Some of the finest chess sets in the world are Indian chess sets, and the ones on this list make the most of that beautiful design.
Those who know the history of the ancient game of chess will not be surprised to learn that some of the world’s finest chess sets are handmade by artists in India, since all signs point to chess getting its start in that region. Because of this rich chess history, the art of making an exceptional chess set has been passed down in some Indian families from generation to generation for many long years.
This passing down of knowledge, along with the gradual accumulation of knowledge each new generation makes on its own, has led to a wealth of expert craftsmen in India backed by knowledge of chess set making that has been finely honed over the course of several lifetimes.
And now you can benefit from this ancient tradition by buying an Indian chess set made by one of these master artisans, or inspired by their creations. We’ve listed a few of our favorites for you below.
The Best Indian Chess Sets of 2023:
1. The Indian Chess Set (130$)
As you may be able to tell by its name, The Indian Chess Set aims to capture all of the unique details that make up the quintessential Indian chess set. Though it is actually imported from Europe, it is designed to closely mimic all of the features that make an Indian chess set an Indian chess set.
The Indian Chess Set is a very beautiful set with lots of fine details. The chess pieces are made in the traditional Indian design, with an added bit of color contrast to make each one really pop. Each one of these Indian inspired chess pieces is handcrafted from the finest hornwood and sycamore wood, and then hand finished with a protective layer.
The Indian chess pieces stay true to the traditional Indian design pattern, which is why the long and slender King pieces stand a whopping 4.75 inches off the board, with a narrow base diameter of only 1.4 inches. The style is similar enough to the Staunton pattern that you won’t have any trouble identifying which piece is which, but different enough to make things interesting and lend a unique Indian flare to your chess set.
The chess board is made from eco-friendly, renewable plantation wood, so you can feel good about your purchase. It also features many intricately carved decorations to catch your eye. In addition, the board features number and letter markers along each side to assist with notation, as well as a folding design with padded storage slots for each individual piece.
This set is a steal at its current price, and even more so with this exclusive coupon just for our readers!
2. 18” Indian Wooden Chess Set (80$)
This Indian chess set features a somewhat simplified version of the traditional Indian style. That’s not to say it’s any less elegant- as we all know, sometimes less is more.
The 18” Indian Wooden Chess Set is currently available at a great price, especially considering what you get. The Indian chess pieces in this set are slender and narrow in the typical Indian style, and are expertly carved from dark and medium toned woods. Each of the Bishop pieces features a unique contrasting cap that brings an extra layer of interest to the design. This set is overall more compact than the Indian Chess Set, and the King pieces measure 3 ⅝ inches tall with a 1 3/16 inch base. The pawn pieces, for comparison, are 2 1/16 inches tall with the same size base.
The Indian chess board in this set is also a bit smaller than the one in the Indian Chess Set. It is 18.25 inches square and features 1 ⅞ inch squares. When folded, it measures 18.5 inches long by 9.25 inches wide by 2.4 inches deep. The folding design of this Indian chess board allows plenty of room inside for dedicated padded storage slots for each individual piece. This board also has plenty of room to fit number and letter markers around each side of the board for notation purposes.
The Unique Style of the Indian Chess Set
Indian chess sets are some of the most beautiful chess sets in the world, yet it seems that fewer and fewer chess lovers are aware of them. We think that’s a shame, because their unique style makes them perfect for play or display. If this is your first time hearing about Indian chess sets, you may wonder what exactly sets them apart from other chess sets.
The main difference lies in the design of the Indian board and pieces. When you first see an Indian chess set, it will be obvious that things look different, but you may not be able to put your finger on what the differences are, exactly. One notable difference is the size of the pieces- they are usually much more tall and narrow, sort of elongated, similar to Russian chess sets.
Another difference is in the design of the board. Indian chess sets will typically feature notation letters and numbers around all four sides of the chessboard. They also usually feature darker wood tones and less glossy finishes. High-end Indian chess boards may also have intricate wood carvings on the board or pieces that draw the eye.
Choosing an Indian Chess Set
Choosing any chess set can be difficult, but choosing an Indian chess set offers its own unique set of challenges. First is the issue of where to buy from- you’ll want to choose a reputable vendor, of course.
The second thing to keep in mind is your budget. It’s very easy to get caught up in the beauty and craftsmanship of Indian chess sets and quickly find yourself falling in love with a set that’s well outside your price range. These sets can get very expensive! But there are also plenty of great options for people on a tighter budget, so there’s no excuse for shopping outside of your means.
The third thing to consider when choosing an Indian chess set is the most subjective, but you may also consider it the most important. When you’re looking for an Indian chess set of your own, you need to be guided by your own sense of style. What one person thinks is the most beautiful chess set ever may not do anything for you, so let your own personal preferences influence your decision more than anyone else’s.
And finally, remember that when you choose an Indian chess set from our list of curated products, you really can’t go wrong. We’ve pre-screened each of these to make sure that they are high quality, high-value sets, so you can feel confident buying off this list.
Our Final Thoughts on Indian Chess Sets
Indian chess sets offer a great change of pace from the traditional chess set. If you’re a chess lover, you should have at least one in your collection! They are great as display sets or everyday play sets, and offer a lot of unique style that can’t be found anywhere else. Get yours today!
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