Chess, a game that’s a millennium and a half old, is surging back in popularity. The game could be rising in notoriety thanks to people spending more time watching streamers play chess. It could also be that Netflix’s chess-inspired series The Queen’s Gambit influenced new enthusiasts.
Whatever the reason for Chess’ resurgence, more people are looking for different kinds of chessboards. These boards are made of many materials, with the most common and popular being wood. Glass chessboards, however, can be stunningly elegant or have a modern twist.
Owning and using a glass chessboard, as opposed to a standard wooden or metal chessboard, comes with its own quirks. Because these chessboards are glass, they are inherently fragile and should be handled with utmost care. This makes shipping glass chessboards risky. The main criteria for selecting the best glass chess boards were based on each product’s quality and durability.
Many of the best glass chessboards are listed on Etsy, an artisan marketplace. Therefore, the stock of these glass chessboards will likely fluctuate frequently.
Here are the best glass chessboards.
Best overall glass chessboard
This glass chessboard hits the mark for quality and aesthetic design. Clear and frosted alternating squares create a classy, sleek grid. Beneath the grid is a mirror board, which allows light to reflect upward from underneath the frosted squares. Playing with the light like this makes the board appear to glow in different shades and colors of light.
Chess USA manufactures this chessboard and is known for being one of a few popular and reputable stores for chess-related items. At 15 inches by 15 inches, this board is ideal for playing and for displaying. While many glass chess sets sell with a high price tag, this chessboard is the second cheapest on this list at around $50.
Best hybrid glass chessboard
Obsidian and Glass Pieces Chess Set
Colorful and a little spooky, this hybrid board is made of black glass and green marble. The rest of the glass chess boards in this list use some combination of black, white, and/or clear glass, but this one stands out with its glass and marble combination. A thin, black border lines the 13.77-by-13.77 board.
This set is handmade by HandproMX, a shop on Etsy run by Yidany Ceja. Because the product is handmade, each one will not be identical to the last. This chess set on Etsy sells for under $100.
Best luxury glass chessboard
Luxury Handmade Crystal Chess Set
What makes this a luxury chess set is that it is handmade entirely out of crystal and glass. Measuring 11.4 inches by 11.4 inches, it is a decent size for a glass board. This chessboard and its pieces come in a velvet-covered wooden case. Despite the fragility of the chessboard, the quality packaging ensured the glass board and its pieces were delivered completely whole and unscratched. The combination of glass and crystal makes for a refined and luxurious board. StyleGiftShop, the Etsy shop that makes this chess set, also offers the board with custom message engraving, making it a beautiful gift for chess enthusiasts.
StyleGiftShop is run by creator Guckan, who claims on the shop announcement page that he, his family, and friends make glass chessboards and other kinds of chessboards for the Etsy shop. Because stock may fluctuate quickly, it could pay off to browse StyleGiftShop’s other glass boards as well.
Best value glass chessboard
Typically sold on Amazon for just under $50, this chessboard presents a great value for those on a budget. It’s the largest board we’ve included on our list, measuring 15 inches by 15 inches with a .125-inch board thickness. Alternating frosted and clear glass squares make up the board, but the clear glass squares and the thin border around the squares mirror the surroundings clearly.
Although a beautiful set, it might be worth buying separate chess pieces. Some buyers have received broken or chipped pieces, but the board itself has a record of staying intact through the shipping process.
Best decorative glass chessboard
Articture Crystal Chess Set
Found on Articture, this chessboard and its pieces are entirely made of 100-percent crystal. Its grid is reflective and refined, with alternating matte white, smoky squares and clear, transparent squares. The 12-by-12 board should be cleaned very carefully with a dry duster.
Despite being a crystal chessboard, Articture’s model is still very much glass. The difference is in the way light shines through this board. Without going into the science involved, crystal refracts light similarly to the way a prism refracts light. When you observe the chessboard in sunlight, the light becomes divided into shards as it goes through the material. Crystal also feels weightier than regular glass, which can add to its stability on a surface. Articture’s crystal chess set will make a fine centerpiece because of its elegance and glistening material.
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