The 10 Best Travel Chess Sets
This wiki has been updated 14 times since it was first published in March of 2018. For chess players who don't want to be without this challenging game when on the go, there are plenty of options. From magnetic boards with pieces that won't slip during turbulence, to transport-friendly, roll-up choices, these travel sets will allow you to engage an opponent and take a break from staring at a computer screen even while on vacation or a business trip. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
February 08, 2021:
We replaced the House of Staunton Book with the House of Staunton Checkbook – feeling that the former just couldn’t compete with the portability of the latter – and also removed the WE Games Vinyl and Wegiel Royal European due to availability issues.
Our other new additions this time around are the Amor 3 in 1 — which doubles as a backgammon and checkers set; and the iCore Electronic Talking Set — which conveniently provides lonely players with a capable, electronic opponent.
October 22, 2019:
Because you never know when you might be ready to play a game of chess, we've kept a range of choices in different sizes, including those that slip into a purse or messenger bag, some magnetic and some not. For those who are worried that the board will be knocked around in transit, we like the The House of Staunton Book. True to its name, it folds closed just like a book, with both board and pieces inside. This means all the crucial elements are protected, saving you some worry. It's on the pricier side, though, although it should be noted it's built to last. For a budget-friendly alternative, there's the Kidami Folding Set, which has been updated and now has proper squares instead of rectangles. The Wegiel Royal European and the QuadPro Folding are also fine alternatives, both magnetic. Finally, we opted to add the Pendleton Roll-Up as a design-conscious choice. It features patterning that Pendleton fans will recognize; consider it as a gift for those who love camping or someone with a rustic country cottage.
Aristotle Hand Held Chess Computer The Aristotle Hand Held Chess Computer is a tablet that allows you to train your brain anywhere you go, even in dim conditions, thanks to the fine backlighting. You can set it to low for beginners, but if you really feel like a challenge, it has a hard mode that the makers claim can beat 95 percent of all chess players. chessbaron.com
Hector Saxe Valentin Velvet You might think that "luxury" and "travel" are incompatible in chess sets, but this Hector Saxe Valentin Velvet certainly proves otherwise. Each is made in France and would make a fine gift for the serious player — if you can stomach the rather high price. hectorsaxeparis.com