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The top choice electronic chess set from the reviews on this page is the square off Grand Kingdom set which is the ultimate in electronic chess sets. Read the complete review below
I have kept this list quite small for a couple of reasons. In an effort not to confuse, a huge list of affiliate recommendations will not help in your decision making, and, I couldn’t afford to buy a dozen of the top-level boards, paying in excess of $500 each.
So the list of three come from a choice of 5, two of which were very disappointing and not worthy of explanation but are listed at the bottom of this article.
The SquareOff set is one I wanted the moment I saw it, to be able to play anyone, from anywhere in the world over the board, was such a novelty, I simply couldn’t pass it up.
I also have a DGT electronic board because I love DGT products, they never fail to deliver, and I also have a good enough budget option which is more suitable for kids and as a present perhaps.
- Best Overall Electronic Chess Set for Online Play
- Best Classic Alternative – Tournament
- Best Budget Electronic Chess Board – For Kids
As I run through each of the final five listed below, I provide links to where you can purchase them online; if you do click a link on this page and end up buying, I may earn a small commission, which goes a long way to helping me purchase and try more products for the reviews you find on this site. And I thank you.
Oh, and you won’t find one of those retro electronic chess games from back in the 80s and 90s.
Actually, they are still a thing and available on Amazon, but in terms of value for money, with the development of technology and what you can get for a bit more money, I find them obsolete in this day and age.
Top 3 Electronic Chess Sets
Let’s look in more detail at the top 3 electronic chess sets, who they suit the best, and what you get for your money. What are the quality, the price, and the value of each of these contenders for the best electronic chess sets on the market?
|SquareOff||23.74″x 19.05″x 1.92″||5.4kg||Amazon|
|DGT Smart Board||20.5′ x 20.5″||2.0kg||USCF Sales|
|iCore||8.8″ x 7.2″||0.68kg||Amazon|
Brand – size – pieces – weight – price
1. Square Off Grand Kingdom Set – Great for Online Play
As mentioned this was a ‘must-have’ for me as soon as I saw the Square Off Grand Kingdom Set. I grew up in and learned chess in the 1970s and with the exception of some very early electronic developments from the likes of Taito and Atari, there was no real electronic chess, it was all over the board.
So when I saw this classic looking board and understood I could link it up to my chess.com account and take on players from anywhere in the world on that platform, and their pieces would move automatically, I was ‘TAKE MY MONEY!!’, I have to see this magic at work.
There remains something a little spooky and ‘horror-filmish’ about the way the pieces move on their own, in a kind of awkward jerky style at times, but if you are a fan of over the board view when playing chess, and like playing friends online, this is mind-blown territory.
The chessboard is handcrafted from premium materials.
- Dimensions 23.74″x 19.05″x 1.92″
- Weight 5.4 kg
- BLE 4.1 Bluetooth
- Rosewood Finish
- 32 + 2(queen) Chess Pieces
2. The DGT Smart Board Electronic Chess Board – Tournament Ready
Purchase from: USCF Sales
Looking for a travel-friendly chess set that won’t let you down?
Look no further than The DGT Smart Board Electronic Chess Board. I am more than happy to admit that this is a better-looking board than the SquareOff option, and more ‘normal-looking’ with no wide board margins, sitting on a 20.5″ x 20.5″ board providing plenty of room, for FIDE Tournament standard pieces.
I really like the small stand underneath which gives the board a floating look, and as you would expect, it is compatible with all DGT Electronic chess sets. Not to mention, only half the weight of the SquareOff board.
This really is a superb piece of kit, and great value
- The DGT Smart Board interacts with the most powerful chess playing software and chess engines available on your PC or laptop, allowing you to train, play and analyze.
- As an online play option, the DGT Smart Board may be used as a key input device to compete against players from all over the world. The moves of the opponent (human or engine) are displayed on the display of the DGT3000 chess clock, which is linked to the Smart Board.
- Use the free DGT LiveChess Software and Cloud Service to broadcast your chess games live over the internet.
3. iCore Electronic Chess Set – Best for Kids
OK, So I am going, to be honest, here, I am not a fan of this board, it was like going back to the 80s and 90’s just looking at it, although in all fairness, the performance was above what we used to get electronically back then and better than I was expecting at first glance.
It is small however, at just 8″ v 7″, it is smaller than it seems in the picture, and at just 1.5lbs, it is pretty lightweight too
However, I had to buy one just to see if it was better than it looked (if smaller), which is confirmed, but I can’t get past the look.
It’s not bad, butit is 100% more suited to a child’s present than serious adult electronic chess entertainment.
- This is going to be a good present for a child chess fan who wants to learn.
- Good for kids that want to play chess alone, or at least you need some time off!
- Sturdy build but lightweight
- OK value for money, and much cheaper than the premium products in this niche
- Portable enough for travel
Things to Consider When Buying an Electronic Chess Board and Pieces
There are some very sophisticated choices out there in the marketplace for electronic chess boards in 2022, and there are some pretty special prices to boot, some options coming out towards $1000
Thankfully there is no need to spend $1000 on one, as there are options at the top end of the market closer to $500 which translates to better value for money.
Who is it for?
Once you drop below $100, and in some cases just above, we are treading into ‘toy’ territory which is something to consider.
At this level, I think we are accepting that this is something for the kids to play with and learn by playing with the computer built-in.
What are you going to use it for?
These electronic chess boards are generally for home use only, although the DGT version is compatible with FIDE tournament play, so if boards are needed at the next tournament you are playing, you could take it along.
I’d be a little nervous letting a $500 electronic chess board out of my sight though!
I love the fact that this works in conjunction with sites like chess.com – To be able to get away from the computer screen, play over the board but also have all the options of play available with online chess is a huge selling point for me, and I find, I am much happier picking up and touching my pieces rather than getting that infuriating misclick from time to time
Price, Quality & Value
When considering how much you are going to pay for an electronic chess board, especially of the quality of those in the recommended, list it is worth bearing in mind that this is a serious purchase, but one that is going to last for a very long time, and provide thousands of hours of pleasure and entertainment.
The higher the price, does not guarantee the better quality, I honestly can not see a board for twice the price, looking or feeling better than the two I have played on, and moreover, I feel I do not even need to buy one to find out.
These have everything I could wish for and leave nothing out. I’ve always been a fan of getting what you pay for, and with the kids, toy version, $100 probably doesn’t replace what you can find on the mobile phones and ipads that kids have by proxy these days anyway – Although of course, its not the same OTB experience – but, bouncing back again, I expect the kids are;t that worried about that anyway.
Of course, if you do buy through one of the links on this site, I may earn a small commission, which goes a long way to helping me purchase and try more products for the reviews you find on this site. And I thank you
When it comes to electronic chess boards, there are a lot of great options to choose from. You can find some high-quality models that offer excellent value for money, and many of them are portable enough for travel. If you’re looking for a board that is compatible with FIDE tournament play, the DGT version is a good option. Thanks for reading and I hope you found this helpful!