Odds & Ends

Game of Kings: 10 Unique Chess Sets for Special Strategists

chess boards
Image courtesy REX/Shutterstock
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* Did you know that chess has been around for over 1500 years?
* Sets for fans of Zelda to Harry Potter to Roman Gladiators
* Three player chess, anyone?

Most experts believe that the modern game of chess originated in India between 280 and 550 CE, while a minority are convinced that the Chinese invented the two-player board game. While its true that the origins are up for debate, the version we play today is said to have been modified sometime around 1475.

Since then, we’ve seen all kinds of variants spanning multiple genres. We picked the ten most challenging and fun versions of the classic game. Check it out and click through to buy.

1. The Noble Collection’s Harry Potter Wizard Chess Set

Yes, this is the wizard chess set from the Harry Potter universe. Before you get too excited, know that the pieces will not destroy each other–or you. Neither are they life-size, but we’ve got something like that further down the list.

Image courtesy ThinkGeek

  

2. Three Player Circular Chess

This is, in fact, a real chess set for three players. Strategies and rules have not been thrown out the window in order to accommodate a third player. Or at least that’s what ThinkGeek, the makers of this set, have to say about it. Luckily it comes with instructions. (It also reminds us of a pizza.)

Image courtesy ThinkGeek

  

3. The Legend of Zelda Collector’s Chess Set

A true treasure for any Zelda fan, ThinkGeek’s officially licensed The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is made up of all your favorite Ocarina characters, including Link, Zelda and Iron Knuckle. Aside from the fact that the board is emblazoned with the Hyrule Crest, it’s also UV finished for years of fun.

Image courtesy ThinkGeek

  

4. Kassel Globe Chess and Checkers Set

Even if you’re not into chess, Kassel’s Globe Chess Set, which features an Old World nautical globe case, makes a nice addition for your study or living room. There’s ample space to store both the chess and checkers pieces under the board.

Image courtesy Amazon

  

5. HPL American US Civil War North vs South Chess Set

Set atop an elevated platform, you can relive the Civil War with these hand painted players, including Abe Lincoln! Francis Underwood would probably appreciate this set, or any fictional president for that matter. But really, this is a fine set, especially if you’re into the genre.

Image courtesy Amazon

  

6. CHH Dragon Chess Set

Now this is a chess set fit for the Mother of Dragons, or any one of us plebs. Tipping the scales at 23 lb., CHH’s 3D set features pewter pieces and a glass board set atop the skeleton of two fallen dragons amidst the remains of what appear to be a burnt down village or castle. Never again will you ask where your dragons are.

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7. CHH Egyptian Chess Set

If any of the above sets weren’t doing it for you, then this one should. CHH’s Deluxe Egyptian Chess Set does not disappoint, and it most definitely lives up to the deluxe tag. With hand painted pieces made from polystone, which is a mixture of polyurethane resin and powdered stone, each piece will feel like porcelain. The added weight to each piece ensures this board’s playability and longevity. Golden Sphinxes adorn each corner of the board, and the board lifts for easy storage. Deluxe, right?

Egyptian Chess Set Image courtesy Amazon

  

8. Jack Daniel’s Wooden Chess Set

Even if you don’t get down with Jack Daniel’s, you’ve got to appreciate the quality of this chess set from the Tennessee whiskey maker. Each of the 32 pieces is hand-sculpted from resin to represent the primary ingredients in Jack Daniel’s, like stalks of corn and the infamous safe kicked by Jack himself. The board doubles as a carrying case, too.

[caption id="attachment_61471" align="aligncenter" width="655"] Image courtesy Amazon[/caption]

  

9. CHH Roman Gladiators 3D Chess Set

If dragons, ancient Egyptians, and wizards aren’t your thing, what about Roman gladiators? Set amongst a resin replica of the Roman Coliseum, each Gladiator is made from pewter and is said to be historically accurate. How can you not be entertained by this set?

Image courtesy Amazon

  

10. MegaChess Giant Premium Chess Set

And last but not least, a giant chess set with a 25-inch tall King! This set will go just about anywhere you have the room for it, be it indoors or outdoors. With a playing board that’s made from a heavy-duty nylon and pieces that are made from high-density plastic that’s UV protected and waterproof, you and yours will have loads of fun playing on this set for years to come.

Image courtesy MegaChess

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