Chess Tables

All About Choosing and Buying Chess Tables.
Including Reviews of the Best and Most Recommended Chess Tables of 2016!
We Help You Choose and Buy a Chess Table and Tell You About Some of Our Favorites.

Chess is more than a simple game, it's a passion and an entire universe in and of itself. Perhaps that's why it has endured for centuries and is now played all around the world. A casual game of fun for some and a serious game of strategy for others, chess appeals to a wide variety of players. People play it to sharpen their minds, to pass the time, or to compete in tournaments and win glory. For serious players, chess is more than simply playing; it's also about studying the game, the strategy, the philosophy, and the possible movements of the game pieces.

For a beginning or average chess player, a regular chess board is sufficient. Their goal is simply to play the game, whether they've been playing it for a few days or many years. I should note that regular chess boards are perfectly fine. They allow you to play and that's the entire point of the game, is it not? For some people, though, as they become more interested in the game, they often want to upgrade their boards. They want to play with better pieces - ones that resemble works of art and feel entirely different than a regular cardboard and plastic chess set.

Our Reviews of the Best Chess Tables of 2016:

On to the reviews! Because there are so many chess board tables on the market, we picked out seven of our favorites in order to tell you all about them. We tried to choose chess tables in a variety of sizes - from huge, heavy ones that will be the centerpiece of any room to ones that are so small, you'll barely notice they're there.

The tables on our list are made with a variety of materials and a wide array of interesting woods. From simple and straightforward to detailed and ornate, we chose chess tables to match all sorts of design aesthetics. And yes - as mentioned above - one of our boards comes complete with game pieces. Keep reading to see if one of these chess board tables is right for you.

#1 Signature Traditional Chess Table with 2.25" Squares by House of Staunton:

Simple and elegant, this chess table will make a beautiful addition to any room in your house. If you prefer a decorative style with clean lines and don't like furniture that's incredibly ornate, you should absolutely give the Signature Traditional Chess Table a closer look.

It's crafted by House of Staunton, one of the leading names in chess pieces, boards, and tables, so there's no doubt that you're getting a chess table of the highest quality with this one. The table base is made of White Oak, giving it a gorgeous contrast to the top, which is made of a richly luxurious Walnut. The focal point of this beautifully-grained table is the playing field. Flawlessly inset into the tabletop, the playing field is made of Maple (for the lighter squares) and Brazilian Ebony (used to breathtaking effect in the dark squares).

This isn't a mass-manufactured chess table. Each one is custom made as it's ordered, with the craftsmen paying attention to any specifications provided by the customer. After it's made, each table is individually signed by Nate Cohen, Master Craftsman with House of Staunton. With the amazing attention to detail that goes into these beautiful chess tables, the custom creation and signature by the craftsman makes each one a truly unique masterpiece.

The squares on the Signature Traditional Chess Table measure 2 inches to 2 and 5/8 inches (the customer must specify their preference). The playing surface is 32 inches wide and 41 inches long. The tabletop is 30 inches high, with the leg clearance reaching 24 and 3/4 inches. Customers may also specify if they want a table with no drawers, one drawer, or two. The table will ship unassembled, but assembly is straightforward and very quick.

One of our favorite chess tables, the Signature Traditional Chess Table will look at home in a variety of decors. Because it's not overly ornate, it will make a stylish addition to even more contemporary decorative styles. Another wonderful aspect of this table is that its size makes it perfect for use as a coffee table. Put books on it, use it to display snacks for guests, or use it to set up a variety of other board games or to play cards. This chess board table is as versatile as it is beautiful. If you'd like to buy a chess table, you can't go wrong with this one.

More Details: Signature Traditional Chess Table at HouseOfStaunton.com

#2: The Ultimate Italian Game Table:

Here at Chess Directory, we focus on everything that's chess-related. When it comes to chess tables, however, sometimes a table is too magnificent to contain just a chess game. In the case of the Ultimate Italian Game Table, players can gather around it and enjoy a strategic game of chess, a quick game of checkers, a fun game of backgammon - or they can replace the cover and play a game of cards on the luxurious green billiard cloth padding on top of the table. No matter what game is your favorite, you'll be able to enjoy it on this wonderful gaming table.

Handcrafted in Italy by highly-skilled artisans, The Ultimate Game Table is made of gorgeous Mahogany and Walnut, polished to a breathtaking shine. When you open it to reveal the backgammon and chess boards, you'll note that they are inlaid with Maple and beautiful Briarwood. The design of the table is ornate and finely-detailed. Beautiful whether it's open during play or closed up and being used for other purposes, this table is a beauty. The base is small enough that you can squeeze up very close to the table, relax, and enjoy your game.

The Ultimate Game Table measures 27 inches high. It's 23 by 23 inches in width. The chess/checkers playing squares on the board are 2 inches.
Chess, checkers, or backgammon - the choice is yours. Whether you typically prefer one of these games or are happy spending a quiet evening enjoying them all, the Ultimate Italian Game Table is a beautiful way to have fun playing all the games you love. More Details: The Ultimate Italian Game Table at ChessHouse.com

#3 US Made Round Pedestal Game Table, Solid Cherry Wood - 3 in 1:

This is truly a classic chess board table for the ages. When you see the Round Pedestal Game Table, you'll immediately call to mind classic antique chess tables from times long past. Its timeless, elegant style will look wonderful in a home office or in a living room, positioned next to a roaring fireplace. If you'd like to buy a chess table that's traditional in style and easily functional, the Round Pedestal Game Table is a good one to consider. You and your family will spend many happy hours enjoying this fabulous game table.

The Round Pedestal Game Table was created for players to enjoy chess, checkers, and backgammon - all without having to get out an additional board or hunt for pieces. Crafted in the United States, it's carved out of beautiful, solid Cherry wood (with the exception of the skirt, which is made of Cherry wood laminate).

Manufacturers chose Cherry because of its rich history of use in the U.S., as well as its gorgeous grain, smooth texture that looks amazing while allowing for ease of use, as well as the fact that Cherry is known to change color as it ages, transitioning into a reddish-brown over the years. The playing boards are made of Walnut and Maple. In order to enhance and protect the playing boards, they are coated with a light finish. The table features two fabulous little drawers that allow for storage of playing pieces.

Speaking of playing pieces, this table comes with a set that are just as stunning as the table itself. Because most of the chess tables we've reviewed don't come with any pieces included, we weren't sure what to expect of these, but we were pleasantly surprised. They're sturdy Staunton-style chess pieces that are large and feel wonderful in the hand.

Their size (the king measures 4 inches high) makes them large enough to be intricately carved; you'll be amazed at the finely-designed details of the knights! The pieces are crafted from Sheesham and Kari wood. They're also very well-weighted, giving them a nice balance when you play with them. Each piece is lovingly padded with green billiard cloth so that they glide across the board with ease without catching, scuffing, or scratching. This table also includes a set of nicely-carved wooden pieces for playing backgammon and checkers.

The board on the Round Pedestal Game Table measures 20 by 20 by .5 inches. The table itself stands 31.5 inches tall. The table top is 39.5 by 40.5 by 7 inches (32 inches in diameter) and the base is 36 by 36 by 30.5 inches. It's a hefty table, with the top weighing in at 60.95 pounds and the base at 29.65 pounds.
With its understated elegance and quality craftsmanship, this Round Chess Table is the perfect one for your family to enjoy - not just today, but for generations to come. More Details: Solid Cherry Wood US Made Round Pedestal Game Table at ChessHouse.com

#4 Alabaster Chess Table:

Of all the chess tables for sale, this one really stands out from the crowd. For a truly unique chess table, the designers of this one decided to inlay the chess board with elegant Italian alabaster. Valued since Biblical times for its translucence and rarity, alabaster makes this chess board absolutely glow. Because of the way light plays on genuine alabaster, years ago, home designers discovered that it's a beautiful material out of which to create lighting fixtures. Imagine our surprise at finding it being used for a chess table! Alternated with the dark squares, the Alabaster makes for an unusual and wonderfully magical chess board.

The table itself is beautifully and ornately carved from solid Walnut and Italian Mahogany. The base sits slightly raised off of the floor by four rounded supports. The tabletop sits on a single pillar and features two perfect storage drawers that are nicely accented with small brass handles. Don't be fooled by the small base on this rather large table; it's very sturdy, stable, and solid. This is an incredibly well-made board that will stand up to years of admiration and use.

Handcrafted in Italy, the Alabaster Chess Table measures 27 3/8 inches high. The chess board size is 23 1/2 inches by 23 1/2 inches and the actual playing surface is 20 inches square. The squares measure 2 1/2 inches each. The drawers are 11 by 11 by 2 1/2 inches - the perfect size to store all of your treasured chess and checkers pieces.

For a chess table that's more than functional, the Alabaster Chess Table is a wonderful choice. Beautiful and enjoyable to play chess on, this table is one that looks beautifully stunning simply sitting quietly somewhere in your home or office. More Details: Alabaster Chess Table at ChessHouse.com

#5 Chess, Checkers, and Backgammon Table:

Another multi-use table, this one is well-designed and somewhat ornate, yet simple. It's an attractive table that provides the perfect platform to enjoy hours of your favorite games.

The Chess, Checkers, and Backgammon Table is crafted in Italy out of antique finished Wormwood - not a wood we've seen used on the other chess tables we've reviewed thus far. The large tabletop sits on a pillar that's connected to a sturdy, square base. Overall, this table is very traditional in its design until you notice the solid brass chess board. What an absolute beauty this chess board is! It's a rather unexpected touch on a seemingly traditional wooden chess table. The lighter chess squares have a beautiful metallic shine, accented by the darker squares.

When you get done staring at (or playing on) the brass chessboard, simply remove the tabletop to reveal the backgammon board underneath. The backgammon board is green, silk-screened, and richly inviting. Have fun enjoying a game of backgammon and then lift that board off to reveal a wonderful storage compartment for all of your playing pieces. There's never a need to hunt down a box of chess pieces when you have them at hand, right inside your Chess, Checkers, and Backgammon Table.

This table is 24 1/4 inches high. The board size measures 20 inches square, with each square at 1 3/4 inches. There are individual slots for storage of your pieces. The slots measure as follows: 16 slots at 4 7/8 inches by 1 7/8 inches, 16 slots at 3 3/8 inches by 1 3/4 inches, 3 slots at 4 1/2 inches by 1/2 inch, 2 slots at 1 1/4 inches by 1/2 inch.

This table will work for pieces that measure up to 1 3/4 inch at the base and that are no more than 4 3/4 inches tall. Made of beautiful, high-quality materials, this Chess, Checkers, and Backgammon Table is durable and will still look absolutely gorgeous after years of constant use. More Details: Chess, Checkers, and Backgammon Table at ChessHouse.com

#6 Sorrento Chess Table:

As you may have guessed from the name, this beautiful little chess table is made in Italy. It's the perfect chess table for those who don't have huge amounts of room to add extra furniture in their home or office spaces. The tabletop is smaller than many of the others we've reviewed, and it sits on a carved pillar that is supported by a triad of gently-curved table legs.

In addition to being compact, The Sorrento Chess Table is an elegantly-designed table that's breathtaking in its beauty. The table itself is crafted of Briarwood and Mahogany, giving it a richly beautiful glow. The woodgrain on the top of the table is simply entrancing. The playing surface is inlaid into the table and made of Maple and Walnut.

Two of the most striking characteristics of this table are the deep, glossy finish that's used to seal the tabletop and playing surface. It glows with a lustrous shine, giving the appearance that the chess pieces will simply float across this beautiful board. Another beautiful touch are the flowing curved design that marks the edge of the tabletop. You won't be able to help commenting on the craftsmanship when you note the carefully-smoothed curves that make this table stand out from the rest of the round or square chess tables on the market.

The Sorrento Chess Table is 27 inches high. Its table top measures 26 inches, with the board size measuring at 16 inches square. Each square on the playing field is 2 inches square. The only downside to this chess table is that it lacks any storage space for your chess pieces. However, its small size more than make up for having to store your pieces elsewhere. For the distinguished chess player who happens not to have lots of spare space in which to put a bulkier chess table, this is a choice that will please.

More Details: Sorrento Chess Table at ChessHouse.com

#7 Elm Briarwood Satin Chess Table:

Even smaller in diameter than the last table we reviewed, the Elm Briarwood Satin Table is another excellent choice for the spacially-challenged home. Even more simple in design than the Sorrento, the Elm Briarwood features a simple, round tabletop and a delicately carved pillar all balanced on small, beautiful feet.

Although it's small, this Italian-made chess table is still quite lovely to look at. It's made from elm and inlaid briarwood. The chessboard features a subtle, satin finish, giving it an overall element of understated elegance. Although there's no storage included for your playing pieces, the overall design of this table make it a space-saving and affordable addition to your chess repertoire.

The Elm Briarwood Satin Table features 2-inch playing squares. It measures 29 inches tall and the tabletop is 24 inches in diameter. We think this table is perfect as a first chess table for a budding player or the perfect piece of chess furniture for someone who doesn't want to commit a large amount of space to the game. More Details: Elm Briarwood Satin Chess Table at ChessHouse.com

The Beauty of the Game

When this happens, players will seek out higher-quality, beautiful chessboards made of wood, stone, or metal. For experienced players, these boards are a joy to play on. The craftsmanship and materials that go into a hand-crafted chessboard make it a true work of art that looks just as good at rest as it does when it's laid out with pieces and being used for a game. In fact, some people who don't even play chess that often will buy such a board, decorate it with beautiful pieces, and simply leave it out on display.

For the discerning player, having breathtaking chess pieces is also important. Just as they will often look for a beautiful chess board, players who have developed a true passion for the game of chess will seek out a set of chess pieces that were created by a true artisan. No matter your style, there is a set of chess pieces that will take your breath away. From hand-carved wood to beautifully-cast metal, players can find chess pieces in traditional and uniquely modern styles. A quality set of chess pieces will be perfectly weighted and feel wonderful as they're held and moved across the board. The experience of playing with such a set is unparalleled.

There is an entire universe of chess sets available; the possibilities are virtually endless. For the traditionalist, there are wonderful sets with standard, Staunton-style chess pieces. For those whose interests range beyond just chess, there are themed pieces and sets available. For those who are fans of the legendary J. R. R. Tolkien, there are Lord of the Rings chess sets where orcs and wizards battle for the future of Middle Earth. If you're a history buff, an American Civil War chess set will allow you to reenact classic battles between the Union and Confederate troops in the mid-1800's.

Chess-Themed Furniture

Truly distinguished players want more than just a chess set; they want chess-themed furniture. This is a perfect way to describe chess board tables, or tables that have chess boards inlayed into them. Chess board tables are gorgeous works of art that add an air of sophistication to any space. They can also help save space; rather than having a chess table taking up room on an existing desk or table, you can have furniture with a board built right into it. Whether you leave the chess pieces set up on your table at all times, ready for play, or stash them away in between games so that the table can be used for other things, a chess board table is a beautiful addition to your home.

How to Choose a Chess Board Table

When you first start doing research in order to buy a chess table, you'll be amazed at how many different styles are out there. There are a lot of well-made, high-quality chess tables on the market and you'll be able to find a large number that will capture your imagination and leave you breathless at the thought of owning them. It's worth it to stop for a second, however, and really consider what it is that you're looking for in a chess table. No matter which one you choose, it's likely to be a bit of an investment, so you want to be sure you get one that you'll be happy with for years down the road. We thought we'd give you a handy guide to help walk you through the process of picking one out. When researching chess board tables, you should consider the following:

Your Budget

Perhaps this is an obvious one, but it's likely to be the biggest factor in your decision. Chess tables can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. You obviously want to get the most impressive, highest-quality one possible, so before doing any research at all, determine what you're willing to spend. As with anything, if you go extremely cheap, you'll likely end up with a low-quality chess board. You get what you pay for. However, you can find many gorgeous chess boards that will provide you with years of enjoyment without breaking the bank.

The Size of Your Chess Table

The next factor that will come into play is what size your chess table will be. This will be dependent on how much space you have in the area you wish to place it. Some chess board tables are massive - the size of a regular coffee table, even. Others are extremely tiny, resembling small accent or end tables. Do you want to be able to use your chess table as an all-around surface for entertaining or utility purposes? If so, a larger board will be perfect. If you only want to use it for chess and gaming purposes, a smaller one may do.

Materials and Style

What's your decor style? If you have a home that's decorated with a very contemporary flair, a traditional chess table with an ornate base and curvy pillars may not fit in. Similarly, if your home is very traditionally-decorated, an extremely modern-looking chess table will look out of place. Some of these tables are very large, prominent pieces of furniture, so take the same care in picking one as you would in picking out a new coffee table or a new couch.

Part of choosing the style of your new chess table will be choosing the materials out of which it's made. Most traditional tables are made of all wood. For an eclectic flair, you can also find tables with boards that are inlaid with unexpected materials such as alabaster or brass. Even if these tables have a more traditional-looking base, the inlay can really make them pop and help them blend in more modern settings.

Materials will also determine the price of each table, with exotic woods and materials costing more than run-of-the-mill ones. When you're considering your budget, doing a bit of research on material types will give you an idea of what to expect.

Do You Need Pieces?

If you're upgrading from a standard, department store chess board with plastic pieces, perhaps you're in need of a good-quality set of wooden pieces to use on your new chess table board. Or perhaps you have a beautiful box that's stocked with your set of treasured, hand-carved chess pieces that were handed down to you by your grandfather. Either way, there's a chess table for you. (Keep in mind that if you already have a set of pieces, you'll want to make sure that whatever board or table you choose matches well with your chess pieces. Many people like to keep their chess pieces set up on their boards/tables at all times. If they're a good match, this will look absolutely wonderful.)

Many of the chess tables we'll review below come with only the table itself, meaning that you'll need to supply the pieces. One of the chess tables in our reviews (the U.S.-Made Round Pedestal Game Table) comes with a set of chess and checkers pieces. If you do your homework, you'll be able to find other tables on the market that come with pieces included.

Is Storage Important?

Another question to ask: is it a must that your chess table include storage for your pieces? If you're playing with your treasured heirloom set, you may already have a gorgeous coffer for chess piece storage. No matter what pieces you're playing with, it's pretty convenient to be able to safely and quickly stash them away inside the chess board table itself.

One downside to chess tables with included storage? They tend to be larger. If size is an issue, you'll need to look for a smaller table. The smaller chess tables get, the less likely they are to have drawers or interior compartments for game piece storage.

Final Thoughts

Chess board tables are more than pieces to a chess game - they can be multi-functional pieces of furniture in your home. Large or small, simple or ornate, there's a chess table out there that's perfect for your lifestyle. We hope our tips and chess table reviews will be helpful to you on the journey of choosing one.

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