9 Cool Chess Sets for Gift Ideas & Collecting

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This year, I have made up my mind to give our 8 year old chess-loving son a cool chess set for Christmas.  The problem is that he may not be responsible enough to own a terribly expensive chess set yet.  Still the shopper in me had to see what I could find.  Maybe I could find something really fun and unique that wouldn't be too painful if our son lost one of the chessmen.  Here are some of the chess sets that really caught my eye.  Some of them aren't a good fit for an 8 year old, but would be perfect gifts for a teenager or an adult.

1.  Star Wars Chess Set - I just had to include this one because my husband and children are huge Star Wars fans.  All the original main characters are represented as the chessmen with Tie Fighters and X-Wing Starfighters as the pawns.  This is a game of Rebels vs. the Imperials.  The characters include Princess Leia, Obi Wan, (2) Luke Skywalker with Yoda on his back, (2) Han Solo, (2) C-3PO with R2-D2, Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, (2) Stormtrooper, (2) Royal Guard, and (2) Boba Fett.

2.  Dragon and Knight Medieval Chess Board Set - This decorative set is just plain cool to look at.  It will surely be a conversation piece displayed in your home as a work of art.  This set is a beautiful choice for a teen or adult collector, but the polyresin may be too fragile for a young child.

3.  3D Knights Chess Set - This chess set is a little on the dark side.  The chessmen are made of pewter with polyresin bases and the board is made of glass.  The detailed knights battleground base will likely speak to Lord of the Rings fans and perhaps collectors of Renaissance art.  There is also a similar 3D Dragon Chess Set that features dragon warriors and a dragon battleground instead of knights.

4.  Four Person Chess Set - This chess set can be played by 2, 3, or 4 players.  One side of the board accommodates up to 4 players, while the other side is a classic 2-player board.  In addition to the usual black and ivory chessmen, this set also comes with a gold set and silver set.  This game is a great gift idea for anyone from a family of chess players to someone living in a college dorm who always has people around ready for a friendly game.

5.  Recycled Auto Parts Chess Set - This is an artisan-made chess set from NOVICA.  The handcrafted board and pieces are made of recycled auto parts by an artisan named Armando Ramirez in Mexico.  This set has a steampunk style and is a unique work of art.

6.  Police/Firemen Chess Set - I think it's a super-cool idea to feature heroes of the community in a chess set.  Including the canine members of each team is an especially nice touch to an animal-lover like me.  This set would make a perfect gift for anyone who just passed their exam or someone who is retiring from a career as a firefighter or police officer.

7.  Chinese Qin Chess & Checkers Game Set - I've seen many different Chinese chess sets with chessmen made of soapstone.  The detail just does not compare to these sculpted pewter pieces.  Of course, both kinds have their own attributes, but this set is both beautiful and more compact than the soapstone sets I've seen.  As an added bonus, this set comes with wooden checker pieces.

8.  Japanese Samurai Chess Set - The elegant chessmen in this set are hand painted solid marble resin.  This set would be the perfect gift for anyone who is a fan of the well-respected and ever honorable samurai culture.  I've seen these chessmen available with a variety of different boards, but I especially like this handsome high gloss mahogany and maple board.

9.  Colored Dragon Glass Chess Set - This chess set is similar to the 3D dragon chess set I had mentioned in #3. This set, however, is more fantastical with the vivid colors of the polyresin blue and red dragons, as well as the lava and crystals beneath the glass game board.  Rather than having a dark feel like the other set, the dragons in this set are beautiful and graceful.

I ultimately chose the Four Person Chess Set for our 8 year old son because I loved the idea of not having to exclude his brother or sister from playing.  It is also extremely affordable.  One of these other sets will have to wait until he gets older and more responsible.

Which chess set is your favorite?  Let us know in a comment here.