Modern Chess Sets and Boards

Modern Chess Sets

Chess sets do not have to be traditional, wooden or boring, with the same designs recurring over and over again. Modern chess sets include a remarkable range of interesting designs, all featuring clean lines, while shunning traditional patterns and best of all, no two look remotely alike.

1. Australia Diaxi Modern Chess Set

Australia Diaxi Modern Chess Set

Price: $320

This is a really special set and its workmanship and materials exude luxury. The design has a unique mix of materials featuring wood, stainless steel, leather and brass, each in total harmony with the other. The combination is unlikely but for this contemporary set, it works perfectly.

The chess pieces are made out of a durable aluminum composite frame with a stainless steel or brass overlay. Black graphite accents bring an additional element to the pieces. There are 32 pieces in the set and each has perfectly-weighted green felt bases. All the chess pieces weigh 53 ounces altogether.

The board is 16.5 inches square while being used; however, it folds up into a compact 16.5 by 8.25-inch board for easy storage. This is done via a custom designed hinge that can be locked while playing and it is totally unobtrusive; it will not be noticed at all. It looks like a decorative component of the board.

Brass detailing on all 4 corners assist in disguising the hinge and they also provide additional security for the playing surface while it is folded. Additionally, this set comes with a deluxe leather storage box with two separate compartments, lined in green felt, which provides storage for your unique chess pieces. The size of each square is 1.75 inches and the height of the king is 3? inches.

2. Metal Art Deco Chessmen on Storage Chest

Metal Art Deco Chessmen on Storage Chest

Price: $299

There are a number of Art Deco style sets currently available, particularly in the category of metal chess sets; however, this one is just the best. Not only is it tremendously spectacular, it is also quite durable and functional.

The chess pieces feature a slim, tall and sleek design and they have pewter and bronze finishes, which provide contrast between both armies. The height of the king is 4 inches tall and its base is 1.25 inches in diameter.

The exquisite chess pieces are great but they are not the stars of the show. That honor is reserved for the superb chessboard itself, which doubles as a functional and decorative storage space for the chess pieces. While the game is being played, the chest provides a roomy platform on a surface that is 16.25 inches square and 2½ inches off the table.

The storage chest has wooden dividers on the inside that establish 32 separate slots for each piece. Sixteen spaces are there that measure 4.75 inches by 1.75 inches by 1.25 inches and 16 slots that measure 2.5 inches by 1.75 inches by 1.25 inches. These custom-sized slots assist in ensuring each piece has is its very own storage spot and none is rolling around bumping into each other, which could potentially cause scratches or other damage. If you prefer, the board can be removed from the storage chest and be displayed or used by itself. This modern set is a remarkable piece for those who love the Art Deco style.

3. Black Berliner On Black Birdseye Board

Black Berliner On Black Birdseye Board

Price: $208.94

This set features uniquely designed pieces, which are all streamlined and very smooth. The elaborate detailing of a conventional chess piece design is sacrificed in favor of a contemporary and sleek design that is distinct from anything that’s ever been seen before, even on other contemporary and modern sets.

This set is hand carved and its design is simple, which enables the makers to retail this high-quality set at a very reasonable cost. You will not pay premium for this set; however, you will definitely be captivated with the quality of the creation you receive. It provides a remarkable amount of value for bucks. In addition, it is ideal for buyers who would like to get the best bang for their buck possible.

The kings in this chess set have a height of 3.88 inches and each has a 1½-inch base. There is a felt base pad on the base of each chess piece and this is designed to safeguard the board against scratching and any other damage. The entire set of pieces weighs just 37 ounces.

Of course, this set comes with a spacious black Birdseye board. The chess board features generously-sized 2.2 inch squares that provide you with a lot of space to spread out while playing a game. You will never feel crowded on this modern set. Furthermore, there is an inlaid frame and border that goes around the edge of the board, taking the footprint of this board up to 20½ square inches.

4. Man Ray Chess Set

Man Ray Chess Set

Price: $640

This iconic chess set may have very well sparked the inclination toward chess sets having more modern designs. It was originally designed back in 1920 by Man Ray, the renowned Surrealist artist. This specific set is a restoration of the original one that was methodically handcrafted by German artisans, with some assistance from a violin maker from Italy, who is responsible for the perfect scroll that represents the Knight pieces. The entire Man Ray set is made out of beech wood that has either been veneered or lacquered.

Without a doubt, the modern chess pieces are the most spectacular element of this contemporary set. The world had never seen anything like it before but somehow the artist had the ability to keep enough of the essence of each piece to make it effortless to tell which represents what. The king is represented by the pyramid shape, similar to how Egyptian pyramids are linked to Pharaohs and other monarchs. A smooth cone shape is used to represent the Queen, which is the headgear of medieval monarchs. A flask-like shape is used to represent the Bishops and this is a nod to the historical role they played as distillers and apothecaries.

Additionally, the pieces have a visual weight similar to their significance on the board. For instance, the pawns are squat and short, almost unnoticeable. The Rooks do not command much attention, while the queens and kings tower over the other pieces. This element takes the difficulty of telling a glance which piece is the most powerful. Each square measures 1.9 inches, the board size is 15.75 inches square and the height of the king is 3.25 inches.

Modern vs. Antique Chess Sets

While antique sets are typically made from wood, several of the most remarkable modern sets currently available are made of other materials. In fact, one of the hallmarks of a modern chess board design is experimenting with a variety of materials. There are modern chess boards made out of metal, plastic, glass, resin, concrete and other types of materials. Manufacturers of modern sets are constantly experimenting with different materials; therefore, you will never know what next they will come up with.

Modern Chess Set Brands

Brands that manufacture glass chess sets include Diaxi, Pavilion and Ideal.

Average Pricing/Stores

The modern chess sets previously highlighted in this review can be purchased online from The Chess House. The sets range in cost from a low of $208.94 to a high of $640.

Selection Tips

Selecting the best chess set can be quite overwhelming, particularly with the wide range of sets currently available. Regardless of the set you pick from this list, you can rest assured that you cannot really go wrong nor end up with a low-quality set that will disintegrate the first time it is used. Specific things to consider when buying a modern chess set include:

• Usage

f your modern set is made from glass, for example, this will obviously be more delicate than other materials; as such, it is important to consider whether the material is right for your intended use of the set.

• Style

While narrowing down your preferences, determining whether you are attached to a particular style before you start to shop is important. Do not waste your time looking at traditional sets if you prefer a modern aesthetic.

• Price

Price will definitely be a factor in the set you end up buying, unless you are super rich. Modern chess sets range in cost from greatly-affordable, beginner-friendly sets to tremendously pricey designer sets. Identify your price point before you start to shop; this will prevent the heartbreak of from falling in love with one that is outside of your budget.

• Craftsmanship

Determining craftsmanship can be challenging if you do not know precisely what to look for; this is particularly true when picking from online listings. In this case, relying on the advice of professionals is a smart way to go.

• Durability

A modern chess set is not worth a lot if it lasts for only a week or two before it becomes useless. Chess sets can be a large investment and wasting money on a set that will need to be replaced quickly is unwise. Ensure that the set you get is durable.