Those who were enthusiastic about this game didn’t want to miss out on the chance of some entertainment on those boring trips. As we discussed before, a folding chess board was first introduced in the 12th century and was the predecessor of the modern portable chess set. Besides, a travel chess set is a wonderful idea to
for a while and have some quality time together!
Now there are so many different options around, that it can be hard to navigate, so consider reading on, if you are on the hunt for a quality travel chess set.
How to Pick the Best Travel Chess Set
There are many different types of chess sets out there, ranging from simple starter sets to elaborate boards designed for ultimate luxury. One of the most common types of boards is a travel chess set, which is meant to be taken with you and either played on-the-go or at least capable of being set up at a moment’s notice while you are travelling. Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know when you are looking for travel chess that is perfect for your needs.
Magnetic vs. Non-Magnetic
The first thing you need to consider is whether or not you need a magnetic travel chess set versus a non-magnetic one. Magnetic boards and pieces are perfect for when you plan to actually play while on the go, such as when you are in the backseat of a car or on a train, plane or will otherwise be in motion.
The magnetic boards and pieces will make sure that your game doesn’t slide around as you travel. This chess set is also a great option for children and the elderly, who might have problems with dexterity. Magnetic folding boards come in different sizes, too, so you can pick out a format that works best for you, and have a chess set that will fit perfectly even in a small backpack.
If you don’t plan to be playing in motion or you don’t mind a bit of risk, then non-magnetic travel chess is an acceptable option.
Wooden or vinyl?
Wooden chess sets have long-established their superiority in the chess world and command the respect of both amateurs and professionals. This chess set will be durable, beautiful and elegant, so there's no downside to them. It's a portable chess set with a flourish!
Vinyl chess boards prove to be very handy when you have a shortage of free space in your bag and a travel chess set that's on the heavier side just won't do it. What do you want good travel chess set to be? Of course, lightweight. That's where a vinyl board comes in! It's extremely light and comes in two options. A folding board and a roll-up. Either way, the chess pieces are stored separately in a pouch or a bag for your convenience.
Budget chess set
If you plan on bringing a travel chess set with you but you don’t want to spend a lot of money—or you have to stick to a smaller budget—then you should look for inexpensive budget sets, which are typically made with lighter materials such as plastics. This allows the board to be less expensive than a travel chess set made with metals or other sturdier and more expensive materials.
Depending on your preferred means of travel, the choice of an appropriate chess set can differ. So let’s go over the main options!
It’s always a bit uncomfortable in the aeroplane seats unless you are flying first class (in which case, congratulations!). Especially, if you are travelling with children, even a short flight can take a lot out of you. So naturally, you need some entertainment for all of your family at the same time! In this case, you can turn a simple chess match into a whole tournament, and have a delicious candy bar as a prize for the ultimate champion!
For a flight, we would recommend choosing a small travel chess set, better a wooden one, as it is going to be rather uncomfortable, balancing a vinyl board on your legs (vinyl boards, typically, are not small enough to fit on an aeroplane table).
This is probably, the lengthiest way of travel. Naturally, things can get pretty boring, so the car ride requires excitement generated by your crafty self! So if you’re interested to know what travel chess set will fit best in this situation, we would recommend a magnetic folding chess board. Just because you will need travel chess that won’t slide off in case you have to hit the breaks abruptly. Also, a car ride, especially a long-distance ride can be pretty bumpy. So, a magnetic set would be our first choice. Either a plastic set or a wooden one, depending on your personal preference, taste and pocket.
Undoubtedly, one of the most romantic means of travel. The whole atmosphere of a train ride takes you on a journey of self-exploration. And the best thing about it is you usually have a table in front of you! So your travel chess can come along for the ride! This table is a lifesaver when it comes to chess because you can take literally any set you like. All of them will work. Magnetic, non-magnetic, wooden, vinyl, plastic, anything!
The only factors in this decision are your personal preference and the size of your luggage. Our only note is intended for people who may not have a personal preference yet: a vinyl board might be your best option, as it is extremely lightweight and fits in a regular-sized, average backpack.
Now, we discussed the three main means of travel (unless you’d like to play chess on a hot air balloon, which would be spectacular, by the way) and gave you the most efficient options. As you saw, the variety of travel chess is quite versatile, so you have plenty to choose from.
When you are shopping for your new travel chess set, keep the above factors in mind and the process of finding the perfect travel chess set for you will be much easier. Have a safe trip!