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15 chess sets for anyone inspired by 'The Queen's Gambit'

January 14, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 62.4%. 3 min read.

Eager to channel your inner Beth Harmon? We found a bunch of chess sets that are miraculously still in stock, and range from basic to beautiful.

One rare nonpolarizing event in 2020 was the release of Netflix’s “The Queen’s Gambit. ” The miniseries about orphaned, struggling chess prodigy Beth Harmon not only captivated audiences, but it also stoked a thirst for the game of chess.

Chess expert and author of “How to Network” and “How to Land Your Dream Internship” Tam Pham is more than a little giddy about the game’s renaissance, and offers a few pointers about how to shop for a new chess set.

“When I was 13, I won a contest hosted by thechesswebsite, and the founder mailed me this exact chess set.

It’s quite affordable now that I’m older, but at the time, it felt like Christmas had come early, and I couldn’t get enough of it!” Pham used to teach chess to children in schools and at his local library, and then to friends at his co-working space (hence the book about networking).

He used sets like this one for teaching new students.

“They’re simple, affordable, easy to set up, spacious to play on and convenient to bring anywhere,” he says.

While he loves a fancy glass chess set for special occasions (“The Queen’s Gambit” season two premiere, anyone?), he suggests steering clear of them for children or for those new to chess.

“The best chess set I ever played with was made of glass, but it was too bulky to carry around, unclear at times to differentiate between the two colors of glass and a pain to set up and clean up,” he says.

While it’s tempting to add one of those multiple-games-in-one sets to your cart, Pham advises against it: “I would avoid those cheap 10-games-in-1 wooden sets.

“If I wanted to splurge, I would love to buy the official wooden chess sets they use for the world championship,” Pham says.

Now it’s your move: Start scrolling for our favorite chess sets that are still in stock online.

Endless Market ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ Chess Set (starting at $150. 24; etsy. com)

The spitting image of the set Beth Harmon used in “The Queen’s Gambit,” this handmade one is crafted with wood and mother-of-pearl.

WorldWise Imports 3. 5-Inch Sheesham French Chess Set With Walnut Board ($80. 99; bedbathandbeyond. com)

Umbra Wobble Chess Set ($249. 99; amazon. com)

Official World Chess Set ($310. 00; worldchess. com)

These are the only pieces approved for play by the official World Chess Championship — and thus, they’re Pham’s splurge self-gift.

LeatherOCityUSA Handmade 16-Inch Marble Chess Set ($204. 99; etsy. com)

Arlmont & Co Yasmine Challenge Onyx and Marble Chess ($51. 99, originally $66. 99; wayfair. com)

Measuring just 5 inches by 5 inches, this pretty onyx and pink marble set is a more affordable and smaller option, making it a perfect home accessory for any space.

CappadociaDream Onyx Marble Chess Set (starting at $99; etsy. com)

WE Games Tournament Chess Set ($17. 50, originally $21; amazon. com)

Nothing bad about basic when it comes to starter sets, Pham says.

Hansen Co. Wood Magnetic Chess Set ($18. 99, originally $19. 99; macys. com)

Amerous 15-Inch Magnetic Wooden Chess Set ($43. 99, originally $49. 99; amazon. com)

Bobby Fischer Learn to Play Chess by WE Games ($21. 50, originally $29. 99; amazon. com)

Harry Potter Wizard Chess Set ($39. 99, originally $99. 99; amazon. com)

Jumbo Checkers and Chess ($99; llbean. com)

True Brands Clear Chess Board Game ($25. 99; wayfair. com)

To be clear, this set is glass (aka not recommended by Tam Pham for children starting out), and the pieces are shot glasses with the king, queen, pawns, etc.

emblazoned on each glass — so perhaps a perfect chess set fit for adults bored at home?

Acrylic Chess ($200; westelm. com)

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