What Kind of Chess Boards Do Pros Use?

You'll find that rollable vinyl chess boards are the most commonly used by professionals, since they don't want to risk damaging an expensive board in a public environment. As for chess pieces, the preferred choice is the Staunton style, which is perhaps the most recognizable and iconic design in the world. The size of the chessboard is usually determined by the type of game being played. A smaller “bughouse” or “blitzkrieg” board can measure up to 11 inches, while a large tournament-type chess board can measure 25 inches on each side and feature elaborate wood carvings.

If you prefer to play faster or play with just two players, it's common for boards to be approximately 19 inches long. The chess set used in the world championship measures 21 inches in length and width. The material is made of a special type of wood that does not rot or deform. This special wood is usually walnut or ash.

But how do you choose a good chess game, one that Beth Harmon herself can be proud to have? There are a lot of quality options when it comes to chess games and player preferences play an important role in what is considered quality or not, says Noelle Kendrick, director of business development at House of Staunton and USCF Sales. But there are some common points between those preferences, such as very heavy pieces, intricate men's sizes and pieces that match the board, he explains. Of course, a good chess set, whether for beginners or professionals, must also be functional and durable enough to last. As mentioned with wooden boards, they are one of the most durable types of games to buy.

So, if you want to play while traveling, the LuckyWish foldable magnetic travel chess set is an excellent hybrid of wood and plastic, covered with Staunton-style magnetic pieces; felt bottoms for added protection; and two velvet bags for storage. And, most importantly for traveling, the board folds up so you can play anytime, anywhere. The most commonly used chess boards and sets for tournament games are vinyl chess boards that support 3.75-inch pieces. Staunton is the most used and accepted chess piece. Chess has existed for about 1,500 years, making it the OG of board games.

Naturally, during that time, chess games have evolved quite a bit in design and function. This checkerboard folds inward to provide storage for chess pieces, which are protected by the felt lining and secured with inner straps. When unfolded, the table measures 15 x 15 standard inches and, when folded, is pleasantly compact and easy to carry. The pieces themselves have a felt bottom and are heavy to protect the surface of the board and keep the pieces in place. However, if there's no room for a chess table but there's a lot of space available then invest in some smaller plastic sets that don't take up too much storage space.

Not everyone learns as quickly as Beth Harmon but this chess game for beginners will help shorten the learning curve. The set includes 32 chess pieces and 24 checkers pieces as well as a reversible game board that also serves as a cover to store everything without problems. As someone who grew up with several chess boards in my house I always felt like a queen while playing with a state-of-the-art set of glasses. At a minimum you want a board that is flat and even and that feels sturdy enough to last a long time. Before the World Chess Championship set was used in the matches the approval of the governing body of the sport and FIDE was required. For some playing chess is a waste of time as there are more important things to do in life than playing a game.

The standard stick-weight plastic chess set is an affordable option if you want more than brown and cream chips and a box-like board. The table and piece may look a little different but they still work plus there's no doubt that it will look great on the front and center of the coffee table. On the other hand plastic chess sets are cheap and durable but appear to be mass-produced and less authentic. This set also includes two extra pieces of Queen to promote pawns and its interior storage secures chess players with plastic bands to keep them in place. If you're new to chess maybe you'll get a reasonably cheap game with plastic parts first to make sure you're interested in the game and once you decide it's something you want to take more seriously you can change it to a better set. There's no denying that the price is sky-high but if you're wondering what kind of chess games the pros use that's it Kendrick says.

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