There’s a big difference between American chess players and European chess players and it’s one that you might never have expected – the boards that they tend to use are different. Americans prefer portable chess sets but full-sized ones and that means it’s easier to carry around a roll up board and the pieces that they want to use. Europeans, on the other hand, tend to use solid boards at pre-arranged destinations. So, if you want to go traditional American style, which rollup board do you buy?
WE Games Best Value Tournament Chess Set – Filled Chess Pieces, Black And White Board
This is a super high-quality set from one of our favorite vendors. If you want a black and white board to match your pieces this is an excellent option. The whole thing weighs about 1 lbs. which is not very much at all and there are 2 spare queens in the box to ensure that you can promote your pawns without inverting your rooks.
It also meets FIDE’s size requirements for a tournament board which can be very important to some players and there are some helpful prompts for the algebraic notation on the sides of the board.
You can find the WE Games Best Value Tournament Chess Set on Amazon.
Wholesale Chess Archer Chess Set Combo – Forest Green
A bit heavier than our last option but this one comes in the classic forest green of roll up chess boards and if you want to feel like an authentic chess club player, you may want to go for this color scheme. This set also comes with a pair of extra queens which is always a nice touch though not essential.
It comes in that Archer’s quiver style bag too. Pretty cool!
You can find the Wholesale Chess Archer Chess Set Combo – Forest Green on Amazon.
WE Games Best Value Tournament Chess Set – Staunton Chess Pieces, Green And White Board
This isn’t hugely different from our first pick but it comes with a classic Staunton Set and the squares are now green and white rather than black and white. The felt cushioning on the bases of the pieces should prevent the board from becoming scuffed over time which is a nice touch.
They also donate some of their profits and time to the Toy Foundation for needy children which is a nice touch.
You can find the WE Games Best Value Tournament Chess Set – Staunton Chess Pieces, Green And White Board on Amazon.
WE Games Roll Up Travel Chess Set With Carry Tube
No extra queens, but this basic travel set from WE is as good as anything that they do, though bag isn’t the highest quality, it gets your pieces and board from A to B and that’s all you really need. Again, the algebraic layout around the board is useful when it comes to recording your games.
You can find the WE Games Roll Up Travel Chess Set With Carry Tube on Amazon.
The House Of Staunton US Chess Quiver Chess Set Combo
This is a set actually manufactured for the US Chess Federation, so you know that when they say it meets US Chess Federation and FIDE standards that it absolutely does. This a premium set and that does mean it’s a bit more costly than some of the others in our round up but many will feel it’s worth it.
There are no extra queens in the box though and you will need to invert your rooks when you promote if your queens are still on the board.
You can find the The House Of Staunton US Chess Quiver Chess Set Combo on Amazon.
Yellow Mountain Imports Regulation Tournament Roll Up Staunton Chess Set
You can see the quality in this set as soon as you unpack it. The bag is far nicer than in some of the cheaper sets and it screams “I take my chess seriously!” Not that you need to do that but there’s definitely a psychological advantage in turning up to a match looking like you’re ready to do battle with Magnus Carlsen.
You can find the Yellow Mountain Imports Regulation Tournament Roll Up Staunton Chess Set on Amazon.
Pitkin Stearns International, Inc. Roll-Up Travel Game Chess by Sondergut
OK, this one definitely doesn’t measure up to international tournament standards but who cares? This is the ultimate in hipster roll up chess sets. The set for the guy (or gal) that doesn’t want to try too hard but still enjoys a game as long no-one thinks them a nerd for it.
The board is the bag and it’s leather with magnetic pieces and can double as a checkers set. Nice but quite pricey for what it is.
You can find the Pitkin Stearns International, Inc. Roll-Up Travel Game Chess by Sondergut on Amazon.
Heavy Tournament Triple Weighted Chess Set Combo – Navy Blue
This is a set made to be taken seriously. It’s heavy which screams “quality pieces” but can be a bit of a drag when you’re carting it from game to game. It weighs in at 4 lbs! That’s nearly 4 times as heavy as any other set in our round up.
It’s a delight to play on and with though and it’s unusual because it’s the only blue and white board in the top 10.
You can find the Heavy Tournament Triple Weighted Chess Set Combo – Navy Blue on Amazon.
Club Vinyl Rollup Chess Board Green & Buff
If you already have pieces and you’re just looking for a simple chess board to get you rolling up your board, then this might be the perfect chess board for you. It’s the absolutely cheapest offering but despite the low price, it’s actually made to a very reasonable quality standard.
You can get next day delivery and they provide discounts if you buy in bulk, making it ideal for chess clubs on a budget seeking to buy in a bunch of boards. The classic green and white is nice and they include algebraic markings around the edges! You can’t go wrong.
You can find the Club Vinyl Rollup Chess Board Green & Buff at The Chess Store.
Single Fold Regulation Chess Board
These boards bear the US chess federation logo, (so they must be approved by them). They’re roll up style mats but instead of rolling they fold flat which can make them easier to carry in some bags. They are, however, quite a bit more expensive considering there are no pieces included and while the quality is there, they may be just too expensive for some.
You can find the Single Fold Regulation Chess Board at Wholesale Chess.
Those are the 10 best roll up chess boards and I hope that you’ve found one that will suit your game. Some of these mats are a little more hard-wearing than others but they’ll all do the job of acting as a chess board very nicely and you ought to be able to find one that suits your game easily enough.
The good news is that most of these products are pretty inexpensive too, if you buy one and it’s not exactly your cup of tea, you can always gift it to a friend and then pick up another one at a later date. However, most people should be pleased with any of the sets and boards on this list – they all let you play chess and that’s the important thing.