The Most Popular Chess Set: A Ranking of Popular Choices

Choose the chess set you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 6, 2024 06:56
Welcome to StrawPoll - your ultimate destination for discovering the most popular chess sets that have captured the hearts and minds of players worldwide! Our ever-evolving ranking of "What is the most popular chess set?" invites you to dive into the enchanting world of chess, where artistry and strategy blend seamlessly. Cast your vote for your favorite chess set, or champion a missing masterpiece by suggesting a new contender. As you join thousands of passionate chess enthusiasts, prepare to be captivated by the intricate craftsmanship, timeless elegance, and unique stories behind each set. Don't miss this opportunity to explore the fascinating realm of chess sets and help crown the ultimate fan-favorite. Checkmate!

What Is the Most Popular Chess Set?

  1. 1

    Staunton chess set

    Nathaniel Cook
    This is the most popular chess set design worldwide. It was named after Howard Staunton, a leading English chess player in the 19th century. The Staunton design has been the standard for tournament play since the 1920s.
    The Staunton chess set is the most widely recognized and popular style of chess set used in international competitions and tournaments. It is known for its timeless design and standardized pieces.
    • Design: The set features a traditional aesthetic with different pieces having distinct shapes and sizes.
    • Standardization: The Staunton chess set is standardized to ensure consistent design across different manufacturers.
    • King Height: The average height of the king piece is approximately 3.75 inches (9.5 cm).
    • Piece Weight: The pieces are usually weighted to provide stability and prevent them from tipping over easily.
    • Material: The set can be made of various materials such as wood, plastic, or metal, with high-quality sets often using exotic woods or fine materials.
  2. 2
    This is a popular set design that features intricate carvings and a unique knight piece with a curved mane. It is named after the Croatian city where it was first created.
    The Dubrovnik chess set is a highly renowned and distinctive chess set that has gained immense popularity in the chess community. It is known for its elegant design and fine craftsmanship.
    • Material: The pieces are crafted from solid boxwood and ebony, giving them a luxurious look and feel.
    • Size: The king stands approximately 4.37 inches tall, making it suitable for tournament play.
    • Weight: The pieces have a satisfying weight to them, enabling precise and stable movements during gameplay.
    • Design: The set features intricate and detailed Staunton-style pieces with a unique and recognizable silhouette. The knights are depicted with flowing manes and expressive eyes.
    • Finish: The pieces are finished with a smooth and polished surface, enhancing their aesthetic appeal.
  3. 3
    This is a historical chess set design that was discovered on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland in the 19th century. It features distinctive Viking-style pieces made of walrus ivory and whale teeth.
    The Isle of Lewis chess set is a famous set of chess pieces that was discovered on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland. It is believed to have been created in the late 12th or early 13th century and is considered one of the most important archaeological finds related to the game of chess. The iconic design of the Lewis chessmen has made them widely recognized and admired by collectors and chess enthusiasts worldwide.
    • Preservation: Historical artifact, housed in museums
    • Origin: Isle of Lewis, Scotland
    • Estimated creation date: Late 12th or early 13th century
    • Material: Walrus ivory and whale teeth
    • Number of pieces: 78 (67 surviving pieces)
  4. 4

    Fischer chess set

    Bobby Fischer
    This is a modern chess set design that was created by the famous American chess player Bobby Fischer. It features sleek, minimalist pieces with angled edges and a unique king piece with a cross at the top.
    The Fischer chess set is a popular and iconic chess set that is named after the American World Chess Champion, Bobby Fischer. It is known for its simple and elegant design, which has made it a favorite among chess enthusiasts worldwide.
    • Material: Staunton design with pieces made of wood or durable plastic
    • King's Height: 3.75 inches (95 mm)
    • King's Base Diameter: 1.5 inches (38 mm)
    • Weighted Pieces: Yes
    • Felted Bottoms: Yes
  5. 5

    Reykjavik chess set

    Bobby Fischer
    This is a popular chess set design that was created for the 1972 World Chess Championship, which was held in Reykjavik, Iceland. It features simple, elegant pieces made of plastic or wood.
    The Reykjavik chess set is a famous chess set that was used during the 1972 World Chess Championship held in Reykjavik, Iceland. It is widely regarded as one of the most iconic and popular chess sets in history.
    • Materials: Plastic with a weighted feel
    • King Height: 3.75 inches
    • Design: Staunton-style pieces with elegant proportions
    • Colors: Black and natural white
    • Board Compatibility: Suitable for a standard tournament-sized chessboard
  6. 6

    German Knight chess set

    German craftspeople
    This is a popular medieval-style chess set design that features intricately carved pieces with knights on horseback as the centerpiece. It is a popular choice for collectors and history buffs.
    The German Knight chess set is a popular chess set known for its distinctive knight design. It features intricately carved knight pieces with unique detailing, making it a visually striking and sought-after set among chess enthusiasts.
    • Material: High-quality wood, often boxwood and ebony
    • Piece Dimensions: King height: approximately 3.75 inches
    • Weight: King weight: approximately 2 ounces
    • Base Diameter: Approximately 1.5 inches
    • Finishing: Hand-carved and polished
  7. 7
    This is a popular chess set design that features ornately carved pieces made of ivory or wood. It is inspired by traditional Indian art and culture.
    The Indian chess set is a traditional set of chess pieces that originated in India. It is known for its unique design and historical significance.
    • Design: The Indian chess set features intricately carved pieces inspired by Indian culture and history. The designs typically include detailed filigree work and elaborate patterns.
    • Materials: The pieces are commonly made of various materials such as wood, ivory, bone, or marble. However, modern versions may use materials like plastic or resin.
    • Size: The average height of the king piece is around 3 to 4 inches, but sizes can vary depending on the specific set.
    • Symbols: The Indian chess set uses unique symbols to represent each piece. For example, the king is often represented by a small ornate crown, and the queen by a distinctive headdress.
    • Ornamentation: The pieces are often highly decorative, featuring intricate engravings, gemstone embellishments, or painted details.
  8. 8
    This is a popular chess set design that features intricate carvings and a unique king piece with a pointed hat. It is inspired by Persian art and culture.
    The Persian chess set is an iconic and historically significant chess set that has been widely recognized and revered for its artistic beauty and cultural significance. It is widely regarded as one of the most popular and treasured chess sets in the world.
    • Materials: Typically made of wood, with intricate carvings and inlays
    • Design: Features distinct, elaborately detailed pieces with unique shapes and styles
    • Color Scheme: Often incorporates rich, vibrant colors such as deep red, blue, and gold
    • Dimensions: Varies, but typically has a board size of around 20 inches with 2-inch square sizes
    • King Height: Approximately 4 to 5 inches
  9. 9
    This is a popular chess set design that features simple, elegant pieces made of jade or other materials. It is inspired by traditional Chinese art and culture.
    The Chinese chess set, also known as Xiangqi, is a traditional board game that originated in China. It is a two-player strategy game played on a square board divided into 10 horizontal and 9 vertical lines, resulting in a total of 90 intersections.
    • Board Size: 10 horizontal lines, 9 vertical lines
    • Game Type: Strategy, board game
    • Number of Players: 2
    • Pieces: 32 (16 pieces per player)
    • Piece Types: 5 different types (General, Advisor, Elephant, Horse, Chariot)
  10. 10
    This is a popular chess set design that was created in the Soviet Union in the mid-20th century. It features simple, functional pieces made of plastic or wood.
    The Soviet chess set is a widely recognized and iconic chess set design that originated in the Soviet Union. It features distinct, minimalist and functional characteristics, making it popular among chess enthusiasts and collectors worldwide.
    • Material: The Soviet chess set is typically made of wood, with various types of hardwood used such as beech, oak, or birch.
    • Design: The set follows a simple and practical design, with a large and easily distinguishable Staunton style, standard tournament-size pieces.
    • King Height: The king piece is usually 4 to 4.25 inches tall (approximately 10 to 11 centimeters).
    • Weight: The pieces have a decent weight, ranging from 25 to 35 grams for the pawns and 70 to 90 grams for the kings.
    • Felted Bases: Each piece has a green felted bottom to provide smooth movement and protect the chessboard.

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Ranking factors for popular chess set

  1. Material
    The materials used to create the chess set can significantly impact its overall quality, durability, and appearance. These materials can range from plastic and wood to metal and glass. Look for a set that uses high-quality materials, ensuring that the set will last for many years.
  2. Design and craftsmanship
    The design and craftsmanship of a chess set can greatly influence its appeal and popularity. A well-crafted set with intricate details, unique designs, or themed pieces will often be more sought-after than a basic set with generic pieces.
  3. Size and weight
    The size and weight of the chess set should be considered based on the intended use and personal preference. Some players may prefer a larger, heavier set for a more immersive experience, while others may prioritize portability and opt for a smaller, lightweight set.
  4. Board quality
    The quality of the chessboard is important, as it needs to be durable and visually appealing. Look for a board with a good finish, well-defined squares, and a sturdy construction.
  5. Playability
    A chess set should be functional and easy to use for players of all ages and skill levels. The pieces should be comfortable to hold and maneuver, and the board should provide adequate space for each piece to allow for smooth and enjoyable gameplay.
  6. Price
    Price can be a significant factor for many people when selecting a popular chess set. Look for sets with a balance of quality materials, craftsmanship, and reasonable pricing.
  7. Brand reputation
    Choosing a chess set from a reputable brand can ensure a higher level of quality, customer support, and durability.
  8. Reviews and ratings
    Check customer reviews and ratings to get an idea of how popular the chess set is among other users. This can provide valuable feedback regarding any potential issues or factors that may impact its overall appeal and usability.
  9. Personal preferences
    Ultimately, personal preferences will play a major role in choosing a popular chess set. Look for a set that appeals to your unique tastes and interests while considering the factors listed above.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular chess set. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or chess set is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 196 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each chess set once every 24 hours. The rank of each chess set is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular chess set

Chess is one of the oldest and most popular board games in the world. It originated in India, and over the centuries it has spread to other parts of the world, becoming an integral part of many cultures. Today, there are millions of chess enthusiasts around the world, and the game has spawned a vast array of chess sets, each with its own unique style and design. Chess sets come in a wide variety of materials, including wood, metal, and plastic, and they can range in price from a few dollars to thousands of dollars. Some sets are designed to be functional and practical, while others are more ornate and decorative, featuring intricate carvings and luxurious materials. Despite the wide variety of chess sets available, there are a few designs that have become particularly popular over the years. These include classic Staunton sets, which are based on a design created by English chess player Howard Staunton in the mid-19th century, and themed sets that feature characters or themes from popular movies, books, and other media. So, what is the most popular chess set? That's a difficult question to answer, as opinions vary widely depending on personal taste and individual preferences. However, by exploring the history and design of different chess sets, we can gain a better understanding of what makes them so popular, and perhaps even discover a new favorite for ourselves.

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