This week, Netflix confirmed that The Queen's Gambit had broken its limited series streaming records, with 62 million households pressing play during its first 28 days on the platform. Not only is the series breaking Netflix records, but it's also causing chess sales to skyrocket. eBay reported that searches for boards on its site are up by 250% since the series launched.
As well as serving some serious ‘60s looks, The Queen's Gambit seems to be the only show people are talking about right now. And with lockdowns being reinstated around the world, both the producers of the show and producers of chess sets of any sort will be thanking their lucky stars that we'll likely all be succumbing to the perfect storm of quarantine boredom and a new-found urge to play chess.
While muttering “checkmate” is a flex in itself, we’re hoping to beat our challengers on a board that we’re proud of. So, covering design from Keith Haring to a Man Ray-inspired board, these are the best chess sets around. Make sure your chosen battlefield is one you’re fond of because, if you’re like us, you might be looking at it for quite a long time over the next few months.
Keep scrolling to browse our favorite chess sets.
Pendleton Roll-Up Chess & Checkers Board
This chess set by Pendleton can be quickly rolled up and transported with you when you travel. If you can, that is. Anyway, it's cool.
Polo Ralph Lauren Sutton 5-in-1 Game
Shiny Ralph Lauren luxury comes in all shapes and sizes, and here it's in full glory as a chess set. Forget black vs. white, this one is black vs. silver, and such a luxe set of armies deserve their own wooden box and storage drawers.
William & Son Reversible Leather Backgammon & Chess Board
William & Son coat a reversible backgammon and chessboard with leather and a smooth, gray-tone color palette to round out a strong, Art-Deco style. Flat pieces work for both games and mean that this one's easy to pack away when not in use.
Raw Studio Chess Set
A handstitched leather board forms the battlefield for Raw Studio's stunning chess set. 32 hand-polished pieces are the minimalistic warriors and you are the command-in-chief. No pressure.
Keith Haring Chess Set
The late, legendary Keith Haring honed his style from the simplicity of street-art. One of the most recognizable hands in modern art, his figures make the perfect substitute for the classic chess set up. It might take you a little while to get used to what’s what but once you have, this is one of the best-looking boards around — so good, in fact, that even when you’re not playing it should be on display.
Ian Flood and Chris Prosser NYC Skyline Chess Set
Who doesn’t love New York? This clean chess set from Ian Flood and Chris Prosser celebrates the spiky realness of the Big Apple’s unmistakable skyline from the Guggenheim to the Empire State Building. Perhaps not a great choice for those with small children but then again, which chess set is?
Man Ray Chess Pieces
Dada icon Man Ray created this classic chess set with objects he found around his Paris studio. From simple spherical pawns to a flowing violin finial, this wooden chess set epitomizes the resourceful, highly original approach that made Man Ray such a seminal figure in 20th-century art.
Our designated Selects section features products that we love and want to share with you. Highsnobiety has affiliate marketing partnerships, which means we may receive a commission from your purchase.