black and white squares, allowing its magnetic pieces to hold in place. They also make versions in white, brown, and one that comes with checkers.
Learn the basics of competitive chess play with this extensive series of online lessons, which help take beginners to the next level with their skills. You’ll learn strategies from chess masters to improve your openings, middlegames, and endgames, and ready yourself for tournament play. Save 79% in The Awesomer Shop.
Now that you’ve binged The Queen’s Gambit, are you ready to break out your chess set and get in on the action? This series of online lessons will help you learn everything from the basics to advanced chess-playing tactics from expert players. In all, there are more than 120 hours of instruction in this bundle.
Between the popularity of The Queen’s Gambit and quarantining, there’s no better time to improve your chess game. This chess set from Showcase Plastics has a 12″ x 12″cast acrylic board with LED lighting. It’s available in a choice a variety colors for each side of the board, and includes a set of laser-cut acrylic chess pieces.
Designed by artist Panisa Khunprasert, this reversible chess and checkers set features a bold color scheme and modern, minimal iconography. Both the playing pieces and board are made from sustainably-grown rubberwood, and the board slides open to provide storage. Measures 8.75″w x 8.75″d x 1.75″h.
It’s fun to play a game of chess in the park. But carrying around a full-size chess set can be a pain. This cleverly-designed set features a roll-up board and pieces that stack inside of each other inside of a tube. Choose from steel, zinc, or plastic pieces, leather, PU leather, or silicone board, and a leather or polyester case.
Back in the day, there was this great video game called Battle Chess, in which chess pieces fought to the death on the board. This clip from CGI animator lotsalote envisions what a next-gen version of that game might look like, as individual chess pieces explode violently on impact with their opponents.
Shinola’s elegant travel chess set makes for a very special Father’s Day gift. It features a combination carry case and game board handmade from Navy and Bourbon leather, along with a debossed checkerboard surface and cutout slots for holding its resin game tokens, which flip over for a quick game of checkers.
This unique chess set from Sweden’s Induku consists of a thick felt board, along with laser-cut wooden pieces that stick into the board with pins. The design means you can attach it to a pushpin wall, or play it on a soft surface like a couch, bed, or rug. Available in blue or red felt.
From the Empire State Building to the Flatiron to the Freedom Tower, the New York City skyline is iconic and imposing. Celebrate your love for the Big Apple’s architecture with Ian Flood and Chris Prosser’s skyline chess set, which includes 32 buildings, made from heavyweight acrylic, along with a folding game board.
Like the classic Excalibur Phantom Force, this robotic chess set can move pieces on its own. But this one lets you play against anyone in the world who has the board or its app. You can also play against the AI or spectate a match. Save an extra 15% in The Awesomer Shop with code MerrySave15. (expires 12/25/19)
Induku’s miniature chess sets are laser cut from baltic birch plywood, and make a great stocking stuffer of bonus gift. Once you pop the pieces out, they hold in place in the cutouts on the board. The set can also be personalized with an engraving up to 40 characters.
Accompanied by an animation from Remus & Kiki, narrator Adrian Dannatt adds his authoritative voice to Alex Gendler’s TED-Ed lesson about the origins of the popular board game, which dates back to the 7th century in India – or possibly earlier – and is still recognized as one of the most challenging strategy games you can play.
We’re loving the rustic, industrial look of the hefty metal pieces in this chess set from Echo Hill Forge. Each piece is hand-forged from steel, and the set comes in a custom wooden storage box. The game board isn’t included, though there are plenty to choose from here.
Epoxy resin lets you cast just about any shape into a durable and rigid form. In this DIY clip from Dread CraftStation, he shows us how clear resin can be tinted, molded, and sanded to form a complete set of see-through chess pieces. The resulting set looks super slick when placed on a board with lighting underneath.