If you are buying the board separately from the pieces, you must match the size of the pieces to the boxes. Ideally, the king's base should occupy 75% of a square on the chessboard. If you buy the board and the pieces together, you won't have to worry too much, as they should be the right size for each other. Some club players will also choose a nice wooden chess set.
If this is what you're planning, choose a set, of course, that fits the tournament rules. In addition, choose a chess set that looks durable; in other words, a set that doesn't have very fine finishes and so on. The ebony chess pieces shown below are a very fine set designed specifically for tournament and club players, manufactured by The Mark of Westminster. Novelty games can also be fun gifts.
If your gifted person is interested in chess, you can usually find a set that intersects with one of their other interests. The only consideration here is that these sets may not have as much playing time as the more traditional-looking options. You can think of them as decks of themed cards or themed versions of Monopoly. It's fun to take them out from time to time, but most days, and especially if you're planning to enter the competitive game, you'll probably want to opt for a classic board.
More attractive materials, such as wooden and marble chess boards, are usually more expensive and less durable. A wooden chessboard is susceptible to scratches, while marble can be easily chipped. A wooden chess game, more suitable for traveling, playing and participating in tournaments than for having it at home. Plastic chess sets, on the other hand, are cheaper and more durable than traditional chess sets, but they look less authentic and are mass-produced.
As with most decisions in life, you must determine your priorities when choosing a game of chess. The Second World War, The Lord of the Rings, the entire Mario canon and even several skylines of the city exist like chess games with which you can wage a false war. Other high-quality chess sets are manufactured by Jaques of London and, on the cheaper front, by Drueke (wooden and plastic chess sets). Since I come from Croatia, I can be a bit biased, but this chess game immediately caught my attention.
In addition, relationships in terms of the same or contrasting wood colors are described on the Chess Piece %26 checkerboard sizing guidelines page. If you're not so concerned about this topic and you're looking for a chess set to add to an existing decoration, you can choose a game that relates to that decoration or to the theme of decoration. For example, the American chess superstar Bobby Fischer was a fan of Dubrovnik-style sets (a forerunner of the Zagreb seen above), while the German-style gentleman has been used in many world championship games and is one of the most common variants. In the 19th century, there was a great need for a standardized chess set with universally recognized pieces.
For the non-regulatory game of chess, of course, you can deviate from this as you wish, but the guide is useful. Nowadays, plastic and wood are more commonly used for chess pieces, while plastic, wood and cardboard are used for boards. This process produces a beautiful chess piece that is shiny but not too bright, but still has details and precision.