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Looking for a small-medium sized chess set

  • #1

    Hello all,

    does anyone know of where to buy a chess set with something like the following:

    • Board size: around 31-35cm (13-14") 
    • Coordinates marked on board
    • Wooden
    • Good looking (especially knights tend to look anything ranging from a crocodile to a Moomintroll)

    Magnetic would be a small plus. 

    Have been looking, but most boards I find either lack coordinates or has too ugly pieces.

    Thank you for any pointers. 

  • #2

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but this one seems to meet your qualifications.


  • #3

    EGBDF, thank you for the suggestion. It fits several points on what I would want (being a bit on the smaller side though).

    And of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder -- but ugliness is universal ;-) 

  • #4


    chess sets are basically who orders what but this place tends to specialize in higher end stuff

  • #5


    thank you as well for the suggestion -- I had been on that site before. Correct me if I am wrong, but they don't seem to have any wooden board with coordinates marked?

    The "higher end" part is not necessarily a problem.

    There are three things wrong with my current set: size (~10"), no coordinates and it's of plastic. The pieces are gorgeous though :-/

  • #6

    I would make a small suggestion ,.. avoid coordinates. After some playing you wont need them and it just leads to a pain if you have to flip the board around...  its a little extra time initiailly but its not hard to figure things out

  • #7

    I'm suprised nobody has mentioned these two stores yet, which both offer high quiality sets in a range of sizes:

    House of Staunton

    The Chess Company

    You might have more luck with the second store.

  • #8

    TonyH, I know -- and actually personally I am ok without coordinates on the board. However the board might be used by others who are not as fluent in chess notation.

    vadsamoth, I had seen at least one of those sites. They do have some really nice boards with notation -- but they are 18" or larger. I was hoping to find something smaller.

  • #9

    The second shop has a section for 'travel sets' which seem to be around the size you're looking for, here.

    EDIT: You will probably have trouble finding a set that is 13 or 14 inches exactly. Much more common will be 12" (1.5" per square) and 16" (2" per square). 13 and 14 do not divide as easily by 8, and so they are less commonly made in those sizes.

  • #10

    Check out www.houseofchess.com - I have ordered several sets from these guys and they make great sets.  While there is no AN advertised on their site, if you contact customer support in advance, they will make you a board with AN engraved on it.

    Check out my long post reviewing this company and the many boards I have bought from them at the link below this paragraph.  There are a bunch of photos of the boards.  Their Knights are much better than the average quality and the magnets are very strong.  I never bought one of their 14" sets but I bought 12, 16, 18 and 20" sets and all were excellent.


  • #11

    I recently bought a cheap & cheerful 10-inch travel chess set from eBay in the UK - perfect for my needs, so you might try there. There was quite a good collection of new sets & I think I saw one with 1.5 inch squares so you might find a 12 or 13-inch board.

    I agree with the post above that very soon you just won't need the coordinates on the edge of the board. Good luck with that.

  • #12


    thank you! I contacted houseofchess and they said that they indeed could arrange me a board with notation for a smallish fee. The fee for extra queens started to go towards an arm and a leg though.

    Thank you, I think my problem could be solved :-) 

  • #13


    No problem, let me know how it all goes.  Which set did you end up going with?  My favorite size ended up being the 16".  It's a nice compromise in size - big enough to be playable with people used to playing with tournament sized pieces, small enough to travel well.  I still have three of their sets, 2 16" sets in golden rosewood with AN engraving and extra Queens.  One set has the standard staunton pieces and the other set has ebony Globe/Staunton pieces.  I also have a 12" set.


  • #14


    ordered a 14" travel set with AN. Did not go for extra queens, the fee for that was about a third of the cost of the board. 

    I finally received the board the day before yesterday (there was no info that they shipped, despite what the order confirmation said). Anyway, the set I got is goergous. There are always small things not perfect, but overall I am happy with what I got!


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