Are you wondering, “What size chess set should I buy?” when you are faced with a multitude of chess board options in the market? 

Choosing the perfect chessboard for you is more complicated than you think. Why? Because many different factors play into the perfect chess board for you. Here are some

What size chess set should I buy? Factors to consider

Consider these factors before you choose the perfectly sized chess board for yourself.

  • Price
  • Size
  • Design and accessories 
  • Material

The size of the chessboard

Chess boards come in many different sizes. You can get pocket-sized chess boards that are portable to tournament-sized boards and also gigantic outdoor chess boards with life-size pieces. But the question is, what size chess set should I buy?

What size chess set should I buy

Often, the larger a chessboard is, the higher the price. Of course, there are other factors that decide the price of a board, but size is a major aspect. 

According to the United States Chess Federation (USCF), the square size could be from 2 inches to 2.5 inches. 

Think about why you are buying the chess set. If it’s for display and ornamentation, then large-sized ones look grand. 

When buying a chess set, first look at the size of the chess pieces you want. Then use that to determine the size of the chessboard. When a standard chess piece is 2-2.5 inches, the king’s size would be 3.5-4.5 inches. 

The chess pieces should fit perfectly inside the squares of the board. Having a chessboard that’s too large for the pieces would translate into a disaster. And at the same time, you don’t want chess pieces that entirely cover up the squares. This will make the chess board look overcrowded and can impede the game process. It’s always best to buy a chess board with the chess pieces that come with it. 

When deciding the size of the board, remember that the bigger the board gets, the heavier it will be. If you are planning to give the chess board its own little space in the house, then big boards are alright. But if you intend to play with it only occasionally and want to store it away at other times, then consider something that is easy to carry and set up. 

In addition, consider if you are a beginner in chess or a professional. Do you intend to play chess forever? Or does it seem like a passing hobby to you? If you are a beginner, who wouldn’t pursue chess too much, then consider a beginner-sized chess set that is cost-efficient and conveniently sized. Chess sets that are portable and easy to store are ideal for passing hobbies. I would recommend a chess set of size 10” -14” inch/25-35cm.

For traveling and portable chess board options, choose a wooden foldable chess board with magnetic chess pieces. The ideal size would be a 14×14-inch board and a King size of 2.8”/7.015cm.

But are you intending to play continuously? Do you love chess as much as you love life? Then the best option for you is a tournament-sized chess board. A tournament-sized board will be 20”/50.8cm. it will have a King height of 3.75” inch/9.53cm. 


The price of the chess set should be a deciding factor when choosing the size of the board you want. A fabulous wooden portable chess set of size 14×14” chess board will cost $100, and a tournament-sized board that is good quality and ideal for hard use will cost around $34-$300 depending on the material, quality and design. 

Don’t be tempted to buy expensive sets if you don’t intend to play for long. And if your interest in chess is long-lasting, then invest in a tournament-sized, wooden chess board made of hard material. 

Design and accessories

Chess sets come with really exquisite craftsmanship. Generally, when the chess pieces are hand-crafted carefully, the more expensive they are. Look at the design of the rook. This usually determines how much work goes into carving the pieces. The best exquisitely carved luxurious chess set would cost as much as $1099. And yes, it’s a very beautiful set to own. Visit this site for some really grand chess sets.

Chess boards nowadays come with many modern accessories like fancy timers, tables and beautiful storage boxes.


Material is also an important factor in deciding the size of the chess set. Personally, I would always prefer wooden chess sets to any other material. You also get many other options like metal chess pieces, plastic and ebony. Metal and plastic are not as long-lasting as wooden ones. Ebony pieces are luxurious and long-lasting but expensive. 

What material the chess set is made of determines its weight. A plastic board with plastic pieces would enable you to buy a tournament-sized board because it’s lightweight and easy to store. In contrast, a wooden board that is tournament sized is not easy to carry and will require a stable space in your home. 

In conclusion: What size chess set should I buy?

Many factors like the material, price, design and cost play a role in deciding the perfect chess board size for you. But my recommendation would be a tournament-sized chess board of 20”/50.8cm, wooden chess board if you are a chess-lover like me. But a beginner can always go for a 14×14” or smaller-sized chess set for playing whenever free and to take when traveling.

Did you know that you can lose weight by playing chess? Read this for the full article.

*All pics are taken from


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