Are you attracted to magnetic chess sets?
When people are looking for a chess set to play with that is also quite portable, they are often looking for a magnetic set. In fact – along with the tournament chess combination sets and wood folding chess sets, these are some of the most popular items we carry. If you’re looking for one, i’ll tell you a little about the styles and options available for you.
We have a dozen or more different magnetic chess sets – click the image below to see them all, or continue reading about some of the differences.
Types of Magnetic Chess Sets
Unfortunately, it’s never simple. There are a wide range of items available in different sizes and styles to choose from. First, I will discuss some general considerations to keep in mind, after which I will go in to further detail about the different styles and options currently available on the market.
Magnetic chess sets are usually quite small. They are often used for travel, and they range from downright tiny (about 5 or 6 inches across) to 12 or 13 inches at the most. Occasionally people are looking for larger magnetic chess pieces, but you really do not find that many options available. It’s mostly because larger sets simple often do not need magnets, but it is also because the larger the chess pieces, the stronger the magnets need to be to hold it on to the chess board. If you are looking for something particularly large, consider a wood folding set instead.
Along those lines, you’ll see that some magnetic sets are wood while a large number are either plastic or metal. While wood looks the nicest, the magnets need to be strongest due to the added weight of the pieces. You can get a very nice wooden option, but it will be a bit more pricey. You need to decide if a high quality (and cost) material like wood is really necessary for a portable set.
Considerations regarding Magnetic Chess Sets
There are several different styles of magnetic chess boards in a number of different configurations, so i’ll just touch on a few of the most popular.
First, the traditional folding chessboard – you’ll see these in both magnetic and non-magnetic options and they are usually made from wood. These are generally the largest of the magnetic chess board options as well. These sets have a hinge with a chessboard on the outside and chess piece storage within.
While it is great that it keeps everything safe with the storage for the chess pieces, there is one downside. If you need to stop playing, the chess pieces need to come of the board. Therefore, you cannot save your game without using a scorebook or sheet to keep track.
The next option would be a chess set with a lid. This is great because you can save a chess position and come back to it later. A great example of this is the Drueke magnetic chess set – It does not fold, but the smaller size allows it to still be easily stored in a backpack or in luggage. If you’re playing chess on an airline flight, it fits perfectly on a tray table and can be quickly put under your seat for while you have your meal. When you take it out again, the position is saved so you do not have to set the game back up or start over.
Finally, there are wallet design chess sets. These magnetic chess sets are the smallest and most easily portable. They can actually fit right within your coat pocket and are roughly the same size as a checkbook. You can even save your position on these – how? because instead of using tall chess pieces, they use smaller discs with a picture of a chess piece on it. This is a love-it or hate-it sort of feature. While it certainly makes things compact, some people feel it loses the ‘feel’ of chess.
On the flipside, you can actually use the pieces to play checkers as well, making it a defacto 2-in-1 game set!
In the end, it is important to remember that while useful, it’s only one option. Magnetic chess pieces can be useful, but they’re generally not made for you to play upside down – in the end it will help protect against being jostled or a bump in the road, but it will not prevent you from knocking the chess pieces over if your arm hits the pieces on the board! There are a lot of other types of travel chess sets – some of which i’ll discuss soon!
I hope you found this post informative.